Machinery company executive Dominion Voting Systems sues Trump allies for defamation

Trump called Dominion Voting Systems “a disaster”, and his supporters defended the conspiracy theory that the company erased votes for Trump on his voting equipment and that Dominion’s director of product and security strategy Eric Coomer helped to subvert the election.

There is no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and his government and election officials considered it the “safest” election in the history of the United States. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes and the electoral map by 306 to 232.

The suit names the Trump campaign as defendant Rudy Giuliani, Trump adviser Sidney Powell, the conservative media One America News Network and Newsmax Media, the right-wing Gateway Pundit website and Colorado businessman and activist Joseph Oltmann among others. CNN contacted those mentioned in the lawsuit.

In the past few days – as the threat of legal action became greater and greater – several conservative media outlets have begun to roll back some of the most outrageous claims.

In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the Colorado district court, Coomer’s lawyers say the allegations are “false and baseless” and have caused “immense damage to Dr. Coomer’s reputation, professional standing, security and privacy”.

The lawsuit says the defendants “relied heavily on false claims” made by Oltmann, who said in interviews and social media posts that Coomer participated in an Antifa conference call that Oltmann said he infiltrated in September.

Asked about Antifa’s alleged connection, Oltmann told CNN that he has “a treasure trove of evidence” – which he did not provide immediately – and said “the truth is the great equalizer in all of this”.

Oltmann said he heard one of the speakers on the alleged call identified as “Eric of Dominion”, who told participants: “Trump is not going to win. I was sure of that.” Oltmann, who said he was paraphrasing the conversation, did not provide a recording of the alleged call or an explanation of how he learned and had access, according to the lawsuit.

Coomer’s lawyers denied that the Dominion executive was aware of the alleged call, participated in it or made such comments.

The suit also lists a number of specific threats allegedly made against Coomer and says the harassment forced Coomer to flee his home “for fear of his safety”. Coomer lives in hiding shortly after the election, he recently told Colorado Public Radio.

He is seeking damages, as well as the public retraction of all statements deemed defamatory.

In a statement on Tuesday, Coomer said the lawsuit is “an effort to undo as much damage as possible to me, my family, my life and my livelihood as a result of the numerous false public statements by which I was of somehow responsible ‘manipulating’ the 2020 presidential election. “

The Domain itself does not participate in the process.

The Denver-based company, however, said in a statement to CNN that “Sidney Powell and many others – including some news organizations – have trampled on numerous reputations by promoting their ridiculous conspiracy theories.”

Voting technology company Smartmatic, which faced similar conspiracy theories, sent a strong legal threat to Newsmax, One America News and Fox News earlier this month, saying the media helped spread false and defamatory allegations that could be unmasked with basic research. Newsmax released on Monday a “clarification” that there is no evidence that Dominion or Smartmatic manipulated votes in the 2020 election, and Fox last week released a video package unmasking several claims made by its own hosts or guests.
On Saturday, the Trump campaign legal team sent a memo to dozens of employees instructing them to preserve all documents related to Dominion and Powell in anticipation of a possible litigation by the company.

The memo, seen by CNN, references a letter that Dominion sent Powell last week demanding that she publicly withdraw her charges and instructs the campaign team not to alter, destroy or discard records that may be relevant.

The Trump campaign tried to distance itself from Powell after she gave a conspiracy press conference with her other lawyers, Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. But since then, Powell has visited the White House at least twice, and Trump has considered appointing her as a special adviser to investigate allegations of electoral fraud that his own government has said are unfounded.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Pamela Brown and Brian Rokus contributed to this report.