Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Corp., attends the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 11, 2019.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch is slated to appear for a deposition on Monday as the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against the company and its cable networks moves forward.
Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages, has argued Fox News and Fox Business made false claims its voting machines rigged the results of the 2020 election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Fox personalities including Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro were deposed earlier this year.
Murdoch will be the highest-ranking executive to be questioned so far. A Fox Corp. spokesman declined to comment on Thursday.
In June, a Delaware judge overseeing the case had reportedly ruled that Dominion’s lawsuit could be expanded beyond the cable TV networks to include their parent company, meaning Fox Corp.’s chair and Lachlan’s father, Rupert Murdoch, could also be deposed. Dominion has argued the parent company and its top brass played a role in Fox’s hosts in spreading misinformation about voter fraud.
Requests to dismiss the case have been denied. Neither side has shown signs of entering settlement talks, although that could change before the trial’s expected start in April, CNBC previously reported. Fox has vigorously denied the claims.
The depositions are private, as are the documents that Dominion has been collecting through the discovery process. Fox has previously asked the court to keep all collected materials private, claiming Dominion mischaracterized what the documents show as actual malice.
First Amendment experts and advocates have been closely watching the case, in part because of Dominion’s lengthy list of examples that Fox network hosts repeatedly made false claims, even after facts came to light. Such cases are often settled out of court or dismissed.