Hosts at Fox News had serious concerns about allegations of elector fraud in the 2020 presidential election being made by guests who were backers of former President Donald Trump, according to court documents in a$1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network.
” Sidney Powell is lying,” about having proof for election fraud, Tucker Carlson told a producer about the attorney onNov. 16, 2020, according to an excerpt from an display that remains under seal.
The internal communication was included in a redacted summary judgment detail filed Thursday by attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems.
Carlson also referred to Powell in a manual as an” unguided missile,” and” dangerous as hell.” Fellow host Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, told Carlson that Powell is” a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy,” pertaining to former New York mayor and Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani.
Sean Hannity, meanwhile, said in a deposition” that whole narrative that Sidney was pushing, I didn’t believe it for one second,” according to Dominion’s document.
Denver- grounded Dominion, which sells electronic voting hardware and software, is suing both Fox News and parent company Fox Corporation. Dominion said some Fox News workers purposively amplified false claims that Dominion had changed votes in the 2020 election, and that Fox handed a platform for guests to make false and defamatory statements.
Attorneys for the cable news giant argued in a complaint closed Thursday that the lawsuit is an assault on the First Amendment. They said Dominion has advanced” novel defamation theories” and is seeking a” stunning” damage figure aimed at generating captions, chilling defended speech and enriching Dominion’s private equity proprietor, Staple Street Capital Partners.
“There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan. Dominion has mischaracterized the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law.” – Fox team told City Telegraph Team
Lawyers for Fox News claim everything their anchors said was protected by the first amendment.
Other lawyers are skeptical.
“You may have a first amendment right to report on what the president said but you have no right to validate a statement that you know to be false,” said Steven Shapiro, former legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union and counsel or co-counsel on more than 200 supreme court briefs.
David Korzenik is a leading libel lawyer whose clients include the Guardian. He said the Dominion case shows it “possible to prove actual malice. If particular people are shown to have believed something to be false, or to have been highly aware of its probable falsehood, and at the same time they made statements endorsing it on air, they are in play.
“You’re allowed to be biased … you’re allowed to try to make money. And people should be able to disagree with each other in a newsroom. But if Fox anchors say they don’t believe X and then turn around and endorse X on air after expressing manifest disbelief in it, they have a real problem.
“The actual malice standard is very high and it’s supposed to be … it’s a burden that can be overcome in limited but appropriate circumstances.”