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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."
— 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:

Go deeper

How right-wing media explained the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

You can't understand America, 2021, without watching how right-wing media explained a mob storming the U.S. Capitol for the first time since the early 19th century.

The big picture: The right's favored media — conservative TV, websites and social networks — offered an alternate reality in which everyone but pro-Trump rioters were to blame for the mayhem at the Capitol.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
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Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.