Don Blankenship Suing Media Organizations Claiming They Ruined his Candidacy

Former Coal CEO and U.S. Senate candidate Don Blankenship filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking at least $12 billion in damages from a number of national news and political organizations. Blankenship claims the organizations set out on a “search and destroy” mission against his 2018 candidacy for the Senate. The lawsuit states that the “DC establishment ‘swamp’ and the establishment media united... to take out Mr. Blankenship.” He argues that repeated references of him as a “convicted felon” were damaging to his campaign. Blankenship was sentenced in 2016 for a misdemeanor conviction of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards after an explosion at one of his mines killed 29 people, the worst mining accident in America in 40 years. He served a one-year prison term for the conviction. Blakenship was not convicted of any felonies in relation to the explosion. Among those named in the lawsuit were news organizations Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Breitbart News Network, Tribune Publishing Co., Los Angeles Times Communications, The Washington Post, and The Associated Press. The lawsuit also claims that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, had a clandestine campaign to damage Blankenship's candidacy and interfere in a federal election.