Conservative Newsmax officially apologized on Friday for spreading unsubstantiated allegations that a Dominion Voting Systems employee tampered with voting machines to sink President Donald J. Trump’s re-election bid last year.
In a statement posted on its website, Newsmax admitted that it had “found no evidence” of the conspiracy theories put forward by Mr Trump’s lawyers, supporters and others that employee Eric Coomer had Dominion voting machines, voting software and the finals manipulated. When voting, the vote counts.
“On behalf of Newsmax, we apologize for any harm our reporting on the allegations against Dr. Coomer may have caused Dr. Coomer and his family,” the statement said.
Dominion’s director of product strategy and security, Mr. Coomer, sued Newsmax and several pro-Trump figures in December after being flatly defamed in the right-wing media arena. In his lawsuit, which also cites the Trump campaign, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and the One America News Network, Mr. Coomer alleged that he had damaged his reputation, emotional distress, fear, and loss of earnings by making false allegations the entire project would have spread Trump’s world, which he planned to rig the election.
Among the allegations was an allegation that Mr. Coomer said in a phone conversation with anti-fascist activists that he would secure a victory for Joseph R. Biden Jr., the lawsuit said. In fact, Mr Coomer did not attend an “Antifa conference call” and took no action to undermine the presidential election, the lawsuit said.
Even so, hashtags demanding the arrest and exposure of Mr Coomer have been posted on social media. Mr. Trump’s son Eric posted a photo of Mr. Coomer on Twitter, along with the false claim that Mr. Coomer said he would secure a Biden win. Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s attorney, said at a press conference that Mr. Coomer was a “mean, vicious man” who was “close to Antifa,” the lawsuit said.
And Sidney Powell, who was also one of Mr. Trump’s attorneys, replied, “Yeah, that’s right” on Newsmax when asked if Mr. Coomer said, “Don’t worry about President Trump, I did already assured He will lose the election, ”the lawsuit said.
As a result, Mr. Coomer received an onslaught of abusive messages, harassment and death threats under the lawsuit listing Ms. Powell as a defendant.
“These inventions and attacks against me have changed my life, forced me to flee my home, and made my family and loved ones fear for my safety and I fear for theirs,” Coomer wrote in a published in The Denver Post column in December.
In its statement on Friday, Newsmax said it wanted to “clarify” its coverage of Mr Coomer.
“There are several facts that our viewers should know,” the statement said. “Newsmax has found no evidence that Dr. Coomer interfered in any way with Dominion voting machines or voting software, or that Dr. Coomer ever said so. Neither has Newsmax found any evidence that Dr. Coomer has ever taken part in a conversation with members of the ‘Antifa’, nor that he was directly involved in a party political organization. “
It was not immediately clear whether the settlement had been posted as part of a settlement. Mr. Coomer’s lawyers did not respond to messages on Saturday. Newsmax said it does not comment on any litigation.
“Our statement on the website is consistent with our previous statements that we saw no evidence of software tampering in the 2020 elections,” said a spokesman for Newsmax.
In December, Newsmax released a statement dispensing with a number of false claims about Dominion and Smartmatic, another voting technology company that has been at the center of conspiracy theories. The statement came after Smartmatic said it had sent Newsmax legal notices and letters demanding withdrawals for posting “false and defamatory statements”.
Newsmax’s statement confirmed that “no evidence was presented that Dominion or Smartmatic used software or reprogrammed software that manipulated the 2020 election vote.”
In February, a Newsmax host, Bob Sellers, interrupted Mike Lindell, the executive director of MyPillow and noisy Trump supporter, as he began attacking Dominion on the air. As Mr. Lindell continued speaking, Mr. Sellers read a prepared statement saying that the election results in each state had been confirmed.
“Newsmax accepts the results as legal and final,” said Sellers. “The courts also supported this view.”
Mr. Coomer’s lawsuit, filed in Colorado, differs from a series of lawsuits that Dominion Voting Systems has filed against Fox News, Mr. Giuliani, and Mr. Lindell.