Attorney for Covington Families Doesn't Stop at NYT, Targets Member of Congress with Libel Warning


The smirk heard around the world might just have the last laugh.

That smile, of course, was on the face of a high school student named Nick Sandmann who was confronted by a Native American protester in Washington, D.C.

As a chaotic scene played out with other groups hurling racial and homophobic slurs, Sandmann tried to keep his cool while protester Nathan Phillips uncomfortably pushed into his personal space.

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But that’s not how the establishment media reported it. In what is becoming one of the most infamous journalistic blunders of the last few years, countless outlets smeared Sandmann and the rest of his group from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky as bigots and racists, despite having no evidence to back this up.

That, in turn, led to countless online attacks and even death threats made against the Catholic boys from verified personalities on Twitter, which became so bad that the entire school had to shut down due to security concerns.

Now, a powerful attorney says he’s representing some Covington families, and he’s putting not just complicit journalists but even a Democratic member of Congress on notice.

Robert Barnes, a trial lawyer based in Los Angeles, said Wednesday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that he has spoken to Covington families and is working on their behalf.

“I represent families in three different groups,” he said. “I represent families of kids who were at the Lincoln Memorial who have been libeled. I represent families of kids who have been in some of the photos where people like the New York Daily News have libeled them and made false statements about what the nature of those photos were from the school. And I represent alumni who feel that their entire school and everything associated with them has been libeled, and they too want to seek legal remedy for these people who refuse to correct, retract or make any apology for their false statements.”

On Sunday, Barnes issued a warning to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman about her report on the Covington students.

The specific tweet Haberman referenced was one of many that jumped to staggering conclusions and called on kids to be expelled from their school based on scant — or nonexistent — evidence.

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Barnes also has called out numerous other verified Twitter accounts, ranging from Kathy Griffin to USA Today, for spreading demonstrably false claims about the incident.

Here’s one example:

“The crowd of students, some of whom wore MAGA caps, mocked Native Americans while chanting ‘Build the Wall’ and using derogatory language,” USA Today tweeted.

There’s absolutely no evidence that this is true. In fact, numerous videos show that the “wall” chant never occurred, and the hateful language was being directed at the Catholic students, not coming from them.

But Barnes didn’t stop there. He also singled out U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who recently made headlines as one of two new Muslim lawmakers, for spreading lies about the boys.

“The boys were protesting a woman’s right to choose & yelled ‘it’s not rape if you enjoy it.’ They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants,” Omar said in a tweet that she later deleted without an explanation or apology.

Almost everything in her post was false.

“This is libel. Retract, or get sued,” Barnes warned.

The unraveling of the Convington story is also the unraveling of the establishment media. As the fallout from the media’s eagerness to ruin lives over politics continues, pay close attention to who apologizes and who doubles-down on dishonesty. It matters, now more than ever.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.