The James O’Keefe Protection Racket

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John Patrick Frey, aka @Patterico, is being sued by Nadia Naffe, former confidante of James O’Keefe. Ken White, the blogging lawyer at Popehat, is a proud member of Frey’s pro bono defense team:

Today I write to offer pleadings for anyone interested in the case, and a pleasing update regarding its status. As long as litigation continues, I’ll refrain for both prudential and stylistic reasons from arguing our case here, other than to say we continue to believe the case is an abusive and meritless attempt to retaliate against protected speech. As a result, I won’t be explaining the motions or legal theories, or helping you decipher legalese. You’re on your own. Sorry. (Emphasis mine)

I think I can cut past the legalese. What Popehat calls “protected speech” is behavior that Naffe calls “witness intimidation.” Frey posted unredacted documents (.PDF) revealing Naffe’s personal and medical information, then treated Twitter as his courtroom to cross-examine her (.PDF).

As a consequence of these acts by Frey, her credit has been ruined and her identity stolen to buy prescription drugs. Naffe receives crank telephone calls and constant smearing in conservative social media circles. And just think: any potential employer who Googles her name will find all of this out in less than a second.

In the parlance of hackers and internet obsessives, Frey subjected Naffe to a thorough “doxing.” He did this after Naffe alleged that James O’Keefe tried to drug and sexually assault her — just like that weird stunt O’Keefe tried to pull with CNN’s Abbie Boudreau, but extra creepy — and also alleged that O’Keefe may have violated his federal probation by wiretapping Congresswoman Maxine Waters‘ office.

She planned to take the evidence of O’Keefe’s activities to the Los Angeles County District Attorney before Frey preemptively attacked her reputation. That is a pattern of behavior with this Deputy DA, who seems to function as the enforcement arm for the Breitbart empire. Nadia Naffe is not the first, nor will she be the last person Frey attacks on behalf of James O’Keefe. See his posts hereherehere and here for only a few examples out of many, not to mention his unabashed glee at O’Keefe’s antics.

Reports say that Naffe faces an uphill battle with an unfriendly judge (thus the “pleasing update” from Popehat). Naffe’s attorney, Jay Liederman, has been given leave to amend the complaint to satisfy specific requirements. Among these is that the court should see evidence of Frey using the imprimatur of his office to harass Naffe and others.

Assuming it meets the criteria set forth by the judge, Liederman ought to include the full text of Frey’s IM chats with Anonymous self-proclaimed “spokesman” Barrett Brown (.PDF). After all, it’s not every day a city prosecutor turns to a hacker-spokesman wanted by the FBI for help. Frey wanted Brown to help him discredit Naffe’s attorney and the suit against him, even though he knew Liederman was defending Anons pro bono. There is nothing about this that isn’t an abuse of power.

Whatever the outcome of this legal action is, a bar complaint has been filed enumerating the different ways Mr. Frey has harassed, bullied, intimidated and otherwise behaved unethically toward Ms. Naffe. So when Ken White cites “prudential and stylistic reasons” for not getting into the legal weeds, remember what he means by “protected speech:” he is not helping Patterico defend himself against abuse, but helping Frey escape consequences for his abuse of Naffe.

About Matt Osborne

Veteran blogging the culture wars from Alabama. Video journalist, mash-up artist, aspiring novelist, and metalhead. Expect bunnies, geekery, dark humor, and snarky empirical analysis to annoy idealists of all stripes. You can follow me on Twitter, but be ready 'cause it might get loud.
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