(The Daily Signal) – A Pennsylvania Moms for Liberty leader will file defamation lawsuits to restore her good name after she was falsely accused of harassment in what she calls an orchestrated smear campaign.
Nicole Marie Prussman, chairwoman of the Monroe County, Pennsylvania, chapter of the parental rights group, received a citation for harassment in April, after news reports of the charge came out in March.
Although a magistrate court judge initially found Prussman guilty without a proper fair trial, the case was dismissed on appeal when the state ruled that Prussman’s accuser failed to corroborate her alleged evidence.
Yet the news outlets that reported the charges against Prussman have not reported her acquittal. Now, the Coalition for Liberty, a nonprofit dedicated to combating cancel culture, will represent her in court as she goes on the offensive. The Coalition for Liberty has not clarified which individuals or entities it plans to sue on Prussman’s behalf, but it has vowed to bring litigation against anyone who broke the law in defaming her.
Prussman became the target of “a very organized hit job by a group called Stop Moms for Liberty,” Doug Turpin, president and board chair of Coalition for Liberty, told “The Daily Signal Podcast.” “They planned this. You can even see online how they were getting their members to plot to file harassment charges against Moms for Liberty all across the country. This was a deliberate attempt to cancel Nicole [Prussman] simply because she was speaking out on behalf of children because of inappropriate and highly sexual content.” (The Daily Signal has reached out to Stop Moms for Liberty for comment and this story will be updated to include any response.)
“What they were looking to do was destroy her reputation, destroy her job,” Turpin said of what Prussman faced. “They had people organizing, hitting them with automated bots on her website and filling up the calendar for months and months on end just to deny her the ability to practice her business as a teacher, trying to help parents as a counselor with the issues that the children were having.”
“They just tried to destroy Nicole in every possible way,” he added.
“This started way back last February , when my chapter started to share information about inappropriate texts that were being read in classes and poor performance rates that are sadly across our county,” Prussman herself recalled. “We were looking to inform parents and educate them so that we can begin solving problems, and we began getting a lot of pushback, to the point where we had to change locations and adjust our meeting location and all of that.”
The Moms for Liberty leader recounted receiving a call on a Friday night asking how she was feeling after a news outlet published an article about her. The article inaccurately claimed she had been arrested and charged, “and the first I was hearing about it was that moment reading a link through a text message from a friend,” Prussman said.
Since it was a Friday night, the courts were closed, and Prussman couldn’t get any information until after the weekend.
“No one ever contacted me,” she recalled.
“My charges were equivalent to a speeding ticket, and the worst penalty that could have occurred was a $400 fine,” Prussman explained. Yet, she said, “within a week, that article had spread not only out of my state, but across most of the country, and it took to social media like fire to tissue paper.”
“They actually had the gall to add molestation to the harassment accusation,” she noted.
Wally Zimolong, Prussman’s attorney, explained the situation in an interview last month with The Daily Signal.
“Contrary to some of the reporting, Nicole Prussman was never arrested,” Zimolong told The Daily Signal. “She was issued a ticket.”
“Nicole was charged with a summary offense of harassment, and she appeared before a magisterial district justice,” Zimolong noted. These justices, he said, represent “the lowest rung of the criminal court system in Pennsylvania. Many MDJs are not even lawyers.”
The justice who heard the case fined Prussman, but Zimolong explained that “all summary convictions are appealable to the state court system.”
“We appealed before a regular state trial court judge, and all charges were dismissed against Nicole,” he said. “The commonwealth could not authenticate any of the messages that she allegedly sent.”
Prussman explained that the purported evidence consisted of printed copies of Facebook Messenger communications that looked like a poorly done cut-and-paste job. She noted that her accuser had deleted any of her posts to try to prevent the judge from discovering the false accusations.
Although the judge dismissed the charges against Prussman, the Coalition for Liberty’s president, Turpin, explained that she’ll be heading back to court.
He said the only way to stop cancel culture attacks like the smear campaign against the Moms for Liberty leader is to hold the attackers accountable.
“Because there’s no consequences, the Left has been using this [strategy] to silence Americans, and it’s having a devastating impact,” Turpin argued. “So, the Coalition for Liberty believes that if people are starting to be held to account, and you go after them in a court of law … for defamation, slander, libel, malicious prosecution, anything that they can legally be held to account for, then that will stop cancel culture. That will stop these baseless attacks on people like Nicole all across the country, and we can return to a land where people are having civil and respectful discussions about our differences, not trying to cancel and silence people.”
This smear campaign arguably echoes the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left organization that brands mainstream conservative and Christian organizations “hate groups,” putting them on a map with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.
As I wrote in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC has leveraged its track record of suing Ku Klux Klan groups into bankruptcy to develop the “hate map” it uses to smear enemies and raise money. Earlier this year, the SPLC placed Moms for Liberty and other parental rights organizations on the map, branding them “anti-student inclusion antigovernment extremist groups.”
In 2012, a terrorist used the SPLC’s map to target the Family Research Council for a mass shooting in Washington, D.C. The SPLC condemned the attack but kept the conservative organization on its map.
Despite a sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandal that prompted the SPLC to fire its co-founder in 2019, and a former employee revealing the SPLC’s “hate” accusations to be a “highly profitable scam,” many on the Left continue to use the SPLC as a political and ideological weapon to silence their opponents.