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. Lies invented about Mr. Weisenbach, amplified repeatedly, led to threats of violence against him and his family. 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 and to generate a financial windfall in the process. It is a strategy that has gone unchecked for far too long.
Law for Truth, a project of Protect Democracy, represents Mr. Weisenbach in partnership with the law firm Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C. and other pro bono counsel.
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.
They 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 alleges 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 Project of Protect Democracy, represents Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, in partnership with the law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, DuBose Miller LLC, and Kastorf Law, LLC.
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.
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.