Fox News responds to Dominion filings in lawsuit: 'Using more distortions and misinformation'
"Do you think there was cheating in any way?" Maria Bartiromo asked after the 2020 election.
Fox News has responded to newly-released Dominion Voting Systems filings in its defamation lawsuit against the media network, claiming that the voting equipment company is "using more distortions and misinformation."
Dominion is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion for defamation after becoming a target of alleged conspiracy theories regarding its voting machines being hacked and flipping election results.
"Thanks to today's filings, Dominion has been caught red handed again using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear FOX News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press," Fox said in a statement released on Tuesday. "We already know they will say and do anything to try to win this case, but to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company is truly beyond the pale."
The filings include depositions and communications from Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch and TV show hosts Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo.
According to written communications in the weeks following the 2020 election between Murdoch and an "Australian friend" with TV stations in Afghanistan, Murdoch called former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and then-President Donald Trump, "Both increasingly mad."
Murdoch made the comment after Giuliani's press conference where Trump's legal team alleged there was widespread voter fraud in the election.
Carlson criticized Trump in a text message conversation, according to NBC News.
On Jan. 4, 2021, Carlson wrote, "We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can't wait."
"I hate him passionately," he added. "I blew up at Peter Navarro today in frustration," Carlson said, referring to the former Trump administration official. "I actually like Peter. But I can't handle much more of this."
In another text, Carlson wrote, "That's the last four years. We're all pretending we've got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it's been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn't really an upside to Trump."
Meanwhile, Bartiromo wrote in an email weeks after the 2020 election, "I'm not sure what to think. We will need to see hard evidence within the next 3 weeks. We will [see] what happens in the courts & finally get a resolution by year end. Do you think there was cheating in any way? Putting dominion & the software aside, do you believe this election was honest? I have heard from so many people who do not. So I'll be interested."
Hannity was asked in his deposition about the group of people he referred to in a text that he had sent to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, calling Sidney Powell and others, "F'ing lunatics."
"Just the people that were — anybody that was involved in pushing that whole narrative that Sidney was pushing," Hannity said. "I did not believe it for one second, and I tried to listen as time went on. I gave them a fairly generous period of time, I felt, in terms of, let's see what you have; you are making accusations; you say proof is coming. I waited for the proof. I got my Sidney answer on November 30th."
In a previous Fox filing, a 2018 email obtained from Dominion Director of Product Strategy and Security Eric Coomer showed that he acknowledged the company's technology was marred by a "*critical* bug leading to INCORRECT results."
"It does not get much worse than that," he later added.
In response to a request for comment on Wednesday, Dominion provided its reply brief to Fox's opposition to summary judgment.
Fox also provided a statement on Wednesday regarding its summary judgement reply brief.
"Dominion and its private equity owners join a long line of public figures and corporations across the country that have long tried to silence the press and this lawsuit from Staple Street Capital-owned Dominion is nothing more than another flagrant attack on the First Amendment. FOX News will continue to fiercely protect the free press as a ruling in favor of Dominion would have grave consequences for journalism across this country."