A recently leaked court document pertaining to the Fox News settlement with Dominion Voting Systems revealed what the network planned for former President Donald Trump following the 2020 election.
The document, leaked to the New York Times, came days after Dominion and Fox reached an agreement in which the network agreed to pay $787.5 million to the voting hardware company for defamation. However, the agreement did not require the network to apologize to Dominion.
As the Associated Press reported:
“Fox settled with Dominion over charges that Fox News baselessly accused the company of rigging its voting machines against former President Donald Trump in 2020. It was the most-watched media libel case in decades.”
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who became a board director at Fox News after leaving Congress, became influential on the network’s direction.
The leaked document showed the network was planning to “move on from Donald Trump,” a decision which Ryan highly influenced.
The document notes, citing an exhibit:
“As a Board Member, Ryan believed that the period immediately following the 2020 Presidential Election ‘was a pretty important inflection point, not just for the company Fox, but for the country and for the conservative movement itself,’ and shared this ‘view as a fiduciary’ with Rupert and Lachlan.”
“Ryan told Rupert and Lachlan’ that Fox News should not be spreading conspiracy theories,'” it stated.
The filing also notes how Ryan was deeply involved in talks about how the network could cover the fallout from the 2020 election, along with the claims of widespread vote fraud.
“On December 6 , 2020, Paul Ryan texted Rupert and Lachlan, telling them, we are entering a truly bizarre phase of this where [Trump] has actually convinced himself of this farce and will do more bizarre things to delegitimize the election,” the document says. “I see this as a key inflection point for Fox, where the right thing and the smart business thing to do line up nicely.”
“Ryan told Dias about his own conversation with Rupert and Lachlan, reporting he told them that ‘this is a huge inflection point to keep Trump down and move on for the future of the conservative movement.’ Ryan added: ‘Both Rupert and Lachlan agree fully. The key is to execute our collective will,'” the document added.
Following the settlement news, Fox News parted ways with two of its most highly-rated hosts.
Dan Bongino announced last week he was leaving the network following an amicable decision regarding the terms of a new contract.
Days later, the network announced it was parting ways with its top-rated host, Tucker Carlson.
According to reports, that host’s departures came from the top, allegedly instigated by Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott.