Far-right, Trump-friendly news outlet Newsmax, after months of promoting the former President’s false claims of a rigged and stolen election, issued a statement last Friday acknowledging that there is “no evidence” to support claims it had previously promoted on air claiming that Dominion Voting Systems and one of its top employees, Eric Coomer, manipulated the results of the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden.
In the statement the network said that while it had covered claims by Trump’s attorneys and supporters about voter fraud leading to Trump’s ouster from the White House, it “subsequently found no evidence that such allegations were true.”
Newsmax had particularly gone after Dr. Eric Coomer, the Director of Product Strategy and Security at Dominion Voting Systems, saying that he had played a role in manipulating voting machines to change the vote counts in several key states.
The company is now acknowledging, several months too late in the opinion of most critics, that recounts and audits in a number of states falsely attacked by Trump and his defenders, do not back up such claims:
“Many of the states whose results were contested by the Trump campaign after the November 2020 election have conducted extensive recounts and audits, and each of these states certified the results as legal and final,”
Newsmax also said they had found no evidence that Coomer in particular manipulated machines and vote counts:
“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. 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 filed a defamation lawsuit against Newsmax in December 2020 that also names the Trump campaign, attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, that fellow conservative news outlet One America News Network.
Newsmax reached a settlement last week and was dropped from the suit on Friday.
Coomer, according to the complaint filed in December, had to flee his home in response to the several threats on his life and also had to “sever ties with friends and family members in order to stay in seclusion.” He told the AP at the time that right-wing websites posted his photo, address, and family details leading to many credible threats.
Coomer’s lawyers stated the following in the complaint:
“Dr. Coomer has had an onslaught of harassment and credible death threats issued against him; he is at risk in his home or in going to work; his presence puts his family, friends, colleagues, and his community in danger.”
Newsmax uncharacteristically apologized for the reporting in their statement:
“On behalf of Newsmax, we would like to apologize for any harm that our reporting of the allegations against Dr. Coomer may have caused to Dr. Coomer and his family.”
Last month, Dominion Voting Systems filed a similar $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News. The lawsuit alleges that the media outlet falsely claimed in order to boost their faltering ratings that the voting company had helped to rig the 2020 election.
The voting company has already filed lawsuits against Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell for pushing false claims about voter fraud. The company has not yet ruled out suing Donald Trump for repeatedly pushing falsehoods about the voting company flipping votes to help Joe Biden win the presidency. Trump’s “big lie” as it is now known also caused the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Trump was impeached for a second time by the House for inciting the pro-Trump mob to breach the Capitol building.
In the lawsuit Dominion argues that Fox News, which amplified inaccurate information that Dominion altered votes, “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” the lawsuit says. “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”
Fox News has already filed four motions to dismiss other legal actions against their coverage that have nothing to do with Dominion’s suit.
“Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and we will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” A statement from Fox News stated.