Newsmax Is The First To Settle An Election Fraud Defamation Lawsuit
And so the great walk-back of election fraud claims has begun. Newsmax, the Donald Trump-loving, right wing media outlet has apologized to a Dominion Voting Systems executive for the false claims it made about him while it was promoting the twice-impeached, one-term former president’s discredited temper tantrum that the election was stolen from him.
Dominion’s head of product strategy and security Eric Coomer sued Newsmax in December in state court in Colorado over false claims that he took part in an “Antifa conference call” to rig the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump. He revised his lawsuit in February to bolster his claims against Newsmax.
On Friday, Newsmax issued a retraction and apology on its website saying it found “no evidence” that earlier claims about Coomer and the 2020 election were true.
“There are several facts that our viewers should be aware of. Newsmax has found no evidence that Dr. Coomer interfered with Dominion voting machines or voting software in any way, nor that Dr. Coomer ever claimed to have done so,” the statement reads. “Nor has Newsmax found any evidence that Dr. Coomer ever participated in any conversation with members of ‘Antifa,’ nor that he was directly involved with any partisan political organization.”
Coomer first became the subject of conspiracy theories after Joe Oltmann, a right-wing political operative, claimed without evidence that he was a member of “Antifa” and worked to rig the 2020 election. Oltmann’s baseless claims spread like wildfire in right-wing media circles. Coomer went into hiding after receiving numerous death threats. Coomer sued more than a dozen right-wing media figures he claims were responsible for pushing the conspiracy theories. He alleged defamation, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and civil conspiracy over the claims.
As recently as February Newsmax, owned and run by Trump close friend Christopher Ruddy, insisted it had done nothing wrong.
All of the other people and organizations Coomer has sued — including Oltmann, Trump’s campaign, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, One America News Network, and others — remain defendants in the lawsuit.
“With respect to the remaining defendants, Dr. Coomer is seeking damages to his reputation and livelihood and, once certified by the court, punitive damages,” the statement from Coomer’s law firm reads.
Coomer’s lawsuit is separate from the legal efforts of Dominion itself, which has sued Fox News, Powell, Giuliani, and the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell. Smartmatic, another election technology company, has filed its own defamation lawsuits against right-wing media figures over the falsehoods.