Posted on | August 2, 2014 | 19 Comments
“I have filed over a hundred lawsuits and another one will be no sweat for me. On the other hand, it will cost you a lot of time and money . . .”
– Brett Kimberlin, Oct. 10, 2010
“It looks to me as if Brett Kimberlin is digging himself a deeper hole with every paper he files . . . He may well be at the point that he is the one who needs to get out of the litigation as quickly as possible, lest he make matters worse for himself and his family. Whether he has the self-restraint, and the good judgment, to seek that way out remains to be seen.”
– Paul Alan Levy, Aug. 1, 2014
Everybody knows what the “Streisand Effect” is, right? In the Internet age, attempts to suppress information usually have the opposite effect, calling widespread public attention to whatever fact it was that someone tried to conceal from public view.
This is what happened to Brett Kimberlin: When bloggers began calling attention to Kimberlin’s notorious criminal history, Kimberlin first sued one of them — progressive blogger Seth Allen — and threatened to sue both Patrick “Patterico” Frey and Mandy “Liberty Chick” Nagy. That was in fall 2010, and set in motion a chain of events that led to a courtroom conflict between Kimberlin and Aaron Walker. When Walker published his 28,000-word account of that conflict in May 2012, I started reporting on the activities of Kimberlin and his associate Neal Rauhauser. Four days later, Kimberlin contacted my wife’s employer, ranting about how I was “harassing” Kimberlin. As a result, I departed Maryland for an “undisclosed location” and relocated my family.
These events raised a general alarm among conservative bloggers, which resulted in “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day” on May 25, 2012. At every step, Kimberlin’s effort to suppress reporting and commentary about him had the opposite effect of what he evidently intended. Then, in fall 2013, Kimberlin filed two lawsuits: The Maryland case Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. — against five defendants — and then a federal RICO lawsuit against two dozen defendants, which John Hoge dubbed Kimberlin v. the Universe, et al.
These cases have been proceeding through the preliminary stages for the past several months and, knowing that I have myself become bored with all the legal back-and-forth — motions, replies to motions, orders from judges, yadda yadda yadda — I’ve been remiss in keeping readers updated, not wanting to subject y’all to the tedium. Both John Hoge and Aaron Walker have been blogging regularly about the proceedings. We may be just days away from seeing the Maryland state suit either thrown out on summary judgment or going to trial. Obviously, I’d prefer the former to the latter, but having no doubt of my innocence, I have the serenity of a Christian holding four aces, either way.
The federal case has become rather interesting. Kimberlin sought Judge George Hazel’s permission to file a “sealed” motion for a preliminary injunction, and was quite briskly spanked by the judge who, among other things, referred to “Plaintiff’s checkered past with representations to the Court” — a polite and euphemistic way of saying that the Perjuring Pro Se Pipsqueak is a proven liar.
Given that Kimberlin’s July 22 letter to Judge Hazel is now a matter of public record (ECF No. 165) let’s quote some of it, eh?
Several of the unrepresented Defendants, including Walker, Hoge, McCain and Akbar, have not only failed to remove content, but they collectively use every opportunity to use this case to engage in a continuing campaign to defame and harm me and my family. Virtually every single day, Defendant Walker and Hoge post defamatory statements on their blogs and on Twitter and use titles with defamatory adjectives calling me a terrorist, forger, perjurer, pedophile and other invectives.
Can you believe it? This lying scoundrel has the effrontery to sue us for $1 million in state court and $2 million in federal court and then — adding insult to idiocy, as it were — claims that it is “a continuing campaign to defame and harm” Kimberlin for us to inform the public of proceedings in this case! By God, the man has no shame, but even that pales in comparison to this claim by Kimberlin:
Every day, I am under siege from a barrage of false and defamatory attacks on me. Several of the Defendants, including Defendants Walker, McCain and Thomas, have attacked my teenage daughter to such a degree that she has been bullied out of two high schools. . . . Everyone knows the devastating effect of bullying on young people, especially girls. And the Defendants are directly responsible for the bullying of my daughter.
Kimberlin’s claim that I have “attacked” his teenage daughter is simply false. Somebody on Twitter once sent me a message about her singing career (which Kimberlin has promoted with tax-exempt funds from his non-profit Justice Through Music Project) and I replied that she can’t carry a tune, or words to that effect.
Once. End of story.
But can it be possible that Brett Kimberlin really wants to discuss what is harmful to “young people, especially girls”? A dead grandmother can have a “devastating effect” on a girl, I guess.
You see that the infamous liar Brett Kimberlin is making these false claims against me in court documents, in an effort to convince the judge that where there is so much “smoke” of allegations, surely there must be some “fire” of actual tortious damage. The judge’s reaction would seem to indicate that he is not deceived by Kimberlin’s mendacious game, but excuse me for burning with indignation that Kimberlin is permitted to engage in such heinous abuse of the justice system. He is a convicted felon who was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison in 1981 and yet he thinks the court must protect him from “defamatory adjectives”?
Maybe you understand why I’ve tried to ignore this case to the greatest extent possible. Every time I think about it, I get angry.
It is helpful, therefore, to read Paul Alan Levy’s thoughts on the case. Levy has volunteered pro bono, to represent Ace of Spades in a limited manner, to defeat Kimberlin’s effort to deprive Ace of his anonymity (trying to “dox” Ace, incidentally, was a project that Neal Rauhauser ineptly pursued for many months). Levy talks about Kimberlin’s motion for an injunction in the federal case:
Moreover, it does not seem to me likely that submitting affidavits about claimed harm are going to be enough — the defendants he seeks to restrain are entitled to be confronted by their accusers face-to-face, and to have the chance to cross-examine; and given the intense hostility between the parties that the courts have previously noted, there is no reason to think these pro se defendants might not want to take their pound of flesh. Indeed, considering that the judge has indicated that Kimberlin needs to make specific showings about the harm caused by the specific statements against which he wants relief, the defendants might well start asking questions about exactly why parents won’t let their daughters have sleepovers at the Kimberlin household. Is it because they learned that he used to be a major drug dealer, importing large quantities of drugs from Mexico? Or because he was convicted of a series of bombings that left some people severely injured? Or is it because they learned that a newspaper article in Indiana reported on the murder of the grandmother of a pre-teen girl who was worried that Kimberlin was going out with a daughter she considered irresponsible so that he could get access to the grand-daughter? Or maybe because, after he got out of jail, and already in his forties, Kimberlin was allegedly singing rock and roll songs about the joys of sex with teenage girls, and because a DC-area publication that interviewed him about the songs praised him for his honesty about how older men feel about attractive teenagers. Or, was it some more recent, post-Second Amended Complaint statement that is depriving his daughter of sleepovers?
If Kimberlin seeks relief, he is going to have to show through the testimony of some person with personal knowledge just what the reasons are that his daughter’s friends parents are giving for getting in the way of his daughter’s social life. Presumably, that would be the daughter herself. The pro se defendants against whom relief is sought might choose to cross-examine her.
You really should read the whole thing, because Levy points out how Kimberlin’s lawsuit — his attempt to use the federal courts to silence his critics — is exposing to public scrutiny the very aspects of Kimberlin’s sordid past that he most wishes to conceal.
Even while I was writing this article, John Hoge noticed that the Washington Post‘s Eugene Volokh is now covering the case:
In this instance, it’s very hard for me to feel sympathy for Kimberlin. He has repeatedly demanded unconstitutional restrictions on his critics’ speech (see, e.g., the posts discussed here; I consulted with Aaron Walker’s lawyer on the case). His past crimes make it hard to know when he is telling the truth today. And beyond this, his litigation behavior in this very case has apparently been less than candid at times . . .
Yeah, Brett: So now you can sue the Washington Post and claim you were defamed by a constitutional law professor, OK?
Meanwhile, you just keep on telling lies about me, and I’ll keep telling the truth about you, and we’ll see who wins in the long run. I’ve got good people praying for me, and I have no fear.
— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) August 2, 2014
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