CEI fires back at Ed Maibach over 'emergency stay' of #RICO20 FOIA documents – looks like he's toast

People send me stuff. Earlier today, we saw that Ed Maibach himself hired an attorney to file an emergency stay of release of FOIA documents that George Mason University had planned to release, along with the retroactive removal of the previous tranche of GMU documents from last week that were quite damning in their illustration that Maibach and Shukla not only used their position at GMU to pursue and ask for punishment of climate skeptics and corporations, they were trying to cover it up late in the game by asking to switch to private emails once they started getting some serious public blowback.

There actions are so transparent as to their motive, that many WUWT commenters, including Steve McIntyre were able to see that the legal argument presented by Maibach was full of holes. Most importantly, it seems that GMU is not defending Maibach either with legal counsel or by issuing any statement, suggesting to observers that they have cut him loose from their compliance arguments and he is on his own. For that reason, I think he’s going to be toast.

Some of the very same arguments showing why Maibach’s position is untenable seen in comments from our previous story today, are in the legal response from CEI, which I have a few excerpts of below:

horner-cei-reply-maibach-stay1

horner-cei-reply-maibach-stay2horner-cei-reply-maibach-stay3

horner-cei-reply-maibach-stay4

 

The full legal response is here, well worth a read:

CEI-response-to-maibach-FOI-stay

 

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142 thoughts on “CEI fires back at Ed Maibach over 'emergency stay' of #RICO20 FOIA documents – looks like he's toast

  1. Would instructing his co-conspirators to start using e-mail systems that aren’t covered by a FOIA search, constitute an attempt to obstruct justice?

    • Not at all, but it may open an avenue to subjecting all the emails in question to FOI requests as it relates to this case. I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not actually sure on that.

    • it does create an open for ultimate conspiracy charges though and potentially throws everyone else listed in the e-mail into the Co-Conspirator Bucket for not speaking out about it.

    • Why would you think voice mails are not FOIA searchable? Some corporations are pulling back on voice mail because of just that kind of liability. If it’s not yet real, certainly some corporate lawyers believe it could be very soon.

    • It shows intent to obstruct and to anyone who followed too realized they were breaking the law, or at least ethically skating on the fringes for sure. I wondered who did contact him via the “private” address??? IMHO

      • Mmm. I don’t want to get down to their level. I don’t like their level. Exposing all this for what it is is plenty enough to satisfy me. I require no scalps. “Let them go forth and sin no more” works fine for me. And if not, well, they are their own worst enemies, QED.

  2. Don’t know squat about VA law, but now I’m more puzzled than ever as to how the last AG lost the case on Mann’s e-mails. Perhaps a VA lawyer will weigh in on how to distinguish that case from this one because how can there a split? If these matters must be released, how could the earlier one be denied? “Neither” or “both” what justifies a split????

    • Mann was able to con the judge into believing that the e-mails were regarding legitimate research.
      There is an exception in VA law for research.
      The contents of these e-mails makes it explicit that they were about political activities.

      • I suspect it wasn’t so much as a con job as Kangaroo court. I remember the judge who was assigned to the Mann/Steyn was as blatantly corrupt as could possibly be arranged.

      • What if the research that was claimed in the documents in question was actually fraudulent? Just wondering out-loud. Would the judge still have ruled the same? But then again, in the liberal mindset, fraud may well be akin to science? You know…, it’s OK to lie (or commit fraud,) if the motives are liberal (i.e. Good-LMAO) as many high profile liberals have attested to as of late..
        I am so confused by what is considered science and what is considered computer gaming/speculation. You know.., SEMIemperical data?

  3. “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change” is actually a site that pushes the CEI view (which we all know was fueled by fossil fuel interests).
    [There’s nothing untrue about my masthead statement, and despite your hateful views often exponded on here, I don’take any money from CEI, Exxon, or anybody else to publish these news items. If the fact that I do publish factual court documents upsets your one-side world view, then that’s just too bad. As far as I’m concerned, you can take your opinion stated from behind the protection of anonymity and shove it up the bodily orifice of your choice – Anthony Watts]

    • Tired troll is still tired.
      Funny how reporting the news is now “pushing the CEI view”.
      PS, you are the only one who knows that CEI is funded by fossil fuel interests. A lie doesn’t smell sweeter just because you keep repeating it.

      • ‘PS, you are the only one who knows that CEI is funded by fossil fuel interests’
        Well, not the ONLY guy – just yesterday, a guy on a yahoo comment board told me the same thing – accompanied, of course, by the typically tolerant pejorative label of ‘slimy, disgusting, denier’.
        I’ll say this, these greenie-trolls show us who they really are whenever the opportunity arises, and they never disappoint.

    • I suppose you would see it as orchestrated views and camps if you have never seen otherwise or wanted fact checking outside the fenced camps. It would be like another dimension outside your own. Group think is a dead end future when the fact checking leads in other directions.

      • What is so interesting (or is it sickening?) is that some on the other side want to paint those
        that disagree with them as some kinds of conspiracy theorists. All they while, they themselves
        believe in a massive conspiracy by the oil companies and capitalists and libertarians and anyone
        else they disagree with. They also seem to really like the idea of prosecuting people for having
        different beliefs than they do and shutting down freedom of speech and academic discourse.
        After these displays of illiberalism, they then want to call themselves “liberals”. Sadly, they are
        nothing of the sort – just authoritarian progressives/leftists who can’t tolerate civil debate.

      • There’s an old saying. When you want to know what a leftist is up to, just look at what he is accusing others of doing.
        Projection, the only mental skill most leftists have mastered.

    • Wagen,
      The timing of your visits here, as well as your poisonous viewpoints, lead this viewer to the conclusion that you are paid to side with the totalitarian mindset of those who brought this case about. You may even be one of the principals
      In any case, you have zero credibility with me… and I am using my real name, so sue me, you lying “communicator” traitor to mankind.

    • Wegen,
      Ignorant trolls, and you meet the definition of ignorant troll perfectly, are boring. At least offer more entertainment value. You are more of a wanabee troll. Scoot along and come back when you are a grown up troll.

    • Hi Wagen.
      Still able to post I see. Didn’t Portland Or. just ban Skeptic,, Oops Den?er material from the schools? There is something very very wrong with your side of the argument. Instead of making false and dishonest statements here, you may wish to reexamine your viewpoints. You are on the wrong side.
      michael

      • Oh ya, I read about that. It was ironically hilarious.The Climate Faithful were up in arms over the tentacles of skepticism that had desecrated their noble school. How dare their children be subjected to doubt in the purity of their beliefs.
        And what dire example of anti-science had wormed it’s way into those hallowed halls? Apparently some of the textbooks said that burning fossil fuels MAY lead to thermagedon, not that it was already happening OMG it’s worse then we thought.
        Imagine, subjecting all those young impressionable minds to so much uncertainty in the Holy Faith. Why, next someone may tell them the ocean hasn’t already turned to acid.

    • “Fuelled by fossil fuel interests.”
      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get independently audited just who finances alarmist and sceptic viewpoints. Apart from the +1000:1 amount in favour of the alarmists, mostly from government or dodgy sources, the amount funded for sceptics by fossil fuel interests could probably be found this evening in my trouser/pants pockets.

    • I guess I don’t understand how trolls like you think, but it seems this post is a really, really stupid choice to bring up funding of skeptic sites that have little to no funding by fossil fuels.
      Are you aware of any of the evidence that Shukla and his family have skimmed millions of dollars from his NSF grants? Lamar Smith notes:

      Since 2001, as president of IGES, Dr. Shukla appears to have paid himself and his wife a total of $5.6 million in compensation–an excessive amount for a nonprofit relying on taxpayer money. This information raises serious questions about Dr. Shukla’s financial management of IGES.

      How much money have WUWT and CEI stolen from US tax payers, and what do you have to back that up?
      Or are you just one of those trolls who is jealous that people like Anthony can change the world on a shoestring budget whereas all you can do is hide behind a screen name and whine loudly enough so someone like me is dumb enough to reply?

      • What does “fossil fuel interests” mean, and who are they?

        Well, from all the whining the Climate Faithful do about Exxon and the other petroleum companies you’d think it was them. But most of them have made statements supporting ‘climate science’ and the AGW meme. Several have even jumped on the Renewables gravy train with subsidy wind farms and grant solar projects.
        That leaves the gas and coal industries, but you don’t hear much about them. Mostly that’s because they aren’t as dominated by large multinational companies like petroleum. And it’s harder to convince people of a huge conspiracy being paid for by a whole lot of little companies they’ve never heard of. Ironically, just like with CAGW itself, you have to accept the existence of the Koch funded denial machine on faith.
        So instead we get nonsense like #exxonknows, which to anyone with half a brain proved that if exxon WAS paying for ‘climate skepticism’ there is apparently no proof of it.

      • Beats me.
        Why should a person with income and career based on the climate orthodoxy be less biased than all others?
        Why should government grants foster more noble ideas than other grants, or virtually no grants at all – as is the case for Anthony Watts running WUWT?

    • @Wagen,
      ALL major scientific and medical research before 1950 (it might have been 1949) was funded by industry interests. Had to do with the tax laws. All of it.
      Salk’s vaccine for polio, Tesla’s work,the computer, all of the US 20th C inventions before the mid-century were funded by private industry money. This Miss Tidybowl horsesh**t about funding is devoid of historical reality. The government only got involved because of (1) military interests and a desire to restrict the rest of the world from gaining access to our tech, and (2) going off the gold standard in 1933.

    • Well, I certainly confess to having “fossil fuel interests”, and rather a lot of them, actually.
      That’s because much of the the modern world I live in requires fossil fuels to function. Unlike yours, apparently.
      So which planet did you say you are from?

    • Why would “fossil fuel interests” bother financing sceptical opinion, they know their products are irreplaceable; Climate Change™ so-called ‘mitigation’ measures only increase the price.
      It’s ordinary people, particularly the relatively poor, who are the targets of the alarmists’ campaigns; they are the ones who will bear heaviest burden of a government imposed carbon (dioxide) tax and the like.

    • Fossil fuels have enhanced human life on this planet. Fossil fuel technology has improved life expectancy and our ability to adapt to an ever changing climate. If CEI is supported by parts of the fossil fuel industry, it is another example of the industry helping human beings thrive.

    • Anthony,
      any possibility a Moderator could leave a little information on “Wagen” be interesting to find out more

    • Anthony,
      Even when you chewing a new “orifce” into troll you are the most polite guy on the internet.
      Thanks,
      Craig

    • Well, in Wagen’s defense, this site is actively pushing the CEI’s case, and has never pretended otherwise.
      The problem with is argument is that he does not acknowledge that there can be legitimate disagreement, and he pushes the tired old conspiracy theory about us being funded by fossil fuels.

      • Ben,
        WHICH case? That CEI is correct on the merits (which says he has not argued) or that their freedom of speech is being chilled – – which IMHO every honest person of goodwill ought to see. In fact, even the AGW zealots in the first release tranche refused to co-sign his pogrom. Good for them!

      • Are they “pushing CEI’s case” or defending a principle?
        I thought they were defending the principle that government should not be used to criminalize scientific disagreements.

      • I didn’t say or imply that it’s a bad thing. However, Anthony Watts is clearly not a neutral party. Just because you take a side doesn’t mean you aren’t right. It just means that you have taken a side.

    • Thank You Anthony! That is why I speak out about this one-sided world view. Luckily there are many who are much more verbose and learned then I am. But I am getting better every day thanks to you Anthony!!!

    • Damn, Anthony, don’t hold back. Tell him what you really think. 😀
      You go, guy!

  4. I hear there are job openings at the Ivanpah solar CSP plant in fire control, bird removal, and financial engineering.

    • Also a need for competent Natural Gas supply negotiator, to fuel that free clean green renewable energy machine.
      According to a recent report, they finally succeeded in getting that world’s largest mirror to set fire to some combustible material.
      Any Boy Scout can easily do that with the simple stamp magnifier that he uses to examine his Scout Stamp Collection exhibits.
      G

      • george e. smith May 23, 2016 at 5:55 pm
        Any Boy Scout can easily do that with the simple stamp magnifier that he uses to examine his Scout Stamp Collection exhibits.
        Oh phooey In Tech school (conn) I just used my eye glasses.
        mchael

  5. Anyone who is aware of the Nixon presidency should be aware that the coverup will get you in far greater trouble that the original deed most of the time. Unless they conspired to murder someone, I think all 20 would be better off to release everything the courts ask for.

    • @markstoval, rolling over quickly would be the sensible thing to do, but if they were that sensible they wouldn’t have written the letter in the first place.
      The thing that struck me was this “communicator” intending to teach others to use the same bullying tactics. Can we hope that he will now be teaching his students *not* to do that? Oh, silly me.

      • He should be mandated to take some ethics course like all the other DOJ “Liaryers.”

      • Rather than ethics classes, they should take general science classes. Then scientific method classes because they sure don’t follow standard practices for anything except computer games.
        Did I say that out loud?

    • Coverups only get someone in trouble if the media, courts and law enforcement care to cause trouble about it. Obama, Clinton and Climategate are all good examples of coverups *not* getting anyone in trouble.

      • We are going to have a new President and a new Justice department come January, so anyone who thinks they are in the clear may find they are wrong.

      • Oh, they do. Most sincerely. They have driven themselves crazy over this, and it has caused their principles to fade into the background — this is one aspect of history that actually does repeat itself; it is part of the human condition. Their conclusions have little resemblance to either evidence or, for that matter, fact. And, this whole madcap thing being daylight madness, sanity is not to be presumed. Very poor judgment, all in all, to say the least.

  6. Let’s see a list of the degree programs at GMU that do not require at least one ethics course to graduate. I know business schools added this requirement at least 20 years ago. Let’s see the rest.

    • How can a “class” on ethics really be effective? Once you graduate, you shouldn’t walk into a business meeting and think “for the next hour I will act ethically.” Ethics must permeate all your classes, or it really does not exist.
      To answer my own question: a class on ethics makes sense if it is taught is a way of dissection in biology. The principles of biology that be honored each and every day would be enhanced by intensive dissection into how it works.

      • I think most people are born with parents, so there is no need to go to school to learn ethics. Ethics training is free.
        G

      • Mr. Smith, recently the Superintendent of the Naval Academy said that young people coming into the Academy recently are less ethical than previous students were. He said this while explaining why the Academy’s honor system was being reviewed. And these are supposed to be among the best students in America.

      • George, too many parents leave all training to the public school system these days. And themselves set bad examples for their children in ethical behavior. Not that I think ethics classes at the university level are a substitute. It should be taking place in the home. But in many cases it is not.
        Basil

      • I teach one lecture on professional ethics to second year students. What I am able to do in that time is to point out that our national body has a code of ethics, where to find it, what it says, and that they WILL be expected to follow it and won’t be able to claim ignorance. Then they have to write an essay figuring out what the code requires in a topical ethical dilemma. ( every year there’s a new one.). So they have to have read the code. After that it is up to them.

    • What is the point of doing an “ethics” course, when you have distinguished “ethics” professors such as the bloke from Yale who preys on students from developing countries? – see buzzfeed

  7. Starting to get the feeling that another cold and frozen winter or two and the whole pathetic circus is toast. Too many people now realise it’s a scam and the cork just won’t go back in the bottle. The drift in opinion is a one-way street as no sceptic ever becomes an alarmist – unless it’s for hard cash – but plenty of alarmists become sceptics. The desperate attempts at ‘legal’ silencing of dissent and clubbing honest scientists into submission only accelerates the process of collapse. Only a matter of time before the media turn on those they lionise today, like they inevitably do, and then the rats will begin to pour out of the sinking CAGW ship biting at each other as they go.

    • No. Paris gave blank checks to anyone wanting to wield power in their favorite act of corruption. Watch the new regulations with Paris as the justification.
      As for the Australian election, it is the same shell game as the US 2012 election. Climate change played no part in the election: Obama knew it would be disastrous to run on it (and so did his fawning press). Romney was too preoccupied with other issues (or just too stupid) to make it an issue. So the Democrats put climate change on ice until after the election. It will happen to Australia, too. There is too much money and power at stake for it to wither away.

    • They’ll cling on until the F+raud is uncovered for all to see. I’ve already had someone tell me weeks ago now that it would have to cool for at least 20 years before it could be considered a trend. They’re sticking to their “cause” no matter what. Might have to be pried out with a crowbar – or law enforcement officials.

      • Stephen Rasey, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’ve thought for awhile now that large-scale anger and backlash will be needed to get some serious public examination happening across the board.

  8. I do so enjoy watching academic activists venturing outside after years of study and trying to impose their theoretical viewpoint on the real world.They do seem to have this extraordinary ability to get themselves into trouble when they do.

  9. Let’s see what happens.
    We might just see the Court get compromised on this and cave in to the climate insiders.- it has happened before. Climate obsessed groups have operated with effective impunity for many years.

    • Sorry, forgot the key quote:
      “As I reported in my May 2 column, RBF hosted a secret January 2016 meeting which brought together about a dozen influential anti-fossil fuel activists including 350.org founder Bill McKibben to refine strategies “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.”
      The Rockefeller Family Fund reportedly offered to help fund the campaign through 350.org.
      Two months later on March 29, New York AG Eric Schneiderman headlined a press conference of 16 state attorneys general announcing intentions to prosecute organizations who were “committing fraud” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of manmade climate change. Days later he launched a RICO action against ExxonMobil through legislation originally directed at Mafia figures.”

  10. Personally, I think it’s remarkable I’ve seen none of this in the mass media and it isn’t showing up on any of the popular news aggregators (Google, Yahoo) I track.

  11. Do I smell the distinct odor of funds from the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) behind the emergency stay submitted by a Maibach’s private attorney?
    Need to research that.
    John

    • C’mon, gang. You don’t want people doubting your literacy. jsuther2013 is right: “Their actions.”

  12. get that first head on a post and it’ll break the floodgates.
    draw blood!
    it’s the moment i’ve all been waiting for.

  13. It’s not just institutions. HuffPo banned my E-mail account 2 years ago. Facebook has suspended my commenting abilities until 6/11. Disqus has blocked my commenting. Some moderators flat out tell you, others don’t. I get the impression that my climate comments on LinkedIn are blocked. WordPress also has strange “problems.” I appear to be locked out of realscience. I suppose I violated community “standards” although I suspect it’s complaints.

  14. A recent WUWT post asked, (ironically?) “Why don’t we put Climate Scientists in Charge of the Country?”
    And this is one more reason why not. Scientists, including myself, are generally much worse than not very good at politics. Homer Simpson is better at bare-knuckle politics than most scientists.

  15. Off topic. Driving home today CBC was promoting this nauseating piece of propaganda. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/programs/onthecoast/filmmaker-says-addressing-climate-change-means-addressing-emotions-good-and-bad-1.3596974 Truly stomach churning. Then I get home and find the latest from WUWT and regain my balance. This one brings a deep and profound joy to my heart. I was just at the tip jar but will go again. Anth*ny, take a vacation if you must, but not too long.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/programs/onthecoast/filmmaker-says-addressing-climate-change-means-addressing-emotions-good-and-bad-1.3596974

  16. A person I once knew said: “anything you do during a debacle will only make it worse.””
    This appears to be the case here.

  17. Founded in 1984, CEI is a Washington – based conservative think tank.
    CEI is at the center of the global warming misinformation campaign.
    With more than a $3 million annual budget, CEI is supported by both conservative foundations and corporate funding. Known corporate funders in addition to ExxonMobil include the American Petroleum Institute, Cigna Corporation, Dow Chemical, EBCO Corp, General Motors, and IBM. One of CEI’s prominent funders is conservative Richard Scaife who has provided money through the Carthage and Sara Scaife Foundations. CEI is also heavily supported by the various Koch brother foundations.
    http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
    [and none of this matters, its what is being done in court that matters, but go ahead, spout hate -mod]

    • You’re off your snack mate. Genetic fallacy.
      Disinfo wiki baaaahahahahahahahaha
      Disinfowiki lol, you might as well have gotten a link from DesMog or RationalWiki
      A source it is not, try harder you must

    • 3m annual budget eh, Joel Schwartz who co authors a nice paper praising the EPA gets over 30 MILLION from the EPA.
      One man gets over 10 years of CEI budget from the EPA. Baaahahahahaha

      • I pointed this out, with hard evidence to Oreskes on Twitter on her meltdown about soon getting 65k from an anonymous donor, and the loon had no response, because there was no possible primitive response she could provide, some of her followers asked for evidence, and I gave it and BOOM silence.
        These folks just cant stand up in public open debate. Only within the circle of followers can their arguments survive

      • Yeh, they need to circle the Wagens…
        (hope this comment appears after the comment to which it is addressed…)

    • With more than a $3 million annual budget
      Absolutely peanuts compared to the tsunami of cash being directed at global warming shill non-profits.

    • To a troll, anything that runs counter to what they are paid to propagate is “mis-information”.
      Only a small portion of CEI’s budget goes towards global warming issues.
      The organizations you mention are just a few of many organizations that fund CEI.
      It really is sad the way trolls actually believe that who funds you automatically discredits what you say.

    • Do you have any idea how tiny a 3 million dollar a year budget is? It will cover maybe 20 staff, rent on a building, insurance, consumables, reasonable travel. Oh, I forgot journal subscriptions, which are not cheap. Those corporate sponsors are contributing out of petty cash.
      The only question, really, is whether CEI did anything wrong, and clearly they deserve to be burned at the stake for not lying about their heresy. Most people who believe in CAGW only do so because they think others believe. The 97% is a powerful persuader. If the heretics start whining about facts the whole thing could fall apart and then what would happen? No, burning’s too good for the CEI, send in the attack AsG! /sarc.

  18. After making these comments and one on Mann’s Twitter, no abuse no harassment, no insults nothing, I was locked out of twitter and over a week later my appeal has not been dealt with, still locked out.
    Twitter is a liberal attack vector, entirely political, just like facebook

  19. “Edward Maibach is a University Professor and Director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication”
    Attention all institutions of higher learning: Is it prudent to allow faculty to extend your credibility in order to raise funds to sway opinion on political hot-topics? How about: The University X Center for Communication of Right to Life, or: The University Y Institute for Handgun Communication? So you think it is possible for you to hold at arm’s length your faculty who are executive directors of these centers simply because they raise external funds?

  20. He can always say it was an experiment in climate communication to see how fraud affects public perception and what it takes to recover from getting busted.

  21. 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.
    ** http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/2015/10/10/climate-scientist-threatened-with-investigation-by-congress/
    John
    PS – this comment was inadvertently posted on a previous WUWT story about Maibach

  22. A legal comment. The CEI brief linked in the post is not a response either to Mainach’s stay motion or his intervention motion. It was the brief that persuaded the judge to release the in camera documents Maibach/GMU provided the judge for the purpose of deciding whether they were public (subject to VFIOA) or private. One also must presume these put the best face on things from GMU’s perspective. The stay motion is about the rest of the emails discovered, that GMU was going to release to CEI, until the intervention motion can be heard. Fairly amateurish, the intervention. Maibach has already lost on the public/private issue. His argument that the VFIOA research exception applies fails on its face. This was advocacy, not research.
    One is forced to conclude he would not still be fighting unless there is some ugly stuff in the rest of the emails.

    • ristvan,
      There is another possible story behind Maibach filing a last moment emergency stay (on the production of the remainder of the GMU emails).
      Maibach’s filing could also just be an emotional angst type of knee jerk behavior with nothing to do with any attempt at either a plausible strategy or consistent logic.
      John

  23. What is this reporting? I’ll leave aside that nobody seems to mind, or at least notice, CEI cherry-picking quotes and getting facts. That’s at least errors originating in the underlying documents. I just want to know what this is:

    Earlier today, we saw that Ed Maibach himself hired an attorney to file an emergency stay of release of FOIA documents that George Mason University had planned to release, along with the retroactive removal of the previous tranche of GMU documents from last week that were quite damning…

    I don’t believe those e-mails “quite were damning,” as I’ve explained before, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important can be seen in the headline of a previous post here:

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

    I genuinely want to know what this “reporting” is because there is absolutely nothing in any of these motions calling for the “retroactive removal of the previous tranche of GMU documents.” The type of motion he filed isn’t even capable of calling for such. There is absolutely nothing on which to base this sort of “reporting.”

    • Thanks for your commentary. I made the headline based on the interpretation
      of a legal expert who emailed me with the information and attachments.
      While I can’t give the entire email I can provide this part:
      “The attached filings show that this morning [Maibach’s attorney] rushed to
      Richmond seeking an emergency stay of the GMU production of everything —
      what we already have, and what we do not yet have — which we are owed today
      under court order. ”
      This is from the email sent to me by an attorney working on the GMU FOI
      case.
      I’m not a legal expert, nor am I privy to internal working details of the
      case, so I believed this statement in the email sent to me. When my expert
      source says “…emergency stay of the GMU production of everything — what
      we already have…” That “what we already have” says “retroactive” to me.
      I certainly didn’t make anything up, I relied on advice from an attorney
      with inside knowledge of the case., and I defer to that person’s statements
      over others who aren’t attorneys and who aren’t working on the case. The
      attorney that sent me the email has not asked for a correction related to
      the “retroactive” part.
      Also, I’ve had no request for correction from anyone at GMU. In fact, there
      has been no complaint about that from anyone but you. That’s not a slam,
      just a statement of what I observed this week.
      It is possible the attorney misspoke the opinion to me, or maybe there is
      more to the story that neither of us is yet privy to. I would appreciate
      amending/correcting your own headline which accuses me of “making things up”
      when In fact I had a reference from an insider expert. If the reference from
      the attorney is wrong (and I’ll ask) or somehow what he previewed and what
      was actually filed with the court (maybe somebody caught the retroactive
      part before final submission and removed it) I certainly have no problem
      amending or correcting mine.
      Anthony Watts

    • Here is the section of Maibach’s petition that Brandon Schollenberger apparently missed, that give a request to the court that is clearly retroactive, arguing that the April 22nd and May 13th court rulings be reversed. The May 13th court ruling was the one that release the first tranche of emails.
      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/maibach-retroactive.png
      Maibach clearly was trying to put the genie back in the bottle.
      This legal opinion (prepared by two attorneys working on the GMU/Maibach case) of Brandon’s recent blog post where he claims we “make things up” here shows why in fact there’s nothing wrong with my reporting.

      That is in fact a reasonable reading of what Prof. Maibach’s filings seeks, given not only that the practical meaning of seeking to stay the order releasing the records — including those produced in the litigation process, already in the public domain which would have to be clawed back — but also just how ambiguous the filing was.
      At the end of his motion, he says he seeks a stay, or reconsideration, or “some combination thereof” of the Court’s 22 April and 13 May 2016 orders ordering (and already resulting in partial) release: the orders that produced the documents, which he wants either stayed or nullified. Even without expressly claiming retroactivity, overturning those orders would have a retroactive effect, as your correspondent surely knows.
      It will no doubt gratify the court that someone has found the hidden desires of this filing — delay and an outlet for ad hominem being the only obvious objectives — however unlikely that reading that Maibach doesn’t actually want the records already in petitioners’ possession returned. Otherwise one might conclude that the unclear prayer for relief doesn’t actually mean what it implies as a practical matter.
      As petitioners have pointed out, it’s even less clear if the Court would have the authority to grant that relief, given it no longer has jurisdiction over the case, one of numerous problems which the author of Maibach’s messy pleadings seems to understand: counsel chose to cite only unpublished, trial level opinions to support the ideas she raises, rather than binding precedent from the Supreme Court of Virginia…what with the published precedent making clear this court has no jurisdiction and the filing was therefore an inappropriate time-waster that counsel should have been aware of as a member of the Virginia bar.
      In fact the pleadings are so deficient in so many, respects — such as violating the Court’s rules — that the petitioners are forced to seek sanctions against counsel, a rare move not undertaken lightly.

      Brandon is simply wrong.

      • Law is a lot more bridge than poker. Usually, not always, but usually “everything comes out in the wash.”

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