Fox News Owner To Be Deposed In High Profile Case

( Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire chairman of Fox Corp, has been deposed in the defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.

Murdoch was set to sit for a deposition under oath in the $1.6 billion lawsuit filed by the election technology company. Dominion claims that the Fox News Network spread false claims about their voting machines, saying they were used as part of an attempt to rig the presidential election in 2020 against former President Donald Trump in favor of his rival, Democrat Joe Biden.

In response, Fox has argued that it has a right to report on the claims that Trump was making that there was vote manipulation. The network is further arguing that if Dominion were successful in their lawsuit, it would stifle the freedom of the press in the United States.

A judge declined to accept Fox’s bid to have the case completely tossed in December of last year.

In a statement, Dominion officials said:

“From the highest levels down, Fox knowingly spread lies.”

A spokesperson at Fox declined to provide a comment to Reuters about the case.

Murdoch, who is 91 years old, is the highest-profile public figure who has thus far faced questioning in the Dominion case. The voting technology company is suing various conservative media outlets as well as conservative commentators who accessed them of engaging in a conspiracy to ensure Trump didn’t win back the White House in 2020.

Murdoch is being deposed right at the same time that special committees of the boards of directors of both Fox Corp and News Corp decide whether they will re-combine into one company. Ten years ago, the two companies split, and Murdoch today controls Fox Corp.

Attorneys representing Dominion were scheduled to question Murdoch via videoconference on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The filing was made in Delaware Superior Court. Neither sessions will be open to public viewers.

In addition to this deposition, Dominion has been seeking communications from Murdoch, other personnel at Fox News and Murdoch’s son Lachlan. The legal team there is trying to prove that Murdoch either knew the statements that Fox News was airing were false, or that he recklessly disregarded the accuracy of those statements.

Essentially, Dominion is trying to prove “actual malice” in the case, which is the standard they must meet if they want to prove that a public figure crossed if they want to prevail in a defamation case.

Reuters cited defamation lawyer Doug Mirell as saying he believes that Dominion has an “air-tight” actual malice case here. He said that he believes hosts on Fox News continued to press forward with their allegations of vote rigging “well after it was quite clear that these claims were demonstrably false.”

The lawsuit, originally filed in March of 2021, alleges that Fox amplified these false theories in an effort to boost its network’s ratings, and to stay ahead of conservative competitors such as One America News Network, a company that Dominion has also sued.