Fox Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch is facing probe in a lawsuit over his network’s coverage of accusations of untrue vote manipulation during the 2020 presidential election in the United States.
Dominion Voting Systems, a provider of election technology, argues that Fox News network propagated untrue allegations that its equipment was used to rig the election against Republican Donald Trump and in favor of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, who won. Dominion is requesting damages of $1.6 billion.
Murdoch, 91, is the most prominent figure to be questioned in the case.
Fox News has refuted Dominion’s allegations and insisted that remarks made against the network were not defamatory because they were protected by the First Amendment and the network’s anchors were covering stories of public interest.
“We are confident we will prevail as freedom of the press is foundational to our democracy and must be protected, in addition to the damages claims being outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis, serving as nothing more than a flagrant attempt to deter our journalists from doing their jobs,” the network said in a statement on Tuesday.
Fox presenters persisted in making allegations of vote-rigging “long after it was pretty evident that these assertions were clearly untrue,” according to Doug Mirell, a defamation attorney who has studied the litigation.
In its March 2021 complaint, Dominion said that Fox had emphasized the erroneous theories to increase its ratings and keep up with hard-right rivals like One America News Network, which Dominion is also suing.
Dominion sued Fox News in March 2021, one of nine defamation lawsuits the company has filed against companies and figures in the wake of the 2020 election.