A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the Week
The trial in Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation case against Fox finally gets underway on Monday (April 17) in Delaware following months of revelations from pre-trial proceedings in the blockbuster case. Dominion filed the case in March 2021 in the wake of the presidential election that saw Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump, arguing Fox knowingly endorsed, repeated and broadcast verifiably false claims about the voting machine company, accusing it of rigging the election result in favor of Biden. Since then, a series of extraordinary depositions and filings have emerged as the case has headed toward this week’s trial, including host Tucker Carlson describing Trump as a ‘demonic force’ and someone he hated ‘passionately’.
Carlson is likely to testify during the trial, alongside other Fox hosts including Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, and Laura Ingraham, while Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son and CEO Lachlan Murdoch are also expected to take the stand. Fox’s legal team have argued ahead of the trial that they are protected from such a lawsuit under the First Amendment, though these arguments have so far failed to impress the judge overseeing the case. Indeed, there appears to be growing consensus that the trial will be an uphill battle for Fox, with many agreeing with Dominion, which has argued that ‘if this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.’
In New York City, meanwhile, the repercussions of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s decision to pursue charges against Donald Trump will continue to be felt on Monday (April 17) when the House Judiciary Committee, led by combative Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, holds a field hearing to discuss Bragg’s alleged ‘pro-crime, anti-victims’ policies. Monday’s hearing comes amid a rapidly escalating battle between Jordan and Bragg. Jordan wrote to Bragg before the indictment was even unveiled to ask him to testify before Congress regarding what he called an ‘unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority’, and he has since subpoenaed Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor in Bragg’s office said to have quit his job in a dispute over the case against Trump, to provide a deposition before his committee on Thursday (April 20). Bragg, in turn, has sued Jordan, accusing him of leading a ‘free-ranging campaign of harassment’ and ‘constitutionally destructive fishing expedition’. A hearing in that case is scheduled for Wednesday (April 19), teeing up yet more drama in a feud that is unlikely to end any time soon.
In Japan, G7 foreign ministers continue their three-day meeting on Monday and Tuesday (April 17-18) ahead of the leaders’ summit in Hiroshima next month. Responding to Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine will once again likely be the focus of much of their discussions, though North Korea’s recent missile test, tensions over Taiwan and the furore over Emmanuel Macron’s comments on the matter, and the increasingly brutal actions of the military junta in Myanmar are all also expected to be addressed given the location of the meeting.
With Russia facing fresh condemnation over a video appearing to show a Russian soldier beheading a Ukrainian captive, there is likely to be yet more outrage when a court in Moscow rules on Monday in the high-profile case of journalist and Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza, who is charged with treason after criticizing Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prosecutors are seeking a 25-year sentence against Kara-Murza, who delivered a blistering statement at his last hearing, published in The Washington Post, refusing to ask for an acquittal.
The same court will then hear on Tuesday an appeal from Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich against his pre-trial detention until at least the end of May on espionage charges that few if any believe have any merit. Tuesday’s hearing, which follows a declaration earlier this week from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Gershkovich has formally been designated as ‘wrongfully detained’, may be the first public appearance from Gershkovich since he was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg on March 29.