Los Angeles Politics

Start of Fox News defamation trial is delayed until Tuesday

The start of the much-anticipated trial over Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6-billion defamation case against Fox News is being pushed until Tuesday, an indication that the two sides may be at work on an out-of-court settlement.

In a note sent from the Delaware Superior Court, Judge Eric Davis will announce Monday that the start of the trial has been pushed to Tuesday.

No reason was given by the court for the delay, and representatives for both sides did not comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, attributing to unnamed sources, that attorneys for Fox News were making a late push to settle the high-profile case that has been a major embarrassment for the conservative channel.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., which is also controlled by Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

A last-minute settlement would not be shocking to 1st Amendment lawyers who have been following the case and were somewhat astonished that one had not yet been reached.

Fox News may be highly motivated to settle, as Davis has sanctioned the defendants for failing to include evidence that should have been entered in the discovery process.

Davis also expressed dismay at how Fox News attorneys defined t Murdoch’s role at the network.

Fox News lawyers had said Murdoch did not have an officer title at the network, which is not true — he is executive chairman. Fox News formally apologized to the judge Sunday.

Dominion is accusing Fox News of amplifying false charges made by Trump’s attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudolph Giuliani in the weeks following the 2020 election that the company’s machines manipulated votes to help elect Joe Biden as president.

There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud or any wrongful actions by Dominion. Claims to the contrary were fact-checked by some Fox News journalists and the network’s own research department.

Dominion said Fox News acted out of fear that the “Make America Great Again” faithful would tune out and move to upstart conservative network Newsmax, which was gaining viewership at the time.

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Joseph Hernandez

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