Weisenbach v. Project Veritas et al.

Update, February 5, 2024:

This case was resolved in a manner acceptable to all parties.

Law for Truth — a Protect Democracy project — represented Mr. Weisenbach in partnership with the law firm Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C., and an additional pro bono counsel team led by Lea Haber Kuck, in a lawsuit challenging disinformation that undermined faith in the 2020 election and, ultimately, in our democracy.


The case was filed against Project Veritas, Project Veritas’s founder and CEO James O’Keefe, and Richard Hopkins, a former mail carrier for the Erie post office. What Hopkins, Project Veritas, and O’Keefe engaged in after the 2020 presidential election was not investigative journalism. We believe the sensational series of statements and videos was targeted character assassination aimed at undermining public faith in the results of the 2020 presidential election. It is a strategy that has gone unchecked for far too long.


After defeating defendants’ motion to dismiss in 2022, the case was resolved in a manner acceptable to all parties on February 5, 2024.


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Ruby Freeman & Wandrea Moss v. Gateway Pundit et al.

Protect Democracy and its partners represent Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ “Shaye” Moss, who served as election workers in Fulton County, Georgia during the 2020 election and were falsely accused of conspiring to steal the presidential election in Georgia.

The Gateway Pundit, along with its founding editor Jim Hoft, and contributor Joe Hoft, knowingly fabricated and disseminated blatantly false stories claiming that Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss were involved in a conspiracy to commit election fraud, and continued to publish these untruths long after they were proven to be false. The lies published about Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss generated a torrent of online and offline abuse towards the women, who each remain fearful for their own safety. The Gateway Pundit has not retracted or corrected any of its false statements, and has continued to repeat them throughout 2021. Its numerous articles boasting that it was the first publication to name Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss as committing ballot fraud remain online.


“This is the sort of lawsuit libel law was created to permit,” said noted First Amendment advocate Floyd Abrams. “The complaint depicts terribly wronged plaintiffs suing to restore their grievously harmed reputations from statements made with knowledge of their falsity. Not only does the First Amendment provide no protection for such statements, but this is precisely the situation in which libel litigation is most needed.”


In this litigation Law for Truth, a project of Protect Democracy, represents Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, in partnership with the law firms DuBose Miller LLC, Dowd Bennett LLP, Kastorf Law, LLC, and the Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic.


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Ruby Freeman & Wandrea’ Moss v. Rudolph Giuliani (formerly Freeman v. Herring Networks, Inc. d/b/a One America News Network et al.).

Protect Democracy and its partners represent Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ “Shaye” Moss, who served as election workers in Fulton County, Georgia during the 2020 election and were falsely accused of engaging in criminal conduct while tabulating ballots on Election Night.

On December 15, 2023, a jury awarded Freeman and Moss just over $148M in compensatory and punitive damages from Rudy Giuliani.


This determination came after Judge Beryl A. Howell of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered default judgment against Rudolph W. Giuliani, holding him liable to Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss on all of their claims. At the close of trial, the eight members of the jury awarded $75M in punitive damages, $33,169,000 in defamation damages, and $40M in total damages for infliction of emotional distress.


The plaintiffs originally filed suit against Herring Networks, Inc., which owns and operates One America News Network (OAN), OAN CEO Robert Herring, OAN President Charles Herring, OAN staffer Chanel Rion, and Rudolph Giuliani, a frequent OAN guest.


On April 19, 2022, our clients and the OAN defendants resolved the claims against those defendants to the mutual satisfaction of the parties through a fair and reasonable settlement. And on May 10, 2022, OAN defendants were removed from the litigation.


Following the settlement, the amended complaint alleged that Rudolph Giuliani knowingly and repeatedly disseminated false information about Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss and their work for the County on Election Night.


In this litigation, Law for Truth — a Protect Democracy project — represents Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, in partnership with the law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, DuBose Miller LLC, and Kastorf Law, LLC.


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Mark Andrews v. Dinesh D’Souza et al.

Protect Democracy and its partners filed suit against the makers and promoters of the election lie-hyping film 2000 Mules and its accompanying book on behalf of a private citizen in Georgia who was falsely accused of breaking the law in the movie, book, and related promotional efforts.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants engaged in both defamation and voter intimidation.


Without evidence, Dinesh D’Souza and True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips (along with D’Souza Media, True the Vote, Salem Media, Regnery Publishing, and others) manufactured a reputation-injuring lie about our client Mark Andrews, who legally placed his own ballot and those of his family into a ballot dropbox ahead of the 2020 election. Their lies portrayed Andrews, recorded on surveillance footage depositing the ballots, as a so-called “ballot mule” working to illegally cast votes in an effort to steal the election away from then-President Donald Trump.


In addition to the defendants featuring Mr. Andrews’ image and lies about Mr. Andrews in their so-called documentary and book that falsely claim fraud in the 2020 presidential election (and in advertisements), defendants repeated these lies many times over in media appearances and posts on social media. These lies are textbook defamation, false light, and appropriation of likeness. They also violate the Klan Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed by Congress in the wake of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement to prohibit the kind of intimidation that Defendants are now engaged in.


This suit seeks to impose consequences on those who profit from election lies that harm private individuals and our democracy writ large.


Law for Truth, a project of Protect Democracy, represents Mr. Andrews in partnership with the law firm DuBose Miller LLC and other pro bono counsel.


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Stephen Richer v. Kari Lake et al.

Protect Democracy and its partners filed a defamation suit in Superior Court in Phoenix on behalf of Stephen Richer, the elected Recorder of Maricopa County, against former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, her campaign, and an organization that she founded after the 2022 election.

Every American has a right to express their views — and even to criticize or insult others — but that right does not extend to spreading harmful falsehoods about another person. There is, as the United States Supreme Court has observed, “no constitutional value in false statements of fact,” and it is absolutely false to state that Mr. Richer intentionally sabotaged the 2022 election to prevent Republican candidates from winning.


Moreover, the continued spread of the falsehood that Mr. Richer intentionally administered the election to sabotage Republican candidates has imposed substantial harm on Mr. Richer, and resulted in numerous threats of violence against him and his family.


Protect Democracy and its partners are proud to represent Mr. Richer in this matter. The official court case docket number is CV2023-009417 filed as Stephen Richer v Kari Lake, the Kari Lake for Governor Campaign, and the Save Arizona Fund.


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