Christopher Krebs, a former top Trump administration cybersecurity official who defended the security of this year’s presidential election, filed suit against attorney Joe diGenova, the Trump campaign and Newsmax for defamation.
Krebs’ lawsuit stems from a segment on The Howie Carr Show, which Newsmax runs. On the show, diGenova said that Krebs should suffer the same fate as those convicted of treason and “should be drawn and quartered,” and “taken out at dawn and shot.”
As he has made baseless claims of electoral fraud, Trump fired Krebs after he vouched for the security and integrity of the election. As a Homeland Security official, Krebs had responsibility for securing the election. He signed on to a statement of election professionals calling the vote the “most secure in American history.”
After diGenova’s comment, Krebs’ lawsuit states, “an angry mob immediately bombarded” him “with a barrage of death threats and harassment, which continue to this day.”
“The defendant’s threats have upended plaintiff’s life, as well as his family’s security, and caused serious fear, distress, suffering and even physical damage,” the lawsuit states.
DiGenova later said that his comments were “sarcastic and made in jest” and that he wished Krebs “no harm.”
Krebs’ complaint, filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court, contends that the objective in making threats against him was to deter others from diverging from the Trump campaign narrative that the election was rigged, and that it also was to “fraudulently entice” Trump campaign supporters to donate money for future political activities.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction against Newsmax to remove video of diGenova’s remarks. It also alleges civil conspiracy. It also accuses diGenova and the Trump campaign of intentional infliction of emotional distress, and Newsmax of aiding and abetting.
“As defendant Newsmax’s CEO recently revealed in a recent interview with The New York Times, feeding viewers’ rage over the 2020 election and pleasing the campaign are two ingredients to defendant Newsman’s financial success,” the lawsuit states. “Alleging treason and calling for the plaintiff’s execution advanced both of those interests.”
A Trump campaign spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesperson for Newsmax TV said that diGenova “appeared by phone on that simulcast as a guest and made comments that were inappropriate. Mr. diGenova is not a paid contributor to Newsmax and has no official ties to him.
The network added, “Mr. diGenova has appeared on Newsmax since then on two occasions stating
“he made the comment ‘facetiously’ and apologized. He stated that he intended no harm to Mr. Krebs. Newsmax believes that claims made by Mr. Krebs in his suit of a ‘conspiracy’ and defamation against him are a threat to free speech and his legal action endangers all media organizations that seek an open discourse of ideas and news.”
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