Attorneys for the MAGA-hat-wearing teen claim that CNN and the Washington Post permanently ruined their client’s reputation.
Trump supporter and Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann is planning to sue CNN for a quarter-billion dollars, alleging the network aired “vicious” and “direct attacks” against the teenager.
USA Today reports the announcement was made by Sandmann’s attorney, L. Lin Wood.
“CNN will be sued next week, and the dollar figure in the CNN case may be higher than it was in The Washington Post,” Wood told Fox on Sunday, adding that CNN “was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas.”
“They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites—totally false—saying things like that Nicholas was part of a group that was threatening the black Hebrew Israelites, that they thought it was going to be a lynching,” Wood said.
According to Wood, they plan on filing suit by Tuesday “at the latest.”
As USA Today notes, the lawsuits against CNN and the Post stem from a January stand-off at the Lincoln Memorial. Left-leaning news media circulated images of Sandmann staring down an elderly Native American activist, appearing to taunt the man as he beat a drum and sang.
Surrounded by other Covington Catholic students, Sandman and his classmates chanted and laughed as the man continued singing a “peace song.”
Later, says USA Today, footage was released ‘giving a more complete picture of how the event unfolded.’ An investigation conducted on behalf of the Diocese of Covington, KY, found that neither Sandmann nor his classmates had instigated the standoff or made any “offensive or racist comments.”
Some of the report’s conclusion have since been disputed.
However, reporting suggests that the Covington students were aggravated, at least in part, by a group of black Israelites shouting profane and intolerant slogans at the boys and native activist.
“If you took the time to look at the full context of what happened that day, Nicholas Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong,” Wood told Fox. “He was, as I’ve said to others, he was the only adult in the room.
“But you have a situation where CNN couldn’t resist the idea that here’s a guy, a young boy, with a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap on. So they go after him,” Wood said.
Sandmann’s suit against the Post accuses the paper of defamation, saying its reporting implied that the teenager “assaulted and/or physically intimidated” the activist and “instigated a confrontation with [him] and subsequently engaged in racist conduct.”
Among the pieces identified as defamatory by Sandmann’s attorneys said, “Surrounding him are a throng of young, mostly white teenage boys […] with one standing about a foot from the drummer’s face, wearing a relentless smirk.”
Wood says the damage dealt to his client’s reputation is far higher than any potential award.
He and his client are seeking $50 million in reputational damages from the post, plus $200 million in punitive damages. Wood expects to file for the same $200 million against CNN, but with greater punitive requests.