This week’s legal settlement between Fox News and the voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems was yet another reminder of how many false charges of vote fraud were leveled by former President Donald Trump, conservative news media outlets, and Republican elected officials after the 2020 election.
Fox News will now have to pay a reported $787 million to settle Dominion’s defamation lawsuit, which showed Fox executives and on-air talent knew Trump’s 2020 election fraud charges were bogus — even as Fox News endorsed those claims, worried about losing viewers.
Some Trump supporters were outraged.
“The Fox News settlement with Dominion was one of the greatest assaults to our 1st Amendment,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome.
But Democrats in Congress said it was about time for such a legal judgment.
“If you still believe the election was stolen, you’re either dumb as rocks or you’re an un-American sore loser who rejects the will of the voters,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.
Dominion was a popular target for Greene and other Republicans in Georgia after the 2020 election, fed by crazy claims that voting machines in Ware County had been automatically flipping votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
GOP lawmakers including U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, and former U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, ominously called for full audits of Dominion voting machines — even though state elections officials repeatedly said there was no evidence of any vote tally troubles.
In his infamous phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump repeatedly brought up Dominion.
“We have a big issue with Dominion in other states and perhaps in yours,” Trump said. “We think we found tremendous corruption with Dominion machines.”
Raffensperger calmly told Trump he was wrong on Dominion, wrong about all sorts of other conspiracy theories, and wrong about the outcome in Georgia.
The legal exposure isn’t over for Fox News. They face a similar defamation lawsuit from another voting technology company, Smartmatic. Dominion is also still suing other conservative networks like Newsmax and OAN.
And the legal exposure isn’t over for Trump and his allies in Georgia.
Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis continues to march forward with her investigation, which could result in more legal jeopardy for Trump, some of it centered on that call with Raffensperger.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said.
But Trump did lose in Georgia. Nothing has emerged in the past two years to change that.
Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com
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