April 18, 2024

We’re getting closer to a potential trial in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News, and it’s not looking good for the right-wing TV network.

The latest reminder of that comes in the voting tech company’s reply brief, filed Wednesday. One of the important points it emphasizes is that “Fox does not contest the obvious falsity of the statements about Dominion that Fox published.”

The brief stated:

The unassailable truth is that Dominion did not rig the 2020 Presidential Election, through vote-flipping software, Venezuelan connections, kickbacks, or otherwise. These basic truths undergird the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential Election’s outcome. They are indisputable historical facts.

Dominion, which is seeking $1.6 billion for Fox News allegedly promoting lies about Dominion’s influence on the 2020 election, said the network “rebutted none” of those “indisputable” facts in its own court filings.

Of course, this litigation is all happening against the backdrop of the “actual malice” standard that requires a public figure to show that the defendant in a defamation case acted with knowledge or reckless disregard of the truth. One thing that makes this an unusual case is the degree of direct evidence of knowledge within Fox, rather than their circumstantial evidence that could make the case a closer call.

To be sure, Dominion is pushing the arguably aggressive argument that it’s entitled to summary judgment — that is, that it should win the case even before trial. Although the company has an unusually strong case, it’s not clear that the judge overseeing the matter in Delaware state court will end it without a trial. At the same time, the unusual amount of evidence in Dominion’s favor likely means, at the very least, that Fox (which denies the allegations) should lose its summary judgment motion. That is, the “news” network should at least have to face a trial to successfully defend itself.

We’ll hopefully get a better sense of what the judge thinks of all this when oral arguments are held later this month, ahead of a possible trial in April. Unless, of course, the matter settles. But in yet another unusual aspect of this case, there doesn’t appear to be an appetite for that.

Read the redacted brief below:

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