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Politics and Government

Dominion Voting’s Eric Coomer files defamation lawsuit against Randy Corporon, Salem Media

The former Dominion Voting Systems executive accuses Corporon and radio station 710 KNUS of defamation related to false claims of fraud in the 2020 election

The Denver City and County Building, where civil litigation is heard, is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.
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A former executive at Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against conservative Colorado media figure Randy Corporon and conservative broadcaster Salem Media Group, which owns Denver radio station 710 KNUS, where Corporon hosts a show.

The legal action by Eric Coomer over the weekend is similar to a previous lawsuit Coomer filed against former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, Trump-associated lawyers, conservative Colorado commentator Joe Oltmann and various conservative media outlets.

The new lawsuit alleges Corporon and Denver-based 710 KNUS “elevated Dr. Coomer into the national spotlight, invaded his privacy, threatened his security, and fundamentally defamed his reputation through a relentless election fraud campaign.” 

Coomer, the former director of strategy and security for Dominion, has been at the center of unfounded claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The claims originated with Joe Oltmann. Oltmann has alleged Coomer said on an antifa Zoom call that he had made sure Trump would not win the election. Coomer has denied the accusation.

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Those claims by Oltmann are at the center of the prior lawsuit that is still pending in Denver District Court where a judge is considering whether to grant motions from defendants seeking to dismiss the case under Colorado’s anti-SLAPP law. The law is meant to protect journalists and members of the public from being targeted by frivolous, retaliatory lawsuits aimed at stifling free speech.

Corporon, who is a lawyer and Republican National Committeeman for Colorado, is representing The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website known for publishing conspiracy theories, in that earlier lawsuit.

Coomer’s lawyers declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed Saturday in Denver District Court.

Corporon said he hadn’t seen or heard about the lawsuit. He declined to comment without first speaking with Salem Media 

Efforts to reach Salem Media on Monday evening were not successful.

The lawsuit claims Corporon was “among the first Republican officials in the nation — and perhaps the first political commenter with access to a significant platform — to become aware of Oltmann’s false claims about Dr. Coomer,” after watching Oltmann on a Nov. 9, 2020, episode of the “Conservative Daily” podcast.

“Corporon and the other hosts (at KNUS) were among the first to adopt, bolster, amplify, and widely disseminate Oltmann’s false claims, causing an avalanche of lies and misinformation that spread to dozens of other right-wing media outlets and content providers,” the lawsuit says. Many of those who spread the claims are defendants in Coomer’s original lawsuit.

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The legal action contends that throughout November and December 2020, Oltmann “was featured in multiple lengthy interviews with various (KNUS) hosts, including Randy Corporon, Peter Boyles, Deborah Flora and George Brauchler. In every instance, Oltmann repeated his false claims about Dr. Coomer and accused him of engaging in criminal conduct.”

Coomer’s lawyers note Corporon “has a long history of supporting and promoting a wide range of groundless conspiracy theories,” like the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

The lawsuit says Corporon and the radio station should have known Oltmann’s claims were false after Republican former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams corrected some of Oltmann’s claims while on the show. A week after Williams’ appearance, Corporon brought on the show Republican Matt Crane, the former Arapahoe County Clerk, who said he’d known Coomer for a long time.

Crane said he “never had any reason in working with him in a professional capacity to doubt his ethics.”

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Coomer accuses Corporon and Salem Media of intentionally inflicting emotional harm on him by spreading Oltmann’s claims, resulting in “an onslaught of harassment and credible death threats.”

“He is at risk in his home or in going to work,” the lawsuit says.”His presence puts his family, friends, colleagues, and his community in danger.” 

Coomer also accuses Salem Media of being negligent in its supervision of Corporon. And Coomer accuses both Corporon and Salem of engaging in a defamation campaign in order to “promote the election bid of President Trump for their own financial and political gain.”

The lawsuit points out that at one point, Corporon mocked Coomer’s prior legal action.

“I’m a lawyer, so I’m not afraid of lawsuits,” Corporon said on his radio show. “I’d love to be sued by Eric Coomer. I would enjoy that deposition.”


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