A voting technology company that has sued President Donald Trump and his allies over their comments about the 2020 presidential election has just been caught in the center of a massive bribery scheme.
Last week the Justice Department filed money-laundering charges against former Philippines election administrator Andres Bautista.
The case involves four executives from subsidiaries of voting tech firm Smartmatic, CNN reported.
The report cites a U.S. Southern District of Florida court filing.
In a Thursday social media statement responding to the allegations, Bautista denied receiving bribes from Smartmatic.
“I am surprised to learn about a complaint filed against me,” he posted on Twitter/X on Thursday after the filing.
“I have never been contacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about it for comment.
“But let me be very clear.
“I did not ask for nor receive any bribe money from Smartmatic or any other entity.”
Smartmatic head of communications Samira Saba also released a statement that denies any wrongdoing.
“Smartmatic has never won a project through any illegal means,” a statement read.
“Smartmatic has been in the Philippines since 2008.
“In every bidding process and procurement procedure, Smartmatic has adhered to Philippine procurement law and the strict controls that the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) imposes.
“Winning a bid in the Philippines is never solely one individual’s preference or decision.
“Instead, multiple technical evaluations are conducted by committees, ensuring that the bidders comply with all the requirements specified in the Terms of Reference (TOR).
“All of these assessments are then presented to a Bids and Awards Committee.
“It then recommends to Comelec En Banc, acting as a collegial body, to ultimately decide the successful bidder.
“Dozens of Comelec officials have a say in selecting the provider.
“Over the years Smartmatic has both won and lost bids in the Philippines.
“It is important to note that this is not related to Smartmatic election security or integrity.
“Smartmatic always has and always will cooperate with authorities.”
Alleging defamation, Smartmatic is suing Newsmax, Fox News, OAN, and several individual Fox hosts.
The company is also suing former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and others.
Smartmatic has been suing media outlets and Trump’s allies after they raised questions about the integrity of voting machines in the 2020 election.
All have denied wrongdoing.
Bautista awarded Smartmatic a $199 million contract to supply the Philippines with 94,000 voting machines for the 2016 presidential election, according to CNN.
The election was won by Rodrigo Duterte,
Unidentified executives are reportedly implicated as uncharged co-conspirators alleged to have “caused or attempted” to transfer $4 million to Bautista “in violation of U.S. money laundering laws,” the filing, viewed by CNN, alleges.
According to the Justice Department filing, Smartmatic executives allegedly used “slush funds,” “fake contracts,” and fake email accounts to take in bribes under the code word “salsa.”
Florida-based Smartmatic has claimed that its voting product was used in only one California county, Los Angeles, during the 2020 election.
Smartmatic has long had ties with the regime of Venezuelan strongmen Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.
The company has been handling the country’s presidential and congressional elections for over a decade.
After the 2020 election, Trump and his surrogates accused another voting company, Dominion Voting Systems, of having “rigged” the results and manipulated the software.
The Trump team alleged a connection between Dominion and Smartmatic.
They noted that Smartmatic had once owned Sequoia, a U.S. voting machine company.
Dominion acquired Sequoia in 2010.
Smartmatic was not accused in the criminal complaint of having tampered with elections in the Philippines or elsewhere, according to CNN.
Dominion Voting Systems has also filed suit for defamation against Newsmax, Fox News, Giuliani, and other defendants.
In April, Fox settled with Dominion for $787 million.
Dominion’s litigation with several others continues in multiple courts.