Fox News says Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity will testify at defamation trial | Fox News

Fox News has named the primetime hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity among witnesses it intends to make available at trial as it defends a $1.6bn defamation suit from Dominion Voting Systems, over the broadcast of Donald Trump’s lie about election fraud in his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden.

In a Tuesday letter to the Delaware judge in the case, Eric M Davis, attorneys for Fox News and Fox Corporation said they also intended to make available hosts and executives including Suzanne Scott, the Fox News chief executive, and the hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro.

News anchors Bret Baier and Dana Perino were also named.

Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old chairman of Fox Corporation, and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, were not named.

Attorneys for Dominion have said they want to call the two Murdochs. Davis has suggested he could compel Rupert Murdoch to appear.

Lawyers for Dominion have also said they want to question Abby Grossberg, a fired Fox News producer now suing the network.

In their letter, attorneys for Fox said they did not believe Baier, Bartiromo, Carlson, Perino, Dobbs, Pirro and others could be compelled to testify.

“Nevertheless,” the lawyers wrote, “because of the court’s ruling on 28 March … Fox has set forth in this letter the witnesses that it intends to have testify live.

“To the extent Dominion does not call or designate testimony from Fox witnesses on Dominion’s witness list, Fox would like the opportunity to decide when it gets to its case if it will call such witnesses live, by designation, or at all.”

Dominion says Fox is guilty of defamation because it broadcast claims and conspiracy theories about its machines in the 2020 election which hosts knew to be untrue.

Messages and emails from and between executives and hosts, revealed in a series of explosive court filings, have shown this was widely the case.

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Fox contends that it was presenting allegations by public figures up to and including the president which reasonable viewers would not have taken for statements of fact.

It has also accused Dominion of “cherrypick[ing] quotes without context to generate headlines”, and claimed that “the foundational right to a free press is at stake”.

The trial is set for mid-April.

Last Friday, responding to the judge’s decision to proceed to trial, a Dominion spokesperson said: “We are gratified by the court’s thorough ruling soundly rejecting all of Fox’s arguments and defenses, and finding as a matter of law that their statements about Dominion are false.

“We look forward to going to trial.”

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