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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Published with permission from Media Matters for America.

Fox News joined a media coalition asking the judge in the Trump U. fraud case to release videos of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump being questioned over the real estate program. The move by Fox comes after defending Trump from allegations of fraud surrounding the Trump U. controversy.

On June 11 Politico reported that a number of media organizations asked Judge Gonzalo Curiel to release video of Trump’s testimony in the Trump U. case. Lawyers for the media coalition argued that the lawsuit “has become a prominent election issue” and that Trump himself had cited Trump U. “as an example of his business success.” The initial coalition included all major TV news networks except for Fox News, as well as newspaper publishers from The New York TimesWashington Post, and Tribune Publishing.

On June 15, Politico reported that Fox News joined the effort, stating that they were not aware of the request and became interested in joining as soon as they learned of the move:

Fox News is joining a media coalition seeking to obtain full access to depositions presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave in a class-action lawsuit over his Trump University real estate seminar program.

When an array of news organizations moved last week to loosen restrictions on the deposition transcripts and videos, all the major news networks were part of the effort, except for Fox. Also on board were the New York Times, the Washington Post and Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

In a filing Wednesday with U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego, lawyers for the media coalition said Fox was joining the consortium supporting the drive to remove confidential designations on parts of Trump’s testimony. If those restrictions are lifted, either side in the case would be free to release the transcripts in their entirety and likely the videos of the depositions as well.

Fox News’ decision to join the media coalition now ensures that right-wing media can continue their struggle to defend Trump by selectively using any video released.

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