Sean Hannity was apparently willing to promote Donald Trump’s false voter fraud allegations on his Fox News show, but was unwilling to defend them under oath.
The New York Times reports that when Hannity was impeached earlier this year as part of a Massive libel lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against the right-wing network, he essentially admitted his true thoughts on the 2020 election were stolen.
“I didn’t believe it for a second,” Hannity testified.
However, that hasn’t stopped Hannity from harboring fraud supporters like Sidney Powell, who has made outlandish allegations about Dominion, such as the machines supposedly running an algorithm that jumped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
Hannity’s confession came out in court at a hearing on Wednesday for address several issues that need to be resolved before the case heads to a jury trial due to begin in April.
But Hannity’s Dominion disclosure suggests that at least some Fox employees knew they were spreading fake news.
The Times notes that the the high legal standard of proof in defamation cases requires Dominion to persuade a jury that network employees were saying one thing in public and another in private.
In fact, Dominion lawyers argued in a Delaware courtroom on Wednesday that “not a single Fox witness” had produced anything to support any of the false claims of voter fraud that Trump and his supporters promoted after the 2020 presidential election.
Dominion attorney Stephen Shackelford told the court that Hannity’s doubts were echoed in depositions from other Fox hosts and executives, including Tucker Carlson, who he said: “tried to squirm during his deposition” when asked what he really believed.
HuffPost reached out to Fox News for comment, but no one immediately responded.
Fox News isn’t the only place that’s been skeptical of fake, stolen election claims: A memo uncovered last year shows the Trump campaign knew shortly after Election Day that many of its claims were baseless.