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William Barr Subpoenaed In Dominion Voting’s Lawsuit Against

3 min read

Topline

Dominion Voting Systems has called former Attorney General William Barr to testify in its ongoing defamation lawsuit against Fox News, as a subpoena was issued to the former Trump official last week, after he told the House January 6 Committee he believed far-right fraud claims involving Dominion voting machines were “complete nonsense.”

Key Facts

A Delaware state judge granted Dominion’s subpoena request for Barr on Friday, the court docket in the case shows, a move that was first reported Monday by ABC News.

The Barr request is part of a string of subpoenas Dominion filed in the case last week, including for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), former Homeland Security official Christopher Krebs—whom former President Donald Trump fired for asserting there was no voter fraud—former U.S. Election Assistance Commission head Benjamin Hovland and James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch.

Dominion has also previously issued subpoenas to a number of Trump allies, including far-right attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell—who are also separately being sued for defamation by Dominion themselves.

The court docket does not specify what information Dominion is seeking from Barr, and the company declined to comment on the filings Monday.

The subpoena comes after Barr testified to the House January 6 Committee that Trump allies’ claims Dominion machines were involved in voter fraud were “among the most disturbing allegations” made after the 2020 election, “in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations.”

Crucial Quote

“I told [Trump] that it was — it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that,” Barr said about the fraud claims involving Dominion, according to testimony that the House committee played at a public hearing on June 13. “And it was doing a great, grave disservice to the country.”

Chief Critic

Fox News has denied Dominion’s defamation allegations, arguing any claims it made about the company on the network are First Amendment-protected speech. “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 Monday to Forbes.

What To Watch For

Dominion’s case against Fox News is scheduled to go to trial in April 2023 in Delaware, according to the court docket. The network lost its motion to dismiss the case in December 2021, allowing the case to move forward.

Key Background

Dominion first sued Fox News for $1.6 billion in March 2021, alleging the right-wing network “recklessly disregarded the truth” and knowingly pushed false fraud claims about Dominion in an effort to “lure viewers back” from further-right networks like Newsmax and One America News. The lawsuit is one of at least eight lawsuits Dominion has filed in the aftermath of the 2020 election over the conspiracy theory, which falsely alleged Dominion machines flipped votes from Trump to President Joe Biden. Litigation has also been filed against Powell, Giuliani, Lindell, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, Newsmax and OAN, and rival voting company Smartmatic has also separately sued Fox News and many of the same Trump allies over fraud claims involving that company’s machines. Dominion also sued Fox News’ parent company Fox Corporation in November 2021—after the company refused to turn over documents from Rupert Murdoch and son Lachlan as part of the Fox News lawsuit—alleging the Murdochs and other Fox executives helped orchestrate the network’s allegedly defamatory coverage. Fox Corporation lost its motion to dismiss that case in Delaware state court in June.

Further Reading

Court Lets Fox Lawsuit Move Forward—Here’s Where Dominion And Smartmatic’s Defamation Suits Stand Now (Forbes)

Fox News Sued By Dominion Voting For Defamation Over Election Conspiracy (Forbes)

Dominion Subpoenas Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell In Lawsuit Against Fox News (Forbes)

Dominion’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox — Including Murdochs — Over 2020 Election Can Move Forward, Judge Rules (Forbes)

Jan. 6 Hearing Shows Rioters Repeating Trump’s Baseless Election Claims — Even As Former White House Lawyer Called Allegations ‘Nuts’ (Forbes)