According to The New York Times, the high-level depositions are a sign that both Dominion and Fox are preparing for trial early next year.
The $1.6 billion defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems, as well as a similar suit by Smartmatic, for $2.7+ billion, accuse Fox of, essentially, destroying their companies by falsely blaming their voting technologies for Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.
The Times’ Jeremy Peters reports that Sean Hannity is scheduled to be deposed Wednesday, Tucker Carlson on Friday and Lou Dobbs on Tuesday. Steve Doocy, Jeanine Pirro, and Dana Perino have also been deposed. So have the not-sufficiently-MAGA-for-Fox Shepard Smith and Chris Stirewalt.
On deck for more Dominion depositions are Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, president Jay Wallace and Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch.
Late last month, I wrote about how veteran legal correspondent Eriq Gardner theorized that the Dominion and Smartmatic cases will settle - with at least the Dominion costs being borne by insurance.
Peters sees indications otherwise, at least at this point. He writes that cases involving large media companies usually settle well before its top people are deposed, yet there have been no settlement discussions:
The depositions are among the clearest indications yet of how aggressively Dominion is moving forward with its suit, which is set to go to trial early next year, and of the legal pressure building on the nation’s most powerful conservative media company. There have been no moves from either side to discuss a possible settlement, people with knowledge of the case have said.
It is common for large media companies like Fox to settle such cases well before they reach the point where journalists or senior executives are forced to sit for questioning by lawyers from the opposing side. But both Dominion and Fox appear to be preparing for the likelihood that the case will end up in front of a jury.
Peters wrote that Dominion’s legal strategy “hinges on getting testimony and unearthing private communications between Fox employees” that prove either that Fox knew the Dominion smears it aired were false or recklessly promoted them when it should have known. He also said that the case “has stirred considerable unease inside Fox all summer, as employees have had to turn over months of emails and text messages to Dominion lawyers and prepare for depositions.”
We know that at least one bit of damaging-to-Fox evidence comes from none other than Tucker Carlson who railed on the air, that Trump attorney Sidney Powell “never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another. Not one.”
Lovely take on the language of insurance companies, John: you’ve clearly read an awful lot of fine print!
’We, the aforementioned international media conglomerate, hereafter referred to as The Corporation, undertake to say whatever we like, whenever we like, with regard to neither natural justice nor the standard legal ramifications customarily associated with slander or defamation. In return, the Totally Gullible Stooge Insurance Company (TGS) undertakes to fund any and all compensation required in consequence to such illegal slurs. Wherefore, thereafter and causality."