Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ali Akbar, funded by GOP mega-donor Foster Friess, threatened lawsuit over post about Karl Rove, gay sex

Ali A. Akbar
The head of a right-wing bloggers' group threatened to sue me and Legal Schnauzer for defamation in fall 2013, just three days after Alabama deputies beat me up in my own home and hauled me to jail. Ali A. Akbar has yet to sue me, so does that mean someone (correctly) convinced him he had no case? More importantly, does the timing of his threat--and the writings of his bloggers about my arrest--signal that Akbar played some role in, or at least had knowledge of, my unlawful five-month incarceration? What does all of this say about the Republican mega-donor who supports Akbar's group?

Baron Coleman, a lawyer in Montgomery, Alabama, issued the Akbar threat via a letter dated October 26, 2013, three days after I landed in the Shelby County Jail. You can read Coleman's letter at the end of this post. Obviously, I never read it--or even knew about it--until I was released from jail in March 2014. Once I did read it, I knew right off that Baron Coleman is a sorry excuse for a lawyer--or he has motivations for participating in the con games that seem to bring so much joy to many Republican operatives.

Having earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and practiced professionally in the field for more than 30 years, I know a thing or two about communications law. In order to graduate from my university in journalism, you had to take at least one course in the field. I knew right off that Baron Coleman's letter was as worthless as a 1980-model typewriter.

Akbar threatened to sue me over an article about a letter Alabama lawyer and Don Siegelman-case whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson wrote to Robert Bauer, counsel for President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. The Simpson letter grew from a bizarre appearance by Republican election guru Karl Rove on Fox News' On the Record, with Greta Van Susteren.

Rove took a question about the tax-exempt status of certain PACs and turned it into an attack on Simpson, Bauer, and Siegelman--who was the target of perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in U.S. history. Rove told Van Susteren that Bauer represented Simpson in her 2007 testimony before the U.S. Congress and that she never testified under oath.

Both statements are demonstrably false, and Simpson responded with a letter to Bauer in which she included an affidavit stating that the two of them had never met, and he had never represented her. Simpson also wrote that she thought Rove became unhinged on live TV because he knew she had damaging information about his personal life, and it soon might become public knowledge.

Greta Van Susteren and Karl Rove
What was the damaging information? It grew, according to Simpson's letter, from an ad that Akbar placed at an adult Web site/app called Grindr, stating that he "was looking for bisexual sex with men who were Republican, political, and loved to discuss politics and philosophy and just wanted to hang out and chill with them." (We will have more about Akbar's ad, and his fairly extensive criminal history, in an upcoming post.)

In her letter to Bauer, Simpson stated that she took the Akbar ad and used it to unearth more information about his ties to powerful Republicans. Her research, she stated, indicated that Akbar and Rove had a sexual relationship.

I received a copy of Simpson's letter and reported on its contents in a post dated June 27, 2012. Roughly 18 months later, Ali Akbar decided he had been defamed and enlisted Baron Coleman to send me the letter you can read below.

Curiously, it seems Akbar's lawyer did not send such a letter to Jill Simpson, even though the allegedly defamatory material originated with her. Is that because Akbar knows the burden of proof to show that Simpson's statements are false would be on him--and he probably could not meet it?

As for the deep-pockets GOP donor who supports Akbar's bloggers club, that would be Wyoming investment guru Foster Friess. A 2012 report from Yahoo News! shows that the NBC grew from an annual Washington, D.C., social gathering called Blog Bash. The report makes it clear that Foster Friess helped the bloggers club take flight:

Organizers used the party to announce the formation of a new nonprofit started with seed money from millionaire Santorum-backer Foster Friess. Called the "National Bloggers Club," the group will use donations to fund private reporting projects. It also hopes to issue press passes, serving as a clearinghouse so event organizers can differentiate between a blogger with honest intentions versus someone looking for a free pass by starting a Blogspot account. But mostly, the organizers said, the new organization will support and encourage online writers.

At his fosterfriess.com Web site, Friess portrays himself as a modern-day Marlboro man, apparently without the cigarettes. On his bio page, Friess is called "The Man Atop the Horse," with a photo that evokes images from the much-parodied video for Dale Peterson, a former candidate for agricultural commissioner in Alabama. The absurd Peterson ad inspired one of the funniest videos in YouTube history.

Foster Friess: The Man Atop the Horse
(From fosterfriess.com)
We are left with this thought-provoking question: Who came up with the "hat and the horse idea" first--Foster Friess or Dale Peterson? Given that Friess has a whole lot more money than Peterson, we'll have to go with Friess. On his Web site, Friess seems to portray himself as a "rugged individualist" who believes private-enterprise can solve social ills that the government only makes worse.

Would such a moral, Christian, tough guy support the idea of sending letters that threaten baseless lawsuits? Well, that's exactly what Ali Akbar is doing, and his bloggers club got off the ground largely because of Foster Friess' financial support.

How do we know, by the way, that Ali Akbar's lawsuit threat has no meat to its bones? What does the law say about such matters? We will address those questions in an upcoming post.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

Ali Akbar threatens to sue you three days after you've been kidnapped and thrown in jail? Real brave guy there, Ali.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ali, you sent your nasty little letter when you knew Mr. Schnauzer would not be home and his wife would have to read it. Is that how you and your sleazy GOP friends treat women? You terrorize them after their husbands have been kidnapped? How are you not an abuser of women, Ali? Why don't you respond to that, you lowlife bastard?

legalschnauzer said...

You are on target, @8:47. My wife, Carol, was greeted with Akbar's threatening missive three days after cops had entered her home and abducted her husband. This was three days after Carol came upon the scene in our basement and instantly thought I had been murdered. Of course, it's not breaking news that Republicans in general treat women like dirt, but this is a specific and heinous example of it.

Anonymous said...

Baron Coleman doesn't exactly have "clean hands" in this either. Is your law practice so dismal, Mr. Coleman, that you have to resort to representing a slime ball like Ali Akbar? Is that what you set out to accomplish when you went to law school? Pathetic.

legalschnauzer said...

Baron Coleman most certainly does not have "clean hands" here. In fact, I find his actions contemptible. He should know enough about the law, which I will be explaining in an upcoming post, to not send such a piece of garbage via U.S. mail. He had every reason to know that he was going to terrorize my wife, nothing more. What a sorry excuse for Southern "manhood."

Anonymous said...

If all of this stuff from Jill Simpson's letter was false, why didn't Akbar threaten to sue her?

Spaz said...

The Web site establishmentclearinghouse.com recently reported on Ali Akbar's role as "host-organizer" of Blog Bash:


This troubling information is from the article:

"You see dear readers, in 2013 there was young male (he was legally an adult – 18) who wanted to get into Blog Bash. He was excited at the opportunity to meet Texas Senator Ted Cruz who was at the event. Well, being 18 he probably didn’t have the money to pay off Ali to get in, so instead Ali decided to go Monty Hall and make a deal with the young man.

The young man would be allowed in…….if he put his mouth and lips to good use. And Ali wasn’t talking about whistling Dixie. Our source says they have seen the text messages (or Twitter DM’s) with this “deal.”

Thankfully the young man valued his dignity and knees more than he did meeting Senator Cruz.

One wonders why staffers of prominent politicians allow their people to attend this event. Do they really want to he associated with this guy? Think of the headlines. Is being accepted by a small clique headed up by a scam artist worth it?

This story is going to continue."

Anonymous said...

Good God, Ali Akbar offered to let an 18-year-old male into Blog Bash if the young man performed oral sex on Mr. Akbar? Can it get any lower than that? Breitbart Unmasked reported last week that Akbar has a disturbing taste for young males. This is going to get really ugly before it's all said and done:


Mona said...

Want to test your gag reflex? Check out the first sentence of Baron Coleman's leter:

"It's my great privilege to represent Ali Akbar."

It's a great privilege to represent a convicted felon and troller for gay sex? Who knew?

Anonymous said...

From last week's Breitbart Unmasked article, by Matt Osborne, on Ali Akbar:

"In studying Akbar, there are two different rumors abounding among my nameless sources which explain his continued power: (1) that he has ‘leverage’ or dirt on important conservatives, and that (2) Akbar is CPAC’s go-to man for ‘party favors’ like cocaine, aka “chapstick.” These explanations are not mutually exclusive, either, and if there is any truth to them at all then Akbar should be kept as far away as possible from all budding young conservatives for all time."

Anonymous said...

If Akbar is allowed to operate freely and corruptly because he has "dirt" on important conservatives, who might those conservatives be? If said powerful conservatives become tired of such games, could Mr. Akbar find himself floating in a river someday?

Burt said...

I've watched Baron Coleman on Bill Britt's TV show and had quite a bit of respect for him. Not anymore.

Mona said...

If Akbar has dirt on a powerful conservative, could it be on Karl Rove?

Anonymous said...

As a supposed Christian, does Foster Friess think Ali Akbar actually stands for "conservative principles"? The guy's a proven swindler. And now there are reports that Akbar is using children for unseemly purposes--and God knows what those purposes entail. If I were Foster Friess, I would take my money, denounce Ali Akbar and his sleazy bloggers, and get as far from them as possible. To stay affiliated with them makes Friess look as bad as Donald Trump.

Anonymous said...

LS, I wonder if Akbar sent the lawsuit letter on Oct. 26 to make it look like he was not aware of your Oct. 23 arrest, to make it look like he was not involved.

legalschnauzer said...

That's an interesting point, @12:28. If that was the purpose of the letter, it was a major "fail." Akbar's blogger buddy, R.S. McCain, tweeted about my arrest on Oct. 25. Akbar himself tweeted about it on Oct. 26. Akbar put up a Tumblr item, with my mugshot, and I believe that was dated Oct. 25. No doubt Akbar knew about my arrest before the letter was sent. And little doubt in my mind that he and some of his bloggers at least knew what was about to happen with me--and perhaps they even helped make it happen. At a bare minimum they know who is behind my arrest, that it involves criminal behavior, and they are staying quiet about it. No wonder they were scared sh-----s about Brett Kimberlin's RICO lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Baron Coleman is affiliated with Ali Akbar, convicted felon, gay-sex troller, and possible pedophile (according to Breitbart Unmasked)? Very bad career move, Mr. Coleman.

Chuckles said...

How can you defame Ali Akbar on the subject of gay sex. It's documented that he trolled on Grindr for "bisexual sex" with Republican men. If he bagged Karl Rove, that means he attracted one of the most powerful and famous Republicans of all. How is that defamatory? Isn't it a compliment? Seems to me Mr. Akbar should be proud of the posts you wrote about him. They portrayed him as a highly successful troller for gay sex, nailing down exactly the kind of partner he was seeking.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Karl Rove get married very soon after the Ali Akbar/gay sex stories came out?

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, Rove got married to Karen Johnson, almost immediately. He had been divorced for some time from Alabama native Darby Rove.

wilsb8 said...

And now Akbar threatens to sue Matt Osborne.

Truth be told, I'll probably be collecting my pension before that ever happens.

legalschnauzer said...

I wonder if Matt O. received a letter from Baron Coleman.

wilsb8 said...

Not yet or we'd have heard about it by now.

No, the mouthpiece spewing this is none other than William John Joseph Hoge III of Westminster, MD who reported on his blog Hog(e)wash! that Ali was seeking to sue Matt for defamation and that he has retained the services of an Alabama lawyer.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Alabama lawyer is most likely Baron Coleman.

It's also no secret that the strategy here is to do to Matt what was done to you.

legalschnauzer said...

That's troubling when you consider that I was essentially kidnapped and thrown in jail for five months, contrary to all law on the subject of defamation. As I've noted in recent posts, there is quite a bit of evidence suggesting the Ali Akbar group actively took part in my incarceration, or at least knows who was behind it.

wilsb8 said...

It is indeed troubling and I'm quite sure that evidence will bear more fruit than you could imagine.

legalschnauzer said...

Are you thinking in terms of evidence that might be produced against Akbar during the discovery process--in interrogatories, depositions, requests for production of documents, etc.?

wilsb8 said...

Oh, you bet your bippy that's what I'm thinking which is why I don't think he's suing anybody.

All that would be required is to pull his Grindr ad and show it to the court, for a start. He's going to have to prove that he never had sex with Rove.

That ought to be interesting.

Oh yeah, you'll probably get to depose Karl Rove!

legalschnauzer said...

It could be like a much smaller, more condensed version of the sprawling RICO case Kimberlin filed. In fact, Matt and/or a good lawyer could file a counterclaim for abuse of process, conspiracy, etc. (hey, look, I'm RogerS, giving legal advice!), and then nail them in discovery. With the thought of that, Akbar probably would have serious second thoughts about actually bringing a case, even though Baron Coleman might be preparing a threat letter as we speak.

Seems to me the Kimberlin case--although I must admit I don't know about its current status--was a wasted opportunity for the left. RICO cases are hard to bring, with lots of special pleading requirements, and they can be dismissed on technical grounds alone. It's one of at least two kinds of cases that I know of--bankruptcy being the other--where even a smart, experienced pro se litigant (which BK seems to be) really needs a lawyer.

I think he had a valid RICO case, and I think that's why the righties were sh-tting peanuts out their ears. They were scared enough to have me arrested because they thought I, as RogerS, was driving the RICO train. Really don't understand why Kevin Zeese, or someone like him on the left, didn't step up and help Brett with his case. I wish someone still would help him because I think there is a legit case there.

For that matter, someone on the left could step up and help me with my case against the people who caused me to be kidnapped and thrown in jail. You probably could get at the same issues in either case.