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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Dominion subpoenas Fox News ex-exec in voting machine defamation case

Bill Sammon will be deposed, and Fox has two weeks to turn over everything about its coverage of Dominion from 2016 to the present.

BALTIMORE (CN) — Lawyers for voting machine maker US Dominion subpoenaed a prominent former executive for Fox News on Wednesday as part of a broad demand for documents concerning the network’s debunked “stolen election” stories.

Bill Sammon, Fox’s former Washington managing editor and vice president, has been summoned to a June 1 deposition, while the network must produce reams of documents, emails, texts and other communications concerning Dominion, the presidential election, former President Donald Trump, disgraced Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, Trump supporter Mike Lindell and his My Pillow company and other key promulgators and disseminators of the stolen election hoax.

The subpoena, filed in Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, requests documents pertaining to Dominion from 2016 to the present, everything about Fox’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election and claims of fraud therein, documents pertaining to the relationships among various Fox subsidiaries, anything about Powell, Lindell, Michael Flynn and the Trump administration, and “documents and communications concerning Fox's reporting practices, including Fox's efforts to assess, analyze, examine, investigate, explore, probe, confirm or evaluate the truth, falsity, accuracy or inaccuracy of its reporting from Jan. 1, 2016, and the present.”

The documents must be turned over within two weeks.

“You’re gonna have to talk to media relations at Fox,” Sammon said when called about the subpoena, before hanging up the phone. Fox's only response to a request for comment was to emphasize that Sammon is no longer with the network. A Dominion lawyer did not answer a request for comment by press time.

Dominion filed a defamation suit against Fox for defamation in Delaware in 2021 in the wake of Fox News stories quoting Powell and other sources claiming the company’s voting machines, used in 28 states, were “flipping votes” to elect Joe Biden.

Dominion, which seeks $1.6 billion in damages, says Fox News, after angering Trump voters by being the first media outlet to declare Biden’s victory in Arizona November 2020, set out to lure Trump and his acolytes back to the network by deliberately smearing Dominion and claiming the company rigged the election.

Fox has repeatedly sought to get the complaint thrown out, but judge Eric Davis refused, saying in a December 2021 ruling that even after Dominion emailed the network evidence refuting its stories, “Fox and its news personnel continued to report Dominion purported connection to the election fraud claims without also reporting on Dominion's emails,” and that the networks refusal to report on that and other evidence “support the reasonable inference that Fox intended to keep Dominion's side of the story out of the narrative.”

A veteran Washington journalist, Sammon was once nominated for a Pulitzer for his investigation into union corruption. The website Mediamatters.org noted Sammon’s role as a “secret weapon” in developing presidential debate questions during the 2016 election. Previously he had been a White House correspondent for the Washington Times, writing hagiographic books depicting former President George W. Bush as an exceptionally strong and wise leader. Sammon reportedly stands 6 feet, 7 inches tall, leading Bush to nickname him “Big Stretch.”

Sammon also wrote “At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election,” about the 2000 election during which a Republican mob rioted in Miami to stop a recount, and the U.S. Supreme Court called the election for Bush. He reportedly announced his retirement from Fox News last year, but it was unclear at press time whether he has actually left the network.

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