Attorney for Man Falsely Identified as #Charlottesville Attacker Says He’ll Go After Right Wing Websites
Earlier today we published an article on the right wing bloggers (Jim Hoft and Chuck C. Johnson, who is NOT ME) who recklessly and dishonestly named the wrong person as the suspect in the Charlottesville car attack on anti-Nazi protesters. Tonight we can report that the man they framed has legal counsel — and his lawyer is planning to go after these website owners with “the full power of the law.”
Andrew Sommerman, a Dallas, Texas based attorney representing the man and his family, said in an interview Sunday night that they believe the Michigan man was targeted because his father owned the Dodge Challenger years ago before legally selling the vehicle. The son drove the father’s car before the sale, according to Sommerman.
Alternative conservative online commentators appeared to single the Michigan man out because of the perception he may have had something in common with the anti-racism protesters injured on Saturday. The man’s lawyer said he’s still investigating.
“There was a clear misidentification,” Sommerman said. “The motivation behind it, I don’t quite understand yet.”
The attorney who specializes in defamation cases said he planned to use the full power of the law against those who falsely claimed that his clients had anything to do with the fatal crash.
“I don’t think it’s careless,” he said. “I think it was their intent to try to muddle” the truth of what happened in Charlottesville.
Mr. Sommerman is quite correct; this was a very deliberate tactic often used by these bloggers. They rush to blame “leftists” whenever an attack like this takes place, knowing that their cooked up false stories will immediately spread through social media and poison the well of public discourse. Both Jim Hoft and Chuck C. Johnson are notorious for this.
And Hoft and Johnson are named specifically in this article at the Detroit Free Press:
The website GotNews.com posted a story that “using internet sleuthing,” it reposted “evidence” about the Michigan man. But later, the site updated the post to say that “GotNews has retracted the article. GotNews regrets the error and apologizes” to the man and his family.
Another site, the Gateway Pundit, reprinted a tweet that named the Michigan man as the suspected driver. “This is just a report….. But look at the tweet below,” Gateway’s Jim Hoft wrote at 4:21 p.m. Saturday, naming the Michigan man in the headline.
But now that post has been removed from the Gateway website. The Free Press found a cached version of the posting online.