Alexander Vindman Reached Deep Into the Law to Sue Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani


This is America. Everybody can sue anybody. So let’s look at a couple of interesting confections from the torts counter. First, there’s Kyle Rittenhouse. And naturally, there is fundraising involved. From Business Insider:

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rittenhouse said he decided to launch The Media Accountability Project as a “tool to help fundraise and hold the media accountable for the lies they said and deal with them in court.” The project will support anyone who wants to take the media to court, Rittenhouse said. “I don’t want to see anybody else have to deal with what I went through,” the 18-year-old said.

When asked if he himself will be suing any news organization, Rittenhouse told Carlson his team is looking at “politicians, celebrities, athletes.” Rittenhouse said that TV personality Whoopi Goldberg and “The Young Turks” founder Cenk Uygur are “on his list” of people to sue, accusing both of calling him a “murderer” despite his acquittal.

Several legal experts have gone on record to say that Rittenhouse’s case against Whoopi et. al. is hopeless moonshine. From the Racine Journal-Times:

“I think his chances of success are close to zero,” Erik Ugland, associate professor in the college of communication at Marquette University, said of Rittenhouse. “I think the things published about him are reasonable interpretations of the observable facts.” Kevin Goldberg, a media attorney with 25 years of experience who now works for the Freedom Forum, a nonprofit that educates the public about the First Amendment, said: “I would say he has very little, to no, shot at winning. I will not say zero percent, because I have learned in the law to never say zero percent.”

I think this is a wise policy Mr. Goldberg has here, considering that the courts have been larded with embryonic Scalias just spoiling for a fight over established libel law. But I would remind everyone that there is a fundraising arm of this effort that I suspect is its actual raison d’être.

Meanwhile, we were on medical hiatus three weeks ago when Alexander Vindman, a key witness in Impeachment I, first went to court against everybody’s favorite piñatas: El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, his faithful sidekick, Rudy Giuliani, and two lesser denizens of the late Camp Runamuck. Vindman has reached deeply into the law to do so. From Business Insider:

The civil suit accuses the defendants of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which among other things prohibits conspiracies to prevent someone from holding or discharging the duties of their office or to retaliate against them for doing so. It also bars conspiracies to stop witnesses from testifying or to retaliate against them for doing so.

And he’s not kidding, either.

The suit accuses Trump and the other defendants of trying to intimidate and retaliate against Vindman by: putting out talking points amplifying “false narratives” about Vindman’s loyalty to the US; publishing and repeating lies that Vindman “was a spy for Ukraine and had disparaged the United States to foreign officials”; leaking classified information to further “the false disloyalty narrative”; falsely claiming that Vindman lied under oath; publicly firing Vindman and his brother; Trying to stop Vindman’s promotion to full colonel.

This is going to be a tough, expensive case to prove. It is going to require testimony from people who have stonewalled Congress and various courts for almost all their adult lives. It’s going to require frightened people to be as brave as Vindman was. It’s interesting that Vindman goes out of his way to link his case to the situation with the January 6 commission, which has run into the kind of roadblocks that Vindman can anticipate encountering as his lawsuit moves along. Some piñatas are worth taking a whack at, though.

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