Dominion demands no evidence from Fox in lawsuit

A person walks past the Fox News headquarters at the News Corporation building on May 3, 2022 in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems reaches out to Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corpfor missing evidence, less than two months before the companies appear in court in a defamation suit.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Dominion and Fox met in front of a Delaware Supreme Court judge to discuss the schedule for upcoming checkpoints.

However, Dominion’s attorney said there were concerns about certification requirements and evidence, such as certain board meeting minutes and personal disc search results, that Fox and its cable television networks have yet to release. Although the issue was already brought up in July and January, the Dominion prosecutor said on Wednesday that they were still missing documents.

“We haven’t received anything. We have listed categories of missing documents for both Fox News and Fox Corp that are still missing. And we’re not talking about a missing document… we’re talking about categories of documents,” Dominion said. lawyer Justin Nelson on Wednesday.

Nelson said that Dominion’s lawyers were confident that Fox’s legal team would “ask the hard questions about the missing documents so we don’t have to do that and deal with further discovery practices.”

“And it just didn’t happen,” Nelson said, “and I understand why, because they can’t do it.”

Fox attorney Dan Webb, a veteran litigator added to Fox’s roster last year, said he disagreed with much of what Nelson said during Wednesday’s hearing.

“The parties have issues on both sides,” Webb said on Wednesday. “I think there were 70,000 damages documents recently, which is a huge problem in this case, that were submitted late.”

Dominion has filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox and its right-wing cable news networks Fox News and Fox Business seeking $1.6 billion in damages. It alleges that the networks and their hosts made false claims that Dominion voting machines rigged the 2020 election results.

Both lawyers acknowledged that Fox sent a letter to the special master on Tuesday evening about this. The Delaware judge didn’t weigh in again on Wednesday.

Dominion’s lawyer Nelson acknowledged that Fox could also raise the issue of filing documents in the case. “As far as I can tell, Dominion produced more documents than Fox in this case,” Nelson said.

In recent months, Fox Corp executives, including chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son, as well as Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, have faced interrogations as part of the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Fox broadcasters including Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson also showed up to testify.

Hannity reportedly admitted he did not believe the Dominion had swindled Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden. The reported statements differ from those made on Hannity’s show after the election.

The rest of the documents and testimony remained confidential. New York Times recently requested to have the paperwork printed out.

Fox vehemently denies the allegations in a lawsuit closely followed by First Amendment observers and experts. Libel suits usually center around a single lie. But in this case, Dominion cites a long list of examples of Fox TV hosts making false claims even after they were proven to be untrue. Media companies are often widely protected by the First Amendment.

Fox’s calls to dismiss the case were rejected by the court. The trial is due to begin April 17. Neither side shows signs of starting settlement talks. Dominion’s lawyer said on Wednesday that the legal team, which had hoped for an earlier date for the trial, does not want it to be rescheduled, despite a problem with evidence.

“We are placed in an impossible pre-trial situation due to a lack of paperwork,” Nelson said.

Also on Wednesday, Fox posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, underpinned by strong ad revenue. Class A shares of the company rose more than 5%.

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