Fox News hires new legal counsel in defamation case with Dominion
Fox News has added a new lawyer as part of its legal team in its fight with Dominion Voting Systems, which is suing the cable news giant for defamation after it aired false claims about voter fraud following the 2020 election.
Fox has hired Dan Webb, a veteran defense attorney and high-profile lawyer, as part of its legal team as it moves to have the case brought by Dominion dismissed.
Webb is the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and was the special counsel investigating the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. More recently, he was appointed to serve as special counsel investigating how officials in Chicago handled a case involving actor Jussie Smollett.
Webb’s “vast experience in trial litigation will add depth to our legal team, ensuring the protection of the First Amendment and the fundamental right to a free press remain intact,” Fox said in a statement to The Hill on Wednesday.
Late last month, a Superior Court Judge in Delaware denied a motion from Fox Corp. to dismiss the suit, saying Dominion had sufficiently shown Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, who own and operate Fox News’s parent company, might have knowingly allowed unproven claims about voter fraud to be aired on the channel.
In a court filing, Dominion argued the Murdochs “decided to promote former President Trump’s narrative after Trump’s condemnation of Fox damaged its stock and viewership.”
Fox’s legal team has sought to have the case dismissed on First Amendment grounds, arguing many of the false claims about voter fraud aired by the network were made by guests on the channel.
“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,” Fox said in a statement on Wednesday, adding it was “confident we will prevail in this case as the First Amendment is the foundation of our democracy and freedom of the press must be protected.”
Fox is also facing a lawsuit from a separate voting systems company, Smartmatic, over similar claims about voter fraud. Both Dominion and Smartmatic have sued other smaller cable news channels, including One America News and Newsmax, over claims made on those networks about the companies and their software.