(NewsNation) — Pre-trial procedures have concluded in Dominion Voting’s defamation lawsuit against Fox News, with no decision being reached about whether the Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch will have to testify.
The $1.6 billion suit claims Fox News soiled its reputation with false allegations that the company helped steal the election from former President Donald Trump in a bid to increase the ratings.
Murdoch’s lawyers are now doing everything they can to keep him and other top executives at Fox from having to testify, arguing that it would be a hardship for those individuals.
Rupert Murdoch is 92 years old with an estimated net worth of $21 billion. Fox attorneys claim he delegates decisionmaking about Fox News, and has limited knowledge of pertinent facts. But Dominion says Murdoch knew Fox’s coverage of Dominion was false and failed to stop it.
Murdoch’s media empire includes Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and the New York Post.
The judge on the case heard arguments from both sides on Wednesday but has not yet made a decision.
Murdoch testified more than ten years ago as part of a phone hacking scandal, and Dominion Voting is hoping to him him back on the stand for this trial. They also hope to hear testimony from the chairman’s son Lachlan Murdoch, other Fox corporate board members and former House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In court Wednesday, both Fox News and Dominion Voting were seeking a summary judgment, each essentially asking the judge to declare them the winner without having to go to trial.
“Despite the noise and confusion that Dominion has generated by presenting cherry-picked quotes without context, this case is ultimately about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute need to cover the news. Fox will continue to fiercely advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press,” a Fox News Spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.