Oltmann repeated his claim in interviews with several of the media defendants. The report also was referred to during a post-election news conference by Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani. Trump tweeted a link to an Online News Network report on the claims.
Coomer's attorney, Charles Cain, played a series of short video clips allegedly showing Colorado activist Michelle Malkin, Giuliani and others acknowledging they didn’t fact-check or challenge Oltmann’s account either in interviews with Oltmann or before publicly citing the allegations.
“You can’t just purposely avoid the truth, put your blinders on and somehow isolate yourself” in publicizing Oltmann’s account, Cain said of what he called “a pre-conceived story line.”
Defendants’ attorneys equated their clients’ actions with someone retweeting or re-publicizing subject matter already in the public domain and, because it pertained to the issue of election integrity, those actions were protected by the First Amendment. They insisted their clients had no reason to doubt Oltmann's account.
Coomer dropped Newsmax from the lawsuit after Newsmax apologized for airing the false allegations.
Coomer’s attorneys noted that during a deposition, Oltmann refused to divulge details on how he came to surreptitiously participate in the alleged call with antifa activists or learned of Coomer’s scrubbed Facebook posts.
Attorney Steve Skarnulis played a video excerpt of Giuliani describing Coomer as “a vicious, vicious man” during a post-election news conference on vote fraud.
Giuliani said in a deposition this year that he was working around the clock at the time, pursuing numerous allegations of vote fraud, and wasn’t able to order a preliminary investigation of the Oltmann-Coomer affair.
Giuliani’s attorney, Joseph Sibley, argued that it was plausible that someone in Coomer’s position could influence election integrity and that Giuliani was relying on reputable news outlets in his news conference statements. He insisted that public comment on a public matter is protected speech.
Despite repeated claims and lawsuits, there has been no evidence that the 2020 election was rigged or of widespread fraud.
Judge Marie Avery Moses was to eventually rule on the motion to dismiss.