Is the highly anticipated Fox News trial finished before it even started?
Hours before the trial was set to begin, a Delaware judge announced late Sunday he would delay the beginning of Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News by 24 hours.
“The Court has decided to continue the start of the trial, including jury selection, until Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.,” Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said in a statement.
A trial in the case had been slated to start Monday morning. Numerous high-profile Fox News officials including Chairman Rupert Murdoch, CEO Suzanne Scott, Tucker Carlson, and Maria Bartiromo are scheduled to take the stand.
Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit in 2021 following the presidential election. The company argues Fox News’ airing of claims of voter fraud propagated by former President Donald Trump and his allies defamed the company and caused irreparable damage to its credibility.
Fox has fiercely defended itself on First Amendment grounds and has argued the network was covering the allegations being made by the then-President because they were newsworthy.
“This case is and always has been about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news,” Fox said in a recent statement about the case. “Fox will continue to fiercely advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press as we move into the next phase of these proceedings.”
While it remains unclear what exactly triggered the delay in proceedings CNN senior analyst Elie Honig predicted that extra time would allow for a potential settlement.
On CNN This Morning, Honig called this “the most likely scenario” for the Dominion trial before adding, “there’s something about being on the eve of trial that can really sober up both parties.”
“Look at it from Fox’s point of view: they’re looking at the likelihood — if there’s a trial — of having all of their, or many of their, most prominent anchors have to take the stand, testify and get cross-examined,” Honig said. “You can understand why they would be hit by reality at the last moment, say, ‘We need to avoid this.’”
“Keep in mind, the judge here has already made a finding — as a matter of law — that Fox’s statements about the 2020 election and about Dominion were false. So that is on the record,” Honig said. “The only question at trial was going to be is there actual malice? Did Fox know, or were they reckless about the falsity?”
However, Honig conceded “you never really know” what the jury could decide if the trial ultimately happens.
In an early morning Truth Social post, Donald Trump called on the network to to “admit” the 2020 election was effectively stolen from him.
IF FOX WOULD FINALLY ADMIT THAT THERE WAS LARGE SCALE CHEATING & IRREGULARITIES IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, WHICH WOULD BE A GOOD THING FOR THEM, & FOR AMERICA, THE CASE AGAINST THEM, WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE EXISTED AT ALL, WOULD BE GREATLY WEAKENED. BACK UP THOSE PATRIOTS AT FOX INSTEAD OF THROWING THEM UNDER THE BUS – & THEY ARE RIGHT! THERE IS SOOO MUCH PROOF, LIKE MASS BALLOT STUFFING CAUGHT ON GOVERNMENT CAMERAS, FBI COLLUDING WITH TWITTER & FACEBOOK, STATE LEGISLATURES NOT USED, etc.