Posted on | June 25, 2012 | 68 Comments
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
At a hearing this morning in Rockville, Maryland, a Montgomery County Circuit Court granted an emergency motion on behalf of attorney/blogger Aaron Walker. The effect of the ruling will permit Walker to resume writing and speaking about convicted terrorist bomber Brett Kimberln.
Judge Nelson W. Rupp Jr. presided over today’s hearing, with attorney Reginald W. Bours III representing Walker, who did not attend the hearing at Judicial Center in Rockville. In a brief telephone interview, Walker said that Kimberlin filed a counter-motion that did not address the First Amendment legal issues at stake, but rather “made a bunch of new accusations” against Walker.
It is important to note that Judge Rupp’s ruling only temporarily permits Walker to speak and write about Kimberlin, pending a July 5 hearing in Maryland state appeals court. Walker is appealing a May 29 ruling by Montgomery County District Court Judge C.J. Vaughey that granted a peace order sought by Kimberlin against Walker.
Walker said he plans to file a report on today’s hearing at his blog, Allergic to Bull. A Virginia attorney, Walker has become the center of national attention since May 17, when he published a 28,000-word blog post entitled, “How Brett Kimberlin Tried to Frame Me for a Crime (And How You Can Help!).” Walker’s post highlighted Kimberlin’s long-running efforts harass and intimidate bloggers who had written about Kimberlin’s criminal history.
Kimberlin is director of a 501(c) non-profit, the Justice Through Music Project, which has collected more than $1.8 million in contributions since 2005. Kimberlin also co-founded another tax-exempt activist group, Velvet Revolution, that has made headlines (and raised money) by making accusations of wrongdoing against a variety of public figures, including GOP strategist Karl Rove, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and the late Andrew Breitbart.
In addition to his appeal in Maryland state courts, Walker has filed for an emergency preliminary injunction in federal court.
As the legal blog Popehat notes, UCLA Law Professor (and popular blogger) Eugene Volokh has agreed to provide pro bono assistance to Walker’s legal defense team. University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, whose blog Instapundit is one of the most popular center-right sites, has also shown strong support for Walker.
Patrick “Patterico” Frey also promises to provide more commentary about the Walker-Kimberlin case. Walker, writing under the pseudonym “Aaron Worthing,” was formerly a co-blogger at Patterico.com, a popular conservative site.
Award-winning conservative blogger Ace of Spades comments on today’s Maryland ruling. Ace was one of the targets of an escalating pattern of harassment against bloggers that evidently began last year, during the Anthony Weiner cybersex scandal.
Democrat “social media” consultant Neal Rauhauser has described Kimberlin as a “client.” Rauhauser evidently joined forces with Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution group last summer and is suspected of involvement with a Web site, originally aimed at “exposing” Breitbart, which published items indicating an ongoing effort to determine the offline identity of Ace. The anti-Breitbart site has been repeatedly published personal information (including home addresses) of bloggers who wrote about Brett Kimberlin’s criminal past.
Rauhauser became obsessed with a conspiracy theory explanation of the so-called WeinerGate scandal, which resulted in a formerly popular Democratic congressman from New York resigning in disgrace. Rauhauser has boasted of his connections to the criminal computer-hacking ring known as “Anonymous.”
Both Mike Stack, who played a key role in exposing Weiner, and Patterico — blamed as a prime suspect in Rauhauser’s conspiracy theory of the WeinerGate scandal — were targeted by a harassment tactic known as SWATting, a dangerous criminal hoax. In a May 25 blog post, Patterico named Rauhauser, Kimberlin and former Raw Story editor Ron Brynaert among those he suspects of complicity in the bogus 911 call that resulted in a police raid on Patterico’s Los Angeles home.
(Note: This article was originally posted at 10:46 a.m. ET as a single paragraph, and subsequently updated seven times over the course of three hours as new information was added. I have now removed the “update” notices for ease of reading.)
UPDATE 10 p.m. ET: Aaron Walker was SWATted tonight.
— Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown