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Dominion worker sues Trump campaign and conservative media – Times Colonist

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NEW YORK — An election systems worker driven into hiding by death threats has filed a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its lawyers and some conservative media figures and outlets.

Eric Coomer, security director at the Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems, said he wants his life back after being named in false charges as a key actor in “rigging” the election for President-elect Joe Biden. There has been no evidence that the election was rigged.

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His lawsuit, filed Tuesday in district court in Denver County, Colorado, names the Trump campaign, lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, the website Gateway Pundit, Colorado conservative activist Joseph Oltmann, and conservative media Newsmax and One America News Network.

“I have been thrust into the public spotlight by people with political and financial agendas but, at heart, I am a private person,” Coomer said in a statement.

“While I intend to do everything I can to recapture my prior lifestyle, I have few illusions in this regard,” he said. “And so, today, I put my trust in the legal process, which has already exposed the truth of the 2020 presidential election.”

Dominion, which provided vote-counting equipment to several states, has denied accusations that it switched Trump votes in Biden’s favour, and no evidence has emerged to back those charges up.

Dominion and another voting technology company, Smartmatic, have begun to fight back against being named in baseless conspiracy theories. After legal threats were made, Fox News Channel and Newsmax in recent days have aired segments that challenge false allegations made about the companies on those networks.

There was no immediate comment from those named in the lawsuit.

His lawyers said Coomer has become “the face of the false claims.” Coomer’s name first got public exposure in a podcast by Oltmann, who claimed to have heard a strategy call of Antifa activists. When the prospect of a Trump victory was brought up, Oltmann said a man identified as “Eric from Dominion” supposedly said “don’t worry about the election, Trump is not going to win. I made … sure of that,” adding an expletive.

In an opinion piece written for the Denver Post, Coomer wrote that he has no connections to Antifa, was never on any call and the idea that there is some recording of him is “wholly fabricated.”

The fact-checking website Snopes said Oltmann hasn’t co-operated in any attempts to verify his claims.

Oltmann also claimed that Coomer made anti-Trump comments on Facebook. The lawsuit acknowledged that Coomer made comments critical of the president on his private Facebook page; he now says his page is inactive.

Oltmann’s charges spread after he was interviewed by Malkin and Gateway Pundit. Eric Trump tweeted about them. OANN, and its White House correspondent Chanel Rion, reported on them. Powell, misidentifying Coomer as working for Smartmatic, said at a news conference that Coomer’s “social media is filled with hatred” for Trump, and she later repeated her charges in a Newsmax interview.

Giuliani, at a news conference, called Coomer “a vicious, vicious man. He wrote horrible things about the president … He is completely warped,” according to the lawsuit.

Fox News Channel, another network popular with Trump supporters, is not being sued and Coomer actually uses Fox’s Tucker Carlson to buttress his case. The lawsuit notes a scheduled Powell appearance on Carlson’s show did not happen after she could not provide evidence for her charges.

Coomer told The Associated Press earlier this month that right-wing websites posted his photo, home address and details about his family. Death threats began almost immediately.

He said his father, an Army veteran, received a handwritten letter asking, “How does it feel to have a traitor for a son.”

“It’s terrifying,” Coomer said. “I’ve worked in international elections in all sorts of post-conflict countries where election violence is real and people are getting killed over it. And I feel that we’re on the verge of that.”

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This story was updated on Jan. 4, 2020, to correct that neither Fox News Channel or Newsmax retracted stories about the companies Dominion Voting Systems or Smartmatic.

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Social Media Buzz: Norway's Warnings, New Jersey Smokers, CDU – Bloomberg

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UK SMOKE FREE

What’s buzzing on social media this morning:

Norway warned Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill. The country reported 29 people over the age of 75 who died after taking their first Covid-19 vaccination shot.

  • Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway, and Pfizer said the companies are working with the Norwegian regulator to investigate the deaths.
  • The reported deaths were “elderly people with serious basic disorders.” Norway’s recommendation does not mean younger, healthier people should avoid being vaccinated.

In New Jersey, smokers are now eligible for Covid-19 shots under the state’s vaccine expansion plan. No proof is needed. Smoking and obesity are among the conditions listed under “individuals at high risk,” the plan shows.

Germany’s governing CDU party elected Armin Laschet as next leader, opting for the candidate who most resembles departing Chancellor Angela Merkel in policy and style.

President-elect Joe Biden picked Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Barack Obama, as deputy secretary of state. A regular critic of President Donald Trump on Twitter, Sherman was the lead U.S. negotiator in talks that led to the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

The Maryland Department of Transportation is suspending its MARC commuter train service ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration amid threats of unrest.

The Justice Department executed Dustin Higgs, 48, early Saturday, the 13th and final federal inmate scheduled to die during President Donald Trump’s term. The opinion of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the three justices who dissented, trended on Twitter, including in a post by Helen Prejean, the Roman Catholic nun portrayed by Susan Sarandon in the 1995 film “Dead Man Walking” based on Prejean’s book of the same name.

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    Social Media Buzz: Norway's Warnings, New Jersey Smokers, CDU – BNN

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    (Bloomberg) — What’s buzzing on social media this morning:

    Norway warned Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill. The country reported 29 people over the age of 75 who died after taking their first Covid-19 vaccination shot.

    • Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway, and Pfizer said the companies are working with the Norwegian regulator to investigate the deaths.
    • The reported deaths were “elderly people with serious basic disorders.” Norway’s recommendation does not mean younger, healthier people should avoid being vaccinated.

    In New Jersey, smokers are now eligible for Covid-19 shots under the state’s vaccine expansion plan. No proof is needed. Smoking and obesity are among the conditions listed under “individuals at high risk,” the plan shows.

    Germany’s governing CDU party elected Armin Laschet as next leader, opting for the candidate who most resembles departing Chancellor Angela Merkel in policy and style.

    President-elect Joe Biden picked Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Barack Obama, as deputy secretary of state. A regular critic of President Donald Trump on Twitter, Sherman was the lead U.S. negotiator in talks that led to the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

    The Maryland Department of Transportation is suspending its MARC commuter train service ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration amid threats of unrest.

    The Justice Department executed Dustin Higgs, 48, early Saturday, the 13th and final federal inmate scheduled to die during President Donald Trump’s term. The opinion of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the three justices who dissented, trended on Twitter, including in a post by Helen Prejean, the Roman Catholic nun portrayed by Susan Sarandon in the 1995 film “Dead Man Walking” based on Prejean’s book of the same name.

    ©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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    How Social Media Can Approach Free Speech During A Polarizing Time – NPR

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    NPR’s Scott Simon speaks to Daphne Keller, Platform Regulation Director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center, about how social media companies should handle free speech.

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