Dominion just created an 'overwhelming' hurdle for Fox News: legal expert

Dominion just created an 'overwhelming' hurdle for Fox News: legal expert
Fox News' Sean Hannity speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland (Gage Skidmore)

The massive filing by Dominion Voting Systems in its $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News offers convincing proof that the network was "deliberately lying" about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, argued retired Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe in conversation with The Guardian published on Monday.

The filing has already revealed a number of bizarre allegations, like that Fox's Maria Bartiromo moved forward with claims from pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell even knowing her source was a woman who claims to have received voter fraud intelligence through "time travel." But the far more damning evidence, argued Tribe, is the real-time communications of Fox hosts who clearly knew Trump's conspiracy theories were false.

"Filed last week, the 192-page document makes it clear that senior figures at Fox News from Rupert Murdoch down knew immediately after the election that claims of voter fraud, in particular those aimed at Dominion, were false," wrote Charles Kaiser. "Tucker Carlson called the charges 'ludicrous' and 'off the rails'. Sean Hannity texted about 'F’ing lunatics'. A senior network vice-president called one of the stories 'MIND BLOWINGLY NUTS'. But none of this knowledge prevented hosts from repeating lies about everything from imaginary algorithms shaving votes from Dominion machines to non-existent ties between the company and Venezuela."

Tribe, a constitutional law specialist, said this evidence is enough to find Fox News liable for defamation — it not only "establishes that Fox was not only reckless," he said, but it also shows major Fox figures were "deliberately lying and knew they were lying about the nature of Dominion’s machines and the supposed way they could be manipulated."

“I have never seen a defamation case with such overwhelming proof that the defendant admitted in writing that it was making up fake information in order to increase its viewership and its revenues,” said Tribe. “Fox and its producers and performers were lying as part of their business model.”

Fox News continues to deny all allegations by Dominion, claiming that their actions are within the purview of protections for journalism laid out in New York Times v. Sullivan, and the lawsuit is "cherry-picking" non-representative conversations to create a false impression the network was willfully spreading false information.

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