Delaware judge dismisses Fox News request to dismiss lawsuit

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FILE – A worker scans Dominion ballots during the setting up of a polling station at an elementary school in Gwinnett County, Ga., Outside of Atlanta, January 4, 2021. Local officials in rural Nevada decided on Thursday, December 16, 2021, to replace equipment manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems – a sign that unfounded concerns about tampering with the electoral machine remain widespread in many parts of the United States more one year after the 2020 election (AP Photo / Ben Gray, on file)

PA

A judge on Thursday dismissed a Fox News motion to dismiss a $ 1.6 billion libel suit brought against the cable news giant by Dominion Voting Systems over allegations regarding the 2020 presidential election.

In the 52-page decision, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said the voting machine company had shown that “at this point it is reasonably conceivable that Dominion has a libel action per se. . “

Denver-based Dominion filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the media organization alleging that some Fox News employees have raised false accusations that Dominion altered the votes in the 2020 election thanks to algorithms in its machines to vote that had been created in Venezuela to rig the elections for late dictator Hugo Chavez. On-air personalities appealed to Trump allies who aired the claims and then amplified the claims on Fox News’ social media platforms.

There was no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, a fact that various election officials across the country – and even Trump’s attorney general, William Barr – have confirmed. An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battlefield states disputed by former President Donald Trump found less than 475 – a number that would have made no difference in the election presidential election of 2020.

In dismissing the motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Davis said Dominion’s complaint “supports the reasonable inference that Fox (i) knew his statements about Dominion’s role in electoral fraud were false or (ii) had a high degree of awareness that the statements were false. . “

Davis said that “Fox had compensatory evidence of electoral fraud from the Department of Justice, election experts, and the Dominion at the time he made his statements. The fact that, despite this evidence, Fox continued to publish his allegations against Dominion, suggests Fox knew the allegations were likely false. “

The judge also wrote that despite emails from Dominion attempting to respond factually to Fox’s fraud allegations, Fox and his press staff continued to report Dominion’s “supposed link to the electoral fraud allegations without also report Dominion emails “.

“Given that Fox has apparently refused to report evidence to the contrary … the allegations in the complaint support the reasonable inference that Fox intended to keep the Dominion version out of the narrative.”

Fox News Media said in a statement that “As we have maintained, Fox News, along with every news organization across the country, has vigorously covered the latest news surrounding the unprecedented 2020 election, providing full context for each. story with in-depth reporting and precise analysis. We remain committed to defending ourselves against this baseless lawsuit and its all-out assault on the First Amendment. “

Fox News had called for the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that its coverage was protected by the First Amendment and that a free press should be able to report both sides of a story involving allegations that go to the heart of the democracy.

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