Fox is facing new scrutiny over what it produced during the discovery period ahead of a planned trial following a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, a company responsible for technology used in elections that somehow became a face of false conspiracy theories about what supposedly happened in the 2020 elections.
A report from The Daily Beast outlines new revelations involving Abby Grossberg, a now former producer for Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News who said she’d created audio recordings after the 2020 presidential race featuring Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and a high-ranking figure with Trump’s campaign. They, in various forms, all brazenly admitted to gaps in available evidence for claims of election fraud that had been made. It appears these materials were not provided during the discovery process, despite their evident relevance, which could force an extension to the proceedings. “We keep on learning about more relevant information from individuals other than Fox and, to be honest, we don’t know what to do about that,” an attorney for Dominion said, according to Erik Wemple of The Washington Post.
“Judge Davis appeared very concerned by the Dominion presentation. If the new materials warrant new depositions, Judge Davis ordered them to happen, at the cost of Fox,” Wemple added. “Judge Davis called the issue “serious” and discussed directing a special master to investigate Fox’s handling of discovery.”
The recordings of Giuliani and the others, which are not the only lingering materials at issue, could be relevant to Dominion’s potential proving of active malice or a reckless disregard for the truth on Fox’s part in its role in spreading lies and deceptive nonsense about what happened during the 2020 elections. The jury trial, implicating both Fox News and Fox Corporation, was slated to start this month, so the situation could prove rapidly developing as those involved make accommodations.
Knowledge that the claims of election fraud were false or at least without significant evidence could certainly help show that it was purposed ignorance — or malicious intent, like boosting network viewership — that drove some of Fox’s election coverage. Eric Davis, the judge in this case, already has formally concluded Fox’s challenged claims on air were not true, and he is also allowing for potential testimony at trial from Rupert Murdoch, the famed mogul. Dominion continues to seek massive financial penalties paid from Fox, while elsewhere, Trump keeps lying about what happened in 2020.
Judge Davis appeared very concerned by the Dominion presentation. If the new materials warrant new depositions, Judge Davis ordered them to happen, at the cost of Fox.
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) April 12, 2023