Election Law

Judge refuses to toss Dominion's $1.6B defamation suit against Fox News

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A Delaware superior court judge has refused to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News over the network’s election fraud claims.

Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Thursday that Dominion’s lawsuit supports a reasonable inference that Fox had at least “a high degree of awareness” that its statements about Dominion’s voting software were false, report the Associated Press, CNN Business and Deadline.

The suit had claimed that Fox intentionally provided a platform for guests who would make defamatory claims about Dominion, Fox’s hosts repeated and agreed with those statements, and Fox republished the defamatory statements on social media accounts and other digital platforms.

Davis cited Dominion allegations that Fox continued to spread misinformation, even after the voting machine company informed Fox about the falsehoods, and other independent sources—including the U.S. Department of Justice—found no evidence of bad voting machines.

“When Fox guests spread or reiterated disinformation about Dominion, Fox did not use the information Dominion provided to correct its guests or to reorient its viewers,” Davis wrote. “Instead, Fox and its personnel pressed their view that considerable evidence connected Dominion to an illegal election fraud conspiracy.”

The suit cited specific examples, including Fox anchor and Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo’s interview with lawyer Sidney Powell.

“Sidney, we talked about the Dominion software,” Bartiromo said. “I know that there were voting irregularities. Tell me about that.”

Powell responded: “That’s putting it mildly. … That is where the fraud took place, where they were flipping votes in the computer system or adding votes that did not exist. … That’s when they had to stop the vote count and go in and replace votes for Biden and take away Trump votes.”

Powell made similar claims on Lou Dobbs Tonight.

“I can hardly wait to put forth all the evidence we have collected on Dominion, starting with the fact it was created to produce altered voting results in Venezuela for Hugo Chávez and then shipped internationally to manipulate votes for purchase in other countries, including this one.”

Dobbs told Powell, “Sidney, we’re glad that you are on the charge to straighten out all of this. It is a foul mess, and it is far more sinister than any of us could have imagined.”

Fox canceled Dobbs’ weekday show in February, according to the New York Times.

Fox News Media released this statement in response to the decision: “As we have maintained, Fox News, along with every single news organization across the country, vigorously covered the breaking news surrounding the unprecedented 2020 election, providing full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear-cut analysis. We remain committed to defending against this baseless lawsuit and its all-out assault on the First Amendment.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Voting machine company Dominion files $1.3B defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani”

ABAJournal.com: “Trump lawyer says official who defended voting machines should be shot; AG Barr also sees no manipulation”

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