Larry Klayman sued Judicial Watch over something Orly Taitz wrote on her blog. In the trial, Orly Taitz (not a party to the defamation suit) was called as a witness. The transcript from May 30, 2014, makes interesting reading in a twisted sort of way.
The big picture is that Orly Taitz, quoting Freedom Watch staffer Constance Ruffley, wrote that Larry Klayman had been “convicted just recently of not paying a large amount in child support.” This statement was put in the context of raising doubts over whether people should donate money to support Klayman in filing Obama eligibility lawsuits. More details can be found in this article from Courthouse News Service and my articles tagged Klayman v. Judicial Watch. Taitz repeated a number of other negatives about Klayman, focusing on the fact that at the time Taitz was writing, Klayman had not filed some lawsuits that he was supposed to have filed. It was the child support issue, however, that was at the center, because what Taitz wrote was not true: Klayman was indicted, but not convicted.
Shortly after the Taitz article appeared, Klayman contacted Taitz to demand a retraction of her story because it wasn’t true. Taitz didn’t retract the entire story, but issued a correction, saying that Klayman “has not been convicted yet.”
The testimony establishes from Taitz what Ruffley told her. It attempts to establish (unsuccessfully from my vantage point) how long it took for Taitz to correct the article after Klayman contacted her. Klayman appears to assign great significance to the word “yet” in “not convicted yet” while Taitz seems to think it means nothing. This difference may be one of bias, or Taitz may not understand the connotation the word has in English.
Klayman (as Taitz has done in other cases) interrupts the judge—in this case drawing repeated warnings from Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. After the jury was excused, the judge chastised Klayman about interruptions, in the strongest terms. By my count, Klayman interrupted the judge twice during this final admonition. Nowhere does Orly Taitz speak her signature “let me finish” because Judge Altonaga was bound and determined that Taitz not be interrupted. Klayman did, however, use the phrase.
Taitz demonstrates her questionable legal skills in trying to define a “crime,” asserting that one can be convicted of something that wasn’t a crime. She also seems to think a class 5 felony in Ohio is a misdemeanor.
It has been often said in comments on this blog that Orly Taitz is jealous of her donations and defensive about her place as the only birther attorney actually doing anything. Klayman asked her point blank:
Q. So you were resentful that money donated to me for eligibility lawsuits wasn’t going to go to you, right?
and Taitz replied:
A. Absolutely not.
Who knew? Here’s the transcript courtesy of the Jack Ryan collection.
The jury found that Larry Klayman was defamed and that he should receive compensatory damages in the amount of $156,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $25,000.