BREAKING: #RICO20 Edward Maibach tries 'emergency stay' to retroactively pull Shukla/George Mason University emails from view


People send me stuff. It seems that one of the two main ringleaders of the RICO20 is trying some legal wrangling this morning to head off disclosure of more documents.

The legal filings (in links below) show that this morning legal council for Ed Maibach rushed to Richmond court seeking an emergency stay of the GMU production of everything RICO20 related – including what was already released, and which new material was supposed to be released today under court order. I’m told that defying that court order, the VA Attorney General/GMU general counsel just now refused to produce the records owed to CEI, citing the fact that Maibach doesn’t want him to comply with the court order, per a filing which…admits there is a court order for him to produce these records.

I’m told CEI will prepare a motion today to compel GMU to comply with the court and seek fees/sanctions as appropriate. What has already been made public due to the court dissolving the protective order is and will remain public, because the Internet never, ever, forgets.

It seems very odd that this rush for ’emergency stay’ should come now given the horse has already left the barn with the first tranche of emails. Obviously, Maibach is panicked, there must really be some damning stuff in the emails and documents he’s trying to prevent being released today.

Public court documents (PDF):

2016 05 23 Exhibit for Maibach Motion for Stay

2016 05 23 Exhibits for Maibach Motion to Intervene (incl Affidavit)

2016 05 23 Maibach motion to intervene MEMO

2016 05 23 Maibach motion to intervene

2016 05 23 Maibach motion to stay

142 thoughts on “BREAKING: #RICO20 Edward Maibach tries 'emergency stay' to retroactively pull Shukla/George Mason University emails from view

      • I’ve read Marx, and while I doubt he really understood human nature and how it would inevitably derail his utopian ideas I can honestly say I think he’d be appalled at the sh*t people have pulled in his name.

      • schitzree, Marx did indeed understand human nature in a sociopathic manner. He is considered the father of 20th century European political genocide. Basically, he wrote that those who could not or would not comply to the socialist revolution were to be exterminated: (14:17 to 16:50). Marxist communism is an entirely anti human ideology which is likely why you could see the disconnect regarding Marx’s base understanding of human nature.

  1. This is good news – it is always the “cover-up” that gets the perpetrators by the gonads.
    As the article says – there must be something in that audit trail which is really “juicy”
    Go for it!

    • More popcorn please. This could be climategate all over again. Ah, climate fanatics. The gift that keeps on giving 🙂

  2. The sound of hard drives crashing. Now where did I put that flash drive? Well, I sent it. What! You never got it? We don’t have backups. I think that information was deemed unimportant and deleted.

    • After seeing all the hijinks and shenanigans pulled surrounding the evasion of FOIA requests of Emails in publicly funded organizations, it leads me to believe that all organizations should be required to have a Email Archival appliance, professionally administered by personnel not in the chain of command of the organization they are archiving; and using a personal Email Account for publicly funded business, that does nor CC the Official Email server should be a felony.

      • Network Appliace sells these. I’ve installed them for companies seeking Sarbox compliance (where failure to preserve email can result in CEO and I.T. Officer jail time even if not “their fault”…)
        SOP in the corporate world. Anyone know if Sarbanes Oxley can be applied to universities? At least the private ones could be classed as a private business…

  3. What a fool that man is.
    In para 25 of the 4th document, motion to intervene, it says:
    “Dr. Maibach asserts that his email correspondence regarding the September 1 Letter is of
    a personal nature, as it does not relate to his GMU research or teaching work.”
    Yet according to his own web page,
    “His research currently focuses exclusively on how to mobilize populations to adopt behaviors and support public policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.”
    So the letter is, obviously, related to his research.

    • The comment wrt his own research is important and someone should make sure CEI knows this!

    • “His research currently focuses exclusively on how to mobilize populations to adopt behaviors and support public policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.”
      Significant find Paul, nice one.
      Just wondering why, if the consequences of climate change are unavoidable, he is trying get everyone to reduce greenhouse gas emissions … to avoid causing climate to change.

  4. Descendents of George Mason should sue to force the University for besmirching Mason’s reputation as
    a champion of our Bill of Rights and indivdual freedoms.

  5. Sorry, no mulligans allowed!
    Time to pay the piper for your bad behavior.
    You can bet there is significant exposure coming via those emails. Upon reading the motions, he is indeed in a panic and severely groveling to the court.
    Maiback, along with others, can smell the napalm coming!

  6. Edward Maibach is a widely recognized expert in public health and climate change communication

    One has to wonder why climate change requires a communication expert. Perhaps the facts theories aren’t convincing many members of the public? So they need propaganda instead. Who’d have thought it?

      • The standard for competence doesn’t have to be very high when the mainstream media just amplifies everything you say and never asks any questions beyond, “Just how terrible is it going to get, anyway?” and “Explain why climate skeptics are evil”.

      • Unless he was working for us all along. Makes sense given the blunders. Sort of like Hitler working for Stalin theory. From one angle ya just gotta wonder how someone could make so many blunders.

    • Is anybody employed as a communication expert for gravity? Nope, thought not.
      It’s only the really shonky hypotheses that need to be constantly sold to an unconvinced public.

      • David Smith wrote:“Is anybody employed as a communication expert for gravity?”
        Nope. But if there is ever an job opportunity for the position, I’ll be first in line to apply.
        I carry around a small demonstration of the effects of gravity on my mid-section and can demonstrate how suspenders (braces) can be used to counter the effects of gravity on my trousers. I’m a walking science display!
        And I promise not to go after “gravity d3n!ers” using the full force of the government. Any of my emails (except the ones discussing how much money I’m raking off the top) will be freely available to the public.

      • h.r. that is the funniest thing i have read today :). i think the very fact that non job exists says a lot about modern day universities.

      • jamesbbkk
        May 23, 2016 at 5:49 pm
        Is it possible to isolate the effects of gravity from the effects of the beer?
        2 WORDS
        Light Beer

    • Pretty soon they’ll be called ‘evangelists’ (as is the case in some software companies). Yes, “evangelists”. I know, pretty bad.

    • Very true!
      It all has the smell and feel of Mann… demand the force of the government gun but then are surprised when they must cough up their stuff.
      Hoist on their own petard has real meaning.

  7. If these claims are later found to be without foundation, can they be done for perjury or contempt of court?

  8. “Dr. Maibach asserts that his email correspondence regarding the September 1 Letter is of
    a personal nature, as it does not relate to his GMU research or teaching work.”
    Such claims should have been brought up when the FOIA request was first made.
    To make such motions at this late date is highly dubious.

      • Sounds to me like he’s risking contempt of court to re-submit a motion that was already rejected.

    • He did bring that up, twice. He, in fact, wrote a formal refusal to provide documents based on his assertion that GMU didn’t pay him to write the letter. That it was on his own personal time and dime, and therefore, he should not have to respond to the FOIA request.

    • From the syllabus, it looks like the course could equally be named: “Effective Disinformation And Subterfuge”. Billary, et. al. must have attended this one.

    • Infamy,
      Wow, a 15-page syllabus including a detailed description of all twelve of his lectures on climate change propaganda, and not one reference or topic (at least that I saw) on the science or evidence for or background of “climate change.”

    • Lecture 1: Course overview
      Lecture 2: The strategic communication (and social marketing) planning process.
      Jumps feet first into the deep end of propaganda.

      •, also mentioned in Lecture 3 is the NGO that has specifically been after Exxon since 1989.
        The premise of their entire existence is “how to make trillions” off climate change.
        Coincidentally, Al Gore (who also stood with the 17 AGs at the podium) will be speaking at a $1,200/plate gala for Ceres this week:

    • I think you guys are missing the point. Simply labelling this as propaganda or disinformation doesn’t do justice to what’s going on here. Believe me, you’re peering into an alternate universe, a kind of ontological funhouse mirror. These people are deeply serious – (note the overall tone: “This is a rigorous course.” “students are expected to … read extensively, think broadly about what they have read” etc.), even if their behavior belies their veracity – which of course makes the whole thing even more interesting.

  9. I didn’t see anything particularly damning in the first set of e-mails. If there is some stuff they don’t want released, now would be a good time to try and pump the brakes because all of the people on their side will report, for years to come, that there wasn’t anything going on.

    • Nor did I. It was very much a bunch of e-mails showing the people who we knew were talking were talking. It just confirmed our suspicions that everything was linked in a single group (I don’t want to use the term conspiracy, though it actually would be appropriate).
      The surprising this was that it also showed that a number of people in the alarmist realm recoiled at such a prosecution. Clearly this was over the line for a number of people as it is willful violation of the first amendment.
      This would be useful information in a prosecution, invalidating a “I didn’t know it was illegal” defense or any claim that people acted as standalones. However, it simply confirmed our suspicions on all counts. It didn’t do anything surprising.

      • I hate to sound like a conspiracy nut, but it is possible that people are learning what to put in an email and what not to. And what conversations should be had in person rather on record.
        Given the increased surveillance by regulators of the City and Wall Street for example, most emails and telephone calls (which are now recorded) consist of little more than bland chatter and admonishments not to do things. Strangely “the things” then happen anyway….

  10. The RICO idiots forget about the idea of people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. It is gratifying to see they aren’t terribly smart.

  11. Reputation risk has them squirming. Others can just fly off to India, but this one is exposed.

  12. Maibach had an ‘aha!’ Moment, realizing that GMU was about to issue a bunch of stuff. I bet his lawyer said.. Not only do YOU not want this, but the other 19 don’t want it either.

  13. Contents of the emails likely go against these claims on the GMU website. Fraudulent fundraisers have the same problem when doing the opposite of their noble claims.
    “Center for Climate Change Communication
    The Center’s mission is to conduct unbiased public engagement research – and to help government agencies, non-profit organizations, and companies apply the results of this research – to collectively stabilize the planet’s life-sustaining climate.”

    • “The Center’s mission is to conduct unbiased public engagement research”
      Unbiased, yeah right. But if he had stuck to that rather than calling for RICO on people’s heads, he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in now.
      Interestingly, he cites the withdrawal of USVI’s RICO subpoena against CEI as a reason CEI should no longer get his e-mails. Any co-ordination going on here?

      • No. His lawyers are throwing everything at the wall in the hope something will stick. His previous pleadings already pretty much his motion to stay here and motion to intervene via VSC. See comment below.

    • The hypocrisy of Maibach & Shikla’s so called “unbiased public engagement research” efforts came to my mind when I read the E-mail from Shukla to Maibach entitled “Re. Letter To Senator Sheldon Whitehouse” dated July 25, 2015 @ 9:38 AM. Where Shukla states:
      “BTW, my student assistant ____ _____ who has worked with your group is available to help us. He is a dedicated activist.” (Note: I removed the students name to protect his privacy, since, there is no indication that the student was actually involved… and, well, we all did a few stupid things in college)
      Apparently, being a “dedicated activist” is significant academic credential in helping along GMU’s publicly funded partisan propaganda.. err “unbiased public engagement research”… to naturally be re-characterized as “personal activities” if a FOIA request is involved.
      I also found it amusing to read in Dr. Maibach’s motion for a stay he feels he would:
      “…. will suffer irreparable harm to his business, reputational, and other interests because Mr. Horner and CEI will have gained unfettered access to, including ability to widely publish, Dr. Maibach’s thoughts, ideas, discussions of personal matters, and scholarly materials.”
      If Dr. Maibach’s “thoughts and ideas” had any scholarly substance he would hardly suffer irreparable harm to his business, reputation, and other interest. Indeed his problem seems to be that those very thoughts and ideas are likely judged on their merits… and found to be lacking.

      • I can just about understand the business bit, as maybe a bunch of ideas and arguments are unpublished or proprietary.
        But his reputation?
        Surely that means there’s some stuff that would make us think less of him?

  14. Wow! George Mason was going to do the document dump… GMU was not going to back them!

    • Evidently, these low level (funded) pranksters don’t have the power rating of Hillary or Lois Lerner at IRS. If they did, their email releases would be trickled out and heavily redacted if they said anything significant. Or they would be erased on all backup systems in the case of IRS, with no apologies.

  15. The thread that leads to the unraveling of one of the biggest con jobs in history and they want to make sure it can’t get pulled . The huff and puffies of the oh so scary global warming industries are are now finally going to get dragged into court . The arrogance of people silencers and so called educated people is staggering . Will the universities pick up their $$ tab or were they on their own time ? How ironic Universities preach free speech yet have professors trying to target those that don’t agree with their view . University E mail addresses used then switched suggests the Universities were not aware but only the release of the E mail trail will confirm what they were up to .

  16. This puts me in mind of scene in the movie “And Justice for All”. A lawyer in court is rambling away, making motion after motion. Finally, the judge is so irritated he orders the lawyer to shut up. Rather than stop talking the lawyer immediately moves that the judge “deem” that he has stopped talking and continues on.
    It doesn’t matter if some of the emails have already been released. They want the judge to rule that they are now “unreleased”.

    • There’s no chance a federal district court could look after the needs of state-enforced AGWCC actors if the right people call. Just ask Mark Steyn.

  17. The warmist are feeling the heat, marshmallow will roast nicely on an overheated Maibach burner.

  18. I hope the Courts finally recognize the pattern of behavior that the climate extremists exhibit and treat it accordingly: Full and critical review.

  19. Read the pleadings. Maibach presents an interesting case. VFIOA has an exception for content relating to academic research on grounds it would be chilling to research. Well precedented. That is how Mann escaped the Cucinelli demand for hockey stick stuff.
    But by no stretch of the imagination does the RICO 20 letter constitute academic research that would trigger the exception. Maibach previously argued emails concerning RICO 20 were personal and not GMU related, and just a response to Sen. Whitehouse’s WaPo op-ed. He lost because it was done on GMU time using GMU facilities. That same arguement generally ruins his request for a stay.
    Now he argues that because he prepared a presentation for Puerto Rico (academic research), the search term RICO triggers the exception. Easy CEI answer: exclude from the VFOIA any emails with the linked sequential words Puerto Rico. Problem solved. Maibach exposed.

    • ristvan –
      In your response to Charlie elsewhere, you say ‘no’ to coordination etc.
      I seem to recall from the released Emails that one of Maibach’s correspondents (the guy from UCS?) declined to join the fray, saying he was interested in the ongoing “AG” effort – or somesuch wording.
      These Emails sent a long time ago, before the recent A G fiasco.
      Isn’t it at least possible that our man was involved in both schemes, giving them all the benefit of his ‘communication’ skills ?
      Maibach might hope to survive one, but if CEI disclosures get evidence of involvement in both, what then? Conspiracy? 🙂

    • If there is nothing in the ‘Puerto Rico’ emails that is relevant to ‘RICO’, they should already be excluded by the research exemption. Maibach is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt. He has already demonstrated that he is not trustworthy. At the very least, they should examined in camera to determine the relevancy.

  20. To state the obvious: a lot of people will be watching this space. There is no shadow of doubt that there was significant conspiracy across State lines coordinating what must be one of the dumbest attempts ever to smear the fuel industries with false charges that ‘they knew’, in spite of the limited material and measurements available at the time, that CO2 could ‘imperil all of civilisation within a few years’ if, for example, the concentration rose from 0.028% to 0.056% when it is well known that it had been as high as 0.700% in the history of the earth.
    A RICO charge requires a lot of back and forth about who should do what and to whom. So who lies behind this RICO20 thing? Named in the emails, perhaps?

  21. Seems very odd that someone would use an entry-level attorney at a small-time employment rights law firm to submit a Motion for Intervention and make a claim based on First Amendment Rights. Not only does the nature of the motion sound like a desperate act, it also sounds like he couldn’t get any deep-pocket Greenies to cover the retainer … i.e., “you’re on your own.”

      • Well according to the documents released he was making roughly $180K/yr… which isn’t exactly chump change. My guess he’s realized the university’s was going to cutting its losses and he got the first attorney he could find that had the time to file.

    • I’ll take a stab on that note. I guess he’s already at the employment rights firm because he has issues with GMU. This has to be because they are not backing him. No legal help, no sanctioning of his actions as being made legitimately on behalf of GMU. They are happy to comply with an order from the court and they will terminate him on any reasonable evidence that comes out for dragging GMU into this anti-science, antidemocratic mess.

      • This might be the start of the realization for Universities that potential students and sponsors may not wish to be identified with out and out activists that threaten freedom of speech.

    • It does make you wonder how “mass cold shouldering” of news stories works. I’ve always suspected that the huge PSA budgets in this country are too big to ignore by media outlets as implied threats from policy makers. It’s the money back story behind the behavior.

  22. When I read something like “XXX is a widely recognized expert in public health and climate change communication”, I am always tempted to ask “Did he tell you that?”

    • Soon it will be “infamous expert in public health and climate change communication.” This could get him a Nobel Prize of maybe a U.S. government research prize or an invite to the WH.

    • My question…expert by what standards?
      My favorite line in any news story…”experts were shocked to blah blah blah” Ok, if they’re experts, why were they caught unawares? And again, if they were, how are they experts?

      • @ Steven Dietrich, That is because they were nothing but perts before. seeing that they were lousy at being perts they are now experts.

  23. Maibach’s main argument is that the emails were “personal” and should not be drawn in because he used university email facilities. If it was correspondence about picking up laundry, fair enough. But he signed as “Edward Maibach, George Mason University”, as did others, thereby imputing that their letter had authority over and above that of an individual citizen. Maibach didnt mention this in his affidavit.

  24. From the reading list for Lecture3:

    Clement (2014) How talking about climate change might help Democrats win elections.

    No comment needed…

  25. A further thought. Apparently the released email sunset was chosen by Maibach or GMU and submitted to the court for in camera inspection on the issue of whether they were ‘private not university’ or ‘public university’. The time stamps made it clear it was all on university time. This selection for resolving the underlying VFIOA issue Maibach was previously invoking would logically NOT have contained any potentially more controversial/damaging statements.

    • ristvan,
      I think you are reasoning that the remaining tranch of emails is were Maibach & his legal team put items that had higher exposure to legal / professional risk.
      Your reasoning has merit.
      I wonder why they waited so long to file their request for stay (filed at the very date when they had to release more emails) ? Is that a standard legal strategy to wait to request a stay at the very moment when they were mandated to release info?

      • It merely give them the maximum of extra time to scurry by submitting on that day. had they had any strong case, it would have come sooner.
        They are VERY desperate it seems

  26. Presuming, for arguments sake, that Maibach is acting to block info release because the yet to be released emails constitute something that does incriminate him. In the event that he loses and the emails are released, wouldn’t the law find him guilty of attempting to block Justice / legal process? Can some of commenters with legal training respond?

    • Generally not, as he is entitled to use the legal process like anyone else. So long as his arguements are plausible, he is entitled to them.
      Blocking legal process (obstruction of justice) in the actionable culpability sense you inquire about usually requires some overt ‘blocking’ like intentional records destruction (the Lerner/IRS brouha), failure to comply fully with a subpoena, or perjury under oath. Obstruction of justice can get murky fast, which is why it is usually only invoked in blatant cases. For example, is filing a never ending 20 year long series of appeals in a death penalty case obstruction of justice? In a practical sense, yes. In a legal sense, no. Same thing with Mann v. Steyn in DC. Practically, yes now that the case is at the 5 year point. Legally, no.

      • The sad reality is that even if the smoking gun is found, the spent cartridges verified, and bullet taken from the victim is confirmed, the current federal D of J still would not follow through,but I find the exciting point here is the hope that a state’s justice system may shine through and simply exercise the process fairly. What a concept! I sincerely hope that Virginia law has a chance to bloom in daylight where the rights of all are protected and guilt, if evident, can be assigned appropriately.

      • Would asking his co-conspirators to start using e-mail systems that aren’t subject to FOIA searches constitute obstruction of justice?

      • Dennis Mitchell:
        Don’t hold your breath. The current Virginia attorney general has about as much integrity as Holder. Herring was one of the AGs doing the Algore photo-op, so he will probably volunteer to represent Maibach and Shukla. It would be really nice if all the nut jobs who think that Virginia needs to radically change would just go move to a state that already has those “ideal” policies. Leave the rest of us in peace!

  27. The law firm: “The Spiggle Law Firm is one of the largest firms in Virginia devoted exclusively to helping employees win workplace disputes and fight wrongful termination…”
    Gee, I guess he is having trouble with his employer!

  28. I recently met a George Mason student about to graduate with a degree in “Environmental Advocacy”.
    They really have degrees for that.

    • I went to a graduate school fair recently, and the GMU rep tried to convince me to consider getting a masters degree in Environmental Policy rather than Biology. Part of her reasoning was that the Biology program was really competitive (though once she realized how that sounded, she tried to back it up and say that EP was also competitive), but I suspect there is also a lot less interest in the policy program. Who needs a masters when so many interest groups are willing to pay tons of money to any one with a pulse who agrees to throw tantrums?
      If I wanted to pretend to be a scientist, I would not have bothered taking courses that required actual learning and effort.

  29. From Exhibits to Maibach Motion to Intervene.

    CEI and Mr. Horner have repeatedly attacked me in relation to this VFOIA matter and have made clear that they seek my emails as a mechanism to harass and impugn me and my work. Indeed, a CEI blog post published just last week compared me and my colleagues to “quacks and snake oil salesmen” and suggested we are somehow guilty of fraud.

    You shall reap what you have sown Mr. Maibach, and the truth can be painful.
    If you thought your attempt to abridge the first amendment rights of others would have no consequences then you are a fool. If you joined the the RICO 20 with “eyes opened” then you are receiving your just “rewards”. Either way I see nothing in your motion that would garner sympathy or relief for your actions.

    • Haha that doesn’t stand a chance unless the court is stacked, because Maibach as shown in the first tranche was involved in the gang that brought about the case against CEI.
      So his claim CEI came after him should not stand up to even modest scrutiny

      • Rule#1 of a preemptive strike: Don’t miss your target.
        I mean, I don’t fault him for trying to save his own butt, however it doesn’t matter at this point because he’s already established as the aggressor and is (hopefully) going to get what he deserves.

  30. Everyone will note a complete lack of reporting on this, even the other warmer blogs have not mentioned this conveniently, 0 integrity

  31. “must really be some damning stuff…”
    I would warn against assuming that there is some kind of ‘smoking gun’. He may just be trying to protect his privacy.

    • Valid cautionary point. There may be something very personal in his RICO20 correspondence on his publicly funded university email account about his own personal smoking gun and how much personal smoke it was producing at that time, that none of us have any right peering into ( or through ).
      It may not be Earth shattering, but there is obviously something specific there that he does not want seen.
      One would think that someone who claims to be an expert int “communication” and psychology would be aware of the Streisand effect.

  32. E.Mailbatch , tries to get emergency stay on a batch of emails.
    … was that the same black cat ? Wake up, Neo.

  33. I’ve long thought that bringing AGW to court was an “unforced error” on anyone’s part who’s trying to use “climate change” for political ends. Potentially an unmitigated disaster, in fact. What competent and prepared lawyers can do with discovery and putting the likes of, say, Dr Mann on the stand, under oath. Grill them on the science and process, nail their hides to the wall if they lie about it.
    When you are engaged in an elaborate and detailed hoax, that is getting thread-bare, the last place you want to argue it is in an actual court of law. With penalties for laying, and procedures for evidence and cross-examination, and discovery. All those institutionalized processes for getting past lies.

  34. From October 10 2015 at the CSLDF website**, CSLDF said,
    “CSLDF has been working with Dr. Shukla to fight back against this newest attack on climate scientists, including arranging attorney assistance to help him navigate what appears to be a clearly ideologically-motived Congressional probe. We are proud to be partnering with Tom Spiggle, Esq., of the Spiggle Law Firm to defend Dr. Shukla. CSLDF is confident that this Congressional investigation, like the earlier ones against other climate scientists, will ultimately be exposed as baseless.”

    Given that CSLDF is associated with Spiggle Law Firm to provide attorney assistance to Shukla, then Maibach’s very recent use of Spiggle to file the emergency stay (on production of additional emails) does give credence to the idea that CSLDF is also helping Maibach with attorney aid/assistance.

    • Nice catch and good inference.Spiggles is the wrong attorney. Shukla will need a criminal defense lawyer over the NSF double dipping and the ‘gift’ tomhis family’s ‘charity’ in India.

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