When Dominion and Fox News settled for a dump truck full of cash ahead of trial, but there was no news of an agreement about any on-air apology, it was widely reported that Fox had “gotten away with it all” and that Dominion had simply been in it for the cash. But in the days since, Dominion’s attorneys have repeatedly appeared on MSNBC and insisted that they’re not done with Fox News.
It’s made me think that there has to be more to the story, more coming, details of the settlement that we don’t know about. One of my guideposts for trying to figure out what’s really going on is that when the reported version of a story makes little sense, that’s usually because it’s wrong. Details or context are missing from the initially reported version of the story, and once that comes out later, it turns out to be a very different story.
Even as we wait to find out what Dominion’s attorneys are talking about when they say they’re not done with Fox News, a different attorney involved with the scandal is dropping a potential bombshell. There was a whistleblower at Fox News named Abby Grossberg, who alleged that Fox higher-ups worked to suppress subpoenaed evidence in this case. And now Grossberg’s lawyer just told MSNBC host Ari Melber on the air that criminal prosecutors have reached out with interest in Grossberg’s evidence.
Dominion v. Fox News has always just been a civil case, and was never going to be a criminal case. But when you get caught trying to obstruct the courts in a civil case, now you’ve committed a potential criminal act. It’s not the purview of Dominion to follow up on this. Nor is it the purview of the judge in the civil case. It’s up to criminal prosecutors to decided to investigate this as a criminal matter – and now we know that criminal prosecutors are at least in the preliminary stage of doing precisely that.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone at Fox News will end up criminally charged with obstruction. There are a lot of steps in between the starting point of initially seeking evidence and the ending point of having enough evidence to get a criminal conviction at trial. We’ll have to see where this goes.
But if this does now become a criminal investigation, it could explain why Dominion is being so insistent that it’s not done with Fox News, even being so secretive about what that’s supposed to entail. For all we know, it’s possible that any on-air Fox News apology is being held up while the criminal aspect of this is sorted out. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going on.
But it sure is looking like there’s a lot more to this than Dominion simply taking the money and letting Fox News off the hook. That initial spin on the settlement never made any logical sense. Dominion’s own words since the settlement have pointed to there being more to this. And now the whistleblower’s attorney says criminal prosecutors have gotten involved. Stay tuned. It’s difficult to tell where this is headed, but it sure does feel like it’s just getting started.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report