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Sean Hannity testified under oath that he always knew Trump’s election fraud claims were misleading

Hannity gave the testimony during a deposition in the $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems.

Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity (L) interviews U.S. President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Donald Trump received so shortage of help from his pals over at Fox News in bolstering his false claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him. However, in what will come as a shock — or possibly not so much — as it turns out, few or if any employees at the cable news network actually believed that election fraud had occurred.

The revelations surfaced during a deposition in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems, ahead of a jury trial scheduled for April. Sidney Powell, Trump’s lawyer accused of spearheading the claims, had appeared on Sean Hannity’s primetime news program on Nov. 30, 2020, just weeks after the election had been called for Biden.

During her appearance, Powell insisted without evidence that the Dominion machines had been used to “trash large batches of votes,” which Hannity seemingly took at face value and naturally did not challenge whatsoever. But the 60-year-old host sang a decidedly different tune before a judge in Wednesday’s hearing, according to the New York Times.

Mr. Hannity interrupted her with a gentle question that had been circulating among election deniers, despite a lack of supporting proof: Why were Democrats silencing whistle-blowers who could prove this fraud?

Did Mr. Hannity believe any of this? “I did not believe it for one second.”

But Hannity was not the only Fox News employee to get grilled. Of those interviewed, Dominion lawyer Stephen Shackelford said that “not a single Fox witness,” including high-profile hosts and senior executives, was able to produce any evidence whatsoever to support the false claims incessantly parroted on the network.

This included Meade Cooper, who oversees prime-time programming for Fox News, and the prime-time star Tucker Carlson, Mr. Shackelford said.

“Many of the highest-ranking Fox people have admitted under oath that they never believed the Dominion lies,” he said, naming both Ms. Cooper and Mr. Carlson.

Mr. Shackelford described how Mr. Carlson had “tried to squirm out of it at his deposition” when asked about what he really believed.

The timing of the testimony is particularly damning as it comes on the heels of the Jan. 6 select House committee voting to refer the former president to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation. It’s unclear if the committee’s findings will be admissible in the civil suit, but it certainly paints quite a grim picture of the lengths that Trump’s various sycophants were willing to go through in supporting his misleading claims.

Stacey Ritzen
About the author

Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen is a Philadelphia-based reporter with 15 years of experience covering pop culture, entertainment, web culture, and news. She has previously worked for outlets including Uproxx, Pajiba, Daily Dot, and more.