One of the lawyers who successfully represented Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann during his defamation cases has joined the legal team of Kyle Rittenhouse. The high-profile lawyer proclaimed that he believes there are as many as 15 "solid" defamation cases against "large defendants" like Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Numerous influential media outlets painted Sandmann as an aggressor in a 2019 confrontation with Native American activist Nathan Phillips following the March for Life near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Lawyer Todd McMurty was part of the legal team that represented Sandmann in their defamation lawsuits against some of the biggest and most powerful media corporations in the world. Sandmann's legal team was able to force settlements with CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post.
"I’ve been hired to head the effort to determine whom to sue, when to sue, where to sue," Todd McMurtry told Fox News. "We're going to look at everything that's been said, determine which of those comments are legally actionable and proceed from there."
McMurty declared that there are "probably 10 to 15 solid" cases against "large defendants."
McMurty hinted that Facebook and Zuckerberg could be potential targets of defamation lawsuits.
"Let's just use for an example what Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg said about [Rittenhouse]. They said that he was involved in a mass murder incident," McMurtry said. "This was not a mass murder incident. It was clearly factually false."
"To call somebody a mass murderer is seriously defamatory," he added. "And then to use the power of social media to basically … censor any views that would take opposition to that mass murderer statement is a serious effort to destroy his character. And it was seriously mistaken and seriously defamatory."
In August 2020, Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and wounded another during the Kenosha riot in Wisconsin. Rittenhouse's legal team argued that he fired his weapon in self-defense. Rittenhouse was acquitted of two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide.
Before the trial began, Facebook deemed Rittenhouse to be involved in a "mass murder," and removed all social media posts mentioning the then-17-year-old.
McMurty noted that Zuckerberg is "certainly going to be at the top" of his list "because he has an outsized voice."
"Facebook has an outsized voice, they can do a lot of damage, as compared to somebody maybe who has a small blog with 100 subscribers," he explained. "But we're going to look at everything that we have access to and that's been published, and decide which ones are actionable."
McMurty said the media's coverage of Rittenhouse will cause "perpetual reputational harm, which means that Kyle is never going to have an interaction with anybody where they don't know who he is."
"And this is going to follow him around for the rest of his life," he continued. "Everybody's going to prejudge him in every new interaction that he has with everybody for the rest of his life, and that's called perpetual reputational harm."
In February, Rittenhouse named some potential individuals who could be sued for defamation.
"Well, right now, we're looking at quite a few politicians, celebrities, athletes, Whoopi Goldberg's on the list," Rittenhouse said during a "Tucker Carlson Tonight" appearance. "She called me a 'murderer' after I was acquitted by a jury of my peers. She went on to still say that."
In November 2021, Goldberg declared that Rittenhouse committed "murder" despite him being acquitted.
Last year, Sandmann commented on Rittenhouse's situation, and how the media labeled the teenager.
"Kyle was almost immediately labeled a 'white supremacist' and a 'domestic terrorist,'" Sandmann wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Mail. "They came quickly, without hesitation, because Kyle was an easy target that they could paint in the way they wanted to."
"This is the problem with liberal media outlets in the United States," Sandmann continued. "They want to get the story first, get the most views, make the most money, and advance the agenda from liberal patrons."
"I am here for you, and if you ever would like to reach out to me, I am about the only person our age to have an idea of how the media is treating you," Sandmann noted. "The way the media has treated you is terrible, and you don't have to face it alone."