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Dominion Voting System’s director of product strategy and security is suing the Trump campaign and multiple right-leaning media outlets and figures after becoming the subject of conspiracy theories that he says gave way to such “constant harassment” that he was forced to go into hiding.
As reported by NPR, Eric Coomer filed suit in Colorado state court on Tuesday, alleging that he has been “baselessly accused of using his position to mastermind a high-tech plot to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden.” Coomer accuses President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, lawyer Sidney Powell, Newsmax, One America News Network, OANN reporter Chanel Rion, Michelle Malkin and others of civil conspiracy and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Coomer spoke to Colorado Public Radio earlier this week, telling the network that, because he is at the center of election conspiracy theories, he has become a top target of conspiracy theorists. The harassment is so bad, CPR reports, that Coomer is now holed up in an undisclosed location, having had to flee his home the week after the November contest.
“I actually am in fear for my safety,” he said in a video chat with CPR. “I’m in fear for my family’s safety. These are real, tangible things coming out of these baseless accusations.”
“I’ve been threatened more times than I could even count,” he continued. “Whether it’s the standard online trolls, voicemails that are left almost on a daily basis, being called a traitor to this country. I can’t even begin to describe what effect this has had on my life.”
“Dominion provides election equipment and software to 28 states, including the majority of the equipment used in the swing states on which Trump has focused most of his post-election ire,” CPR reports. “The company gamed out all sorts of election problem scenarios, but it wasn’t on anyone’s radar that it — and its employees — could become the target of threats.”
The issue reportedly stems from a conservative Colorado podcaster and activist who allegedly made reference to Coomer on his show, apparently accusing “Eric from Dominion” of being a member of Antifa and of having spoken publicly about undermining the 2020 presidential election.
Those allegations have no basis in fact, Coomer, who describes himself as largely apolitical, told NPR.
“I have a personal political opinion. I may share that with friends and family, but I have never participated or belonged to, any political groups, political action groups, social justice groups. I do not donate to political campaigns. I don’t donate to any PACs or anything like that,” he said.
After the podcast went out, though, CPR reports, outside forces zeroed in on Coomer. “An online search turns up segments on the pro-Trump outlets Newsmax and One America News Network, discussing the allegations, as well as people accusing Coomer of treason and calling for him to be publicly executed,” the outlet noted in its report earlier this week.
Coomer filed suit on Tuesday and issued his own statement explaining why he chose to pursue litigation.
“Today I have filed a lawsuit in Colorado in an effort to unwind as much of the damage as possible done to me, my family, my life, and my livelihood as a result of the numerous false public statements that I was somehow responsible for ‘rigging’ the 2020 presidential election,” Coomer said in his letter.
“The widespread dissemination of false conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election has had devastating consequences both for me personally and for many of the thousands of American election workers and officials, both Republican and Democratic, who put aside their political beliefs to run free, fair, and transparent elections. Elections are not about politics; they are about accurately tabulating legally cast votes,” he continued.
The suit follows closely on the heels of another threat of litigation, this one from voting machine manufacturer Smartmatic which, last week, demanded certain conservative outlets retract “false and defamatory statements” linking Smartmatic to Dominion and an alleged nationwide effort to subvert the November elections. In a statement accompanying the release of Smartmatic’s demand letters, the company’s CEO accused the media outlets of engaging in “an effort to depress confidence in future elections and potentially counter the will of the voters.”