“Fox has admitted to telling lies,” John Poulos, Dominion’s CEO, said at a news conference after the trial ended.
Justin Nelson, lead attorney for Dominion, told NBC News he hopes the settlement will restore faith in elections.
“This alone can’t do it, right? But this shows that there is accountability, that we showed that if you are caught lying, you will be held responsible,” he said.
Absent from the settlement details shared with the public was an apology or any admission that the network had indeed defamed Dominion when it allowed baseless conspiracies to proliferate on air about the company’s voting machines “rigging” 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump. A statement from Fox about the agreement recognized the court’s previous ruling that the claims Dominion had challenged in its defamation lawsuit were indeed without merit.
“We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” the Fox statement said. “This settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.”
When pressed, a spokesperson for Dominion said “an apology is about accountability, and today Dominion held Fox accountable.”
Stephen Shackelford Jr., the attorney who had been expected to give opening statements for Dominion on Tuesday, said “money is accountability.”
Rumors of settlement talks had been buzzing for days, particularly after the court said late Sunday it would delay the conclusion of jury selection and opening arguments to Tuesday morning.