Kyle Rittenhouse has a new lawyer joining his team — one of the attorneys who successfully represented Nicholas Sandmann in his defamation cases. According to high-profile lawyer Todd McMurtry, Rittenhouse has as many as 15 “solid” defamation cases against “large defendants” such as Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Several influential media outlets defamed then-Covington Catholic high school student Nicholas Sandmann as the aggressor in a 2019 confrontation with Native American activist Nathan Phillips near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. following the March for Life.
McMurtry was a member of the legal team that represented Sandmann in defamation lawsuits against some of the largest and most powerful media companies in the world. The team of lawyers was able to force left-wing news outlets CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post to pay out settlements in their cases.
Now, he’s moving on to help Rittenhouse in his efforts to fight back against those who defamed him.
“I’ve been hired to head the effort to determine whom to sue, when to sue, where to sue,” 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.”
The high-profile attorney proclaimed that Rittenhouse has “probably 10 to 15 solid” cases against “large defendants,” hinting that Facebook and Zuckerberg could possibly be 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 stated. “This was not a mass murder incident. It was clearly factually false.”
“To call somebody a mass murderer is seriously defamatory,” he continued. “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 of 2020, then-17-year-old Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and wounded another in self-defense after being attacked while protecting businesses and rendering aid during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was later acquitted of two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide.
Before the trial began, Facebook claimed that Rittenhouse was involved in a “mass murder,” despite video evidence and witness statements to the contrary, and removed all social media posts mentioning him.
Speaking about future lawsuits, McMurtry said 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 said. “But we’re going to look at everything that we have access to and that’s been published, and decide which ones are actionable.”
McMurtry also noted that the media’s biased coverage of Rittenhouse following the incident 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 added. “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.”
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in February, Rittenhouse named some potential individuals that he may be suing for defamation in the future.
“Well, right now, we’re looking at quite a few politicians, celebrities, athletes, Whoopi Goldberg’s on the list,” he said. “She called me a ‘murderer’ after I was acquitted by a jury of my peers. She went on to still say that.”
In 2021, Sandmann spoke out about what happened to Rittenhouse, the similarities between their situations, 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,” he 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 added. “The way the media has treated you is terrible, and you don’t have to face it alone.”