What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 25, 2014

Judicial Watch/Larry Klayman In The News

Two stories.

In the first, Judicial Watch looses a lawsuit brought against it by (now wait for it) Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman (he's no longer with Judicial Watch).  From the Washington Post:
Last month we reported that legal crusader Larry Klayman’s “record in public interest cases is incalculably terrible,” so we feel bound to pass on that Tuesday Klayman scored a win against the group he founded, Judicial Watch. A federal jury in Florida awarded him $156,000 in compensatory damages and $25,000 in punative damages in a defamation case, according to Klayman.

There’s been bad blood and more than one lawsuit between the two ever since Klayman left Judicial Watch in 2003. A separate set of claims and counterclaims is pending in federal court in Washington.

“I’ve had trials and tribulations with them for 10 years. I feel good,” Klayman said. “It wasn’t the dollars, it’s the principle.”
So what happened?  There's a birther thread in it, doncha know:
The case centered on a false claim by a Judicial Watch employee in 2012 that Klayman had been convicted of not paying child support. Since Klayman is a public figure, he had to prove malice was behind the comment.
And the thread:
The facts are complicated. In 2012, the Judicial Watch employee attended an event in California featuring then U.S. Senate candidate and birther activist Orly Taitz. The employee allegedly told Taitz of Klayman’s supposed conviction for not paying child support. Taitz posted the information on the Internet.

Turns out Klayman was indicted — not convicted — and he maintained that his temporary non-payment was a tactical legal maneuver to give him standing to appeal the child support. He later brought his payments up to date. (He has two teenage children and is divorced from their mother.)

Klayman said the comment hurt his reputation and caused him to be unable to raise money for his own lawsuit challenging the eligibility of President Obama to be on the ballot in Florida. Klayman is convinced that the birth certificate that Obama released is false.
So he's a birther.  Lovely.

Then there's the other story.  This from Rightwingwatch:
Larry Klayman, the right-wing lawyer whose bizarre diatribes, relentless lawsuits and frequent threats to overthrow President Obama are routinely featured here on Right Wing Watch, today “agreed to accept a public censure for violating attorney ethics rules” dealing with a long-running dispute with the group he founded, Judicial Watch.

Ever so modest, he said he acquiesced to the censure agreement so he can back to his fulltime job of trying to “protect the American people.”
Why should this be an issue on this blog?

Because according to the BridgeProject, Judicial Watch has recieved about 94% of its foundational support from foundations controlled by Tribune-Review owner, Richard Mellon Scaife.  In fact, Carthage, Sarah Scaife and Allegheny Foundations are three of the top five donors to Judicial Watch.

So I am curious how they're gonna play this, if at all.

The curious thing.  Klayman left JD in 2003.  The Trib's search engine allows you filter the search hits by year.  If you search for "Larry Klayman" at the Trib there are no hits between 2003 (the year he left the heavily Scaife funded Judicial Watch) and 2013, when The Trib reported on Klayman's lawsuit against the NSA.

10 years of no Trib coverage for Larry Klayman, as far as I can see.  A gap that just happened to begin about the same time he left Judicial Watch, as far as I can see.

Huh.  How're they gonna play the lawsuit?  The censuring?  Or are they gonna ignore it all together?

Only time will tell.

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