One America News Network and one of its star personalities, Chanel Rion, have settled a defamation lawsuit brought by a Dominion Voting Systems executive over false claims that he was involved in rigging the 2020 presidential election.
Eric Coomer, who was director of product strategy and security for the company, named One America and Rion among a number of defendants in the case, along with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and other media figures and outlets on the right.
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The news of the settlement came in a joint filing in Denver County District Court that the parties had agreed to dismiss the case. The parties stated that they had “fully and finally settled the disputes among them.”
Charlie Cain, Coomer’s attorney, declined comment. An attorney for One America did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Coomer’s lawsuit cited a three-part OANN report from Rion, aired in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, that linked Coomer and Dominion to false allegations of voter fraud. “OANN and Rion took no efforts to verify or corroborate these false allegations before publishing them and disregarded reliable sources establishing the contrary,” the lawsuit stated.
Coomer filed his lawsuit in December, 2020, and an amended complaint several months later. It identified Joseph Oltmann, a podcast host, as the source of the conspiracy theories about Coomer. As recounted in Coomer’s lawsuit, Oltmann claimed to have infiltrated a call with an antifa member, and a man named “Eric from Dominion” who said that he would ensure that Joe Biden was elected president. Those claims later were amplified on right wing media, and they continue to swirl even after a judge last year rejected defendants’ efforts to dismiss the lawsuit. Coomer said that the conspiracy theories against him forced him to leave his home amid threats and harassment.
“Oltmann proffered himself as a witness to the allegations made but had no personal knowledge of Coomer so as to identify him on the alleged Antifa call; no personal knowledge of any election fraud committed by Coomer; and no expertise with which to form the allegations made,” Judge Marie Avery Moses wrote last year in rejecting the motion to dismiss the case. The judge also wrote that there was enough evidence to “establish a prima facie showing that OAN-Rion’s defamatory statements were extreme and outrageous.”
Newsmax was initially named as a defendant in Coomer’s lawsuit, but later settled the case and apologized to him.
Dominion Voting Systems reached a settlement of $787.5 million with Fox News in April, just as its defamation claim was about to go to trial. Dominion also has claims against Newsmax, OANN and other Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
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