Barr subpoenaed in Dominion defamation case against Fox News
Former Attorney General William Barr has been issued a subpoena in connection with the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against Fox News, court records show.
A filing made in Delaware Superior Court and dated July 8 indicated Barr had been sent a subpoena as Dominion works to prove Fox knowingly aired false information about the company following the 2020 election.
Dominion filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox last March, alleging the conservative cable news giant had aired defamatory claims made on its airwaves falsely suggesting the company engaged in fraud during the 2020 election.
Barr famously broke with former President Trump following the election, saying the Department of Justice had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election, as the former president and many of his allies had claimed.
The former attorney general’s comments on Trump and his claims of voter fraud have been a central feature of the evidence laid out by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud,” Barr said during taped testimony played during a recent committee hearing, adding nothing he’d seen since then had changed his opinion.
In a recent filing, Dominion’s legal team argued Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch “decided to promote former President Trump’s narrative after Trump’s condemnation of Fox damaged its stock and viewership.”
Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis last month denied a motion from Fox Corp. to dismiss the the suit, writing that the voting systems company “adequately states a claim for defamation per se against Fox Corporation based on its theory of direct liability.”
Fox has moved to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds, saying in a recent statement that “limiting the ability of the press to report freely on the American election process stands in stark contrast to the liberties on which this nation was founded.”
“We are confident we will prevail as freedom of the press is foundational to our democracy and must be protected, in addition to the damages claims being outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis, serving as nothing more than a flagrant attempt to deter our journalists from doing their jobs,” the network added.
Dominion and Smartmatic, another voting systems company, have also sued a number of smaller conservative cable networks for airing false claims about the election.