In a political turn of events against the Washington Post, the family of the Covington High School student who was at the center of an attack against Trump supporters last month announced Tuesday that they are suing the paper for $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Kentucky on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann, according to Fox News. The lawsuit is accusing The Post of practicing a “modern-day form of McCarthyism” and “using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles… to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the president.”
Washington Post spokesperson Kris Coratti notified Fox News in an email that they are “reviewing a copy of the lawsuit, and we plan to mount a vigorous defense.”
Sandmann’s attorneys sent preservation letters to more than 50 media organizations, celebrities, and politicians earlier this month, including The Post, The New York Times, CNN, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and actors Alyssa Milano and Jim Carrey, which could possibly be the first step in defamation and libel lawsuits.
Investigators hired by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington concluded last week that the students did not instigate the confrontation with Phillips. Bishop Roger Foys, who was initially convinced of The Post’s narrative of Sandmann’s misbehavior, wrote in a letter to parents that they had been “placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening.”
Sandmann first entered The Post’s crosshairs as a political target after a video of him standing in front of a Native American man while wearing a red “MAGA” hat. Nathan Phillips, who was attending a Native American rally that day and was standing face-to-face with Sandmann, was beating a drum and singing. Phillips later demanded Sandmann to apologize for his behavior, but other videos of the event showed Sandmann simply standing his ground and remaining silent. In their original story, The Washington Post illustrated Sandmann shouting chants at Phillips, such as “Trump 2020,” “Build the Wall,” and others.