By Tierney Sneed and Marshall Cohen | CNN
Far-right TV network One America News and one of its on-air personalities settled a defamation lawsuit brought by a former executive at Dominion Voting Systems, the election technology company that was falsely accused of rigging the 2020 election, according to new court filings.
Dominion’s former top security official Eric Coomer sued OAN and its correspondent Chanel Rion in the wake of the 2020 election, when they repeatedly peddled unfounded claims that he and Dominion were involved in massive election fraud in 2020 by flipping millions of votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
Terms of the out-of-court settlement, which was made public in a court filing, weren’t immediately available. The filing said OAN and Rion “have fully and finally settled the disputes” with Coomer, but did not provide any other details. Court records indicate that the deal was brokered late last week.
A spokesperson and attorney for OAN did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment. Coomer’s attorney declined to comment.
The new court filing indicates that other figures that Coomer sued — including Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell — haven’t reached a settlement yet and are still active defendants in the case.
By negotiating a deal with Coomer, OAN is resolving one of several pending lawsuits tied to the 2020 presidential election that could lead to dire financial consequences for the small network.
The conspiracy-peddling channel still faces two blockbuster defamation suits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, voting technology companies that OAN falsely claimed had rigged the election against Trump. Those cases are still in the discovery phase, and the litigation is expected to stretch well into next year, barring a settlement.
As a correspondent for OAN, Rion has been at the forefront of the network’s pro-Trump propaganda, and she hosted a special called “Dominion-izing the Vote,” which promoted debunked conspiracies about the 2020 election results.
Coomer’s Colorado-based litigation forced several top Trump allies to sit for depositions about their bogus fraud claims. Publicly released excerpts shed light on how little vetting these Trump allies did before peddling the allegations on social media and on television, including on OAN and Fox News.
In the wake of the 2020 election, Dominion, Smartmatic and Coomer have transformed from relatively unknown figures to prominent players in the effort to seek accountability for Trump’s election lies.
But the sprawling litigation has also revealed some unflattering comments Coomer privately made about Dominion, including a 2019 email where he said “our products suck” and a message he sent weeks before the 2020 election saying the company’s software was “riddled with bugs.”
Dominion famously reached a $787 million settlement with Fox News earlier this year, after it sued the right-wing network over similar election-related lies.
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