Prominent attorney Robert Barnes warned viewers on his YouTube show with Viva Frei that the class action lawsuits filed by Donald Trump against Big Tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and subsidiary YouTube are horribly flawed – and may have been intentionally designed to fail by corrupt swamp lawyers.
"He has the right idea; credit to him for pursuing it in the court of public opinion, pursuing it in the court of law, to elevate the attention to the issue; credit to him for wanting to do it on a class action basis. He has the right purpose, the right idea, very poor execution because of who the lawyers are. And I have some serious doubts about what their motivation really is," Barnes began.
But Barnes was quick to point out the enormous flaws in Trump's lawsuits.
"They've managed to bring the weakest possible claim, and forego the strongest possible claims. That's why I wondered, once I dug into who the lawyers were, whether this was a deliberate poison pill to kill the cases.
"For example, Trump's got the right idea to go after Big Tech. He was the President of the United States, and he's the most egregious example of censorship that's ever occurred, and its most problematic consequences. What he could have brought was a combination of claims," Barnes noted.
He went on to explain how Trump could have brought class-action claims on political censorship, on the grounds that major social networks are essentially the "public square" of today, and also individual claims against the networks on the harm done to him – acting essentially as state actors in doing so.
"The only way you're going to get the state actor [claim] – is to say specifcally... ‘Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and CDC Director Fauci, instructed Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, instructed each of them to remove the President of the United States's accounts from being available to communicate to the people.’ And that's it. [...]
"Does he have proof? No, but it would get him to discovery, which I guarantee would be revelatory. Instead, they went out of their way not to allege that," Barnes continued.
Instead, Barnes noted, Trump's lawsuits claim that Big Tech's censorship of Trump was motivated by the idea that a state actor will be happy with their actions and therefore give them some benefit – a notion that his own case citations make clear is not valid.
"Where the suit is going right now, it's likely to get transferred to California, it will likely be dismissed on anti-SLAPP grounds because that's enforceable in federal court, and Trump is going to end up paying Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube attorneys' fees. And it almost seems deliberate."
"SLAPP" is an acronym for "strategic lawsuit against public participation," referring to lawsuits that aim to constrain another's right to free speech. California law directs courts to award legal fees to defendants in such cases. Big Tech would claim censorship is part of their right to free speech, and deny being government agents – leading to dismissal and an award of legal fees against Trump.
"They've chosen to abandon the direct allegation that's necessary to get [to trial], and bring the theory they know is going to get dismissed. They're telling the judge, they're giving the clerk a road map to ‘by the way, here's how frivolous our case is.’" Barnes explained.
He continued to explain what would have been the correct class action claim: arguing the PruneYard decision should extend to social networks. The PruneYard case was a landmark First Amendment case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held valid a California law that defined mall interiors to be public spaces where the public is entitled to free speech.
The class action claim to have brought was to bring a claim challenging the PruneYard doctrine in federal law. This also would have discouraged them from trying to move it to California and reduce the attorney fee risk for Trump, because in California the PruneYard doctrine still applies...
And then you bring other common law claims. I thought for sure Trump would bring a claim that says “all these people got rich off of me. The reality is, monetizing me off the last four years made them millions, likely billions of dollars.”
Trump had the ultimate unjust enrichment claim. No individual in the world had as strong an unjustment claim as Trump. And it would highlight the issue, it would play great politically--it'd be like ‘these guys made billions of dollars off of me and then they tried to silence me because they wanted to go a different political route.’
And he also could have alleged consumer fraud as well, under the Florida statute. And that makes it harder to remove to California.
Barnes was quick to observe that the lawsuits are so bad, they're suspicious.
"I was stunned because there's nobody that's in this field that is on this lawsuit. No First Amendment lawyers, no big constitutional lawyers, no Big Tech lawyers, and then I started asking around. None of them had even been consulted. [...]
"He can still bring those claims, it's just-- As long as he as these lawyers are involved, it's obvious those claims won't be brought. This claim is made to look – when it happens that he ends up having to pay the other side's legal fees, loses – it's made to make state actor claims look bad, make Trump's claims look bad, and it's not a surprise when you dig in. It's one of these fake America First groups. It's called "America First Policy Initiative" or something like that. You dig in, it's all Big Oil money. They're all corporate lobbyists. A lot of them are Wall Street connected. They're a lot of Jared Kushner's pals."
Barnes' cohost Viva Frei observed that the "class action" suit lacked many elements required of class action suits: the practicality of the class, the ability of the law firm to handle the class, the appropriateness of the representative of the class.
"There's no chance of the class ever being certified," Barnes replied. "It's not a class action until the federal judge certifies it. That will never occur. It'll get dismissed before that ever happens. It's hurtful, not helpful, to Trump's causes and claims.
"And the part they brought that's a class action makes no sense. Because what they're really saying is, Trump was specifically targeted by state actors using Big Tech. That's not a class. That's only Trump. There aren't a million other Trumps.
"The class action part would have been unjust enrichment, some part of that, consumer fraud, some part of that, but the big one would have been treating this as a public square, a digital public square under the Marsh doctrine and PruneYard doctrine, arguing for a change in existing law to extend that to the modern space."
Barnes continued to note that the lawsuits seemed to intentionally ignore a recent dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas, in which the Supreme Court Justice laid out what would be an effective argument against Big Tech censorship.
"And by the way, I thought they would follow Thomas's guide, but they ignored every point that Thomas raised. They don't bring a single point up that Thomas talked about. Not the public utility argument – Thomas doesn't like this precise state actor argument. He likes other claims. They ignored all of them.
"And it's because 3 or 4 of the lawyers, they work in a Virginia real estate law firm, where what they do is help you get your title transferred. What are they doing being the main drafters of such a case? Then another lawyer is a local an insurance lawyer, and the only guy with a name who appeared is Greta Van Susteren's husband, who the last time he did something interesting, it was the 1980's. This is a disaster of a list of lawyers."
This is going to be another defeat for Trump and the movement supporting him and supporting freedom of speech online. And few lawyers with genuine sympathies to Trump are speaking out.
"Trump has the best claims of anybody, and I think his motivations are completely correct in this, he just has these corrupt corporate lawyers. This was always his problem. He has corrupt insiders and crazy outsiders.
"But Trump is in the best possible position, and he brought the weakest possible claim. You dig in, these are Rick Perry's people; these are big government, big corporate lobbyists. These are people who are good on issues like school choice, regulation, taxation, things like that. They have no business in this space.
"And once I saw they cited the very cases in the lawsuit that make it clear to the clerk and the judge that these cases are basically frivolous, that made we wonder what was the real motivation of some of these people involved.
"This is either extreme legal malpractice or overt corruption, that's my view," Barnes concluded.
"It's a suit that Trump, who doesn't understand law, would think is a good suit because they include all those tweets and comments. And it praises Trump a lot. It was designed to make Trump think it's a good suit when it's actually not. That's why I have serious doubts about their motivation. Then when I saw who this was, I was like "These are the same corrupt actors that misdirected the White House for four years."
In an amazing admission, the IRS denied the Christian organization "Christians Engaged" non-profit status as a 501(c)3 – a designation for churches, education institutions, and charities – because the group encourages its members to vote according to Biblical values.
According to the IRS:
You are like the organization described in American Campaign Academy v. Commissioner [a bad decision in which the court held that an organization that operated a school to train individuals for careers as political campaign professionals, but "could not establish that it operated on a non-partisan basis"], because you are serving the private interest of the Republican party more than incidentally in contravention to Treasury Reg. Section 1.501(c)(3)-1(d)(1)(ii) as well as serving a substantial nonexempt private purpose.
For example, you educate believers on national issues that are central to their belief in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Specifically, you educate Christians on what the bible says in areas where they can be instrumental including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations. The bible teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican party and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3)."
There you have it, folks, from no less an authority than the IRS: Christianity is Republican.
Obviously, this is all insane, but this is where we are. The IRS is once again controlled by partisan lunatics and the IRS's war on conservative organizations and charities is resumed.
On Wednesday, Adam de Angeli of Rescue Michigan and Mark Gerhard, father of Lucas Gerhard, held a news conference at the Michigan Hall of Justice to discuss the Court of Appeals' decision in Lucas's case to effectively suspend the First Amendment in Michigan.
[This decision] is a dangerous rollback of our right to free speech and puts every single person in Michigan in legal jeopardy.
It declares "open season" on anybody, really, making hyperbolic statements on the Internet.
Someone could file – and perhaps even maliciously file – charges of terrorism, claiming that they felt threatened or were threatened, even if they weren't. And a prosecutor going rogue and bringing these charges – and we think certainly in Lucas's case, in bad faith – and destroying their lives.
So it's had a chilling effect on free speech across Michigan, and it puts all of us in serious danger.
CLORE: So it's almost as if this case is going to set precedent on how the courts decide to infringe on our first amendment rights moving forward.
DE ANGELI: If it's not reversed by a higher court, this IS precedent.
The court of Appeals has just given prosecutors all across Michigan – basically they've said it's open season on anybody that says something that's going to offend others.
If they take it to be a threat, we can call it a threat. And we drag you through a court system that's currently backlogged for years because of Covid.
Lucas has been awaiting justice for almost two full years now, and he's going to be waiting a lot longer. - until we get hopefully a reversal at a higher court, and if not, victory at trial.
We are living in revolutionary times, perhaps the most insane times that the world has ever known. This is causing stress within us that is unprecedented, and frankly, many patriots are not holding up well through these conditions.
Patriots throughout our state and nationwide are falling to utter nonsense. They are buying the hopium from known hucksters. They are dumping their money in the coffers of false idols, just to avoid the truth of the dire situation that is facing them. They are spewing theories that are making the entire movement look like fools to the broader masses.
We must be better than this.
To those who still “trust the plan,” please try to take a deep breath and think rationally. President Trump was booted from office despite obvious in-your-face voter fraud committed in a coordinated fashion by Democrats throughout the country. The legal response was humiliating. The RNC soaked up hundreds of millions of dollars with nothing to show for it. Everyone is pointing the figures of blame at everyone else.
I hate to break it to you but THIS was the plan. The plan was to screw us, rob us of our vote, and deprive us of America’s comeback. And it’s been very successful. And the delusions of desperate patriots are only making the situation that much worse for us all.
There is no core of the FBI, CIA, NSA and other deep state entities that is patriotic and working for the good guys. The military is flying LGBT flags abroad, teaching anti-white critical race theory to recruits, and purging patriots from the ranks to bring in trannies and communists. How could anyone possibly think these forces would overturn the fraud and reinstate Trump into office?
It is understandable to lose faith in America’s institutions given the current situation. They have failed us in every regard. But we must realize that these failed institutions are not going to rebound and somehow put Trump back into office. Virtually every official, whether elected or appointed and regardless of political affiliation, has gleefully enforced the vote steal or looked the other way out of cowardice.
If we want to restore freedom in this country, we have to see the world around us for what it is rather than what we wish for it to be. To quote a cliche, facts are more important than our feelings. There isn’t going to be some magical court case that will turn this around. There will be no eureka moment that wakes the masses up. The only thing that can restore our lost liberies is blood, sweat and tears from a fighting grassroots.
Rescue Michigan has never offered false hope to our supporters. We have offered the best plan, the best ideas, and the best strategy to become a leader yourself. It doesn’t involve sitting in your home and posting vague gibberish on social media platforms. It involves grassroots action based on proven principles that are known to compel success. There is no easy way out of this disaster. You will need to engage others and develop leaders in order. This is what the Founding Fathers did, and you must be prepared to take every action that they took in order to have success.
Are you up to the task as your heroic ancestors were? Then we would certainly love to have you. But we are separating the wheat from the chaff here. We demand excellence from our activists because that is what it will take to restore our nation and nothing less. We demand serious people to be leaders of men, and we will help you every step of the way to have success. But we will not harbor silly delusions or humor absurd theories. This is a serious movement, and we are intent upon achieving total victory. We hope you can be too.
When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was outed last month for a secretive trip to Florida in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, her office claimed Michigan taxpayers did not foot the bill.
What they did not tell us, however, is that Whitmer asked a group of wealthy Detroit businessmen to provide a private plane they share.
Those businessmen have major dealings in and with the state of Michigan.
“We wondered why she reached out to us instead of booking a private charter,” said one of the plane's owners, who exchanged his candor for confidentiality. “You can't tell a governor no. Who needs that kind of trouble?”
Had Whitmer booked a round trip flight from Lansing to West Palm Beach through a private charter company, it would likely have cost $10,000 to $20,000, or a whopping $40,000 for the actual jet she took, according to private jet websites. The latter is more than 25 percent of the governor's salary -- before taxes.
It is unclear whether Whitmer reimbursed the company – Air Eagle – which manages the aircraft owned by the businessmen. And, if so, at what price and from which bank account?
Attorneys Phil Ellison and Matt Gronda sued the Secretary of State over her policy of impeding poll challengers, which was settled just 6 days before Election Day with the Secretary of State agreeing to reverse her policy and allow poll challengers to do their jobs.
Now, they're going back to court against Jocelyn Benson. They also discuss their lawsuit against Michigan lockdowns, and their case against the most obscene prosecution in Michigan, against a young man facing charges of terrorism for joking that his legal rifle would "make snowflakes melt."
Ever since Tucker Carlson Tonight first aired, Carlson's commentary has always been among the best in America, with The American Conservative rightly dubbing him "the Populist Paladin of Primetime."
But last night's monologue was something much greater: it was a rallying call to action, remniscient of Peter Finch's epic monologue in the movie Network, in which the newscaster Howard Beale tells his audience to shout from their windows: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
Carlson began with a righteous tirade against our evil government officials having issued tyrannical orders that the public wear masks, even when outdoors, when science has known for over a year that the Chinese coronavirus doesn't spread outdoors.
Most importantly, he called out the American people's shameful inaction. Too few of us fought back.
Carlson noted that we have known the government's orders were all based on lies since last June, "when America's so-called public health community united as one to tell us that coronavirus restrictions do not apply to BLM rioters. They're exempt from the virus!
"You're still not allowed to get married, or go to church, or see your elderly parents as they die alone, but if you break things on behalf of the Democratic Party's power structure, you can loot the dollar store, and no one gets sick. That's science!"
Tucker continued: "And the second they told us that, we knew for certain they weren't serious.
"So why did we keep playing along? That is a sincere question. We should ponder that question. We acquiesced to their power grab. We let it happen."
After another round of observing the sheer lunacy of so many government orders, including demanding children wear masks when playing tennis and standing 30 feet away from anyone, Carlson repeated:
"Future generations will mock us for this, but we allowed it."
And then, Tucker Carlson told his audience that it's time to stop being meek and start calling out the Cult of the Mask when we see them in public.
The only people who wear masks voluntarily outside are zealots and neurotics.
How neurotic are they? Well, we know. A Pew survey from last March found that 64 percent of white Americans who classify themselves as "liberal" or "very liberal" have been diagnosed with an actual mental health condition.
And you see them everywhere, when you walk down the street in any major city. If you dare to go on foot from Union Station to the Capitol, for example, in Washington without wearing a mask, angry Biden voters will snort at you and judge you.
"How could you?" They're saying from behind the gauze.
How could you?
That's the question that we should be asking of them in return.
The rest of us should be snorting at them first. They’re the aggressors. It’s our job to brush them back and restore the society we were born in. So the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate. Ask politely but firmly, "Would you please take off your mask? Science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it. Your mask is making me uncomfortable."
We should do that and we should keep doing it until wearing a mask outside is roughly as socially accepted as lighting a Marlboro on an elevator. It’s repulsive. Don’t do it around other people.
That’s the message we should send because it's true.
As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal. Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately. Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you're looking at is abuse, it's child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.
If it's your own children being abused, then act accordingly. Let's say your kid's school emailed you and announced that every day after lunch, your sixth-grader was going to get punched in the face by a teacher.
How would you respond to that?
That's precisely how you should respond when they tell you that your kids have to wear masks on the soccer field. That is unacceptable, it is dangerous, and we should act like it, because it is.
Tucker is right, and as the most prominent conservative figure in the American media, if ever there was a call to action that the conservative movement should amplify and breathe life into, this is it.
It's time to stop being meek toward the mask cultists. And it's time to encourage our fellow citizens to stop obeying them.
But one thing Tucker Carlson missed: While direct, personal action is needed to snap our fellow citizens out of the mask mind control, what is also needed is effective political mobilization to remove from power every politician that has supported and condoned this barbarity.
That is why Rescue Michigan is asking every citizen to organize right in your own community. That is why we give you the tools and training to organize and mobilize.
That is the only path to victory.
As Tucker said: "They will not stop until we make them stop."
Children age 2 to 4 will be required to wear face masks in gatherings starting April 26 under a new epidemic order issued Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Previous orders had exempted all children under the age of 5.
At an age when children are just learning to socialize, Whitmer orders their noses cut off from the air and their faces hidden: turned into walking billboards for fear. The damage will be life-long.
Whitmer has imposed among the most vicious and draconian policies in the nation, and Michigan has ranked among the worsts state for the Covid outbreak. Every one of her policies has been a failure as well as a crime against the people of Michigan.
For all the talk about all the myriad ways the Democrats conspired to rig the election, it's easy to focus on the election itself and forget that the biggest source of votes stolen from Donald Trump was the mass media's endless campaign to destroy him with fabricated scandals while doing everything in their power, vastly beyond journalistic ethics, to protect Joe Biden from his real scandals. That, and the social media companies' shocking manipulation of what news the American people were permitted to read on their platforms.
Trying to track of every incident of mass media manipulation would be about as sensible as trying to track particles of sand in a tornado, but one incident rose above all the others: the revelation that Joe Biden's son Hunter's laptop, abandoned at a computer repair shop (doubtless during a drug binge), contained numerous emails detailing Joe and Hunter Biden's corrupt dealings in China and Ukraine.
The story broke in mid-October, shortly before the election and when many Americans were already voting by mail. The details of the extent of Joe Biden's corruption might have changed the outcome of the election -- and indeed, a study showed that it would.
Other than Fox News and outlets to their right, every major network, including the supposedly "neutral" ones like ABC, Associate Press, etc., refused to cover the story. Worse still, social media banned the news coverage, to the point of shutting down the New York Post's coverage of the explosive information.
Even as individuals named in the emails came forward to confirm their contents were authentic, the mass media endlessly repeated the lie that it was some sort of "Russian disinformation" campaign.
It was most egregious case of political censorship in American history.
Now that Joe Biden is safely installed as President, the networks are starting to admit that yes, the laptop was authentic, as they knew all along.
Even when Fox News reported the story about the laptop, they reported on the Biden family's corruption but left out the sordid details of Hunter's personal life.
It's a painful reminder that the biggest enemy of free and fair election in America is the mass media, and what this means for all conservatives is that we must reach voters across America with the information that Big Tech and the establishment media will hide from them.
The best way to do that, the most methodical way to do that, is grassroots leadership: building local organizations that reach every voter in your community.
Add up all major news networks and combined they don't reach 10% of the public on any given day. Your posts on social media are shadowbanned. Your emails are likely only reaching your like-minded friends.
The only effective way to counter the mass media's lies is to organize locally and build relationships with voters in your community.
The Regents of the University of Michigan have censured Ron Weiser, the sole Republican on their board, and stripped him of his committee assignments, for telling an appropriate joke in a private setting.