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by Sharon Rondeau

(Jul. 1, 2015) — As suggested in documents filed in federal court in Arizona last week, on Tuesday Atty. Larry Klayman filed a federal lawsuit in Florida on behalf of his client, Dennis Montgomery, for alleged defamation on the part of five attorneys employed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The lawsuit can be read here:  Klayman 150630-ACLU Filed Complaint -1

Through Klayman and another attorney, Jonathon Moseley, Montgomery attempted in early May to intervene in the case of Melendres et al v. Arpaio et al, which claimed that Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio had racially profiled Latinos in the community during traffic stops and neighborhood crime sweeps.  The plaintiffs in Melendres are represented by five ACLU attorneys named in Klayman’s June 30 complaint.

Commentary about the Melendres case is prominently posted on the ACLU’s website, citing “violations of constitutional rights” against Latinos allegedly committed by Arpaio and his deputies dating back to December 2007.

The ACLU attorneys identified in the suit are Cecillia D. Wang, Daniel Pochoda, Michael German, Andre Ivan Segura, Joshua Bendor, and ACLU president Susan Herman, Esq.  The plaintiffs have additional lawyers from other firms working on their behalf.

Klayman claims that Pochoda defamed Montgomery by stating in a New York Times article that Montgomery was “found to be a con man.” The article, written by Fernanda Santos and dated June 15, 2015, portrays Montgomery as “a rogue informant in Seattle — a compulsive gambler who federal officials came to believe had sold them bogus antiterrorist technology — to investigate whether Judge Snow and the Department of Justice were working together to take the sheriff down.”

U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow has presided over the case since 2009, when the initial judge recused herself due to a conflict of interest.

Varioius media outlets have interviewed Aram Roston, author of a Playboy article published in 2009 which described Montgomery as “The Man Who Conned the Pentagon” in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks as the government attempted to put new security measures in place to avoid future terrorist attacks.

In an interview with Democracy Now! Roston told host Amy Goodman in 2009 that despite Montgomery’s alleged “conning” of various divisions of the federal government during the Bush administration, he received $3 million” that year in a new contract which was “heavily redacted.”  Roston also said of Montgomery’s work product that “…it’s all still classified. Even though they all know it’s false, it’s still classified.”

Roston now writes for BuzzFeed News, recently focusing on child abuse and alleged profiteering on the part of a private child foster-care company, National Mentor Holdings.

During hearings between April 21 and April 24 at the federal courthouse in Phoenix, questions about Montgomery’s work for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) unrelated to the Melendres lawsuit were raised by Snow apparently stemming from an article in the Phoenix New Times (PNT) dated June 4, 2014 which reported that Montgomery was paid considerable fees over more than a year to “scam” the sheriff’s office.  Snow wanted to know the nature of Montgomery’s work and whether or not, as the article reported, it involved searching for a conspiracy between the Department of Justice and himself.

On April 23, Arpaio responded to Snow’s questioning that Montgomery had been looking into such “violations” as “computer tampering” and “bank fraud.”   Arpaio 4-23-15 Evidentiary Hearing Day 3

Arpaio’s chief deputy, Gerard Sheridan, testified on April 24 in regard to Montgomery’s work that “the sheriff and I were concerned about the CIA wiretapping our phones.”  Sheridan also said that Montgomery provided documentation that approximately 50,000 bank accounts of Maricopa County residents were breached, allegedly by the CIA.  Arpaio 4-24-15 Evidentiary Hearing Day 4

Snow then questioned Arpaio about a second “investigation” centering on remarks his wife reportedly made at a restaurant indicating her husband’s dislike of Arpaio and desire to see him lose the next election. Arpaio and Sheridan testified that the private investigator involved had been hired by an MCSO attorney; that Snow’s wife was not the focus of the probe; and that the goal was to ascertain the credibility of the citizen who reported the remarks.  Both stated that the inquiry proceeded no further after determining that the citizen, her husband and adult son’s recollections were credible.

While the mainstream media was quick to characterize Arpaio’s testimony as an admission that his office conducted an “investigation” of the judge’s wife based on the citizen report, it remained silent after Klayman filed documents with the court last week that the ACLU attorneys knew, or should have known and disclosed to the judge, that Montgomery was an ACLU client as recently as last year.

Klayman wrote in his June 24 brief that Montgomery brought the same information on NSA and CIA surveillance to the ACLU as he has presented to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

In early May, Arpaio’s attorneys asked that Snow remove himself from the case for conflict of interest, to which ACLU attorney Cecillia Wang strongly objected in her June 12 reply brief.  Melendres Wang Opposition to Motion for Recusal of Snow  An affidavit accompanying the brief contains a copy of the PNT June 4, 2014 article with a photo of Arpaio and Maricopa County Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo with the caption, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio, during a 2012 press conference about his ludicrous birther investigation.”

The caption refers to the Cold Case Posse’s nearly four-year-long investigation into the long-form birth certificate image posted on the White House website on April 27, 2011 which many declared a forgery almost immediately.  On March 1, 2012, Arpaio and Zullo held a joint press conference during which they revealed that the posse had determined that the image could not have originated with a real, paper document.

Not only was the long-form birth certificate image found to be a forgery, but also Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form, which was mailed to FOIA requesters from the Selective Service System.  The Post & Email was one of the recipients of the documents.

A second press conference on July 17, 2012 provided more details into how the posse reached its conclusions and called upon Congress to launch its own investigation into the findings.

A reporter from the Seattle Weekly News reportedly dispatched by the PNT to interview Montgomery about his work for the MCSO characterized Arpaio in his report as “showing signs of senility with his endless investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate.”

On his website on Wednesday, Klayman posted a link to the new lawsuit which alleges “Defamation by Implication and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.”  In a press release, Klayman referred to a June 15, 2015 article in The Daily Caller which reported that the ACLU itself is conducting surveillance of congressional staffers as they open certain links contained in email correspndence.  “The ACLU offers attached ‘vote recommendations’ in its campaign emails to congressional staff, and inserts secretive tracking links in the recommendations. When staffers click on these links, the staffers are briefly redirected to a link that installs tracking ‘cookies’ on the staffers [sic] computer. Once the staffers are infected with the cookies, the ACLU can personally identify each of them every time they click on a link in an ACLU email henceforth,” The DC reported.

On its website, the ACLU purports to advocate for “ending unlawful mass surveillance.”

In a press release through PR Newswire posted by Reuters dated June 30, 2015, Klayman wrote, in part (emphasis Klayman’s):

The complaint alleges that Montgomery sought legal assistance from the ACLU with regard to his whistleblowing of the unconstitutional and illegal acts by the NSA and CIA, much like the disclosures of Edward Snowden. Montgomery possesses information potentially more egregious than Snowden revealed. Unlike Snowden, Montgomery sought to come forward legally and before government authorities and this was the primary reason for him entering into an attorney client relationship with the ACLU and its attorneys.

Ultimately, as the complaint alleges the ACLU failed to carry through with its representation and instead in an unrelated federal lawsuit in Arizona (Case No. CV-07-2513-GMS) against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, attacked and defamed Montgomery – who had been hired by Arpaio to ferret out illegal surveillance of Arizona citizens – to further the interests of other clients seeking to punish the sheriff for his law enforcement against illegal aliens in Maricopa Country.  The ACLU went so far as to falsely publicly accuse Montgomery in court and in the media of being found to be a con man and committing crimes, in conjunction with Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies. Thus, the complaint alleges that in their zeal to destroy Arpaio, the ACLU intentionally harmed its client Montgomery.

Klayman reports that Montgomery is an NSA/CIA whistleblower with potentially more damaging information than that which was released by Edward Snowden two years ago when he revealed that the NSA is carrying out surveillance of virtually every communication incoming, outgoing, and within the United States, notwithstanding whether or not the communications are suspected to be linked to terrorist plots or activities.

In December 2013, Judge Richard Leon ruled in Klayman’s favor against the NSA, stating that the agency’s surveillance of U.S. citizens without a warrant is “likely unconstitutional.”

In a separate lawsuit naming Barack Hussein Obama, et al as defendants over NSA surveillance filed after Snowden made his revelations public, in March Klayman filed an additional brief which stated that Montgomery had attempted to take his knowledge of widespread “constitutional violations being committed by intelligence agencies” to various government agencies and been spurned.  Klayman consequently asked the presiding judge to take testimony from Montgomery in his chambers because of the highly-classified nature of the intelligence he claims Montgomery possesses.

Politically opposed to Arpaio, the PNT characterized Montgomery in its article as Arpaio’s “Snowden” but at the same time stated, “Montgomery, who is middle-aged and stocky with a shock of white hair, is no Snowden. Whatever you think of Snowden, at least the information he released generally has been confirmed as legitimate.”

In his brief, Klayman advised that Montgomery is in poor health after suffering two major medical events.  To support his request, Klayman stated:

…upon learning of the vast constitutional violations being committed by government agencies, Montgomery attempted to do the honorable and patriotic thing by filing whistleblower complaints with the Inspectors General of the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Director of National Intelligence, and Internal Revenue Service. Montgomery received letters summarily dismissing his whistleblower complaints.  In fact, nobody ever interviewed him to be able to evaluate or analyze his whistleblower claims. Montgomery was unable to get the signers of the denial letters on the phone. Montgomery also sent whistleblower complaints (reports) to Congressional Committees such as the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee and to the White House under the then-new administration of President Barack Obama, who had run for election on a promise of a new air of transparency and an end to excessive surveillance activities…

The March 23, 2015 Klayman brief is posted on the ACLU’s website.

Through Klayman in February, Montgomery sued New York Times columnist and author James Risen and his publisher for alleged defamation in Risen’s book, “Pay Any Price:  Greed, Power, and Endless War” in which, according to Klayman, “their accounts of Montgomery, however defamatory, were either manufactured to sell books and reap huge profits, or could only have been obtained through unauthorized and illegal access to falsified classified information from the spy agencies to discredit Montgomery. Like Edward Snowden before him, Montgomery was ignored by compromised establishment politicians of both parties in Congress and various Inspectors General.”

The media has not reported on Montgomery’s ACLU lawsuit as of this writing.

No other documents have been posted in the Melendres case on PACER following Klayman’s June 24 brief alleging that the ACLU attorneys had violated established ethics standards.

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