Dominion still has pending lawsuits against election deniers such as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell


Settlement reached in Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox News

4:38 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen

Dominion Voting Systems still has pending lawsuits against right-wing networks Newsmax and OAN, as well as against Trump allies Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell.

All of these parties and entities deny wrongdoing and are fighting the lawsuits.

4:36 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

“Fox has admitted to telling lies,” Dominion CEO says

From CNN’s Nicki Brown

John Poulos, the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems (CNN)

Following the announcement of a $787.5 million dollar settlement in the Fox News-Dominion case, John Poulos, the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems, said Fox News “admitted to telling lies” about the company.

“Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees, and the customers that we serve,” Poulos said.

“Nothing can ever make up for that,” Poulos added at a news conference following court.

“I cannot thank the election officials that we serve enough. Without them, there is no democracy,” he said.

8:34 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

On-air claims about Dominion Voting Systems were false, Fox News says in statement

From CNN’s Jon Passantino

Fox News has issued a statement on its settlement with Dominion Voting Systems acknowledging that some of the right-wing network’s on-air statements about Dominion were false.

“We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues,” the statement said.

For context: The statement was referring to Judge Eric Davis’ recent ruling that 20 Fox News broadcasts from late 2020 contained blatantly untrue assertions that Dominion rigged the presidential election. But Fox won’t have to admit on-air that it spread lies about Dominion, a Dominion representative told CNN.

4:43 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

Fox News-Dominion settlement totals more than $787 million, Dominion lawyer says

From CNN’s Nicki Brown

Dominion attorney Justin Nelson speaks during a press conference. (CNN)

The settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems totals $787,500,000, according to Dominion attorney Justin Nelson.

The settlement represents “vindication and accountability,” Nelson said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

“The truth matters, lies have consequences,” Nelson said

“Over two years ago, a torrent of lies swept Dominion and election officials across America into an alternative universe of conspiracy theories, causing grievous harm,” Nelson added.

4:11 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

Judge praises lawyers from both sides as Fox-Dominion case ends

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen 

Judge Eric Davis (center) depicted earlier today in an artist sketch before finishing jury selection in the Delaware Superior Court. (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis praised both sides after they abruptly settled the defamation case between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems at the last second. 

He said, “I have been on the bench since 2010… I think this is the best lawyering I’ve had, ever.” 

“I would be proud to be your judge in the future,” Davis said, his final words before leaving the bench. 

The hearing is now over. The case is now over.

4:20 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

JUST IN: Settlement has been reached in Fox-Dominion defamation case

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen

Reporters and members of the public outside of the Leonard Williams Justice Center where Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News in Delaware Superior Court today in Wilmington, Delaware. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A last-second settlement has been reached in Dominion Voting Systems’ historic defamation lawsuit against Fox News, the parties announced Tuesday in court. 

“The parties have resolved their case,” Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said.  “Your presence here… was extremely important. And without you, the parties would not have been able to resolve their situation,” the judge told the jurors, before dismissing them.

The settlement was apparently brokered while the trial was on the brink of opening statements in Wilmington, Delaware.

After swearing in the jury earlier Tuesday, an unexplained hours-long delay paused proceedings in court, which yet again triggered rampant speculation that a deal was quietly in the works.

What this means: The last-minute deal means the closely watched case is effectively over and won’t proceed to trial. By settling with Dominion, influential Fox News executives and prominent on-air personalities will be spared from testifying about their 2020 election coverage, which was filled with lies about voter fraud.  

Details of the settlement were not immediately available and might never become public. 

More on the case: In its lawsuit, Dominion sought $1.6 billion in damages from Fox News. The right-wing network argued vociferously in pretrial proceedings that this number was inflated and didn’t come close to accurately capturing the potential losses that Dominion could have suffered as a result of Fox’s 2020 broadcasts.

Fox News and Fox Corporation — its parent company, which was also a defendant — say they never defamed Dominion, and say the case is a meritless assault on press freedoms. They denied Dominion’s claim that they promoted these election conspiracies to save their falling ratings after the 2020 election. 

While the Dominion case is now over, Fox News is still facing a second major defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, another voting technology company that was smeared on Fox shows after the 2020 election. That case is still in the discovery process, and a trial isn’t expected anytime soon.

3:58 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

Court back in session after unexplained delay of more than two hours

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen in Wilmington, Delaware

The Fox-Dominion trial has resumed, after an unexplained delay of more than two hours.

3:53 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

Fox and Dominion lawyers briefly huddle in court as delay drags on

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen in Wilmington, Delaware

Fox News attorney Dan Webb (left) and Justin Nelson, attorney for Dominion Voting Systems (right), as they arrived with their legal teams outside of the Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington earlier today. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/Eric Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The unexplained delay in the Fox News-Dominion defamation trial has surpassed 90 minutes.

Moments ago in court, CNN observed a top Fox lawyer showing a piece of paper —presumably a note — to a top Dominion lawyer.

A few minutes later, they both stepped out of the courtroom, into a private, secured area for court staff. Moments later, they walked back into court together. It is not known what they privately discussed, if anything.

The lawyers — Fox attorney Dan Webb and Dominion attorney Justin Nelson —subsequently huddled at Dominion’s table for a few minutes, in public view. They were talking to each other, but it is not known what they are saying. 

Both men are now sitting at their respective tables, looking at their phones.

This comes ahead of the expected opening statements in the $1.6 billion defamation trial against Fox News.

3:21 p.m. ET, April 18, 2023

Judge formally names special master to investigate whether Fox withheld evidence from Dominion

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen in Wilmington, Delaware

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis has formally named a special master to investigate whether Fox News withheld evidence from Dominion Voting Systems, according to court filings. 

CNN reported last week that the judge was likely to launch this inquiry, which revolves around whether Fox intentionally suppressed evidence that it was legally obligated to provide to Dominion. The dispute escalated after audiotapes emerged of Fox host Maria Bartiromo talking to Rudy Giuliani in 2020. 

“The investigation should include a determination whether Fox News Network, LLC and Fox Corporation complied with their discovery obligations,” Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis wrote. 

The order, which was posted on the docket earlier in the day as jury selection began in the trial, directed attorney John Elzufon to lead the inquiry. Elzufon previously served as special master to handle routine evidentiary issues in the case. 

Elzufon is required to finish his probe and submit a report by May 15. 

The judge’s order indicates that the special master has the power to take depositions as part of his inquiry – and the special master will be allowed to depose anyone he thinks is appropriate. 

Fox is required to pay for all expenses related to the investigation, according to Davis’ order. 

Fox lawyers say they never withheld anything from Dominion, and that when new evidence emerged at a late stage, they turned it over as quickly as possible.