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Fox News still hasn’t turned over records in Dominion lawsuit, company says

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Fox News executives and hosts have still not handed over records relating to a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit that accuses the network of spreading false claims that the 2020 election was rigged, according to a new court filing.

Dominion Voting Machines filed proceedings in March 2021 against Fox’s parent company alleging the network had promoted conspiracy theories about its machines being used to steal the presidential election from Donald Trump in a bid to inflate viewership. Dominion’s voting equipment was used in several key battleground states.

In an 18 July court filing obtained by Bloomberg News, Dominion told a Delaware court that Fox was yet to hand over relevant evidence in the case, and had missed two deadline extensions.

“Dominion still has not received any documents from many Fox custodians, including key executives and some hosts, and vast swaths of non-email documents are missing,” Dominion’s attorneys told the court.

It’s unclear which Fox host and executives Dominion’s filing refers to.

In a statement to The Independent, a Fox News spokesperson denied they had missed a deadline to handover documents as part of the discovery process.

“The Judge extended the deadline to July 1 and FOX News timely produced voluminous documents, including from executives and hosts,” the Fox statement said.  

Dominion have accused Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, of allowing Fox News to elevate the false claims that they had swung the election in favour of Joe Biden.

Last month, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis rejected Fox’s efforts to have the case dismissed.

In a written ruling, he said that the Murdochs may have acted with “actual malice” in directing Fox to push the election lies and should be subject to discovery.

Dominion is also suing members of Donald Trump’s legal team Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. Both men falsely claimed that Dominion’s machines were engineered to steal elections for long-deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

Those claims, along with falsehoods from the former president and others, helped spur a violent mob into storming the US Capitol in a failed effort to stop the certification of Biden’s victory, the lawsuit says.

Fox persisted making the accusations even after government officials, both Republican and Democrat, and Trump’s own attorney general William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Mr Barr has been subpoenaed as part of the defamation case.

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