NY Attorney General Letitia James Mugs Us (As Well As Donald Trump, NRA etc.).
Announcing VDARE.com's 2023 Summer Conference
See Peter Brimelow interviewed by Paul Harrell about this lawfare attack on the Stew Peters show here, and listen to him talk to James Edwards here.
President Donald J. Trump’s indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (as with impeachment, it was always obvious that if emoting Democrats didn’t charge Trump with this, they’d charge him with that) had one great redeeming feature for us here at VDARE.com: as with the concurrent Douglass Mackey / Ricky Vaughn lynching, it brings home, to at least the half of America that voted for Trump, that what Anglosphere independent media phenom Mark Steyn has judiciously described in a recent interview with Conrad Black as “America’s Dirty Stinking Rotten Corrupt ‘Justice’ System” is now hopelessly politicized, weaponized, and increasingly subordinated, exactly like Soviet law, to a totalitarian ideological faction.
Which makes it easier for us to explain why VDARE.com’s advocacy of immigration patriotism is now facing the most serious threat in its 24-year existence.
And that’s saying a lot in this era, unparalleled in U.S. history, of intensifying shadow-banning, deplatforming, demonetization, doxing and ongoing Chinese Communist Social Credit–style stealth deprivation of professional and commercial services.
VDARE.com is the main project of our tax-exempt 501(c)(3) VDARE Foundation. And the VDARE Foundation has been mugged—targeted for lawfare by New York State Attorney General Letitia James , yet another of those childless female Black Supremacists who so much enrich our political life.
AG Letitia James to host Drag Story Hour for kids in NYC, sparking outrage https://t.co/PSzGn8LKVY pic.twitter.com/ejV8VSKcaO— New York Post (@nypost) March 14, 2023
[New York AG Letitia James hosts ’Drag Story Hour’ for children: ’Celebration of love, joy and family fun,’ by Lindsay Kornick, Fox News, March 19, 2023]
It has become unmistakably clear that NYAG James aims to suppress our VDARE.com website, seize control of the VDARE Foundation and even expropriate our Berkeley Springs Castle, WV headquarters (which she probably intends to fill with Third World “asylum seekers”).
Of course, we share this badge of honor with more prominent targets of NYAG James—notably Trump, but also the National Rifle Association [New York AG sues to dissolve the NRA, alleging widespread fraud, Politico, August 6, 2020], Project Veritas [N.Y. attorney general warns Project Veritas its fundraising license is at risk, by Shawn Boburg, Washington Post, November 30, 2017] and other patriots unfortunate enough to be technically in reach of her lawless politically motivated rampage.
But President Trump and the NRA (five million members, total assets over $200 million) can, arguably, afford it.
VDARE.com, which is a tiny organization (revenues typically $600k-$800k range, no endowment), absolutely cannot.
Note also that NYAG Letitia James has not yet even accused us of any infraction—much less have we been convicted. We are merely being “investigated”—at deliberately destructive expense.
In other words, we are being battered to death by subpoena.
It really is true that as Mark Steyn has also said, “the process is the punishment.” This is the regulatory version of the prosecutorial abuse epidemic identified more than twenty years ago (to the great dismay of his allies in the naive law-and-order Reagan Era conservative movement) by my old friend Paul Craig Roberts.
It is only because of the extraordinary generosity of our donors that we have been able to finance our defense against NYAG Letitia James’ mugging thus far.
Most tiny organizations like ours would already have been forced to capitulate—which is probably what NYAG Letitia James was counting on.
I am sure she is astounded by our supporters’ loyalty.
But now this effort has brought us to financial crisis. Our general funds have been drained, and we are right at the point of being unable to pay our writers and our technical support staff, with no end in sight to this harassment.
Which is why I must beg you to help us—now.
Trump (Love Him Or Hate Him) Was Right About NYAG Letitia James
As single-issue immigration patriots, we at VDARE.com regarded presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s historic August 15, 2015 immigration statement as a triumphant vindication of our long struggle to get the immigration issue into politics.
Since then, of course, we have occasionally voiced disappointment with President Trump’s achievements in office (although we did accurately anticipate that a Biden Regime would be infinitely worse).
Nevertheless, let the record show that, in an August 10, 2022 deposition in NYAG Letitia James ’s lawfare attack on Trump (quite separate from Manhattan DA Melvin Bragg’s lawfare attack—there are a lot of them), Trump opened with a statement that was a definitive takedown of her thuggery.
Trump described James as “a renegade and out-of-control prosecutor” engaged in “an unfounded, politically motivated witch hunt.”
As Trump pointed out, James ran for New York State Attorney General in 2018 explicitly promising to sue him—before she could have known any of the actual facts. She did the same with the NRA. (Trump also noted that in her campaign she called him “an illegitimate president,” something which, if said about Joe Biden, is now apparently a hanging offense).
Trump then proceeded to refuse to answer any questions on Fifth Amendment grounds (at 12:12 below).
Quite right too.
Subsequently, Trump wrote on his Truth Social outlet:
I don’t expect that President Trump will Truth Social any time soon about how our tiny VDARE.com should also be supported.
But the fact is that we are, all of us, in the same fight—against a Totalitarian Woke weaponized justice system.
And so is America.
A Point Of Personal Privilege
And I must rise here on a point of personal privilege, as they say in the U.S. Senate.
I began writing about America’s post-1965 immigration disaster with my 1992 National Review cover story that has been credited with starting the modern debate. I did this despite the fact that my then-employer, Steve Forbes, was gearing up for a Presidential run featuring bone-headed Wall Street Journal Editorial Page–type immigration enthusiasm. I kept on writing about the immigration disaster despite the savage Regime Media backlash, my completely unexpected betrayal by National Review founder William F. Buckley and by Conservatism Inc. in general, the increasingly ominous threat to my ability to feed my family even in the obscure briar patch of financial journalism, abandonment by cowardly former friends, unbridled abuse and physical threats.
And now, at the age of 75, I am still working on the immigration issue in my office in the Berkeley Springs Castle every day.
I regret nothing—Non, je ne regrette rien, as the French Foreign Legionnaires famously sang as they were taken prisoner after their attempt to save French Algeria failed in 1961.
Maybe that’s not the most hopeful analogy. But I like it.
Nevertheless, nothing has infuriated me as much as the lying insinuation by NYAG James that I, and my wife Lydia, bought the Castle to benefit ourselves personally.
Exactly the opposite is true. Because Lydia and I knew no commercial bank could be trusted not to cave to political pressure and pull a mortgage in the most inconvenient way—as happened to Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant in Canada [Canadian media outlet says bank denied it a commercial mortgage over conservative political leanings, by Yael Halon, Fox News, December 30, 2021]—we had to gamble on pouring all of an unprecedented and wonderfully generous 2019 gift to the VDARE Foundation into buying the Castle for cash. (The prudent and self-interested course would have been to invest it and live off the proceeds.) We sold our much-loved home in the beautiful Connecticut Berkshires. We uprooted our little daughters and moved to a small rental cottage on the Castle grounds here in Appalachia. We were forced to do this because, in the three years before COVID, our proposed conferences had been canceled because of political pressure more than a dozen times (see e.g., here, here, here, here). We concluded that, for a persecuted organization like ours to hold conferences, it ultimately must own its own venue.
The net effect: The Brimelow family no longer owns a home. But its shelter dollars now go to support the Berkeley Springs Castle complex. What NYAG Letitia James is insinuating here adds insult to injury—in fact, it adds injury (in the form of her deliberately ruinous subpoena harassment) to insult (see above) to the professional injury I have already, I may say unflinchingly, sustained.
Of course, this could never happen if the U.S. were still the Land of the Free. But the fact is that what we all now face is a communist coup. And America’s corrupted legal and regulatory institutions are complicit.
So I say: to hell with NYAG Letitia James!—and to hell with those e.g., the supposedly libertarian Reason commenters cheering her on.
And to hell with everyone else enabling this new Soviet America.
Why was the VDARE.com Foundation registered in New York State, and thus vulnerable to thugs like NYAG Letitia James, anyway?
The VDARE Foundation was set up in 1999 by a heroic volunteer lawyer who at that time did a great deal of pro bono work for the immigration patriot movement. He happened to be admitted to the bar in New York State, so he set it up there.
(However, contrary to NYAG Letitia James’ insinuations in her filings, the foundation was subsequently dormant for several years because we were working through another foundation registered in a different state. This is why we made no further filings: they were not necessary.)
It is perfectly normal for 501(3) charities to be registered in states other than those in which they have a physical presence.
And at the time, of course, with the West’s concurrent victory in the Cold War, no one had any idea of the communist Reign of Terror that was subsequently to sweep through American institutions, above all after the apparently unauthorized election of Donald J. Trump in 2016.
Thus our heroic volunteer lawyer was later forced by his white-shoe law firm, to its great discredit, to abandon his pro bono work for immigration patriots. This an example of the stealth “Chinese Communist Social Credit–style deprivation of professional and commercial services” (see above) that is a key part of America’s ongoing communist coup.
Why didn’t VDARE leave New York State?
New York State has to give its consent for a 501©(3) to leave.
Because our unusually good fundraising year pushed us over a N.Y. regulatory threshold, we initiated an exhaustive financial audit (i.e., a qualified third party had to look over our accounts). Our aim was to be fully compliant before we even considered raising our heads above the parapet with a request to exit.
This audit was very much hampered by the fact that our Connecticut accountants suddenly abandoned us and refused to suggest referrals (see “Chinese Communist Social Credit–style stealth deprivation of professional services” above).
The trivial, very common, easily corrected, and anyway generally obviated by the statute of limitations regulatory missteps that NYAG Letitia James is now hyperventilating about (see below) arose in the resulting chaos because we had so much trouble finding a replacement. In fact, at one point we had to turn to VDARE.com accountant reader, who had kindly offered his services.
The audit was completed—triumphantly. But of course NYAG Letitia James has ignored it anyway.
However, once the VDARE Foundation was forced into the real estate business in order to own its conference venue, we had to reorganize legally, at considerable expense, in a way that is more typical of commercial operations, to protect ourselves against predatory lawsuits (whether politically motivated or not), e.g., slip-and-fall. Thus the VDARE Foundation now owns a for-profit LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) that holds the property surrounding the Castle and leases it back to VDARE. And the Berkeley Springs Castle itself is now owned by the Berkeley Springs Castle Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting organization of the VDARE Foundation that is registered in West Virginia. NYAG Letitia James has made numerous lying references to this reorganization (see below).
What has NYAG Letitia James done?
Last summer, we learned from Facebook that NYAG Letitia James had hit it with two overlapping subpoenas regarding its transactions with us:
This was a flagrant violation of procedure. The Stored Communications Act, specifically 18 U.S. Code § 2703(b)(1)(b), permits a government agency to obtain third-party information from Facebook or other internet services—provided that there is ”prior notice from the governmental entity to the subscriber or customer” [viz., the third party, here VDARE].
But NYAG Letitia James never provided VDARE.com with that notice. An email from Facebook was the first we heard about it.
She simply disregarded the law.
This has turned out to be a pattern.
Significantly, in both cases, the Facebook subpoenas were issued on NYAG Letitia James’ behalf by someone called Rick Sawyer, who is described as “Special Counsel for Hate Crimes.” (In his email signature, Sawyer advertises his pronouns as “he/him”—for now.)
Needless to say, VDARE.com has not committed, or has even (yet) been accused of, a crime of any kind—let alone a “Hate Crime” (which we have anyway consistently argued is an unconstitutional concept).
But Commissar Sawyer’s role betrays what is really motivating NYAG Letitia James: not some technical issue arising from her role of overseer of charities, but the suppression of political opinion she dislikes (aka “Hate”). She apparently thinks she can do this by claiming that such political opinion results in “Hate Crimes” (unlike, of course, Black Lives Matter rhetoric).
Needless to say, this is a direct assault on our First Amendment rights.
NYAG’s James’ move against Facebook was especially bizarre because Facebook had, without warning to us, deleted VDARE.com’s page some two years earlier, all too obviously as part of its Woke campaign to defeat President Trump in that fall’s Presidential election [The 2020 Election Wasn’t Stolen, It Was Bought By Mark Zuckerberg, by William Doyle, The Federalist, October 12, 2021].
(With characteristic leftist vindictiveness, Facebook also deleted our own personal pages, which in Lydia’s case was entirely non-political—she had used it, as all student Millennials were encouraged to do, as a diary, family resource and baby book, showing our children’s first steps, etc.—and has refused to return her data, although we understand it is legally her property.)
And we never raised much money through Facebook anyway, or spent much money on promotion there, partly because I had quickly concluded it was shadow-banning us.
So why was NYAG Letitia James targeting Facebook at all? One theory: She or her minions might actually have been crazy enough to think our Social Media Manager really was a Russian agent. (He is an American, albeit a Southerner, i.e., nearly as bad.)
Facebook, not a friend, informed us that it would comply with these subpoenas—no easy task—unless we contested them.
And we did indeed consider contesting James’ subsequent subpoena against the VDARE Foundation, because it was plainly harassment aimed at suppressing our First Amendment rights (see below).
But eventually, very reluctantly, we took the hard decision to comply, without prejudice, with NYAG Letitia James’ demands as much as possible—to demonstrate good faith to the court.
Facebook thereupon apparently met her demands.
At least, we think it did. Typical of the relentlessly hostile environment in which patriots now operate, Facebook will not tell us what data it supplied. And neither will NYAG Letitia James.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because our relationship with Facebook was so minimal, we believe and hope that none of our readers, or even the commenters on our late lamented Facebook page—and certainly not our donors—are significantly at risk here.
But THEY COULD HAVE BEEN. This whole episode is disgraceful in a supposedly free society.
Significantly, NYAG Letitia James’ targeting of VDARE.com followed her creation of a ”Hate Crimes Unit,” which she claimed would “strengthen oversight, because we see how much hate is being fueled by content on the internet” [’Hate Has Been Unleashed’ | New York’s AG Lays Out Her Plan to Solve the State’s anti-Semitism Crisis, by Amir Tibon and Danielle Ziri, Haaretz, January 8, 2020].
“Hate” is, of course, an offense unknown to the U.S. Constitution. “Hate speech” is in effect simply something with which NYAG Letitia James disagrees.
For example, in August, during the run-up to the 2020 Presidential Election, NYAG Letitia James joined in a letter to Facebook demanding that it increase censorship against ”hate speech and hate organizations,” aka suppress pro-Trump Facebook pages. [PDF] [AG Racine Leads 20-State Coalition Urging Facebook to Aggressively Combat the Spread of Hate and Disinformation Online, Office of Attorney General for the District of Columbia, August 20, 2020].
Similarly, in August 2022 James took the extraordinary step of trying to intimidate the tiny Cornerstone Church in Batavia, NY out of hosting an event featuring President Trump’s son Eric and former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn [ReAwaken Tour host feels harassed by NY attorney general , oleantimesherald.com, August 11, 2022].
The Cornerstone Church has (good for them!) now filed an action under the Civil Rights Act against NYAG Letitia James. It points out that the original venue had cancelled the event after pressure from Democrat elected officials, notably Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar, and also that the Church’s hosting of the ReAwaken Tour was a legitimate exercise of their First Amendment Rights.
Free Speech Foe Sabrina LaMar
Especially significant from VDARE.com’s point of view: The Cornerstone Church has argued that NYAG James’ behavior violated provisions of the New York State Bar Association’s Rules Of Professional Conduct—because she abused her office for political purposes and lied about the nature of their meeting:
Specifically, plaintiff alleges that the Defendants negligently, wantonly, recklessly, intentionally, and knowingly sought to and did deprive them of their constitutional and civil rights, pursuant to the above-named statutes and causes of action by committing acts to deprive Plaintiffs of rights secured by the Constitution of the United States and the State of New York,” the suit states. “Further, Defendant James negligently, wantonly, recklessly, intentionally, and knowingly published multiple false statements to multiple media outlets to mar the reputations of Pastor Doyle and Clay Clark, to provoke objectionable opinions in the minds of members of the community to expose plaintiffs to hatred, contempt, and aversion.”
[ReAwaken organizers, host fight back on what they call ’intimidation,’ ’libel,’ from AG, by Joanne Beck, The Batavian, January 23, 2023]
More on this interesting idea, as it relates to VDARE.com, below.
Then we learned that NYAG Letitia James had issued a subpoena to the VDARE Foundation itself.
NYAG Letitia James’ subpoena made a staggering 44 separate demands for documents. Most of them were of no possible relevance to any oversight function that the New York Attorney General’s office could conceivably claim to exercise over charities registered in New York State.
We sued the New York Times because it described me, the Editor of VDARE.com, as an “open white nationalist.” Needless to say, this allegation is lethal in the current political climate. However, it is not an opinion, but a matter of fact—I have repeatedly said I’m a Civic Nationalist, i.e., I’m not “open” about being a white nationalist. The Southern District of New York Court recognized this when it acknowledged the issue was “actionable,” although absurdly claiming I had been made whole by the New York Times’ subsequent guilty stealth-edit of its website, even though correction was unacknowledged in the print edition despite its publicly stated ethics code.
At the time, a prominent First Amendment lawyer told us, “The Supreme Court is going to revisit SULLIVAN”—its disastrous 1964 decision that effectively deprived public figures of Common Law libel protection—”but not for you.”
So much for Equality Before The Law.
To SCOTUS’ great discredit, he turned out to be right.
But what does our New York Times litigation have to do with New York State’s charitable oversight role?
And why not subpoena our Colorado Springs litigation?
Significantly, NYAG Letitia James did not attempt to subpoena any documents regarding our litigation against the city of Colorado Springs for its refusal to protect our proposed 2017 conference there.
We believe this is because our suppression by Colorado Springs was so flagrantly unconstitutional, as even one Reason commenter acknowledged. To quote Judge Harris L. Hartz’ magisterial dissent from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision:
A government effort to punish or deter disfavored speech is what VDARE adequately alleges. And the City accomplished its purpose. The complaint plausibly alleges that the Mayor’s statement caused the Resort to cancel the VDARE conference.
This atrocity is simply not something to which our new communist overlords want to draw attention.
Our initial response—WHAT ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT?
Looking over all three (3!) subpoenas, to Facebook and to the VDARE Foundation, it appeared to us that, of 68 separate demands, fully 53 were improper, with most violations landing squarely on First Amendment grounds.
For example, Item 4 of NYAG Letitia James’ subpoena to the VDARE Foundation:
Quite apart from the extraordinary, and utterly unnecessary, compliance burden that this demand imposes on the VDARE Foundation, it also aims to expose everyone who has ever been involved with us to doxing and harassment by Antifa thugs.
Above all, it aims to expose our writers, who have careers and families to support, and who therefore now operate under pseudonyms because of the Reign Of Terror.
There is simply no need for NYAG Letitia James to know who they are.
Moreover, 40 gigabytes of email could amount to a million individual items or more. Redacting them is an enormous and obviously very tricky task (because of the risk of accidentally exposing donors and supporters).
And we absolutely do not want to tell NYAG Letitia James who our writers are—because we know that she cannot be trusted with confidential information.
Just look at this MSM story about a leak from NYAG Letitia James’ office last year:
Like other nonprofits, Stand For America files an annual tax return with the IRS. While the agency and the nonprofit must make those filings available to the public, including the amounts of contributions to the group, such nonprofits do not have to disclose the identities of their donors.
However, the organization Documented, which describes itself as a nonpartisan government watchdog that investigates money in politics, obtained an unredacted copy of Stand For America’s 2019 filings, which it then shared with POLITICO. The group did not share the original source of the filing, but it bears a stamp from the charity office of the New York state attorney general. [Emphasis added]
[Document reveals identity of donors who secretly funded Nikki Haley’s political nonprofit, by Alex Isenstadt, Politico, August 26, 2022]
Needless to say, giving money to GOP Establishment catspaw Nikki Haley is not really a hanging offense (except possibly in James’ crazed New York Democrat bubble).
But giving money to, or writing for, VDARE.com most certainly is a hanging offense right now—given the current Reign Of Terror. (Consider the fate of blogger Razib Khan, fired after less than 24 hours as a New York Times contributor just because he had some years earlier written a letter to VDARE.com opposing something we had published.)
So James’ incentive to leak the identities of our writers and donors is exponentially greater.
Six House Republicans from New York State wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that he launch an investigation into the leak [NY GOPers ask DOJ to probe AG James over leaked Nikki Haley donors list, by Mark Moore, New York Post, October 13, 2022].
But significantly, Gulag Garland appears to have not responded to the GOP demand at all—further evidence that the Regime is now completely lawless.
(I might also note that Nikki Haley’s Stand For America appears effortlessly to have raised some $7 million in 2019. Obviously, this far outmatches any VDARE Foundation fundraising, even though donations to us are tax-deductible, whereas donations to Stand For America are not. It’s simply amazing how much money professional politicians can raise, as opposed to political truth-tellers like us. With that much money, we could cause a Cultural Revolution.)
Of course, in this sort of regulatory situation, courts do typically operate on the assumption that the government is acting in good faith.
But NYAG Letitia James subpoenas’ fail rate—53 out of 68 demands turn out to be First Amendment violations—simply is not the record of a government acting in good faith. Whatever statutory presumption NYAG Letitia James might be accorded, it is rebutted by this pattern.
Initially, we replied to NYAG Letitia James making these points.
Our subsequent response—an exhaustive (and exhausting) effort to demonstrate good faith.
I must stipulate here that the VDARE Foundation really is a tiny organization— “lean,” in our auditor’s words. And apart from editorial and tech support contractors, VDARE.com generally has only two full-time employees—Lydia and myself, home-schooling parents of three small children. And, importantly, we have no in-house lawyers.
Nevertheless, unlike many of the trusting January 6 martyrs, we knew better than to deal with the government without legal counsel [Why some alleged Capitol rioters are acting as their own attorneys, NPR, October 27, 2021].
But it simply took us time to organize our legal response to James’ massive onslaught.
This was particularly true because we have increasingly serious difficulty procuring any legal services at all—all this stuff about John Adams representing the British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre although himself a Patriot, once the pride of the American legal profession, has gone down the toilet in this new Soviet America. (See “Chinese Communist Social Credit–style stealth deprivation of professional and commercial services” above.)
As discussed above, we elected not to fight NYAG Letitia James’ subpoena on First Amendment grounds, despite its flagrant political motivation, but instead to begin more cautiously, by demonstrating good faith and complying with the subpoena as far as was compatible with our contractors’ and donors’ security.
But the cost of this good-faith effort has been enormous—see “the process is the punishment” above. This is how what Paul Gottfried calls “the Managerial State” enforces obedience.
Our legal fees already amount to over $300,000—and, remember, we have not yet even been accused of any wrongdoing at all.
Even worse are the opportunity costs. Lydia and I just don’t have that much bandwidth. We have already been forced to suspend the hard-copy VDARE QUARTERLY. And when did you last see a National Data column?
Moreover, VDARE.com event-planning and fundraising has been completely crippled since the summer of 2022. (We will have our second invitation-only Annual Conference in June—contact Lydia for more details.)
If you’re a donor and you haven’t heard Lydia’s delicious alto on your voicemail thanking you for your donation, this is the reason: She was physically digging through the Foundation’s records, which reside in a cargo container on the Castle grounds.
She’s a tall, strong girl (6’ 1”). But this is still a huge pain.
The VDARE Foundation archives after our chaotic move from Connecticut during COVID, on Berkeley Springs Castle grounds, 2022
By December 2022, the VDARE Foundation had produced over 7,000 pages of documents to AG NYAG Letitia James. We had engaged a third-party custodian to sort through our 40 gigabytes of emails, the equivalent of perhaps millions of pages, because we needed to protect the identities of our vendors, writers, volunteers and donors. And our lawyers’ review of those emails was well under way.
(Significantly, in the course of this production, our lawyers protested NYAG Letitia James’ demand that we produce the names of vendors, e.g., our webmaster, and were told the NRA had been forced to do so. This turned out to be a lie, and another ethical violation. Specifically, it is a violation of Rules 4.1 (”Truthfulness in Statements to Others”) and Rules 8.4 (“Misconduct“) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.
Despite all this, in early December, we received a peremptory email from NYAG Letitia James’ office demanding that the VDARE Foundation, within ten days, disclose its constitutionally protected information, reveal previously redacted (because we want to protect donors, writers and correspondents) information in the first 7,000 pages of production; complete review of the 40 gigabytes of emails (ditto); and produce a complete redaction log for the entirety of its production.
Again, the VDARE Foundation is a tiny entity in the world of New York State charities, not at all worthy of this massive regulatory overkill. And in the normal course of events, NYAG Letitia James’ underlings would have simply discussed any concerns about the status of the production with a phone call or a meeting.
But of course her persecution of us is not normal. It is purely political.
So, at this point, with NYAG Letitia James’ bad faith irrefutably evident, we filed a complaint in federal court for declaratory and injunctive relief. In other words, we want an official declaration that James has violated the First Amendment, and we want the Court to halt her attempt to enforce the subpoenas.
Complaint as filed, Northern District of New York
NYAG James’ shocking reaction: Ignore protocol, file in state court.
Normally, the fact that we filed first should have meant that our First Amendment argument would have been heard in federal court.
But, in an extremely aggressive move that shocked our lawyers, NYAG Letitia James subsequently filed against us in New York State Court anyway.
See her filing here: PDF.
In doing so, she violated procedural norms yet again—it’s a pattern.
As our lawyers subsequently told the Northern District of New York Federal Court:
Especially revealing is the OAG [Office of the Attorney General]’s unseemly subterfuge in secretly rushing to state court to secure a favorable order before this Court hears and rules on its motion to dismiss.
VDARE filed its complaint in this Court on December 12, 2022, simultaneously emailing a courtesy copy of its papers to the OAG in advance of formal service, which provided the OAG with three weeks (until January 4, 2023) to respond. [Citations omitted] On December 21, 2022, a full two weeks before the OAG’s response was due on January 4, 2023, the OAG requested and secured VDARE’s consent to an extension of its deadline to respond in federal court, from January 4 to 18, 2023. In so doing, the OAG claimed (in an email) that the extension was necessary because of the holidays and an attorney who had taken ill:
Because of the holidays and a member of our team who has COVID, we would appreciate an extension until Jan 18 to respond to VDARE’s complaint in the NDNY. Can you please confirm your consent? [Citation omitted]
Unbeknownst to VDARE when it consented to the extension on December 21, 2022, however, the OAG had already initiated its special proceeding in state court the week before (on December 16, 2022) with a proposed order to show cause. [Citation omitted]
See our Memorandum of Law: PDF.
In other words, NYAG Letitia James lied to us, at least by omission, in order to get her state filing heard first.
Of course, in a just world, even apart from NYAG Letitia James’ obvious malfeasance here, the New York State Court should have stayed or even dismissed NYAG Letitia James’ petition to compel enforcement of the subpoena, pending resolution of our First Amendment case in Federal Court, which would normally have had priority.
But to our lawyers’ shock (again), and with unprecedented speed—as in, the next business day after filings were completed—New York State Judge Sabrina Kraus ruled against us, uncritically accepting NYAG Letitia James’ lying and stupid assertions as to why she had cause to want disclosure.
Kraus even endorsed NYAG James’ demand that we provide the names of writers.
This is particularly telling because NYAG James had ostentatiously eschewed asking for the names of writers in her response to our Federal suit—presumably because of its obvious First Amendment implications.
As our lawyers subsequently told the Federal Court:
…the OAG represented to this Court in its motion to dismiss this case that its subpoena to VDARE does “not seek any information regarding the development or publication of VDARE’s online content.” [Citation omitted]
Simultaneously, the OAG took the contrary and constitutionally offensive position in state court that “the identities of contractors—including writers who contribute to the website—these are precisely the records the OAG must examine in its investigation of VDARE’s organizational misconduct.”
Apart from taking contradictory positions in two different courts, the OAG’s purported rationale for the demanded disclosure does not fit its rationale: a vendor’s provision of services to VDARE and a writer’s provision of content to VDARE’s website have no automatic connection to any legitimate investigative need.
Memorandum Of Law In Opposition To Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss, February 22 2023
Arguing contradictory things in different courts is flatly unethical. It violates the doctrine of judicial estoppel, which explicitly precludes litigants from making contradictory claims in different courts.
VDARE.com’s response to NYAG James’ aggression
Of course we appealed Judge Kraus’ ruling—but only because our heroic donors had provided the money to do it. And we were granted a stay of her decision pending a full hearing.
But again, with unprecedented speed, the Appeals Court then rejected our stay pending appeal. Significantly, they even passed the matter on to their clerk for a summary order, indicating that they did not think it worth their time to be bothered with our First Amendment rights. We were granted no relief at all, not even the protection of our writers’ identities, which NYAG Letitia James of course had lyingly assured the Federal court she did not want.
See ruling here.
From our point of view, this nightmare is like watching water cascade uphill—the case should never have been heard in New York State Court; it should not have been rejected; and our stay should never have been rejected on appeal.
But rules just don’t seem to apply to immigration patriots.
Note the net effect of NYAG Letitia James’ aggression: We are now forced to fight this ruinously expensive war on TWO fronts—in Federal Court and in New York State Court.
In fact, THREE fronts—because Lydia is still being forced to prepare production to comply with NYAG Letitia James’ demands in case we lose. See below.
The downside of VDARE Foundation’s good faith effort to comply
The downside of VDARE.com’s good faith effort to comply: NYAG Letitia James was able to find and trump up (excuse the term!) various trivial alleged infractions.
“Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” This principle, supposedly enunciated by Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria, is of course why Americans today are terrified of audits by the Internal Revenue Service.
And it’s why President Trump, in the video we linked to above (at 12:05), forcefully asserted his right to take the Fifth Amendment in his deposition, although specifically pointing out (at 10:36) that he had once thought that innocence was a sufficient defense.
Among alleged VDARE Foundation infractions that NYAG Letitia James is trumping up:
Even if this technicality were true, Lydia and I obviously USE THE SAME LAST NAMES! We file joint taxes with the same IRS where we file our 990s!! And, critically, NO BENEFIT WAS GAINED by the supposed failure to report!!!
And we have repeatedly, perhaps boringly, celebrated on VDARE.com the fact that we are married. For example, here in 2007, announcing our marriage, Another Personal Message From Peter Brimelow:
Manifestly, we had no intent to deceive.
And NYAG Letitia James knows this—because she admits elsewhere that she is stalking VDARE.com: She cites VDARE.com posts in her filings to support her lie that we were living at the Castle rent-free.
So NYAG Letitia James’ lie here is not merely malicious. It is stupid.
The Berkeley Springs Castle is a beautiful charismatic property and only two hours from the U.S. Capitol. (This is probably what alarms NYAG James—as Southern Poverty Law Center enforcer Michael Edison Hayden quite accurately complained in 2020: “[t]he castle gives them greater proximity to Washington D.C. and a place to hold conferences without fear of being shut down”).
But this is in West Virginia, and therefore actually surprisingly cheap—we got the Castle, 55 acres of mountain and three somewhat dilapidated cottages for $1.4 million.
For comparison, that’s less than a two-bedroom apartment in NW Washington DC.)
(WE URGE PATRIOTS TO JOIN US HERE IN AFFORDABLE, D.C.-ADJACENT, WEST VIRGINIA! Its demographics “Look Like America” before the disaster of the 1965 Immigration Act, it has no big city to outweigh the rural vote, and it went for Trump 68.62% in 2020.)
But the serious point: It’s obviously a total waste of New York taxpayer money for NYAG Letitia James to spend so much time on this tiny transaction.
Furthermore, it is absolutely standard for 501(c)(3) charities like the VDARE Foundation to own their own headquarters, office space, meeting rooms etc. Here, for example, is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s headquarters in Montgomery AL—the notorious “Poverty Palace”:
And here’s the SPLC’s audited financial statement, which says that, combining their operating fund and suspiciously large endowment fund, they have access to $727 million. [SPLC Consolidated Financial Statement, (PDF) October 31, 2022]
And, as outlined above and confirmed by SPLC thug Michael Edison Hayden, we bought the Berkeley Springs Castle only because we discovered we could not rely on the corporate/ Ruling Class complex to defend our right to hold conferences—and the holding of conferences is critical to our role in advancing Patriotic Immigration Reform.
This is a problem that the SPLC and other communist groups absolutely do not have, for reasons that invite analysis, in the current political climate.
FOR THE RECORD: every step of the Berkeley Springs Castle transaction was carefully monitored by expensive lawyers—because we were well aware that we were susceptible to scrutiny by a malicious and unscrupulous politically motivated regulator.
In fact, despite NYAG James’ insinuation, there is absolutely no reason the VDARE Foundation board should not have been made up of Brimelow family members: this is common for small, family-run foundations.
But again, James’ claim is still a lie, and a stupid lie. Our board has always had at least one, and at various times at many as three, non-family members, as is perfectly obvious from our filings.
But in fact at every step, again carefully monitored by our lawyers, we paid independently determined fair market rent.
NYAG Letitia James knows this because we insisted on disclosing it to her at an early point when we were told it was allegedly the matter of concern.
But she refused to meet with our lawyers to discuss this disclosure. And her subpoena harassment rolled on.
But this for-profit corporation, part of the aforementioned restructuring after we were forced into the real estate business, is in fact owned by the VDARE Foundation—NOT by Lydia personally.
NYAG Letitia James knows this because it was disclosed, e.g.,on our 2020 Form 990, which we provided (and she has access to anyway).
Again, NYAG Letitia James is simply lying, and stupidly lying.
NYAG Letitia James asserts that Facebook Cancelled VDARE.com in early 2020 because it determined we engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” by creating a botfarm and that “these expenditures could constitute a waste of charitable assets and breach of the Brimelows’ fiduciary duties as VDARE officers and directors.”
But, as she perfectly well knows, we categorically deny that we were involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and in fact sued Facebook for libel on this exact point—see “They Want Us In Gulags” (That Includes Trump). Why VDARE.com Is Suing Facebook For Defamation.
Facebook, probably because it has testified before Congress to the contrary, seems not to want to admit that it is engaging in political censorship. But of course it is absolutely obvious to everyone that it is—e.g., completely independent third-party Facebook users who wish to share VDARE.com items are now libelously informed ”this URL goes against our community standards on spam.”
And in any case, VDARE.com is a charitable/educational organization that is in the business of spreading its message.
Paying to promote our message is unimpeachably legitimate.
Furthermore, most of the monies that NYAG Letitia James instances were actually paid, not by the VDARE Foundation, but separately by our Social Media consultant, to promote his own private business, helping us and his other clients.
NYAG Letitia James knows this—because the expenditures appear nowhere in our accounts.
By not acknowledging this she is, again, stupidly lying about material facts.
NYAG Letitia James asserts:
In 2019, VDARE reported a six-fold increase in revenue, from $700,000 in 2018 to approximately $4.3 million in 2019 […] Also in 2019, VDARE doubled the salary of its Chairman, Peter Brimelow, to approximately $345,000,
The VDARE Foundation had a great year in 2019, thanks to our wonderful donors. In previous years, in a way that is typical of small business owners, Lydia and I had often eschewed income to pay bills, depending on financial circumstances. So in 2019, the VDARE Foundation Board formally approved a payment for the year to me of $349,500. (N.b. Lydia was paid some $10,000.)
But in contrast, in 2020, with no major donor, Lydia and I together were paid only some $270,000.
And, for what it’s worth, in 2023 to date, basically because of the cost of NY AG James’ regulatory onslaught, we have not taken any salary at all.
BTW in 2023, NYAG Letitia James is the highest-paid State Attorney General in the U.S. according to Wikipedia, which puts her salary at $210,000 per annum (and she is allowed to get speaking fees, which I am effectively prevented from receiving by the Reign of Terror).
Personally, I think that Lydia and I deserve to earn much more. In 2021, National Cuckview’s Rich Lowry was paid apparently paid $400,000.
Who is doing more for the Historic American Nation?
NYAG Letitia James asserts about our purchase of the Berkeley Springs Castle and subsequent reorganization transactions:
[u]nder New York law each required approval and written documentation of that approval by disinterested members of the VDARE Board of Director [CITATION OMITTED] and should have been submitted for review and approval to OAG or to Supreme Court [CITATION OMITTED]. Transfer of charitable assets to a for profit entity without fair consideration to disqualified persons is a violation of both New York and federal law.
But this would only be true if the purchase and transfer were to a non-profit entity independent of, and not controlled by, the VDARE Foundation.
NYAG Letitia James knows that this is not the case with the VDARE Foundation’s purchase of the Berkeley Springs Castle and its subsequent creation of a for-profit entity that the Foundation controls.
She is again lying to the Court—stupidly, because the facts are readily ascertainable, for example in our lawyers’ briefs.
When I’m in an optimistic mood, I think this lying Deep State assault, along with so many others, is happening now because the Ruling Class is panicking. It has simply never recovered from the shock of Trump’s 2016 victory and the realization that the Democrat stealth strategy of Electing A New People could be halted (as it actually was for a time under Trump) and even reversed.
That’s why Biden has risked impeachment by opening the borders to rush in the Great Replacement in a plainly treasonous way, to finish the job as quickly as possible.
Now there are signs that, with the 2024 election coming up, the Regime is getting alarmed by polls showing even Democrats and independents are turning against immigration.
Americans’ satisfaction with the level of immigration into the U.S. has fallen six percentage points over the past year, from 34% in January 2022 to 28% today. This is the lowest reading in a decade. pic.twitter.com/PSFxn4URzq— GallupNews (@GallupNews) February 13, 2023
Which means that, now more than ever, the Regime must keep the immigration issue out of public debate—until America’s demographic transformation is complete.
Dissent on immigration must be utterly crushed—even polite dissent from a tiny operation like VDARE.com.
What happens now?
Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., the senior judge in the federal District Court for the Northern District of New York, will rule on two of the competing motions that are pending before him:
We don’t know how long this will take. Federal judges are supposed to rule within six months, but often don’t. However, we are told this is not likely to be the case here.
But a footnote: Lies have consequences—we intend to move to sanction and disbar lying NYAG Letitia James
In journalism, and of course in politics, you get used to opponents lying all the time.
But NYAG Letitia James is not just a journalist and not just a politician: she is also the head of a state agency, and a lawyer.
That means that, as a lawyer, she is what is known as an “Officer of the Court.” As Law.com says
As officers of the court lawyers have an absolute ethical duty to tell judges the truth… [Emphasis added]
You can see why this is necessary. The system simply cannot function if all factual assertions have to be checked all the time. Truthfulness “cuts down on transaction costs,” as the great Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman once pointed out to me.
NYAG Letitia James, however, has consistently lied in court filings.
And it has worked—until now.
Thus, for example, New York State Judge Sabrina Kraus, in her ruling all too obviously cut-and-pasted from NYAG James’ brief, stated:
Public postings by Respondent Chairman Peter Brimelow and others indicate that he and his family have used the castle as their primary residence since at least March 2020. [A lie. As stated above, we lived only briefly in the Castle before moving to the cottage, AND WE PAID INDEPENDENTLY DETERMINED RENT THROUGHOUT. Moreover, Judge Kraus nowhere acknowledges that the Castle was purchased for an unimpeachable purpose: providing a venue for meetings that, because of communist threats that U.S. law enforcement authorities seem unable to counter, we cannot hold elsewhere.] During this same period, Respondent also substantially increased payments to Brimelow and to third-party, for-profit companies he controls… [A (confused, see “payments” above) lie. The West Virginia for-profit company—there’s only one—is OWNED BY THE VDARE FOUNDATION.]
Respondent separately reported spending tens of thousands of dollars on office expenses in 2019 [this is because at that time we operated from a home office in our home in Litchfield CT, a completely standard procedure] as well as paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to a third-party LLC controlled by Brimelow that was based at Brimelow’s residential home address. [This was simply an employee leasing company that paid the salaries of all VDARE employees, including Lydia and myself. One of its purposes was to protect our employees from being doxxed.]
In December 2020, Respondent conveyed the entirety of the Berkeley Springs Castle property to two West Virginia corporations incorporated by Lydia Brimelow, Peter’s wife and a Respondent director, five months earlier. Respondent conveyed the castle itself and the land that it sits on to the Berkeley Castle Foundation (BCF), a non-profit corporation. Respondent conveyed the remaining land, consisting of eight parcels, to BBB, LLC, a for-profit corporation. [Misleading at best. Judge Kraus nowhere acknowledges that the West Virginia corporations are ALL controlled by the VDARE Foundation.]
Of course, Judge Kraus could have avoided these stupid errors simply by reading our lawyers’ brief.
But apparently New York State judges don’t have to do that kind of thing.
Nevertheless, and this is a critical distinction: Attorney General NYAG Letitia James absolutely does have to tell the truth to Judge Kraus, and to all courts involved in our lynching.
Instead, she has systematically lied to them.
This implicates several New York Rules of Professional Conduct:
CONDUCT BEFORE A TRIBUNAL
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer…
(3) offer or use evidence that the lawyer knows to be false…
The official comments, which are designed to elucidate the rule, provide the gloss:
This Rule sets forth the special duties of lawyers as officers of the court to avoid conduct that undermines the integrity of the adjudicative process…although a lawyer in an adversary proceeding is not required to present an impartial exposition of the law and may not vouch for the evidence submitted in a cause, the lawyer must not allow the tribunal to be misled by false statements of law or fact or by evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. [Comment 2 to Rule 3.3]
...an assertion purporting to be based on the lawyer’s own knowledge, as in an affidavit or declaration by the lawyer or in a statement in open court, may properly be made only when the lawyer knows the assertion is true or believes it to be true on the basis of a reasonably diligent inquiry. There are circumstances where failure to make a disclosure is the equivalent of an affirmative misrepresentation. [Comment 3 to Rule 3.3]
Comment 5 states:
Paragraph (a)(3) requires that the lawyer refuse to offer or use evidence that the lawyer knows to be false, regardless of the client’s wishes. This duty is premised on the lawyer’s obligation as an officer of the court to prevent the trier of fact from being misled by false evidence.
Comment 12 provides:
Lawyers have a special obligation as officers of the court to protect a tribunal against criminal or fraudulent conduct that undermines the integrity of the adjudicative process.
Accordingly, paragraph (b) requires a lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding to take reasonable remedial measures, including disclosure if necessary, whenever the lawyer knows that a person, including the lawyer’s client, intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding.
Such conduct includes, among other things... unlawfully destroying or concealing documents or other evidence related to the proceeding; and failing to disclose information to the tribunal when required by law to do so. For example, under some circumstances a person’s omission of a material fact may constitute a crime or fraud on the tribunal.”
In our case, New York Attorney General NYAG Letitia James has committed every one of these violations.
And these violations can have consequences. Thus Harvard Law School emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz, author of the best-selling book Get Trump, has argued that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could be disbarred for indicting President Trump while knowing that the key witness, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, is lying [Alan Dershowitz slams Alvin Bragg’s potential Trump arrest: ’One of the most dangerous precedents’, Fox News, March 26, 2023].
And, remember, despite Politically Correct feeding frenzies in this age of the Great Awokening, sanctions have actually been successfully applied to culpable leftist Officers of the Court—for example against Soros Prosecutor Kim Gardner in the McCloskey case, and against Duke Rape Hoax prosecutor Mike Nifong [Judge Sentences Ex-Durham County District Attorney Nifong to Jail for a Day, Fox News, January 13, 2015].
Accordingly, we intend to file a grievance with the Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department asking that Letitia James be sanctioned, and hopefully disbarred.
Needless to say, we don’t have any particular expectation, in the current Unequal Justice environment, that justice will be served.
But we think that President Trump, if he notices us, will agree.
Remember, miracles happen quite often in politics. BUT VDARE.COM NEEDS A MIRACLE RIGHT NOW.
NYAG Letitia James’ regulatory harassment has driven us to the wall.
We are now right at the point where we cannot continue to pay our writers and our technical support staff—let alone defend their pseudonymity.
So, again, we must ask you to help us continue to fight for immigration patriotism—and for America.
We—and all of our posterity—will be profoundly grateful.
Donate to VDARE.com here.
Peter Brimelow [Email him] is the editor of VDARE.com. His best-selling book, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, is now available in Kindle format.