Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) said Tuesday that he plans to file suit against the Chicago Sun-Times this week over an article on his child support payments.
"I will file suit this week. The article is pure defamation and a hit piece as evidenced by the fact that they changed their headline 3 times and the reporter made no effort to contact us prior to dropping the story," Walsh told TPM in an email.
Walsh claimed in a statement late Monday that the Sun-Times piece "implied that I did not want to make child support payments and was beyond on payments. Both statements are false." Included in his statement is an early version of the story, with the headline: "Ex-Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh wants to stop paying child support because he's out of a job." In an email, Walsh called this headline an "abject lie."
"[B]y law in Illinois I have to modify my support agreement when I change employment, whether I'm a congressman or an electrical engineer," he said. "By law, I modified to 20% of my net income for the final four months of my son's high school before he's emancipated. All of this is what I'm obligated to do. What is the story here? No, the Sun-Times purposely tried to sully my name again and I will fight back against them and anyone else who does."
An updated version of the story Tuesday morning carried a revised headline: "Ex-Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh insists he's not trying to stop paying child support." Asked for comment, Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk told TPM: "Just that we stand by our story. Nothing further."