Larry Flynt has done it again. The ironic twists just keep coming:
Barr alleges defamation in lawsuit against Clinton, Carville and Flynt
Thu Jun 13, 4:22 PM ET
By JEFFREY McMURRAY, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., is suing former President Clinton, Democratic analyst James Carville and Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, contending they harmed his reputation and caused him emotional distress during the Clinton impeachment.
Barr, a vigorous Clinton critic who called for the president to resign, is seeking at least $30 million, along with attorney's fees and other costs.
He filed the lawsuit March 7 in U.S. District Court. Flynt, who says he was notified last week, made it public this week.
"It's ridiculous," Flynt said Thursday in a phone interview from his Los Angeles home. "He's been out of the limelight for a while so maybe he's looking for some attention."
The lawsuit, filed along with various news articles and television transcripts, alleges the three defendants took part in a "common scheme and ongoing conspiracy to attempt to intimidate, impede and/or retaliate" against Barr and other House impeachment managers.
Specifically, it accuses Carville of providing Flynt with FBI files and other classified information on Barr's private life for use in a smear campaign. It alleges Clinton approved of the actions.
"I don't know if it's more silly or more frivolous," Carville said. "It's just a political stunt. I think the best thing to do is let the courts handle it."
Flynt printed a 27-page story in Hustler alleging the congressman was a hypocrite who embraced family values in public but didn't follow those standards in his own life.
Flynt denies having contact with Carville or anyone else at the White House, insisting most of the information came from a private investigation and court documents from Barr's divorce.
Barr said in a statement, "James Carville can preach his lies about people on television and Larry Flynt can print whatever he wants in the pages of his smut magazine, but at the end of the day they are going to be held accountable." He said, "Their lies, smears and intimidation will end, and I look forward to this case moving forward."
Democratic-friendly redistricting has pushed Barr, first elected from his suburban Atlanta district in 1994, into a primary fight against fellow GOP Rep. John Linder. The primary election is Aug. 20.
Carville said he suspects Barr filed the lawsuit for political gain among conservative Georgia Republicans.
That last remark by James Carville is silly. Why in the world would a conservative Republican want to draw attention to the fact that he is suing because his feelings were hurt?
Let's back up a second and remember who Bob Barr is, and how Larry Flynt got involved.
In 1999, Rep. Bob Barr, R-GA, galloped away with the 1999 Equine Posterior Achievement Award, bestowed by the advocacy group People For the American Way. The Equine Posterior Achievement Award is given to a "leader" whose abilities to misrepresent an issue and pander to our baser instincts have reached ridiculous levels. Giving the second annual award to Barr, People For the American Way President Carole Shields explained:
A number of Washington politicians competed for the award, but Barr was flank and shoulders below the competition," Shields said. "He has tried to subvert the U.S. Constitution and the will of the American people. He has misused his political power to attack women, minorities and gays. He has voted against good, proven programs like Head Start and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. He is, in other words, a genuine horse's patootie.
To his list of crimes, I would add Bob Barr's persistent attempts to defund PBS, the network that brings you Sesame Street. However, Bob Barr's real claim to fame is failing to impeach Clinton. Flynt embarrassed the Republicans by publicizing facts about Barr --aside from the well-known facts that Bob Barr is gun-toting, racist, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-Wiccan, ultra-right wing Congressman from Georgia.
Recall that Barr was trying to get the President removed because the President lied about having sex with "that woman, Monica Lewinsky". According to dirt dredged up by Flynt, however, Barr:
Barr, currently facing a tough primary battle against another Republican, needs everyone to remember all this like he needs a another hole in his head.
Lloyd Grove, Washington Post Staff Writer (Thursday, June 13, 2002; Page C0) commented:
When Barr's normally media-friendly lawyer, Judicial Watch president Larry Klayman, initially declined to comment on the lawsuit, we sensed that something highly unusual was afoot. The suit was filed very quietly back in March, but didn't come to light until yesterday, when Flynt issued a press release. Maybe Barr, who was mum yesterday, thought the publicity wouldn't help his tough primary race against Rep. John Linder, another Republican incumbent, in their freshly re-drawn congressional district.
Defendant Flynt, meanwhile, declared: "This time, Barr has kicked the wrong dog." Defendant Carville told us: "To call this suit 'frivolous' would be to elevate the status of 'frivolous.' " Clinton's attorney, David Kendall, said: "The claims have no legal merit and will be defended vigorously." In due course, the strangely reticent Klayman said: "I don't wish to comment on the substance of the case. However, it is serious, and the congressman is confident of prevailing."
In other words, Barr didn't file this suit for the publicity. To the contrary, he filed an amended complaint to avoid the publicity which might ensue if he the case was finally thrown out. Once again, however, Larry Flynt comes to the rescue. Larry made sure we didn't miss this by firing out a press release.
Klayman's comment that "the congressman" is confident of prevailing is amusing. This wording suggests that Klayman, the congressman's lawyer, is not so confident. After consulting his website, I can see why. Klayman's politically-motivated, frivolous lawsuits are dropping like flies.
Judicial Watch indigantly "refuted" liberal media reports of the lawsuit noting that the suit isn't really "recent", it's just a continuation of a lawsuit filed in 1999. What Judicial Watch reveals, however, is that they keep trying to amend this lawsuit to fix it, but the judge isn't buying it. He's denied their motion to amend, so they went ahead and filed their new claims as a separate lawsuit. It got assigned to the same judge. They are toast.
The latest legal theories alleged by Barr's lawyers are ironic. Recall that one of Barr's claims to fame is as keynote speaker for the
KKK, oops, the CCC. The second "related" complaint filed March 7, 2002 contained two counts: (1) against Clinton, Carville, Flynt, and L.F.P., alleging a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(1), and (2) against Clinton alleging a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986.
These are civil rights claims. They originated with the Reconstruction Civil Rights Acts and they were aimed squarely at the Ku Klux Klan. The first count is for threatening or intimidating a federal officer in the performance of his duties, and the second count is for condoning civil rights violations.
Bob Barr doesn't have a prayer of prevailing on these claims. It's only a matter of time before those are thrown out, too. By that time, Bob Barr hopes to have won the Republican primary.
AP Wire Story:
Friends of Bob Barr (NOT):
Equine Posterior Award:
Judicial Watch’s press release with case chronology:
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