Leo DiCaprio Used Dark Money To Annoy People With Climate Lawsuits

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio reportedly used his non-profit to award funds to dark money groups, which then funneled the money to a law firm that files nuisance climate-related lawsuits.

Communications between philanthropist Dan Emmett and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) climate professor Ann Carlson revealed that they worked with law firm Sher Edling to raise money to sue oil companies over alleged climate change deception, according to Fox News Digital. Emmett told Carlson in 2018 that she could tell prospective donors that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation had become “serious supporters” of Sher Edling’s ongoing litigation, Fox continued.

The lawsuits filed by Sher Edling were said to be supported by the Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience, and Adaptation at the time, Fox News reported noted. This fund was managed by the Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), a dark money group, according to Fox News.

Emmett and Carlson reportedly discussed how Sher Edling’s director of strategic client relationships, Chuck Savitt, had sought support from the philanthropist, noting that they had received such financial support from DiCaprio’s foundation CEO, Terry Tamminen, between 2016 and 2019, the outlet continued.

“Chuck Savitt who is heading this new organization behind the lawsuits has been seeking our support,” Emmett reportedly wrote in an email to Carlson on July 22, 2017. “Terry Tamminen in his new role with the DiCaprio Foundation has been a key supporter.”

The emails were sent roughly two months prior to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s announcement of $20 million in grants for various climate and conservation efforts, Fox News reported. The announcement was subsequently deleted, but archives shared by Fox News show that the RLF received funding “to support precedent-setting legal actions to hold major corporations in the fossil fuel industry liable.”

Sher Edling received more than $5.2 million from RLF between 2017 and 2020, Fox News continued. The firm predominantly filed suits on behalf of cities and states, including California, Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Baltimore, and Honolulu against major oil companies.

“Wanted to let you know that we filed the first three lawsuits supported by the Collective Action Fund on Monday,” Savitt told Emmett in one of the emails reviewed by Fox News.

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Alex Jones and the Right to Offend

On Dec. 14, 2012, a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six staffers.  Alex Jones, a controversial far-right talk show host, called the Sandy Hook massacre a U.S. government hoax, staged using crisis actors, to serve as a pretext for gun control.  Parents of one of the slain children filed a defamation suit against Jones, claiming that followers of Jones had harassed them and sent them death threats for years in the false belief that they were lying about their son’s death.

Jones’s defense was his right to free speech and that he was not responsible for the harassment.  He lost.  The jury awarded the parents $45.2 million in punitive damages on top of $4.1 million in compensatory damages — another example of outrageous damage verdicts that plague the legal system.

Freedom of speech is coming under attack from all directions.  The primary assault is based on the existence of a new “right”: the right not to be offended.  It is claimed by many on the left that the right not to be offended is more important than the right to free expression.

Our colleges and universities have fallen victim to this new “right.”  The feelings of students often constitute sufficient justification for campus censorship.  If a conservative speaker offends some of the students, that speaker can be denied a platform.  “The belief that free speech rights don’t include the right to speak offensively is now firmly entrenched on campuses and enforced by repressive speech or harassment codes,” wrote attorney Wendy Kaminer in The Atlantic.

The problem is spreading to the mainstream.  In the 2010 case of Nurre v. Whitehead, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that school authorities can deny students’ rights to free speech just to keep other students from being offended.  The courts are “allowing schools the discretion to let an offended minority control a cowed majority,” constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead wrote in the Huffington Post.  “There is no way to completely avoid giving offense,” he said.  “At some time or other, someone is going to take offense at something someone else says or does.  It’s inevitable.  Such politically correct thinking has resulted in a host of inane actions, from the Easter Bunny being renamed ‘Peter Rabbit’ to Christmas Concerts being dubbed ‘Winter’ Concerts.”

In a democratic republic, there can be no right not to be offended.  If anyone can prohibit another person’s speech because it’s offensive, there is no limit to the restrictions that can be placed on free expression.  As the late author Christopher Hitchens said, “[f]reedom of speech must include the license to offend.”

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22 States Sue Over ‘Gender Identity’ Rule Controlling $29 Billion For Poor Kids’ Meals

Twenty-two states are suing President Joe Biden’s administration for threatening to zap school-meal program funding unless the states comply with new rules surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation in schools.

The lawsuit represents the latest volley fired in the ongoing battles between state officials and Biden, who they accuse of usurping their authority through his executive orders.

The states complain that a federal nondiscrimination rule, set to take effect Aug. 15, seeks to impose “obligations that apparently stretch as far as ending sex-separated living facilities and athletics and mandating the use of biologically inaccurate preferred pronouns,” said the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Tennessee, on July 26.

“The Biden administration’s sweeping rhetoric treats normal practices, such as sex-separated bathrooms and athletics, as ‘discriminatory’ even though DOJ and the Department of Education treated those as legal, nondiscriminatory practices as recently as last year,” the suit says.

A fact sheet about the proposed policy cited examples of discriminatory acts, as interpreted by bureaucrats, under the new rule: “Preventing a transgender high school girl [a biological male] from using the girls’ restroom” and “preventing a transgender high school girl [a biological male] from “try[ing] out for the girls’ cheerleading team,” the lawsuit says.

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Biden administration officials are subpoenaed over Big Tech censorship collusion

The suspected collusion between Big Tech and Big Government is nothing new, but now the issue is playing out in court: in May, a lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Western District Court of Louisiana seeks to prove that such inappropriate ties in fact exist.

The plaintiffs are the states of Missouri and Louisiana while President Biden and senior figures from his White House – including Dr. Anthony Fauci – are named as defendants. The allegation is that the collusion to suppress speech happened specifically around topics like Covid and election security, and that this was done with the pretense of fighting “misinformation.”

The legal process is now in the discovery phase and those who must respond to discovery requests and present documents and information relevant to the case are Fauci and the institution he heads, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and its head, Jen Easterly, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Biden Administration is sued over DHS social media surveillance allegations

The Oversight Project, run by conservative think tank Heritage, has sued the Biden administration over surveillance of people through social media.

The lawsuit demands the release of documents related to the DHS’ contract with Babel Street, a Virginia-based company that provides surveillance and data mining technologies.

We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.

The DHS has a contract with Babel Street to provide Babel X, a tool that scrapes data from smartphone apps and online sources. According to a report on Heritage’s website, government agencies “can aggregate and search that data by any number of keywords and in many languages.”

Speaking to The Washington Post in 2017, the company’s founder Jeff Chapman said: “There are billions of smartphones on the planet. All you have to do is listen to them.”

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Pfizer Asks Court to Dismiss Whistleblower Lawsuit Because Government Was Aware of Fraud

lawsuit filed by whistleblower Brook Jackson alleging Pfizer and two of its contractors manipulated data and committed other acts of fraud during Pfizer’s COVID-19 clinical trials is paused following a motion by the defendants to dismiss the case.

In an interview with The Defender, Jackson’s lawyer said Pfizer argued the lawsuit, which was filed under the False Claims Act, should be dismissed because the U.S. government knew of the wrongdoings in the clinical trials but continued to do business with the vaccine maker.

Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can be rewarded for confidentially disclosing fraud that results in a financial loss to the federal government.

However, a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision that expanded the scope of a legal principle known as “materiality” resulted in a series of federal court decisions in which fraud cases brought under the False Claims Act were dismissed.

As interpreted by the Supreme Court, if the government continued paying a contractor despite the contractor’s fraudulent activity, the fraud was not considered “material” to the contract.

Pfizer is a federal contractor because it signed multiple contracts with the U.S. government to provide COVID-19 vaccines and Paxlovid, a pill used to treat the virus.

“Pfizer claims they can get away with fraud as long as the government would write them a check despite knowing about the fraud,” attorney Robert Barnes said.

The other two defendants in the case are Ventavia Research Group, which conducted vaccine trials on behalf of Pfizer, and ICON PLC, also a Pfizer contractor.

In an attempt to strengthen the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provisions and install new safeguards against industry-level blacklisting of whistleblowers seeking employment, Congress in July 2021 introduced the False Claims Amendments Act of 2021.

In December 2021, Pfizer hired a well-connected lobbyist, Hazen Marshall, and the law firm Williams & Jensen to lobby against the bill.

Pfizer previously was heavily fined in connection with the False Claims Act. As part of a 2009 settlement, the company paid $2.3 billion in fines — the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the U.S. Department of Justice — stemming from allegations of illegal marketing of off-label products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Pfizer, one of the most criminally fined drug companies in the world, wants to weaken the laws that hold them accountable,” Barnes told The Defender.

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Facebook blocks links to website detailing how users can get class action settlement payout from Facebook

Facebook is blocking links to the official class action claims page for a lawsuit settlement for users affected by privacy concerns. The page helps users receive their payout from Facebook and Facebook is marketing the page as “spam” or “abusive,” which prevents people from learning about how to claim.

“If you are a person who, between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, inclusive, were a Facebook User in the United States who visited non-Facebook websites that displayed the Facebook Like button, you may be eligible for a payment from a Class Action Settlement,” the website reads.

Reclaim The Net was alerted to the censorship by a reader and was able to confirm with David Strait, a partner at the DiCello Levitt Gutzler law firm, a party litigating the case, that fbinternettrackingsettlement.com is the official page for users to see if they’re eligible for a claim.

When users on Facebook Messenger try to share the link with someone, they’re greeted with a message saying, “(#368) The action attempted has been deemed abusive or is otherwise disallowed,” hindering the sharing of the claim information.

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ATF Shuts Down Gunmaker After Suit By Anti-Gun Group

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) revoked a Nevada firearm manufacturer’s license following litigation from an anti-gun organization and two states challenging the agency’s decision to reinstate the gunmaker’s license, multiple outlets reported.

“ATF hereby reports that, on March 24, 2022, it sent JA Industries a notice of revocation of its firearms license,” a March 30 letter from the ATF said. The letter came after a lawsuit brought by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, and the state of Illinois as well as Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control group partly founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other mayors, challenged the ATF’s decision to grant a license to JA Industries, USA Today reported

The company, originally known as Jimenez Arms, made affordable handguns until filing for bankruptcy in 2020 on the heels of a lawsuit in which Kansas City claimed it was a public nuisance due to its alleged contribution to firearms trafficking, Newsweek reported. It later reincorporated as JA Industries and was reissued its license by the ATF.

Everytown then followed up with a 2021 lawsuit against the ATF over its decision to grant the license to JA Industries, claiming that due to its alleged violations of the Gun Control Act, the gunmaker was ineligible to be licensed.

“I think this is an undisputed important step toward shutting down a manufacturer that flouted federal law and facilitated gun trafficking,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown, told USA Today. “It shouldn’t have taken three lawsuits to get ATF to do its job. I can only hope this marks a beginning of a new era at ATF where it starts to serve as a watchdog of the American people rather than a lapdog to the gun industry.”

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FBI’s Operation to Infiltrate Right-Wing Extremist Groups Lies at Center of Transparency Lawsuit

An FBI right-wing infiltration operation tangled in allegations of witness tampering, evidence suppression, and connections to the Oklahoma City bombing has been exposed through one man’s unprecedented Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. government.

And the case isn’t over yet.

Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue’s 2006 FOIA lawsuit against the FBI and CIA for Oklahoma City bombing records is indeed still an open matter, having been sealed and litigated behind closed doors since 2015 over witness tampering allegations.

Trentadue’s case is unprecedented, according to Judicial Watch. It’s rare for a FOIA case to go to trial and even rarer for one to entail allegations as serious as witness tampering, according to Judicial Watch senior investigator Sean Dunagan.

“We’re one of the largest FOIA litigants in this country, and we’ve never been involved in anything that involves that degree of alleged misconduct by the [FBI],” Dunagan said. “It’s astounding.”

Trentadue declined to comment on the sealed aspects of the case, including when the litigation might conclude. However, he did agree to an interview about the events leading up to 2015. He also provided The Epoch Times with access to a trove of court documents, transcripts, and other records that show details about the federal government’s domestic counterterrorism operations.

His records describe an FBI program known as Patriot Conspiracy (PATCON)—a secret operation to infiltrate right-wing and domestic extremist groups.

PATCON has been in the public record for years, described in detail by historian Wendy Painting’s 2016 doctoral thesis-turned-book “Aberration in the Heartland of the Real.” But PATCON has received little media attention outside of the late journalist Will Grigg. Other journalists have attempted to cover PATCON, only to run into censorship issues.

The reasons for the alleged attempts to suppress PATCON are clear, according to Trentadue.

“The FBI’s real objective in PATCON had been to infiltrate and to incite these fringe groups to violence,” he said.

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Unconstitutional? CA bill would permit citizens to enforce weapons ban, sue gunmakers

In an attempt to skirt the U.S. Constitution and challenge the Supreme Court, a new bill in California would allow private citizens to go after gun makers in the same way Texas lets them target abortion providers.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) proposed Friday letting private citizens in his state sue gun makers to stop them from selling assault weapons, comparing the bill to one in Texas that lets its residents sue abortion providers to stop the procedures.

At a news conference in Del Mar, Newsom said he thought the Texas law was wrong and that the Supreme Court’s decision in December to let it stay in effect while it goes through appeal was “absurd” and “outrageous”:

“But they opened up the door. They set the tone, tenor, the rules. And either we can be on the defense complaining about it or we can play by those rules. We are going to play by those rules.

“We’ll see how principled the U.S. Supreme Court is.”

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