Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis on Wednesday sanctioned Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp., for withholding evidence in the Dominion defamation suit and said he's considering further investigation and censure.
One of Grossberg's attorneys, Parisis G. Filippatos, said that lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems played recordings Fox News producer Abby Grossberg made during 2020, which were not handed over to Dominion's lawyers during discovery.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Alex Wagner Tonight,” Filippatos shared audio also played during Wednesday’s court proceedings, with Rudy Giuliani telling Fox News host Maria Bartiromo in November 2020 "that's a little harder to tell you -- it's being analyzed right now," when asked about the voting software. Giuliani also said he "can't prove" that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had an interest in Dominion.
In a second clip, from December 2020, a Trump official can be heard telling Fox News "there weren't any physical issues with the [voting] machines" during inspections.
Filippatos told Wagner, "If Dominion had these audio tapes and been able to use it in their summary judgment motion, maybe they would have gotten a complete victory."
Grossberg, a former producer for Fox hosts Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson, has sued Fox News and said her deposition was coerced. In an amended filing Tuesday, she said she had recorded conversations with Giuliani, Sidney Powell and others.
The judge's sanction gives Dominion a chance to conduct another deposition, at Fox’s expense.
"As counsel explained to the Court, FOX produced the supplemental information from Ms. Grossberg when we first learned it," Fox News said in a statement Wednesday.
The surprise evidence and sanction come days before the trial is scheduled to begin in the $1.6 billion defamation case Dominion Voting Systems filed against Fox News and Fox Corp. Davis also said Wednesday he was considering appointing a special master to investigate the Fox legal teams' actions.
In a statement, Grossberg's attorneys said she would be willing to speak with a special master if one is appointed.
“We are pleased that the Court recognized the very serious apparent discovery-related and other gross misconduct perpetrated by Fox News and its team of high-powered attorneys in relation to the Dominion v. Fox lawsuit that our client, Abby Grossberg, has courageously and repeatedly revealed in her lawsuits against the Network," Filippatos and Tanvir H. Rahman said Wednesday.
"Ms. Grossberg remains committed to speaking the truth in all appropriate forums, including before a Special Master appointed by the Court, while our firm will continue to ensure that she obtains the justice she deserves,” they added.
On Tuesday, Davis expressed frustration at Fox News for not being straightforward about Rupert Murdoch's role as a leader at Fox News.
"This is a problem," Davis said, according to a court transcript. "I need to feel comfortable when you represent something to me that is the truth."
Fox News did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the sanction but said in a statement Tuesday, "Rupert Murdoch has been listed as executive chairman of FOX News in our SEC filings since 2019 and this filing was referenced by Dominion’s own attorney during his deposition."