Fox News Parent Forced To Face Dominion Defamation Suit Under Judge’s Order

INSIDE: Gun Reform Bill ... Garland In Ukraine ... No Mo Mo
during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Rupert Murdoch looks on prior to Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Let The Reapin’ Begin

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis rejected a bid by Fox News’ parent company, Fox Corp., to toss out Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit on Tuesday.

  • The judge ruled that Fox Corp. chair Rupert Murdoch and his son, Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan, may have acted with “actual malice” when allegedly directing Fox News to peddle debunked conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines. Rupert Murdoch himself had told Trump that he lost the election, the judge noted, yet Fox went ahead with the conspiracy theories anyway.
  • That marks a second blow to Rupert Murdoch’s efforts to fend off Dominion’s defamation suits over Fox News’ coverage: Davis allowed Dominion’s massive $1.6 defamation suit against Fox News to proceed in December.

Hit-And-Run AG Banned From Office

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravsnborg (R) was convicted in his Senate impeachment trial in the GOP-controlled chamber yesterday, more than a year after running over and killing a man with his car.

  • The Senate reached the required two-thirds majority vote to convict Ravnsborg on both impeachment articles: crimes causing death and malfeasance in office.
  • The Senate also voted to permanently disqualify Ravnsborg from holding office. The disgraced attorney general has already said he won’t run for reelection this November.

Yesterday’s Jan. 6 Hearing

The House Jan. 6 Committee held its fourth public hearing yesterday, which focused on Trump’s efforts to bully state officials, especially those in Georgia, into stealing the 2020 election for him.

Modest Bipartisan Gun Reform Bill Passes Key Senate Vote

The Senate voted to advance a bipartisan group of senators’ bill on gun violence on Tuesday night, putting it on track for passage later this month.

  • The better-than-nothing-I-guess legislation is titled as the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.” You can read the text here.

Garland Visits Ukraine To Address Russian War Crimes

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday took an unannounced trip to Ukraine, where he met with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, according to the Justice Department. Garland was there to unveil the DOJ’s new War Crimes Accountability Team, an initiative to help Ukraine crack down on the horrific war crimes that’ve been occurring amid Russia’s invasion.

No Mo Mo

Trump-ditched Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is projected to lose Alabama’s GOP Senate primary runoff against Trump-backed rival Katie Britt.

More Than 900 People Killed In Afghanistan Earthquake

At least 950 people have died in Afghanistan after an earthquake with a 6.1 magnitude struck the country’s eastern area early Wednesday morning, according to disaster officials as reported by Reuters.

Greitens Insists He Was Just Having A Laugh With Violent Campaign Ad

Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens wants to know why everyone’s taking his ad featuring him and military dudes armed with assault rifles and flash grenades busting into a house to hunt down his political enemies so seriously. Can’t people can’t take a joke anymore??

  • The ad “has a sense of humor,” and the backlash is just “tremendous amount of faux outrage from leftists and RINOs” (“Republicans In Name Only”, aka the people he was “hunting” in the ad), Greitens claimed during several radio interviews on Tuesday.

Cuellar Defeats Progressive Challenger In Nailbiter Runoff

Establishment-backed Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), the last anti-abortion Democrat in the House and who’s been roped into an FBI investigation, has prevailed in the runoff primary against progressive rival Jessica Cisneros.

Jan. 6 Panel’s Top Prosecutor Urged To Run For Missouri Senate

A committee in Missouri has launched a bid to convince ex-federal prosecutor John F. Wood, who now serves as senior counsel to the House Jan. 6 Committee, to run for Senate as an independent.

  • The committee argued in its news release that Wood, through his work on the committee, represents the principle of putting “country over party”: In addition to working under the Bush administration, Wood also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and conservative ex-federal judge J. Michael Luttig, who recently testified in front of the committee.
  • Wood was brought aboard the committee by panel vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY). The ex-prosecutor reports to her and the committee’s chief counsel, who’s a Democrat.

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