HomeCrimeMaria Bartiromo still entertains Trump election claims: Fox

Maria Bartiromo still entertains Trump election claims: Fox

Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo (Screenshot via Fox News)

Fox News host Maria Bartiromo didn’t knowingly lie about Dominion Voting Systems swinging the election for President Joe Biden because she still entertains Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories “to this day,” the network said in a new defense brief.

“I’m not sure what to think,” Bartiromo wrote in an email to Dominion’s chief spokesman Salvatore “Tony” Fratto on Nov. 20, 2020.

Bartiromo’s ambivalence has endured, as the host “expressed uncertainty even to this day about what exactly happened in the election,” Fox News says. Dominion has been pursuing a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox, which is readying for a trial date in April. The network’s evidence of Bartiromo’s state of mind goes to the legal standard of actual malice, which would force Dominion to prove that Bartiromo either knowingly lied or acted with reckless disregard for the truth in airing 2020 election conspiracy theories.

To make that argument, Fox has unearthed Bartiromo’s communications with Fratto, a partner at the heavyweight PR shop Hamilton Place Strategies. The network’s multi-pronged argument is that Bartiromo had been on the fence about Trump’s theories, invited Dominion on the air to tell its side, and pushed back on conspiracy theory peddler Sidney Powell after being pressed.

In a series of emails attached as exhibits to their latest brief, Fox unveiled Bartiromo’s emails with Fratto, who appeared at one point to praise the host’s pushback.

“I saw the interview snd [sic] i know that everyone who questions Powell is being attacked – I hope it’s not too crazy,” Fratto wrote on Nov. 20, 2020. “I truly don’t understand why she believes this Venezuela connection. It’s just not at all true snd [sic] never has been. It’s so weird.”

A day later, Bartiromo offered to put Dominion’s CEO on the air. Fratto gave an exasperated reply about Powell’s conspiracy theories.

“Do you want me to have dominion ceo on?” Bartiromo wrote, noting that Powell was “pushing on this.”

Less than a half-hour later, Fratto fired off a response.

“The only relevant evidence is that the machines worked, again, everywhere they’re being used,” Fratto wrote on Nov. 21, 2020, before turning to Powell. “This woman is harassing employees and they’re getting death threats. That’s why they’re protecting they’re [sic] LinkedIn accounts.”

“This is madness,” Fratto added.

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