Fox News CEO Forced To Be Deposed In Defamation Case

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Suzanne Scott, the CEO at Fox News, will soon be deposed amid a sweeping defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over the promotion on the network of lies and conspiracy theories about imaginary fraud in the 2020 presidential election and the voting technology company’s supposed role.

Trump himself has promoted false claims about Dominion, although the company — which has pointed to over half a million dollars in post-election security costs amid a deluge of threats from Trump fanatics — hasn’t sued the former president. Dominion has, however, sued others among his allies, like Mike Lindell and Rudy Giuliani. In the Fox case, Dominion has already obtained vast troves of communications from the network, including some of Scott’s personal communications. Among these messages is Scott expressing doubt regarding the veracity of claims about the last election, which could bolster Dominion’s case that Fox is liable for having either knowingly aired false information or recklessly ignored the available truth. “According to several people closely involved in the case, lawyers for Dominion are expected to depose her soon,” The New York Times said.

“We can’t give the crazies an inch,” Scott said in a post-election message revealed by a Dominion lawyer. Well, that didn’t work out. Earlier this month, Dominion successfully got Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis to allow the company to receive copies of employment contracts for top figures at Fox including Scott. The materials could help Dominion sketch out how Scott and others may have financially benefited from jumps in viewership, providing a motive for keeping something attention-grabbing, like Trump’s election lies, on the air. “Fox sought to profit off a lie. That’s the allegation,” Davis recapped. “Whether that’s true or not, we’ll stay for the trial.”

Justin Nelson, a Dominion lawyer, spoke in court of a doc from Fox evidently obtained during discovery that “talks about the daily editorial meeting that occurs, including almost all of these executives that we’re looking at right now.” Those circumstances would directly connect the scrutinized executives to the challenged contents of certain Fox News shows, like those hosted by Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo. Dominion also recently sought a second round of questioning of Jeanine Pirro, another pro-Trump host at the network, but the outcome of that push wasn’t publicly available as of October 6. They similarly targeted Sean Hannity, expressing concerns about “improper assertions of reporter’s privilege.” He was originally deposed in this case in August of this year.

Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons