Fox News said this week that its top on-air personalities from Fox News, including Maria Bartiromo, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity, will be available to testify in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against the network by Dominion Voting Systems, Reuters reported.
In a letter filed in Delaware Superior Court on Tuesday, the cable news giant said the on-air hosts are among 11 people that Fox will make available at trial. Other Fox personalities included are former host Lou Dobbs and Judge Jeanine Pirro. Additionally, Fox hosts Bret Baier and Dana Perino could be available to testify for either Dominion or Fox News.
Fox Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch is not included as one of the 11 people Fox will make available.
But on Wednesday, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said he would compel Murdoch, as well as his son, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, to appear in court as well, CNBC reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, Dominion filed a letter with the court urging Judge Davis to compel the Murdochs to testify in person, along with Fox board member Paul Ryan and Fox’s chief legal and policy officer Viet Dinh.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Davis said both Fox News and Dominion have made the Murdochs, Ryan, and Viet Dinh “very relevant.” He said it is the officers and directors of a corporation, not the corporation itself, that must “raise their hand on the stand.”
The judge said if Dominion decides to subpoena them at trial, he would do nothing to quash the subpoenas but instead, will “compel them to come.”
Dominion is suing Fox News claiming the network and its on-air personalities acted with malice when broadcasting lies about the company after the 2020 presidential election.
The jury trial is scheduled to begin on April 17 and is expected to last around four weeks.