Fox News Faces More Setbacks Ahead Of Major Defamation Trial

INSIDE: Stephen Miller ... Justin Pearson ... Jennifer Wexton
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 08: Truck billboards drive in front of the Palace Hotel calling out Fox News' election denial scheme as Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch attends an event on March 08, 2023 in San Francisco, C... SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 08: Truck billboards drive in front of the Palace Hotel calling out Fox News' election denial scheme as Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch attends an event on March 08, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Media Matters for America) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Dominion v. Fox News

With Dominion’s defamation case against Fox News set to go to trial next week, the judge made several important pre-trial rulings yesterday:

  • Fox will not be allowed to argue that it broadcast false claims about Dominion because they were newsworthy, shutting down what had been a key line of defense for the cable news net.
  • The judge was angered by a last-minute revelation that Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch also held an officer position with Fox News. Dominion complained vigorously that the failure to disclose Murdoch’s role as “executive chair” at Fox News had adversely impacted its approach to the litigation. “My problem is that it has been represented to me more than once that he is not an officer,” the judge said in court, suggesting he might have ruled differently on summary judgment.
  • Fox did win one pre-trial dispute: Dominion will not be allowed to mention the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol during the trial.
  • A new shareholder derivative lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Delaware against Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and several members of the Fox Corp. board of directors, claiming they violated their fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast election conspiracy theories, NBC News reported.

Stephen Miller Testifies To Jan. 6 Grand Jury

Trump aide Stephen Miller spent some six hours in the federal courthouse in DC Tuesday, where he reportedly testified before the grand jury investigating the scheme to overturn the 2020 election. Miller’s testimony came after Trump’s efforts to block it on executive privilege grounds were denied by an appeals court last week in a sealed ruling.

Big Deal: Bragg Sues To Block Jim Jordan’s Meddling

In a sign of how serious he is, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has engaged national-caliber litigator Ted Boutrous to handle Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan’s use of his official power to publicly meddle in the state prosecution of Trump. This is shaping up to be worth watching, both because of the legal issues involved and because of the novelty of a Democrat being this aggressive in fighting Republican attacks on the rule of law.

Tucker Carlson Interviews Guy He Despises

I’m not going to go through each of the crazy things Trump said or claimed in his Tucker Carlson interview. But if you’re curious, just scroll through this thread:

Schumer Calls GOP Bluff On Defunding FBI

To put the squeeze on Republicans who can’t decide whether they’re the party of Trump or of law and order, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is planning a vote for next week to force them on the record about defunding the Justice Department and FBI.

Justin Pearson Expected To Be Reinstated

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners is expected to appoint expelled Rep. Justin Pearson back to his old seat in the Tennessee House later today.

Biggest News Of The Day

EPA announces aggressive new rules to speed the conversion of the U.S. vehicle fleet from internal combustion to electric.

North Dakota Enacts Trans Athlete Bans

Just two years after vetoing a trans athlete ban, Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) has signed two new bills banning transgender girls and women from joining female sports teams. Both passed with veto-proof majorities.

Wexton Diagnosed With Parkison’s

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), 54, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, she announced Wednesday. Wexton was first elected in 2018, knocking off Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA). Her hard-fought win in 2022 was an important hold for Dems in a tough year.

2024 Ephemera

  • Tim Scott launches exploratory committee to run for president.
  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) kicks off her re-election campaign.
  • ICYMI: Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) announced his own re-election bid earlier this week.

Surprising: Marc Elias and DNC Part Ways

Democratic superlawyer Marc Elias will no longer be representing the Democratic National Committee in the 2024 cycle, Punchbowl reports.

“The DNC and Elias had a number of strategic disagreements, according to sources familiar with the internal deliberations,” according to the report.

Elias, who has repped the DNC since 2009, will continue to represent other Democratic campaign committees.

Chicago Chosen To Host DNC In 2024

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