The "staggering volume" of texts from Fox News personalities showing they knew they were lying to their viewers about 2020 election fraud could lead the judge overseeing the $1.6 billion Dominion lawsuits to quickly rule against the conservative network without even going to trial.
That is the opinion of legal scholars — some of whom were stunned by the mountain of evidence presented in the legal brief submitted to the court by Dominion Voting Systems — who spoke with the Guardian's Charles Kaiser.
With the Fox hosts candidly admitting in private texts that they lied on-air in an effort to drive up their ratings, several of the legal experts suggested Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis could make a landmark ruling and cut to the damages phase.
According to noted legal scholar Laurence Tribe, "I have never seen a defamation case with such overwhelming proof that the defendant admitted in writing that it was making up fake information in order to increase its viewership and its revenues. Fox and its producers and performers were lying as part of their business model.”
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Columbia Law School lecturer and media law expert Scott Horton stated, "This is the most remarkable discovery filing I’ve ever read in a commercial litigation.”
He then went on to note that the case appears headed to a rare summary judgment in such a high profile and potentially — for Fox— expensive case.
“A summary judgment motion by a plaintiff in this kind of case is almost unheard of. These suits usually fail because you can’t prove the company you’re suing knew they were spreading falsehoods. That you would have evidence they knew it was a lie is almost unheard of … in this case the sheer volume of all the email and text messages is staggering," he explained.
Tribe chimed in, "This is one of the first defamation cases in which it is possible to rule for the plaintiff on summary judgment. This is not a request to go to trial. There is no genuinely disputed fact. The defendants were deliberately lying in a manner that was per se libelous and they clearly knew it.”
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