Dominion lawyer alleges Fox News ‘recklessly disregarded the truth’ on 2020 election claims

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Dominion lawyer alleges Fox News 'recklessly disregarded the truth' on 2020 election claims

“Fox kept spreading those lies about Dominion … on their radio waves, even when they were told the truth over and over again,” Stephen Shackelford, lawyer for Dominion Voting Systems and partner at Susman Godfrey LLP, told CNN’s Brian Stelter. Reliable Sources “on Sunday.

He added that Dominion had sent Fox multiple emails, letters, and revocation requests regarding his claims that Dominion changed the votes. He also said that bipartisan officials told the network the allegations against it were false and that the company’s machines were working properly.

CNN did not independently verify that Dominion sent Fox withdrawal requests. It wasn’t immediately clear which bipartisan officials Shackelford was referring to. When asked for comment on Sunday, Fox referred to a previously released statement that said, “FOX News Media is proud of our coverage of the 2020 election, which is in the highest tradition of American journalism will vigorously defend against this unfounded lawsuit in court. “

The result of Fox News’ allegations was “enormous and irreparable economic damage,” the lawsuit alleges. After the 2020 elections, former President Donald Trump claimed the elections were stolen and manipulated against him. Following Trump’s claims, a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories circulated by Trump supporters and right-wing media about fraud and the overthrow of the elections.

Shackelford told Stelter on Sunday that Fox repeatedly introduced allies and members of Trump’s camp, including Trump’s former attorney Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who he believed advocated lies about Dominion and called them fact – including some of the network’s own anchors.

The network had a Dominion spokesperson on its November shows to address Trump’s campaign claims, but Shackelford claims it was a “much smaller audience” and wasn’t as widespread as other shows that included Powell and Giuliani.

“You can’t get away with slander by telling the truth in the morning and then lying through your teeth in the afternoon,” Shackelford told Stelter. “That doesn’t cut off. If that were the case, any media organization would just have to make a take-back request after doing all of the damage and that would be it, but that’s not the law of defamation,” he said.

Fox News said in a statement Friday it was “proud” of its coverage of the 2020 election and considered it the “highest tradition of American journalism”. The company added that it would “vigorously defend this unsubstantiated lawsuit in court”.

The Dominion lawsuit argues that Fox knowingly reinforced false claims that Dominion’s votes were changed and inaccurately counted to improve its ratings and viewership. It also stated that its employees had faced death threats due to unsubstantiated claims made by the cable news giant.

In February, another voting technology company, Smartmatic, filed a $ 2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, Giuliani and Powell over a so-called “disinformation campaign”.

In a statement on behalf of the network and named hosts released after the lawsuit was filed, a Fox News spokesperson said, “FOX News Media strives to provide the full context of every story with detailed coverage and clear opinion. We are it.” proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this unfounded lawsuit in court. “

Asked for comment, Powell said in a February statement: “I have received neither notice nor a copy of this alleged lawsuit. However, your characterization of the allegations shows that this is just another political maneuver motivated by the radical left and has no basis. ” in fact or law. ”

In a separate statement after filing the lawsuit, Giuliani said, “Smartmatic’s lawsuit offers another golden opportunity for discovery. I look forward to suing with you.”

Dominion is currently suing Fox News, but it’s unclear whether the company, like Smartmatic, plans to sue others.

“We haven’t excluded any potential defendants who participated in this defamation campaign against Dominion … but today we’re focusing on Fox,” Shackelford said.

– CNN’s Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.