Amidst all the wall-to-wall coverage involving former president Donald Trump’s arrest and arraignment on Tuesday, Fox News was making moves in preparation for its own trial set to begin later this month.
In a letter released Tuesday and filed to the Delaware Superior Court, Fox News disclosed the names of executives and on-air talent set to testify in person as part of its defense strategy during its trial versus Dominion Voting Systems.
From the executive ranks, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox News president and executive editor Jay Wallace have been called on to testify. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Maria Bartiromo, Bret Baier, Dana Perino, and Jeanine Pirro are just some of the hosts who will be making appearances on the witness stand.
Also included in the list is former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.
However, some notable names are absent from this list, mainly Rupert Murdoch, Fox Corp’s chairman, and his son Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corp’s executive chairman and CEO.
Dominion, presumably, would like a chance to question the duo, including the other named participants, and the judge presiding over the case could force the two of them to testify if he feels that what they have to say is compelling enough to advance the nature of the trial.
Update: CNN’s Marshall Cohen reports that a Delaware judge has indicated that Dominion can force the two Murdochs to testify during the upcoming trial.
New from @MarshallCohen: “Dominion can force Fox Corporation executives Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch to testify on the witness stand at this month’s scheduled defamation trial, a Delaware judge said Wednesday.”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 5, 2023
They are relevant to the case,” Judge Davis said during a hearing. “If Dominion wants to bring them live, they need to issue a trial subpoena. I would not quash it, and I would compel them to come. It would be my discretion that they come.”
After suffering a notable loss last Friday in its attempt to get Dominion’s $1.6 billion lawsuit dismissed, Fox is now getting its ducks in a row in preparation for the trial set to begin on Monday, April 17, with jury selection starting on Thursday, April 13.
Both Dominion and Fox had asked Judge Eric Davis for a pretrial ruling in their favor, declaring them the winner during that stage of the proceedings, thus rendering a trial unnecessary. However, after thousands of pages of filings and exhibits, the judge decided that the case should go to trial.
Dominion was granted a summary judgment victory on its allegations of false statements and reporting on Fox News airwaves in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, saying that the evidence the voting technology company presented shows Fox News clearly aired false claims about the company. However, Judge Davis rejected a summary judgment finding on actual malice, which is why the case is going to trial.
Fox News has and continues to vigorously dispute Dominion’s allegations and says it is proud of its 2020 presidential election coverage. The network has also said that the case “is about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news.”