Nicholas Sandmann, the Catholic high-school boy falsely accused of accosting a “Native American elder” and “Vietnam veteran” at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18 after the March for Life, has fired the first shot in the battle to repair his reputation.
Yesterday, Sandmann’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post, which, despite a request to do so, has refused to retract myriad false and defamatory claims about Sandmann’s “confrontation” with Nathan Phillips, the unkempt, professional left-wing activist who repeatedly lied about that day and his military service.
Sandmann’s attorneys want the Post to cough up $250 million, the same price that Jeff Bezos, “the world’s richest person,” the lawsuit notes, paid for the leftist rag in 2013.
The lawsuit claims the Post smeared Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, as part of its well-known bias against President Trump: “The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap.”
The Post defamed Sandmann with “reckless disregard for the truth,” by not fully investigating the events of January 18, which began when the Black Hebrew Israelites, “a known hate group — began verbally assaulting and taunting Nicholas and his CovCath classmates with, including but not limited to, threats of physical violence and vitriol, calling the students ‘incest babies,’ ‘dirty ass crackers,’ and ‘future school shooters.’”
The black radicals also taunted the Indian protesters, who ignored the blacks and instead confronted the boys. “Phillips, a phony war hero,” the lawsuit notes, “was too intimidated” to confront “the true troublemakers, and instead chose to focus on a group of innocent children — a much safer endeavor for activist tactics of intimidation.”
The lawsuit refutes Philips’ repeated “false statements” about himself and Sandmann. Phillips “specifically confronted Nicholas, Phillips never made any attempt to move past, around, or away from Nicholas even though he could have done so at any time,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Nicholas did not confront” or “move toward” Phillips. Nor did he “make any movement to block Phillips’ path or prevent Phillips from physically moving wherever he wished.”
On the contrary, the lawsuit alleges, the Indian “war hero” confronted Sandmann.
Despite these truths, “on January 19, 20 and 21, the Post ignored the truth and falsely accused Nicholas of, among other things, ‘accost[ing]’ Phillips by ‘suddenly swarm[ing]’ him in a ‘threaten[ing]’ and ‘physically intimidat[ing]’ manner as Phillips ‘and other activists were wrapping up the march and preparing to leave,’ ‘block[ing]’ Phillips’ path, refusing to allow Phillips ‘to retreat,’ ‘taunting the dispersing indigenous crowd,’ chanting ‘build that wall,’ ‘Trump2020,’ or ‘go back to Africa,’ and otherwise engaging in racist and improper conduct which ended only ‘when Phillips and other activists walked away.’”
Although “a plethora of relevant video was also available online,” the lawsuit alleges, the Post “rushed to lead the mainstream media to assassinate Nicholas’ character and bully him, publishing their first article no later than 1:37 p.m. January 19.”
At Least Six Articles Repeated False Claims
The Post published no less than six articles that contained multiple defamatory falsehoods under such defamatory and inflammatory headlines as “‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on MAGA-hat wearing teens who surrounded him,” “Marcher’s accost by boys in MAGA caps draws ire,” “‘Opposed to the dignity of the human person’: Kentucky Catholic diocese condemns teens who taunted vet at March for Life.”
The articles repeatedly and with reckless disregard for the truth and facts, the lawsuit alleges, smeared Sandman as a racist who physically assaulted or intimidated Phillips, which violated the standards of his Catholic faith. The Post also repeatedly and falsely reported that the students chanted “build the wall.”
“The Post had obvious reasons to doubt the veracity of its purported firsthand sources,” the lawsuit alleges, “because they are manifestly biased and because the short video evidence on which the Post relied did not show Nicholas or the students swarming Phillips, uttering the chants or slurs they were accused of making, or Nicholas or the students blocking Phillips’ egress.”
As well, “the Post continued to publish its False and Defamatory Accusations with actual knowledge of falsity, having reviewed video evidence and statements of Nicholas Sandmann contradicting its False and Defamatory Accusations.”
And again, the Post refused to retract its defamatory claims despite a request from Sandmann’s attorneys well after the truth about Phillips and his war party had emerged.
Hilariously, a spokesman for the Post said “we plan to mount a vigorous defense.”
Photo: AP Images