- New emails and texts from Fox News staff revealed frustration with former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.
- The messages were released in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News.
- In some of the texts, Tucker Carlson says Powell is “lying” and Laura Ingraham says she is “a bit nuts.”
A new batch of emails released as a part of Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News illuminated how host Tucker Carlson privately distanced himself from Sidney Powell, and even confronted her about election falsehoods.
On Tuesday, a series of internal emails, private texts, and depositions helped illuminate the internal dynamics at Fox News after then-candidate Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election. The evidence released on Tuesday is set to be used as trial exhibits at a highly-anticipated April trial.
Newly released text messages showed that between November 16 and 19, 2020, several Fox News hosts sought to distance themselves from Sidney Powell, and the claims she made about mass voter fraud tied to Dominion Voting Systems.
In one text message to host Laura Ingraham on November 16, 2020, Carlson mentions that he is planning to talk about Dominion Voting Systems on his show, and references conspiracy theories that Powell had spread about the company.
“The whole thing seems insane to me, and Sidney Powell won’t release the evidence,” Carlson writes.
“Sidney Powell is a bit nuts,” Ingraham responds. “Sorry but she is.”
“She’s making everyone paranoid and crazy, including me,” Carlson responds.
The transcripts were released Tuesday as part of Dominion’s 1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which claims that the network gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after President Donald Trump’s loss.
“Sidney Powell is lying,” Carlson wrote in another text to an unknown contact on November 17, 2020. “Fucking bitch.”
That same day, on the 17th, the newly-released texts showed Carlson relaying directly with Powell, challenging her as she claims “more evidence pouring in.”
“You keep telling your viewers that millions of votes were changed by the software. I hope you prove that very soon,” Carlson tells Powell. “You’ve convinced them that Trump will win. If you don’t have conclusive evidence of fraud at that scale, it’s a cruel and reckless thing to keep saying.”
On November 19, 2020, Carlson grilled her on her rigged election claims on his show, and by November 22, 2020, the Trump team had cut ties with Powell, according to Politico. An email included in the filings showed Fox News staff discussing the negative conservative reaction on social media against Carlson after he had challenged Powell’s claims.
Dominion Voting Systems opposed Fox News’ move to throw out the lawsuit in a new filing last week, in a high-stakes case set for an April trial. The voting company alleged through depositions, and internal texts and emails, that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch provided Jared Kushner with advance knowledge of then-candidate Joe Biden’s political ads and debate preparations. The docs released today are the exhibits underlying that filing.
Murdoch was also quoted from his depositions in the case, agreeing that he “seriously doubted” any claims of widespread election fraud pushed by the Trump camp.
A Fox News spokesperson told Insider, in part, that Dominion’s legal team took Fox News comments out of context.
“Thanks to today’s filings, Dominion has been caught red-handed using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear FOX News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press,” a Fox News spokesperson told Insider in a statement on Tuesday. “We already know they will say and do anything to try to win this case, but to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company is truly beyond the pale.”
On March 26, 2021, Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News seeking $1.6 billion in damages, claiming that the network gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after President Donald Trump’s loss.
Dominion manufactures and sells electronic voting hardware, software, and voting machines, and was repeatedly targeted with conspiracies in the wake of the 2020 election.
And in the company’s lawsuit, Dominion claimed that Fox News “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”
Two months later, Fox News filed to dismiss the motion, and by December 2021, a judge had rejected Fox’s motion.