With less than six weeks before trial is to begin for Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit, Fox News on Tuesday released several hundred pages of documents – including redacted depositions of its hosts and leaders – in support of a lengthy email outlining how the besieged network plans to defend its coverage of the 2020 election.
“Thanks to today’s filings, Dominion has been caught red handed using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear FOX News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press,” the network said in a statement accompanying the documents. “We already know they will say and do anything to try to win this case, but to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company is truly beyond the pale.”
The packet of PDFs is just the latest public salvo in Dominion vs. Fox, as both sides have now filed lengthy and thoroughly argued motions for summary judgment. A Delaware judge will rule later this month on those motions, but a First Amendment case this complex and high-stakes is all but certain to wind up with a jury – unless Fox bucks legal experts’ expectations and negotiates some kind of settlement.
Fox’s Tuesday filings, including nearly 20 separate “exhibits,” was essentially a counter-punch to Dominion’s documents filed last month in support of summary judgment. In those, Rupert Murdoch himself acknowledged in his deposition that some Fox News hosts had “endorsed” the stolen-election narrative on-air, despite privately expressing reservations about continuing to feed the lie without evidence.
The network’s sprawling and multifaceted defense is outlined in the email shared Tuesday with the press.
It highlights pushback that hosts like Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson leveled against Dominion conspiracy-theorist guests (primarily Sydney Powell and Rudy Giuliani) both on-air and privately, demanding evidence of any kind. It suggests via internal Dominion messages and memos that the voting-systems company was not materially harmed by Fox’s reporting, and continued adding clients ever since. And it pooh-poohs the suggestion that Fox executives were concerned about losing ratings, and purports to demonstrate how several comments by Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch were taken out of context.
But it also doubles down on doubts about the security of electronic voting machines like Dominion’s.
“Since their arrival two decades ago, electronic voting machines have been the subject of significant controversy and public scrutiny … Dominion’s own employees expressed serious concerns about the security of its machines,” the statement reads, using several Dominion employee emails to weave a tale of self-doubt and fears at the Denver-based company.