Fox News suffered a significant setback on Friday in its defense against a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit that claims it lied about voter fraud in the 2020 election.
A judge in Delaware Superior Court said that the case, brought by Dominion Voting Systems, was strong enough to conclude that Fox hosts and guests repeatedly made false claims about Dominion machines and their supposed role in a fictitious plot to steal the election from President Donald J. Trump.
“The evidence developed in this civil proceeding,” Judge Eric M. Davis wrote, demonstrates that it “is CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.”
Judge Davis said the case would still proceed to trial, for a jury to weigh whether the media company spread false claims about Dominion knowing that they were untrue, and to determine any damages. The trial is expected to begin April 17.
“We are gratified by the court’s thorough ruling soundly rejecting all of Fox’s arguments and defenses, and finding as a matter of law that their statements about Dominion are false,” a spokeswoman for Dominion said in a statement on Friday. “We look forward to going to trial.”
A spokeswoman for Fox said: “This case is and always has been about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news. Fox will continue to fiercely advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press as we move into the next phase of these proceedings.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.