Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr (R) has been subpoenaed in a lawsuit concerning debunked claims of voter fraud former President Donald Trump has made concerning Dominion Voting Systems. The Denver company has sued Fox News over amplifying false claims that its voting machines rigged the 2020 general election against Trump. Pool photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo
July 12 (UPI) -- Former Attorney General William Barr has been served a subpoena in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News.
Notice of the subpoena was made public in the docket for the lawsuit in which Dominion has accused the network of spreading a debunked conspiracy for financial gain.
Dominion, a Denver-based company, supplied voting machines for the 2020 general election, but became a target for a conspiracy theory peddled by former President Donald Trump that it rigged the election in the favor of then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The lawsuit, filed in March of last year, accuses Fox News of spreading this conspiracy in order to court viewers who were leaving the network for news organizations that were seemingly more pro-Trump.
"Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purpose, severely injuring Dominion in the process," the court document states. "If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does."
Notice of Barr's subpoena follows his testimony before the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol building by Trump supporters in an effort to stop Biden from being certified as the 46th president of the United States.
In his testimony to the committee, Barr said he had told Trump that the claims concerning the Dominion voting machines were "idiotic."
Barr said he told Trump there was no proof of voter fraud while specifically addressing the claims about Dominion as they were the "most disturbing."
"Disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegation but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of members of the public -- that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn't count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining [the election], which was complete nonsense.
"I told them it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on it, and they were doing a great, great disservice to the country," Barr said in the recorded testimony.
Dominion has also recently subpoenaed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump had instructed over a phone call to "find" tens of thousands of votes in the wake of the election, and Christopher Krebs, the former cybersecurity chief whom Trump fired for stating the election was "the most secure in American history."
In a recent statement, Fox News said it has moved to dismiss the case on First Amendment claims.
"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.