Newsmax Settles Defamation Lawsuit With Dominion Executive
Conservative news outlet Newsmax has settled a defamation lawsuit filed by an executive with Dominion, a maker of a significant number of voting machines used in the 2020 election.
It’s the first such settlement from a news organization in a defamation lawsuit filed over 2020 election conspiracy theories.
The lawsuit, filed by Dominion’s head of product strategy and security, Eric Coomer, is among several filed over claims that election technology companies like Dominion rigged the election against former president Donald Trump and in favor of now-President Joe Biden.
Coomer sued Newsmax in December in state court in Colorado over what turned out to be inflated claims that he took part in an “Antifa conference call” to rig the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump.
According to the website, Insider, On April 30, 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.”
The Insider went on to report that the terms of the settlement were not disclosed in the court filings that were made available to the press. Representatives for Coomer and for Newsmax have made no further comments to the press on any of the details of the settlement.
Coomer first became the subject of conspiracy theories after Joe Oltmann, a right-wing political operative, claimed without proving any evidence that he was a member of “Antifa.” Despite a lack of any hard evidence, Oltmann’s claims spread like wildfire among right-wing media circles, including Newsmax, and Coomer went into hiding after receiving numerous death threats. Along with Newsmax, 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. Newsmax had steadfastly claimed it did nothing wrong as recently as February when a spokesperson told the press that Coomer’s lawsuit was politically motivated. Newsmax is owned and run by Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of Trump’s.
In a statement, Cain and Skarnulis PLLC, the law firm representing Coomer, said he continues to receive death threats. “Six months after the election, Dr. Coomer continues to receive death threats and harassment from those who believe the false conspiracy theories,” the statement reads.
Only Newsmax has settled and issued its apology statement. 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.