"He should be drawn and quartered," Joe diGenova said last week of Chris Krebs, until recently the cybersecurity official in charge of the nation's election security. "Taken out at dawn and shot." Krebs' transgression, in diGenova's eyes, was contradicting President Trump's claim that the presidential election was stolen, which the campaign lawyer said merited the same punishment as treason. On Tuesday, Krebs filed a defamation lawsuit against diGenova and the Trump campaign, the Washington Post reports. Trump fired Krebs last month after he defended the election as the nation's most secure ever. The comments by diGenova on Newsmax, which also is named in the suit, sparked attacks on social media that caused Krebs' family concern for their safety, the filing says. "Daddy’s going to get executed?" one of his young children asked, according to the suit.
"Threats like these will not stop me from speaking out," Krebs said. "I will take the necessary steps to protect myself and my family." Although diGenova declined to comment on the suit, per the Post, he said last week that he was just joking in the Newsmax interview. "I, of course, wish Mr. Krebs no harm,” he said. "This was hyperbole in a political discourse." The threats prompted Krebs and his family to leave home, per the Hill. The suit accuses the lawyer and the campaign of "a calculated and pernicious conspiracy," per the New York Times, in which Newsmax, by spreading false accusations, "prompts endorsements from President Trump, increases ratings, supports the political goals of the campaign, and helps raise more money from duped supporters." Krebs wants a jury trial and is seeking punitive damages and an injunction ordering Newsmax to take down video of diGenova's comments about him. (Read more Chris Krebs stories.)