You may recall that on Thursday night, one of Donald Trump’s biggest gadflies in the press, Kurt Eichenwald, was the target of a particularly outrageous cyberattack on Twitter. A pro-Trump troll tweeted the veteran Newsweek reporter a flashing GIF telling him that he deserved to get a seizure for his attacks on the Donald. This bottom-feeder was well aware that Eichenwald has battled epilepsy for more than three decades.
Well, it worked. Eichenwald went into a particularly ugly seizure, and has mostly scaled back his Twitter activity for now. He said that with few exceptions, his only tweets will be legal filings and police reports related to the attack. He intends to have the deplorable who did this to him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and also plans a civil suit.
Just in case anyone thought Eichenwald was kidding, he fired off this tweet on Monday afternoon.
As promised, I will be tweeting legal updates about the assault on me. I'm coming for you, you son of a bitch. https://t.co/BrWwBcYUXR
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 19, 2016
A few hours earlier, Eichenwald filed a motion in a Dallas County, Texas district court seeking to pierce the veil of anonymity surrounding “@jew_goldstein,” the Twitter troll who sent him the seizure-inducing GIF. To that end, Eichenwald wants to depose a Twitter representative so he can obtain the identity of the person behind that account, which was suspended within hours of the attack.
Eichenwald needs to know the true identity of that troll so he can sue the troll for “assault and other intentional torts.” He also wants to unmask “any other individuals who may have acted in concert” with @jew_goldstein in his “depraved and illegal actions.” To that end, Eichenwald wants the judge to order Twitter to turn over the IPs and usage history of any and all accounts associated with the John Doe behind the @jew_goldstein account, as well as the IPs and accounts of any accomplices.
If I’m the bottom-feeder who did this to Eichenwald, I’d have a lawyer on speed dial. Under the circumstances, Twitter will almost certainly have to comply. Which means that sometime early next year, we’ll know who you are, and you will be before a judge.
There have been some who think that Eichenwald is going to far in being so open about wanting this deplorable nailed to the wall. But as I mentioned on Daily Kos Sunday night, this isn’t just about Eichenwald. I’ve seen a number of places where that outrageous GIF is available. This has happened before to lower-profile people suffering with epilepsy, with the goal of frightening them into silence. It’s about time someone stood up for them in order to ensure that there is never a next time for this.
Eichenwald himself mentioned in a Daily Kos comment that he wants to make it a federal crime to willfully use the Internet to assault someone–though he wants to use the laws already on the books to rain “an unending torrent of hurt” on the bottom-feeder. He also added another warning to his attacker.
“We are going to wreck this person and I want every deplorable troll out there to see it happen, in real time, and maybe stop and think before they issue death threats and take other illegal acts.”
Eichenwald said it better than I could. If whoever did this is locked up for as long as legally possible and driven into poverty, it will go a long way toward ending this nonsense. Go get ’em, Kurt.
(featured image: screenshot courtesy MSNBC via Mediaite)