A Delaware Superior Court Judge on Friday denied an attempt by Fox News to dismiss a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
March 31 (UPI) -- A Delaware Superior Court Judge denied attempts by Fox News to dismiss a billion-dollar lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, meaning that the case will go to trial in April.
Dominion's $1.6 billion defamation suit alleges that Fox News knowingly pushed false conspiracy theories about the voting machine company and its role in the 2020 election.
Judge Eric Davis handed a win to Dominion on Friday, ruling that the statements that Fox News made were false. It will be up to a jury to decide whether or not Fox News acted in "actual malice," meaning it knowingly pushed false information.
"The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that [it is] CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true," Davis wrote in his ruling on Friday.
Dominion has said its reputation was damaged when Fox News aired claims that tied it to the late leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, paid kickbacks to politicians, and a "rigged" presidential election.
In a court filing last month, text messages were published by star hosts for Fox News, including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. The text messages show the host privately disparaging former President Donald Trump and his claims of voter fraud.
In one message, Carlson wrote to Ingraham on Nov. 18, 2020, that he had caught lies from Sidney Powell -- the former campaign attorney for Trump who pushed conspiracy theories that the dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez had participated in a plot to rig the 2020 election.
"Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It's insane," Carlson wrote to Ingraham.
Ingraham, in a response to Carlson, said, "Sidney is a complete nut" and that "no one will work with her," adding the same about former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
In a statement Friday, Dominion said that it was looking forward to going to trial.
"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," the company said in a statement, according to ABC News.
Fox said that this case was about First Amendment protections provided to the news media.
"FOX will continue to fiercely advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press as we move into the next phase of these proceedings," the company said, according to ABC News.