After failing to reach a settlement in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit, Fox News is trying out a new strategy: it’s all Donald Trump‘s fault. As the network faces a potentially disastrous trial that could force the conservative media giant to repeatedly apologize to viewers for spouting election fraud claims — despite private messages revealing that its anchors knew full well there was no evidence and didn’t believe the conspiracy theories being spun by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney “The Kraken” Powell.
In a last ditch legal filing, Fox News’ attorneys are now attempting to argue that its on-air personalities were simply repeating what the president at the time was saying. Via Newsweek:
Such a development, if accepted, could play a key role in the development of the case. To successfully win a defamation suit, the allegedly defamed entity would have to prove the person or organization who defamed it did so with harmful intent.
Because Trump was the president, Fox News’ attorneys argued, his comments about the company were therefore newsworthy, raising questions about whether the conservative network’s personalities were acting with “actual malice” in repeating them on the air.
Fox News’ attorneys reportedly argued that the jury should have to decide “whether allegations being made by a sitting U.S. president have credibility because of who is making the allegations.”
As for how Trump is responding to this strategy, you guessed it, he went on an all-caps rant on Truth Social encouraging Fox to tell its viewers that the 2020 election was stolen. According to Trump, this will take care of the whole lawsuit problem, somehow.
“IF FOX WOULD FINALLY ADMIT THAT THERE WAS LARGE SCALE CHEATING & IRREGULARITIES IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, WHICH WOULD BE A GOOD THING FOR THEM, & FOR AMERICA, THE CASE AGAINST THEM, WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE EXISTED AT ALL, WOULD BE GREATLY WEAKENED,” Trump wrote.