Dec 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Dominion worker sues Trump campaign and conservative media for defamation

Photo of Donald Trump speaking from behind a podium with others watching on

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

An election worker at Dominion Voting Systems filed a lawsuit Tuesday against President Trump, his lawyers and conservative media networks, among others, for spreading false conspiracy theories that he says forced him into hiding.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies' baseless claims of election fraud, including allegations that Dominion rigged its voting machines, have resulted in threats against election workers.

The big picture: Eric Coomer, director of product strategy and security for Dominion, became the face of these claims, the lawsuit states. Trump and his lawyers singled him out to millions of followers, calling him a "vicious, vicious man" who is "close to Antifa" and rigged the election for Biden, per the suit.

  • The onslaught of threats forced Coomer to leave his home and sever ties with friends and family, he claims.
  • The lawsuit also implicates OANN and Newsmax, two rising conservative outlets favored by Trump, for "recklessly" publishing false statements about Coomer.
"While this theory [of election fraud] has been thoroughly rejected, its immediate and life-threatening effects remain very real. Without concern for the truth or the consequences of their reckless conduct, Defendants branded Dr. Coomer a traitor to the United States, a terrorist, and a criminal of the highest order."
ā€” Excerpt from Coomer's lawsuit

Context: Coomer wasn't the only one harassed in the aftermath of the election.

Of note: After Dominion and Smartmatic, another voting machine company, threatened right-wing outlets with legal action, Newsmax, Fox Business and Fox News backtracked on allegations of fraud and aired corrections and clarifications.

Read the full lawsuit, obtained by CPR, via DocumentCloud:

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