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Bill Barr subpoenaed by voting tech company Smartmatic in company’s defamation lawsuit against Fox News

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

Voting technology company Smartmatic on Thursday subpoenaed former Attorney General Bill Barr in its $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, demanding he turn over any communications with the right-wing television channel’s personalities, executives, and owners.

Specifically, the subpoena from Smartmatic seeks by September 16 any communication Barr had with Fox News employees about the 2020 election, Trump campaign, or Smartmatic after January 1, 2020.

The subpoena also requires Barr to produce similar communication he may have had with Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, whom own the channel’s parent company, and Rudy Giuliani, who previously represented former President Donald Trump. Giuliani is co-defendant in the same lawsuit.

And finally, the subpoena demands any documents or communication Barr provided to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Representatives for Smartmatic did not respond to requests for comment about the subpoena on Friday. Barr declined to comment to CNN.

But the information from Barr, who publicly contradicted Trump’s claims of voter fraud, could further help Smartmatic prove in court that Fox News knew it was broadcasting false information about the company, but continued to do so anyway. Fox has vigorously denied defaming Smartmatic, arguing that the First Amendment protects its decision to air newsworthy remarks by Trump surrogates questioning the integrity of election results.

A New York judge earlier this year rejected Fox News’ motion to dismiss Smartmatic’s defamation lawsuit, allowing the case to move forward to discovery.

The move to subpoena Barr comes just weeks after Dominion Voting Systems, another election technology company, subpoenaed him in its separate case against Fox News.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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