Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Activist Matt Osborne seems to flip his wig upon learning that the Dry Alabama false-flag scheme likely violated law that prohibits efforts to defraud the U.S.


Matt Osborne
The "brains" behind the Dry Alabama false-flag operation, which might have gift-wrapped a U.S. Senate seat for Doug Jones (D-AL), seemingly blew a gasket upon reading our recent report that showed his actions likely had violated federal law.

Matt Osborne, of Florence, Alabama, has claimed since The New York Times exposed his underhanded tactics in early January, that he and his associates were acting within the law. In fact, Osborne claimed no law governed the deceptive use of social media to interfere with a federal election -- such as a U.S. Senate race.

Our recent report showed that a specific law -- 18 U.S.C. 371 ("Conspiracy to Defraud the United States") -- governs such interference, and Osborne likely violated it. In fact, it's the same law Special Counsel Robert Mueller used last July to indict 11 Russian nationals in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Osborne responded to our report, via a series of blog comments and Twitter messages, with a combination of vitriol, ignorance, nonsense, insolence . . . and, well, you get the idea. Osborne, who uses the handle "Stephen Miller's Fright Wig" on Twitter, appeared unable to counter the actual law we had cited -- the law he apparently failed to uncover before diving into the Dry Alabama swamp.

Does that mean Osborne will be prosecuted? Of course not, as we noted in our recent post. Given the disheveled state of our justice system, I'm not sure the feds could stage a solid trespass case -- never mind a case of possible election fraud. But Osborne has admitted engaging in acts that appear to violate Sec. 371, and that seems to go to criminal intent, so mounting a defense if charges are filed could be a challenge.

Meanwhile Doug Jones claims ignorance of the Dry Alabama scheme and has called for a federal investigation. But it strains believability to think Jones was so out to lunch that he was unaware of a scheme designed to help him beat favored Republican Roy Moore for Jeff Sessions' old Senate seat. Could Jones wind up selling Osborne and Co. down the proverbial river in order to protect his own exalted political status? Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman can tell you about Jones' penchant for backstabbing, so Osborne might want to be getting his life raft ready.

Something certainly seems to have Osborne in a state of agitation. Consider this comment he left at our March 20 post about apparent violations of Sec. 371:

Matt Osborne said... 
Is there a law against Facebook pages? No. Is there a law against Facebook pages presenting a point of view that you don't really agree with? Again, no. The reason I am going to "escape" charges is that there are no laws against what we did. None. Zero. Zilch. Strictly speaking, it wasn't even a violation of Facebook policy.

And that was kinda the point of doing Dry Alabama. "Look, see what I can get away with? Does this bother you? Maybe enough to pass a law against it? Good, let's have that conversation."

Of course, it's unlikely that Dry Alabama put Doug Jones over the top. The fact that his signs were EVERYWHERE, the massive enthusiasm for his candidacy, is how he won. He and his team worked their butts off to win every last vote they could, and it worked. I live on a street where every yard had a Doug Jones sign in 2017 but then local Republican candidates' signs in 2018. Jones was the most popular Democrat I've seen since I was a kid watching George Wallace win his final term.

Of course, the irony here is that of the two of us, Roger, you are the one who has been to jail for publishing falsehoods. That's what you get for printing the ravings of Bob Riley's aggrieved ex-girlfriend as headlines, I suppose.

March 20, 2019 at 4:25 PM

Notice in the first paragraph that Osborne sets himself up as an expert on federal law; that quickly washes away. Notice in the final paragraph that he takes a dig at me -- and someone he claims to be the "aggrieved ex-girlfriend" of former governor Bob Riley. Here is my response:

legalschnauzer said...

Matt:

Good thing you didn't go into the law because meaningless mental exercises like the one on display here would not get you far. A few points:

(1) Who was your "legal counsel" on this matter? Whoever it was, I would urge you to fire him.

(2) There is a law, as cited in my post, and Robert Mueller has used it to indict multiple Russian nationals for "defrauding the United States" by tampering with a federal election. You violated that law by tampering with a federal election -- the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Under federal law, statutes often are written broadly, and you must check the case law to know what you are dealing with and how the law has been applied. You should have done that before engaging in a con game like Dry Alabama and then admitting what you had done. Your ignorance of federal law could bite you on the ass, big time.

(3) You don't know whether Dry Alabama put Jones over the top, and it doesn't matter anyway. A law does exist -- even though you are trying to wish it away -- and you broke it. Does that mean you will be prosecuted? Nope. Our justice system might be too broken to do its job. And Doug Jones might successfully cover things up. But you violated the law.

(4) What "falsehoods" have I published? Can you explain how anything I've published has, as a matter of law, been found false? Or are you just taking Liberty Duke's word on that. (Rob Riley, BTW, never has claimed under oath that my reporting was false. His lack of a denial, under oath, suggests even he knows my reporting was accurate.)

(5) So you and your friend, Melissa [Brewer], came to our house because you believed I had published falsehoods? Was your presence there a con job, as I now have come to suspect? Taking advantage of a woman (my wife, Carol) whose husband has just been kidnapped inside their home? Real classy, Matt. Shows how you respect women -- not to mention your disdain for rule of law.

(6) Who is "Bob Riley's girlfriend," of whom you speak? She made me print falsehoods? How? (On the subject of girlfriends, does Doug Jones have one, not his wife? I'm hearing he does. I even have a name and address and workplace. Check it out.)

(7) Congrats on drinking the Doug Jones Kool-Aid to the max. He has a history as a backstabber (ask Don Siegelman), and he will sell you and your Netroots friends down the river at the first opportunity.

March 20, 2019 at 8:31 PM

I challenge Osborne to cite any "falsehoods" I have published, and not surprisingly, he comes up empty. I've reported several times that Osborne and a woman named Melissa Brewer came to our home to visit my wife, Carol, a few days after Shelby County deputies had kidnapped me from inside our house and taken me to jail for a five-month stay. Osborne never has indicated my reporting on that issue was off target, but now he claims the woman was someone other than Melissa Brewer -- whose online profile indicates she is a "copywriter, content curator, and social media strategist" in Washington, D.C.. In fact, the subject of Melissa Brewer seems to be quite sensitive for Osborne. Hmmm . . .

Doug Jones
To show that two can play the "dig" game, I ask Osborne to respond to tips I've been receiving that Doug Jones has a "zipper problem" that could become public in the near future. (In fact, I'm working on the story right now.) Osborne apparently did not want to go there, but he did return fire:


Matt Osborne said...

If Dry Alabama is "interference" in a federal election, then why isn't Brad Parscale [digital media director for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign] in prison right now? If It was "cheating," then lots of political operators belong in prison, too.

According to the USSC, I have a First Amendment RIGHT to lie, "cheat," and spend dark money on political campaigns.

Roger, her name wasn't Melissa. This is how good you are with facts. We came to visit Carol because we genuinely wanted to be sure she was okay and had some groceries. I wanted to bring attention to the unacceptable beating and arrest of an indie journalist, as I was one at the time. Since then, I have learned that other, better, less-insane journalists have disproven much of your reporting. It's also become clear to me that you are completely bonkers. I suspect that if I went through the IP addresses on these comments, I would find they are mostly coming from inside your house.

March 21, 2019 at 10:40 AM

Osborne has a "right" to cheat on federal elections? I suspect Robert Mueller would beg to differ. Other "less-insane journalists" have disproved much of my reporting? Surely Osborne wants to share their names and links to their work. Well . . . maybe not.

legalschnauzer said... 
Matt:

Your ignorance of federal law is blinding, and it could land you in deep doo-doo. A few thoughts:

(1) Whatever Brad Parscale may or may not have done has nothing to do with your situation. Sure, other political operators might belong in prison. But you interfered with a federal election and were stupid enough to admit it. Our system is flawed, and yes, some people get away with unlawful acts and some don't. You might get away with it, and you might not. But you clearly interfered with a federal election, "defrauding the United States," just as Mueller has alleged against Russian nationals. You can't refute that, so you try to change the subject. There is a law against what you did, and if Doug Jones put you up to it, he violated the law, too.

(2) Is the "USSC" the U.S. Supreme Court? What case are you referring to? Does it involve tampering with an election, because that's what you've admitted you did? Again, you are trying to change the subject, to dark money, First Amendment, etc. Your situation isn't about that. It's about tampering with a federal election, which you have admitted to doing. And you call ME insane? Now, that IS "hilarious."

(3) Carol told me she thought the woman's name was Melissa, and Carol usually has a pretty good memory on such things. If that's not correct, what is the woman's name? As you recall, I wasn't around for introductions.

(4) So, you thought my arrest and beating were unacceptable, but now you are OK with it? Is that the effect Doug Jones and Rob Riley have had on you? Or maybe you entered our home under false pretenses all along?

(5) Who are these journalists who have disproven my reporting? Can you provide their names and links to their articles that disprove my reporting? My reporting never has been disproven in court, as a matter of law, so how did these journalists manage to do it? I can't wait to find out your details on that. Also, can't wait for info on "Bob Riley's girlfriend." You mean he had a girlfriend, kind of like Rob's version of Liberty Duke?

March 21, 2019 at 11:28 AM

Osborne seems to engage in classic avoidance behavior. I ask him to cite these court cases that give him a "right" to cheat on a federal election; he has no answer. If Melissa Brewer did not come to our home, I ask him to state the name of the woman who did; again, no answer. I ask him to cite names of journalists who have disproven my reporting, with links to their articles; we get crickets from Matt O.

We will have more from our zany back-and-forth with Matt Osborne, who claims to be a political lefty. For now, I can only note how much he sounds like some of the right-wing loons we've encountered over the years -- especially the noxious Aaron Worthing (also known as Aaron Walker) and Robert Stacy McCain.


(To be continued)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't know why Osborne ever was convinced this is lawful. Common sense should tell you it probably isn't.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Osborne is smart enough to be a liberal. Maybe he should become a Republican.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:46 --

Osborne is supporting Doug Jones, so he already is well on his way to becoming a Republican.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, the irony here is that of the two of us, Roger, you are the one who has been to jail for publishing falsehoods. That's what you get for printing the ravings of Bob Riley's aggrieved ex-girlfriend as headlines, I suppose."

This proves Osborne isn't very bright. It suggests he believes it's lawful to jail someone in a defamation case, even one that never was proven before a jury. If that's the case, he obviously is ill informed on the law, in general.

Anonymous said...

Osborne is flashing his liberal credentials by backing Rob Riley? Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Doug Jones has a zipper problem?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:43 --

I'm working on the Jones zipper story as we speak. Haven't locked it down yet, so it's not ready for publication, but it's getting close.

Anonymous said...

Correct, @9:20. The remedy for defamation, if its proven before a jury, is money damages.

Anonymous said...

I consider myself to be fairly well informed, connected news-wise. I do watch too much news and check online news sources as well. As a liberal in Alabama I have to say that the Dry Alabama fake movement was never on my radar--I had never heard of it until I read about it here. It never penetrated my consciousness. Of course my viewing and reading tend to be liberal outlets. The legal questions I guess would be 'was measurable harm done to the Roy Moore candidacy because of this fake movement attributed to him?' Probably a very difficult thing to prove. For me, I would have never voted for Roy Moore; his opponent, whoever that would be, would get my vote.

Anonymous said...

"Stephen Miller's Fright Wig" is a funny handle for a Twitter account. Maybe Osborne should stick to comedy and leave the legal analysis to someone else.

Anonymous said...

You invited Osborne to cite examples of falsehoods in your reporting. Did he ever get back to you on that?

legalschnauzer said...

@1:10 --

Nope, just as he never got back to me about identifying journalists who supposedly had disproved my work -- or identifying the woman who came with him to our house if it wasn't Melissa Brewer.

Anonymous said...

When someone calls you "bonkers," "looney tunes," "insane," etc., it generally means they don't have many arrows in their intellectual quiver. Use of such language is the last resort for the desperate man.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know an Alabama "liberal" supports Rob Riley and believes your arrest had noting to do with payback for reporting on the Bill Pryor pics.

So Osborne loves him some Rob Riley and Bill Pryor. Wow!

legalschnauzer said...

@3:32 --

That goes back to what we've reported about Doug Jones and Rob Riley being in bed together, dating back to their lawsuit (involving $50 million in attorney fees) against HealthSouth and related entities. Osborne supports Jones, who is in bed with Riley . . . so, Osborne supports Riley. It's sick, isn't it? A "love triangle," if you will. Throw in Pryor, and it really gets sick.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rob Riley, or someone associated with him, dreamed up the whole Dry Alabama sham.

legalschnauzer said...

For those not familiar with the Doug Jones-Rob Riley alliance, here are two of several posts I've written on the subject:


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2017/12/alabama-listserv-which-might-become.html


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2011/04/is-lawsuit-cash-having-negative-impact.html

Alabama lawyer G. Douglas Jones helped rake in more than $50 million in attorney fees from a lawsuit against individuals and entities connected to HealthSouth Corporation. Lawyers from California and New York were involved in the case, but Jones served as co-liaison counsel here in Birmingham, home to HealthSouth headquarters. . . .

This scenario becomes particularly troubling when you consider that the other co-liaison counsel in the HealthSouth case--Jones' chief local assistant--was Rob Riley, the son of former Republican Governor Bob Riley. Why did Doug Jones need Rob Riley on the lawsuit team? Probably because Riley had inside information about former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. And that information probably came from Riley's involvement in a Republican conspiracy to conduct a political prosecution against Siegelman and Scrushy, a scheme that Alabama attorney and whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson revealed to the world.

Should progressives be concerned about Doug Jones' willingness to make money by jumping in bed with a member of the Riley clan?

legalschnauzer said...

I should note that my early reporting on the Doug Jones-Rob Riley alliance almost certainly is the reason I was cheated out of my job of 20 years at UAB. It had nothing to do with UAB's bogus claims that I was writing my blog at work. UAB's own IT expert testified at my grievance hearing that his analysis showed I had never touched the first keystroke on my blog while at work.

Bottom line: Doug Jones and Rob Riley got me cheated out of my job for reporting on their HealthSouth-lawsuit bonanza.

Tokyo Shemp said...

Hi, that was my screenshot of Osborne. I snapped it years ago off of a Youtube video. I'm the one who was sued by Kimberlin and then the narrative got twisted into SWATs and Weinergate.