OAN and Chanel Rion Settle Lawsuit Over Their Bonkers Claims About a Dominion Exec

Tom Williams
Tom Williams

Far-right network One America News and its star correspondent Chanel Rion have settled a defamation lawsuit with Eric Coomer, a former executive for voting software firm Dominion Voting Systems whom the conspiratorial channel falsely reported as working in concert with antifa activists to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump.

Terms of the settlement, which was reached last week in a Colorado district court, were not released.

“Plaintiff Eric Coomer, Ph.D. and Defendants Herring Networks, Inc. dba One America News Network and Chanel Rion have fully and finally settled the disputes among them concerning Plaintiff's claims against Herring Networks, Inc. dba One America News Network and Chanel Rion only,” the Aug. 30 filing reads.

Representatives for OAN and Rion did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This Is the Absolute Cringiest Right-Wing Media Reaction to Trump’s Arrest

According to Coomer’s lawsuit, which was filed in late 2020 against Trump’s campaign and several conservative media outlets and figures, he became “the face of the false claims” that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election by flipping millions of votes from Trump to then-candidate Joe Biden.

Days after the election, Colorado conservative activist Joe Oltmann told far-right podcaster Michelle Malkin that he listened to an “antifa conference call” in which Coomer assured the leftist activists that the fix was in against Trump. “Don’t worry about the election, Trump is not going to win. I made fucking sure of that,” Oltmann claimed Coomer said on the call.

Oltmann’s claims, which have never once been corroborated, soon caught fire in Trumpworld—especially as the then-president’s legal team was spreading wild conspiracy theories about voting machines changing ballots to ensure a Biden victory. Eventually, Eric Trump tweeted out the claims, and Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell publicly blasted Coomer as a “vicious man.”

OAN, meanwhile, helped propel the false claims about Coomer when Rion made a multi-part video called “Dominion-izing the Vote” starring a conspiracist who alleged that Coomer “could be tried for treason” because he was “responsible for putting his finger on the scales of our election.” The ex-president shared the video on social media and YouTube.

In his lawsuit, Coomer said he was forced to go into hiding because of the death threats he received due to the baseless claims spread by right-wing media and Team Trump. Noting OAN and Rion had “no credible evidence of any ‘Antifa conference call,’” Coomer said that they still “knowingly and recklessly published false statements about Dr. Coomer to support a preconceived conspiracy that the election was fraudulent.”

Newsmax, another MAGA cable channel that trafficked in election fraud lies after Trump’s loss, settled with Coomer in April 2021, issuing a public apology and retraction at the time.

“There are several facts that our viewers should be aware of. Newsmax has found no evidence that Dr. Coomer interfered with Dominion voting machines or voting software in any way, nor that Dr. Coomer ever claimed to have done so,” Newsmax said in a statement that was broadcast on the air. “Nor has Newsmax found any evidence that Dr. Coomer ever participated in any conversation with members of ‘Antifa,’ nor that he was directly involved with any partisan political organization.”

Coomer still has active litigation against several other co-defendants in the lawsuit, including Oltmann, Giuliani, Powell, Malkin, the ex-president and his son Eric, far-right website The Gateway Pundit, and others.

This isn’t the first time OAN has settled a defamation lawsuit for airing bogus election claims on its airwaves. The right-wing channel reached a settlement agreement last year with two Georgia election workers, who have since won their suit against Giuliani, over claims they conducted widespread voter fraud.

“The results of this investigation indicate that Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ‘Shaye’ Moss did not engage in ballot fraud or criminal misconduct,” the network stated. “A legal matter with this network and the two election workers has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties through a fair and reasonable settlement.”

While the network has come to terms with Coomer, it still faces billion-dollar lawsuits from Dominion and fellow voting machine firm Smartmatic for peddling election lies following Trump’s defeat. Fox News paid a whopping $787.5 million to Dominion in April to settle allegations that the conservative cable giant knowingly amplified baseless election conspiracies to boost sagging ratings.

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, nearly every cable and pay-TV provider has dropped OAN from its lineup, resulting in a massive loss of revenue and exposure.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.