Trump, Sidney Powell Among Those Asking Court to Halt Defamation Suit From Dominion Worker

Attorneys representing President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, its onetime attorney Rudy Giuliani, onetime campaign attorney Sidney Powell and conservative media members have asked a judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by a former employee of Dominion Voting Systems.

Former Dominion Security Director Eric Coomer argued in his lawsuit that he feared for his life because of death threats he received after the Trump campaign and its allies circulated an unconfirmed rumor that Coomer told members of the Antifa movement in a pre-election phone call that the vote could be rigged to elect Joe Biden.

Coomer's Denver District Court lawsuit names the Trump campaign, Giuliani, Powell, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, the website Gateway Pundit, Colorado activist Joseph Oltmann and One America News Network.

Powell and Giuliani named Coomer in post-election press conferences regarding fraud allegations.

"This case is not about whether Coomer was on the call in September 2020. This is about whether Oltmann reasonably believes that Coomer was on the call," attorney Andrew DeFranco said. "He believes it to this day."

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

Powell, Giuliani, Dominion defamation lawsuit
Attorneys representing the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and others have asked a judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by a former employee of Dominion Voting Systems. Pictured, Giuliani points to a map as he speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election, inside the Republican National Committee headquarters on November 19, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Also pictured, at center, is Powell. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Despite repeated claims and lawsuits, there has been no evidence that the 2020 election was rigged or of widespread fraud.

The case centered around reporting of the alleged September 2020 phone call by Oltmann.

His attorney said that Oltmann identified someone referred to as "Eric" on the purported call as Coomer by Googling the name and Dominion. Oltmann also found private anti-Trump social media posts by Coomer, said DeFranco.

Oltmann publicized his findings on a podcast, and he was both interviewed about it and it was picked up by the other defendants, the lawsuit alleges. Both President Trump and his son Eric Trump tweeted references to the report as the campaign launched ultimately unsuccessful lawsuits after the election alleging there was widespread voter fraud.

Defranco, Giuliani attorney Joe Sibley and Trump campaign attorney Eric Holway argued their clients didn't act with malice, that the report was public knowledge, and that Coomer was a public figure — all conditions that should preclude Coomer from prevailing in his defamation suit.

Judge Marie Avery Moses repeatedly asked defense counsel if their clients investigated or tried to fact-check Oltmann's claim. Counsel replied that their clients had a First Amendment right to address a report already in the public realm. Some insisted that there was no coordination or conspiracy against Coomer or Dominion, as Coomer's lawsuit contends.

"There were serious doubts about election fraud at the time. The context is important," Holway said.

Dominion, which provided vote-counting equipment to several states, has denied accusations that it switched Trump votes in Biden's favor.

Coomer has insisted he has no connections to Antifa, was never on any call and that there is a recording of him is "wholly fabricated."

He also has said that right-wing websites posted his photo, home address and details about his family. Death threats began almost immediately.

Coomer's attorneys said they will present evidence of a pre-conceived narrative of election fraud looking for a target and that the defendants found one in Coomer. The hearing to dismiss his lawsuit continues Thursday.