Judge delays Fox and Dominion trial for one day

A Delaware judge said Monday that he has delayed by one day a trial in a highly anticipated defamation case related to the spread of false information in the 2020 presidential election.

The new twist in the case is the adjournment of the case. Late Sunday, Judge Eric M. Davis said proceedings will continue Tuesday. He did not give a reason in his brief remarks from the bench after 9 a.m. Monday.

“It doesn’t seem unusual to me,” Judge Davis said, explaining that he was rarely part of a trial that didn’t have some kind of delay. “I will continue the matter until tomorrow.”

The case has opened an unprecedented window into the inner workings of the nation’s leading conservative news network. Prior to the trial, Fox had exchanged tens of thousands of emails and text messages between its hosts, producers and executives. Many of them include former President Donald J. False claims that Trump rigged the victory revealed widespread skepticism within the network.

The case is considered a major test of First Amendment protections for the press and has been closely watched by legal and media analysts. Dominion’s voting machines became the focus of pro-Trump conspiracy theories, which Mr. Implicated the company’s technology in a conspiracy to flip votes from Trump to President Biden.

On Monday, the courtroom was packed with reporters from around the world, who could expect to hear opening statements from both sides when and what the delay would be.

Big names from Fox News — hosts including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Maria Bartiromo, as well as Rupert Murdoch, whose family controls the vast Fox media empire — are expected to testify if the case goes to trial.

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Election technology company Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox in early 2021, saying Fox hosts and guests repeatedly lied about its role in a fictitious plot to steal the election, which Mr. Trump and his supporters, not true.

Fox asserted that it was reporting on newsworthy allegations related to the presidential election and that its broadcasts were protected under the First Amendment as commentary and news. It has challenged Dominion’s claim for damages, arguing that the company overestimated itself and that it did not suffer the blows to its business it claims.

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