Surprising No One, Giuliani Says He Got His Intel About Election Fraud Off of Facebook

Surprising No One, Giuliani Says He Got His Intel About Election Fraud Off of Facebook
Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Just like your misguided boomer parents and estranged family members, Rudy Giuliani gleaned his supposed “evidence” of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election from unvetted posts on Facebook and other social media platforms.

That’s according to an Aug. 14 deposition in a defamation lawsuit against the Trump campaign from former Dominion Voting Systems employee Eric Coomer, MSNBC reported this week. It’s one of several lawsuits Coomer has filed against prominent conservatives who peddled baseless conspiracy theories that he worked with antifa to “rig” the election in favour of President Joe Biden.

In the filing, Giuliani, former personal attorney to Donald Trump, admits under oath that some of his claims about Coomer’s alleged role in “The Big Steal” came from social media posts, most likely on Facebook though he wasn’t entirely sure because “those social media posts get all one to me.”

He went on to say he never reached out to Coomer or Dominion to fact-check the information he saw online before sharing it in a Nov. 19 press conference where he and other conservative figures, including another Trump lawyer at the centre of several election-related defamation lawsuits, Sidney Powell, pushed a slew of unfounded claims about widespread election fraud.

When lawyers asked Giuliani whether he had any other sources to back up his allegations against Coomer, he responded: “Right now, I can’t recall anything else that I laid eyes on.”

In the wake of the election, Coomer became the unwitting scapegoat for a wave of voting conspiracists and indignant Trump supporters. Right-wing podcast host Joseph Oltmann initially sparked the conspiracy theory with claims that he had infiltrated an “antifa conference call” (whatever the hell that means) where Coomer, then the director of product strategy and security for the Denver-based voting machine manufacturer, bragged about rigging the election. Why Oltmann chose to name Coomer specifically remains unclear, though it’s believed he was targeted because of his job title and anti-Trump posts he made on his personal Facebook account.

Court papers filed by Coomer’s lawyers claim that Giuliani spent “virtually no time” investigating these allegations before he and Powell echoed them at the November press conference. It’s really worth a read if you have a second; this shit might as well be the script for a Saturday Night Live sketch.

After being named by Trump’s lawyers, Coomer was targeted by conspiracy theorists calling for his head. He went into hiding one week after the presidential election out of fear for his safety, later filing multiple defamation lawsuits in Colorado state district court against the Trump campaign, Trump’s lawyers, One America News Network, Newsmax, and other right-wing media networks and figures that spread these unfounded allegations.