facebook linkedin twitter

Judge Declines to Toss Blankenship Suit Against Donald Trump Jr.

September 3, 2021 by Dan McCue
Don Blankenship

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal Judge in West Virginia has refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit filed by one-time coal magnate Don Blankenship against Donald Trump Jr.

The lawsuit stems from comments Trump Jr., son of former President Donald Trump, made about Blankenship during the 2018 U.S. Senate race in West Virginia.

That race ended, of course, with the re-election of Sen. Joe Manchin.

But throughout the race, Trump Jr. harped on Blankenship, the former CEO of the Massey Energy coal company, noting he served a year behind bars for his role in a 2010 mining disaster.

The explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia killed 38 people and was the deadliest in American coal mining in about 40 years. 

Jurors convicted Blankenship of a misdemeanor charge of “routine, willful violations” of mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, but acquitted him of three felony charges that could have led to a prison term of 30 years.

In his lawsuit, Blankenship argues Trump Jr. wrongly defamed him by describing him as a convicted “felon,” Blankenship was incarcerated because of a misdemeanor conviction, not a felony conviction.

In one of his anti-Blankenship tweets, Trump Jr. said of Manchin, “He’s probably never run against a felon.” 

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver, Jr., who was appointed by President Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s held that Blankenship’s lawsuit can move forward.

THe 95-year-old jurist wrote that, “based on this article that Trump Jr. himself cites within his own quote tweet, there is a plausible inference that he had knowledge of the plaintiff’s conviction history in association with the mine explosion, and in particular that the conviction was a misdemeanor, not a felony.”

Blankenship, who has since left the Republican party, lost the 2018 GOP senate primary in his state to Republican Patrick Morrisey.

The coal executive ran for president as a member of the right-wing Constitution Party in 2020.

Law

September 13, 2021
by Dan McCue
Fencing Surrounding Capitol to Return Ahead of Sept. 18 Rally

The head of the U.S. Capitol Police confirmed on Monday that fencing surrounding the U.S. Capitol in the wake of... Read More

The head of the U.S. Capitol Police confirmed on Monday that fencing surrounding the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege on the building will return ahead of a follow up rally by Trump supporters on Sept. 18. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger... Read More

September 10, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Federalist Society Event Focuses on Competition and Antitrust Issues

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden’s controversial executive order on competition was the topic being discussed at a Federalist Society event... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden’s controversial executive order on competition was the topic being discussed at a Federalist Society event held Thursday.  The July 9 Executive Order 14036 entitled, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” seeks to address competition issues and reform the antitrust laws governing... Read More

September 9, 2021
by Dan McCue
Justice Department Sues to Block Texas Abortion Law

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday sued the state of Texas over a newly enacted law that prohibits... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday sued the state of Texas over a newly enacted law that prohibits nearly all abortions in the state. The move came just days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the legislation, which bans all abortions after... Read More

September 8, 2021
by Dan McCue
New, Pro Bono Legal Defense Network Hopes to Aid Harried Election Officials

The temptation is to liken them to the undeterable posse that pursed Robert Redford and Paul Newman to the end... Read More

The temptation is to liken them to the undeterable posse that pursed Robert Redford and Paul Newman to the end of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” “Who are those guys?” Butch asks so often toward the closing credits of the 1969 film that it becomes... Read More

Plea And a Trial Loom in Next Month for Giuliani Associates

NEW YORK (AP) — The October illegal campaign contribution trial of an associate of Rudy Giuliani — and a guilty... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — The October illegal campaign contribution trial of an associate of Rudy Giuliani — and a guilty plea set to occur this week by a second associate — puts a spotlight on Giuliani as a criminal probe of the former mayor and his... Read More

September 3, 2021
by Dan McCue
Judge Declines to Toss Blankenship Suit Against Donald Trump Jr.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal Judge in West Virginia has refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit filed by one-time... Read More

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal Judge in West Virginia has refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit filed by one-time coal magnate Don Blankenship against Donald Trump Jr. The lawsuit stems from comments Trump Jr., son of former President Donald Trump, made about Blankenship during the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top