Earlier this year, Dominion Voting Systems released the anti-kraken, filing a $1.3 billion lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell, and a $1.6 billion suit against Fox News. Dominion later added Newsmax and One America News (OAN) to those getting not-happy paperwork. All of the above were charged with defamation, and more specifically for knowingly spreading false information about both the accuracy of Dominion’s voting machines and the actions of the company in order to support conspiracy theories that favored Donald Trump. Fellow voting machine manufacturer SmartMatic soon joined in the action and even upped the ante on Fox News, suing the company for $2.7 billion.
The suits served one immediate purpose: Both Newsmax and OAN cooled their jets as they realized they were getting justifiably sued for an amount that exceeded the value of their companies. Fox News, at least temporarily, grew more careful in how it pitched claims about voting machine fraud. Meanwhile Giuliani, Powell, and Lindell … went right on lying. In August, Giuliani, Powell, and Lindell lost an attempt to dismiss the suit against them as a district court judge allowed the suits against them to proceed. Despite false claims to the contrary, the case is still ongoing, but it’s unclear when there will be any kind of ruling.
Just like the members of Trump’s legal team, and the pillow guy, Fox News filed a motion for dismissal of the case against them back in May. The argument that Fox used in its motion was that they didn’t really invent the lies about Dominion; they only repeated them. But even though Fox News’ motion claimed they did nothing more than report on litigation brought by Trump’s team, their actions went far beyond just explaining what was in the claims Trump’s team was bringing forward.
On Thursday afternoon, Fox News joined Giuliani & Co. by losing their motion. The suit against them continues.
As The Hill reports, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis came down on Dominion’s side, writing that “for purposes of the Motion, the Court must view all well-pled facts alleged in the Complaint as true and in a light most favorable to Dominion.”
That is, if Dominion offers evidence that the statements in the motion from Fox News are likely false, then the court is bound to allow the suit to continue. And Davis found that Dominion had “direct evidence” that Fox News was intending to avoid the truth.
Fox News issued a response to the judge’s ruling claiming that it was an “Assault on the First Amendment.” However, that seems to be what the lawsuit itself will be testing—whether Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax as organizations or Giuliani, Powell, and Lindell as individuals have a right to knowingly repeat falsehoods, at great damage to those being lied about, then hide beneath claims that they are just repeating what they’ve been told.