MAGA conspiracy blog files for bankruptcy amid string of defamation lawsuits

Gateway Pundit’s founder Jim Hoft said the site will continue publishing despite its legal and financial troubles

Martha McHardy
Thursday 25 April 2024 19:32 BST
Gateway Pundit publisher Jim Hoft listens as Donald Trump speaks during a ‘social media summit'
Gateway Pundit publisher Jim Hoft listens as Donald Trump speaks during a ‘social media summit' (REUTERS)

Popular MAGA conspiracy blog Gateway Pundit is filing for bankruptcy amid a string of defamation lawsuits it is facing.

The blog, which was launched in 2004, has been a hotbed of conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, school shootings, and other topics since its founding and has staunchly promoted Donald Trump and his MAGA allies.

The site was even granted White House press credentials during the Trump administration.

But its peddling of conspiracy theories has landed the blog in hot water in recent years and it is now facing a string of lawsuits alleging it promoted bogus claims about the 2020 election.

In a message posted on the site on Wednesday, the blog’s founder Jim Hoft said the outlet had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection “as a result of the progressive liberal lawfare attacks” and that this was “not an admission of fault or culpability.”

He described the move as a “common tool for reorganization and to consolidate litigation when attacks are coming from all sides.”

“It allows [The Gateway Pundit] to consolidate this lawfare in one court for ultimate resolution,” the statement read.

Mr Hoft also indicated that the website would continue publishing as the litigation plays out in court, proclaiming the outlet “will not be deterred.”

A federal bankruptcy court filing revealed the blog’s parent company has between $500,000 and $1m in assets, meaning it may struggle to pay for a large damages award in a defamation trial.

The Gateway Pundit is being sued by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, two Georgia election workers who claim the outlet published stories that falsely accused them of election fraud, which the pair said prompted a wave of harassment and threats of violence.

Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman giving evidence to Congress
Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman giving evidence to Congress (AP)

Ms Freeman and Ms Moss already won a payout of $148m in a lawsuit accusing former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani of defamation after the 2020 election, prompting him to file for bankruptcy in December.

Meanwhile, the blog is also facing another defamation lawsuit, filed by former Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer.

A judge has rejected several attempts by attorneys for the blog’s parent company to have both cases thrown out.

Gateway Pundit is not the only far-right outlet to have been forced to file for bankruptcy due to a defamation lawsuit.

The conspiracy-theorist outlet Infowars and its founder, Alex Jones, both filed for bankruptcy in 2022 after he was ordered to pay $1.5bn to the families of the 26 people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting over his repeated promotion of a false theory that the shooting was a hoax.

Meanwhile, Fox News paid a record $787m to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems which accused the network of spreading false statements about its business in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

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