Dominion Voting Systems’ filing in Delaware state court as part of the company’s blockbuster lawsuit against Fox News and its parent company contains never-before-seen vignettes from inside the network in the days following the 2020 election.
The filing includes text messages, emails, and testimony from the outlet’s top executives and hosts casting doubt on former President Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, as well as concerns about how fact-checking those claims on the air might be received by the conservative media outlet’s massive audience, according to a report by The Hill.
Dominion is suing Fox for defamation and seeking $1.6 billion in damages, claiming that the network knowingly broadcast false information about its software due to competitive and political pressure.
In legal filings and public statements, Fox has argued that it was simply covering Trump’s allegations of voter fraud as any other news organization would, and it accuses Dominion’s lawyers of “cherry picking quotes” from its employees in this week’s filing to build a stronger case.
What Was Revealed
The following are the most shocking revelations in Dominion’s filing: The filing includes text messages and emails between Fox’s top talent that show them insulting pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who made many of the on-air claims at the heart of the lawsuit.
“Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy,” Ingraham purportedly responded, apparently referring to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
At one point Carlson reportedly confronted Powell directly about her claims, saying, “You keep telling our viewers that millions of votes were changed by the software.
“I hope you will prove that very soon. You’ve convinced them that Trump will win. If you don’t have conclusive evidence of fraud at that scale, it’s a cruel and reckless thing to keep saying.”
The filing says Carlson told Hannity, “Please get her fired. Seriously….What the fuck? I’m actually shocked…It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”
Hannity then told Carlson, “I’m 3 strikes. Wallace shit debate[.] Election night a disaster[.] Now this BS? Nope. Not gonna fly. Did I mention Cavuto?”
More of Dominion’s Claims
Dominion claims that the two hosts were not the only ones who were critical of reporters’ fact-checking. The company claims that Fox executives were “not pleased” after White House correspondent Kristin Fisher fact checked claims made by Powell and Giuliani at a press conference on November 19, 2020.
Bryan Boughton, Washington Bureau Chief, allegedly called Fisher and told her she needed to do a better job of “respecting our audience.”
Dominion claims that as Trump became more critical of Fox in the weeks leading up to and after the election, some at the network became concerned about the brief ascendance of Newsmax, a smaller conservative channel that aired many of Trump’s false election fraud claims.
Dominion asserts that Carlson texted a producer on for the weeknight prime-time show: “Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience? We’re playing with fire, for real….an alternative like newsmax could be devastating to us.”