The lawyer representing Salida-based Dominion Voting Systems former executive Dr. Eric Coomer has added to the defamation suits already filed on his behalf, filing a defamation lawsuit last weekend against conservative Colorado media figure Randy Corporon and conservative broadcaster Salem Media Group, which owns Denver radio station 710 KNUS, where Corporon hosts the ‘Wake Up with Randy Corporon’ show.
Coomer, the former Vice President of Dominion Voting Systems, has been the subject of unfounded 2020 election fraud claims, which originated with Colorado Springs-based Joel Oltmann. Oltmann alleged that Coomer made claims on a “Antifa “Conference Call” that would make sure Trump would not win the election (Oltmann later said it was a Zoom call). Coomer has repeatedly denied accusations about participation in any such call, or in the content alleged by Oltmann, nor does there appear to be any proof of such a claim.
The lawsuit claims Corporon was “among the first Republican officials in the nation (perhaps the first political commentator) 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, he began to repeat the claims, although he is alleged to have had no evidence to back them up.
According to the lawsuit: “After it became clear that Donald Trump had lost the election, the former President, his campaign, his agents, and many of his supporters began alleging widespread voter fraud and perpetuating baseless conspiracies about why President Trump lost. Salem Media and its various radio hosts immediately fell in line, and 710 KNUS quickly became an enthusiastic and consistent promoter of Oltmann’s outlandish claims as part of a larger effort to cast doubt on the integrity of the election.”
The legal action is similar to prior lawsuits Coomer filed against former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, Trump-associated lawyers, the conservative Colorado commentator Joel Oltmann and other conservative media outlets.
The new lawsuit alleges that Dr. Coomer was thrust into the national spotlight by Corporon and Denver-based 710 KNUS which “invaded his privacy, threatened his security, and fundamentally defamed his reputation through a relentless election fraud campaign.”
Oltmann is 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.
This Colorado law is meant to protect journalists and members of the public from being targeted by frivolous, retaliatory lawsuits aimed at stifling free speech. But how far this goes is being questioned. Corporon is a Colorado Republican National Committee person, who is the lawyer for The Gateway Pundit. That far-right website has become well known for publishing conspiracy theories. The law is intended to protect fact-based journalism, not shield disinformation.
“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,” reads the lawsuit. The information was spread far and wide, including by many of the defendants in Coomer’s original lawsuit.
The lawsuit goes on to say that Oltmann “was featured in multiple lengthy interviews with various (KNUS) hosts during November and Dec. 2020, including Randy Corporon, Peter Boyles, and George Brauchler and Deborah Flora. Oltmann has continued repeating his false claims, accusing Coomer of engaging in criminal conduct.” (Flora is Director of Public Policy for Salem Radio Denver and the president of Parents United America, launched “to galvanize parents to stand for their right to be the primary authority in their children’s lives”)
The lawsuit points out that Corporon has made a reputation for false claims, from claiming that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, to general coverage of the 2020 election as fraudulent. The lawsuit points out that former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, got on the same show and actually corrected some of Oltmann’s claims. One week later, Corporon brought onto his show Colorado Clerk’s Association Executive Director Republican Matt Crane, (former Arapahoe County Clerk and a Republican) who said he had a high regard for Coomer’s professional ethics and had no reason to doubt him.
This did not stop Corporon or Salem Media from spreading the false claims and continuing the character assault. In fact, the lawsuit says “spreading Oltmann’s claims, resulting in “an onslaught of harassment and credible death threats,” was not only dangerous to his person, it mocked his prior legal defamation suits against Trump and others.
“He is at risk in his home or in going to work,” continued the lawsuit, filed by Coomer’s Attorney Charlie Cain. “His presence puts his family, friends, colleagues, and his community in danger.”
Neither Corporon nor Salem Media have commented on the suit.