WILMINGTON, Del. — The Dominion Voting Systems defamation trial against Fox News was delayed by the court late Sunday and is now scheduled to begin Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear why the court ordered the one-day delay. Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis is expected to make an announcement about the change Monday morning, according to a statement from the court.
The delay comes after a contentious week of pretrial hearings, in which Davis sanctioned Fox News for withholding evidence and admonished it for not being straightforward about Rupert Murdoch's role at Fox News. Davis ruled Dominion could conduct an additional deposition if needed, at Fox's cost.
“Continuances happen for a wide variety of reasons that don’t have to do with the substance of the case, but there is at least some reason to suspect this one might be rooted in the last-minute revelations that were made at the tail end of last week and the additional investigation that the judge said Dominion could do — it could be they’re doing it," said RonNell Andersen Jones, a professor at the University of Utah College of Law who specializes in the First Amendment.
Dominion says Fox News defamed it when the network broadcast baseless claims that it was tied to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, that it paid kickbacks to politicians and that its machines “rigged” the 2020 presidential election by flipping millions of votes for Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in damages. Fox News denies it defamed Dominion.
The rest of jury selection and opening arguments are now scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the court said.
Fox News and Dominion did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the delay.