Dominion, Fox News want testimony from Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity
Fox News’s biggest stars and most powerful leaders could take the witness stand in a Delaware courtroom next month as part of the network’s ongoing legal fight with Dominion Voting Systems, new court documents show.
Hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, as well as Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, are among the individuals on a proposed list of fact witnesses that might be called to testify during the trial, which is slated to start on April 17.
Dominion is suing Fox for defamation, alleging the network knowingly aired false claims about its software that were promoted by former President Trump and his allies following the 2020 election.
Fox has moved on a number of occasions to have the case dismissed on First Amendment grounds, arguing it had a journalistic duty to report on Trump’s claims. The network has also repeatedly accused the voting systems company of “cherry picking” internal communications from its employees as part of its discovery process.
The two parties in court filings both expressed a desire to call many of Fox’s top stars to the witness stand, including Carlson, Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Bret Baier, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. Many of the allegedly defamatory statements were made on their shows.
But Dominion’s 56 proposed live witnesses also include Fox executives, members of the Murdoch family and former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is a member of the Fox Corp. board. Their list also includes a number of media and marketing experts.
Fox, meanwhile, listed 35 proposed live witnesses.
“Dominion’s needlessly expansive live witness list is yet another attempt to generate headlines and distract from the many shortcomings of its case,” a spokesperson for the network told The Hill on Tuesday. “Ultimately, this case is about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news.”
In a slew of court filings in recent weeks, Dominion has included private communications from hosts like Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham, showing them privately throwing cold water on Trump’s claims of voter fraud but worrying how the network’s audience might react to fact checks of those claims.
Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis heard arguments from both sides last week during a hearing for summary judgment, during which Dominion argued it should be awarded the full $1.6 billion it is seeking in damages while Fox countered that the allegations made about Dominion were newsworthy and the case against it should be dismissed.
Davis is expected to give an opinion on summary judgment, which is widely expected to send the case to a trial by jury, in the coming days.
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