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Taitz takes the stand

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.

SD FL DOC 145 – Klayman v Judicial Watch – Testimony of Orly Taitz – S.D.fla._1-13-Cv-20610_145 by Jack Ryan

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.

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Arduini bites Vogt

Tenacious debunker Frank Arduini has sunk his teeth into Douglas Vogt’s Seattle Court filings and come up with a new report in his series of debunking major birther documents,  “20 Shades of Vogt: Digital Document Forensics for Amateurs.”

I started debunking Vogt’s 20 points of forgery, but tired of the effort, plus I never could properly use the word “prolix” in a sentence. Arduini had the endurance and the grammar to pull it off.

The Annotated Zullo

Respected birther antagonist Frank Arduini has published a critique of Mike Zullo’s second expanded affidavit. One of the cornerstones of birther alternate history is that the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse (MCCCP1) conducted a professional law enforcement investigation of Barack Obama’s government records. Mr. Arduini begs to differ. Birthers who read this document will gain insight into why the Cold Case Posse hasn’t made any splash in the media except for the occasional phrase, “long debunked.”

The Annotated Zullo


1Anti-birthers have often associated the initials CCCP (the abbreviation for the Soviet Union in Russian characters) with the Cold Case Posse. Maricopa County Cold Case Posse (MCCCP) is one solution. Another is “Corsi’s Cold Case Posse,” something that is justified by the revelations in Arduini’s paper. Personally, I an satisfied to call them the CCP, which in Russian is the abbreviation for “Soviet Socialist Republic.” Such labeling may be a petty pursuit, but it provides a bit of fun in the grim business of refuting birthers.

Taitz v. Democratic Party of Mississippi 9/24 hearing transcript

Attorneys Scott Tepper and Sam Begley representing the Mississippi Democratic Executive Committee participated in a special edition of Reality Check Radio and other representatives of the anti-birther community have filed reports on the September 24, 2012 hearing in Jackson, Mississippi before federal district judge Henry T. Wingate, in a case where Orly Taitz claims Obama isn’t eligible to be President and that he, along with the Democratic Party and the State of Hawaii, are engaging in an organized criminal conspiracy (RICO) to hide all of this.

Now we have the official transcript of the hearing, thanks to Jack Jack Ryan collection on Scribd, and I include that below.

Before continuing, consider that these court transcripts and docket entries don’t come cheap. Many thousands of dollars have been spent in obtaining the Jack Ryan collection. If you enjoy these informative documents, I hope you will consider joining me in making a generous contribution to the Friends of the Fogbow.

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Bad blood boils: Berg blasts birther

It happened to me: I mistakenly believed that Philip J. Berg’s law license had been suspended and even wrote it into an article (now corrected). Apparently I wasn’t the only one fooled.

According to Phil Berg (letter to the Court embedded at the end of this article), defense counsel Kim  Schumann and Jeffrey Cunningham in the Liberi v. Taitz lawsuit bought the story from their client Orly Taitz too, and contacted the court and had Berg removed as counsel for the plaintiffs saying he had lost his license.

Berg states in his letter to the Court that this false statement was “repeatedly posted all over the Internet  and sent through RSS feeds to millions of websites and Individuals; and repeatedly mass Emailed….” (I learned about it from a mass email directly from Orly Taitz.)

Berg demands sanctions and costs for having to respond to the false allegation.

As best I understand the facts, a recommendation was made that Berg be suspended, but no decision has actually been made to do it.

Somebody give Berg a cookie

In a more bizarre part of the story, Berg alleges his computer system was attacked by Taitz, who attempted to put tracking software on it. He shows a screen shot from Norton Internet Security detecting an “intrusion attempt” while visiting her site: Norton rated the threat “high.” Google reports that the Taitz site has been clean for the past 90 days. Recall that the Taitz web site has had problems in the past with malicious software on it and the early days of her web site were accompanied by claims of being hacked, and PayPal contributions stolen, directed against Lisa Ostella, another plaintiff in the Liberi suit.

Read all 167 legal documents in the case. What mess!

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Farah slapped down

Can you believe that there are people in the world who would file a meritless lawsuit out of pure spite? It’s true! Joseph Farah sued Esquire Magazine for libel over a satirical1 article that made fun of Jerome Corsi’s book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? after it’s title became silly following a preemptive release of Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate by the White House. You can read my coverage of the $250 Million lawsuit by Farah in these articles:

As I suggested, Esquire Magazine could try a new District of Columbia law designed to prevent people from being victimized by public figures who file lawsuits that can generate large legal fees and drag on for years.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

Wikipedia

I told you so!

Esquire Magazine filed such a defense under the DC anti-SLAPP statute and won in a decision yesterday by DC District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer. There was never a doubt in my mind that the suit deserved to be SLAPPed down, but there was some question as to whether the statute could be used in DC District Court (a federal court hearing a case in diversity). There always remains the possibility that an appeals court will overturn the decision over this question, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Judge decided that Farah can’t make his case, and will inevitably lose. One major flaw in the Farah case is that Farah himself called the article satire, before he called it not satire. Oops!

In a SLAPP case, the plaintiff’s have to make a reasonable showing that they have a chance to win at trial before the more expensive process of discovery begins. If the lawsuit is found to be a SLAPP the plaintiff has to pay the defendant’s legal fees.

Judge Collyer was clearly not the elusive birther-friendly judge that they needed. She begin the recitation of the facts in the case by saying:

President Obama was born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu Hawaii.

Ouch!

The Judge also made one other comment that I take to heart:

Those who speak with loud voices cannot be surprised if they become part of the story.

Farah’s attorney, Larry Klayman responded:

The court’s decision is significantly flawed and intellectually dishonest.

and

The decision was so poorly reasoned it rises to a level of negligence, if not a desire to dump the case because it is not palatable to the Washington establishment.

“Piffle,” as my Mom used to say. Klayman says they will appeal. I’m happy as a clam.

Here’s the Judge’s opinion:

FARAH, et al. v ESQUIRE – Memorandum Opinion Dismissing Case


1The Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. 510 U.S. 569, 581 n.15 (1994) defined “satire” as:

a work ‘In which prevalent follies and vices are assailed with ridicule,” or are “attacked through irony, derision or wit.”