A Delaware judge in Washington on Wednesday acquitted the network's lawyers in a defamation lawsuit against Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News after finding that the hosts and executives withheld evidence they knew the claims were baseless. Audio software and hardware are not supported on Dominion. And the 2020 presidential election.
The testimony related in part to conversations between anchor Maria Batirama and attorney Rudy Giuliani and former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg of Sidney Powell. Two conservative attorneys have hit the airwaves with baseless allegations that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election against former President Donald Trump.
The disclosure prompted Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis, the judge overseeing the case, to reopen the case, including allowing Dominion to accept new deposits into Fox's account. He also said he is considering appointing a special master or an independent third party to investigate Fox News' lawyers. Davis ordered them to secure all communications.
The special master may be asked to investigate the failure of Fox's legal team to testify about Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch. In court on Tuesday, Fox's lawyers said Murdoch was a Fox News official. Knowing this in advance, Dominion could have expanded its search for relevant Murdoch-related records. A Fox spokesperson responded to the confusion over his role at the news network: "Rupert Murdoch is listed in our SEC filings as the CEO of FOX News for many years. Dominion's attorney referred to that approach in a statement." " ."
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"It's a problem," Davis said in court Tuesday, according to the New York Times. "I have to feel comfortable when something is offered to me, it's true," Davis said.
A Fox News spokesperson responded to the development of the sanctions against Davis: “As counsel explained to the court, FOX was developing additional information about Ms. Grossberg when we first learned of it. It's unclear from the statement when Fox learned about Grossberg's additional recordings and the company's filing of the lawsuit.
Grossberg filed a lawsuit against the network, its executives and lawyers last month, according to an update Tuesday that Fox had access to the tapes and transcripts but did not provide them to Dominion when it was discovered in the cable defamation suit. News. Network and its parent company.
In the year In a memo dated November 15, 2020, Giuliani admitted to Bartirama that the Trump campaign could not verify certain allegations related to Dominion and the 2020 presidential election, while Grossberg made separate allegations against the network. .
When Bartrama asked Giuliani what evidence he had of Dominion's involvement, Giuliani said it was "a little complicated," according to the latest filing.
Grossberg's lawyers also pointed out that the footage was recorded by Otter, which records conversations and is popular with journalists.
“Every time Fox News gets MM. He obtained Grossberg's cell phones, Fox News' attorneys, and in turn contacted Fox News and the defendant [Susan] Scott. Ms. who found Grossberg's otter tag and audio recordings at that tag. Rudolph Giuliani, Sidney Powell and other senior members of Trump's presidential campaign wrote in the amended complaint Tuesday. Grossberg is a former CBS News employee.
Susan Scott is the CEO of Fox News, and Grossberg led Fox's lawyers to provide incomplete answers during Dominion's lawsuit against Fox for fraud and deceit.
The attorneys also said in court filings that many of the conversations Grossberg recorded with Otter's software were "sent to and/or communicated with other Fox News executives and employees, including on Fox News email servers."
Attorneys for Fox News, as well as the network and Scott, "had access to audio recordings and transcripts of on-air interviews" because they had access to Grossberg's cellphones and transcripts of his phone calls and emails. Mrs. The Grossberg tapes, Mr. Giuliani, Sidney Powell and other high-ranking government officials who repeatedly publish allegations of voter fraud online are woefully underrepresented, wrote their attorneys Jerry Phililatos and Tanveer Rahman.
Fox and his lawyers failed to provide copies of the documents to Dominion during the defamation suit.
In response to Grossberg's second amended complaint, a Fox spokesperson told CBS that "Fox has complied with its discovery obligations in the Dominion case."
The developments involving Fox's attorneys come a day before jury selection begins, and it's unclear whether they will affect the trial, which begins Monday. Dominion is suing Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp., for $1.6 billion after the 2020 election, alleging the network spread baseless conspiracies about voting machines, despite knowing the statements were false. Fox said he only reflected on the re-electionist's claims.
Both sides tried to settle the case by seeking summary judgment, but Davis refused to claim the case as a winner before it went to trial. A jury is expected to decide whether Fox committed actual malice by making baseless claims against Dominion and whether the company is entitled to damages, and if so, how much.
In an 80-page opinion last month, the judge said the evidence showed that "any of Dominion's statements about the 2020 election are not clear" and that Fox News' claim that Dominion was controversial was defamatory. . "By himself."
Dominion claims 20 statements aired on the Fox show between November 8, 2020 and January 26, 2021 were false and defamatory.
In the year On "Sunday Morning Futures" on November 8, 2020, Batirama asked Powell about Dominion's voting software and, without Powell providing any evidence, Dominion used an algorithm to match Trump's vote to President Biden's.
Giuliani later appeared on Lou Dobbs' 'Lou Dobbs Tonight' show on November 12, 2020, making unsubstantiated claims about Dominion's ownership.
Nicole Sganga and Scott McFarlane contributed to this report.