We are under attack.
We don’t have the money nor do we want to spend what little we do have on a frivolous lawsuit because we report the truth.
That stops here.
Grant Stern and I are being sued for defamation over a groundbreaking story I wrote on his website in March entitled, “Under Trump, Witness Protection has been infiltrated by the Russian Mafia.”
Under Trump, Witness Protection has been infiltrated by the Russian Mafia
In my original reporting, I pointed out that Jacob Gitman and his many associates are tied to Trump’s criminal underworld on at least a dozen separate occasions. I also broke that Gitman’s business has been signing contracts with the Federal Marshall’s service for Witness security/protection.
Although I have never been to Arizona, the target of my factual reporting still deemed it necessary to sue me for defamation in Arizona after the law firm wrote a hit piece about me on the dark public relations website they control because after our story broke, other news outlets followed up aggressively, ultimately exposing the direct linkage between the target of our story and two convicted Russian mobsters who ran their scheme from a penthouse in Trump Tower, and whose boss made an eyebrow-raising personal appearance at Donald Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe Moscow pageant.
These people don’t want you to know about the matter of public interest we reported on, a government contract, nor did they want the residents of Arizona where they’re building an aluminum factory to know about it either. But the top newspaper of record there learned about our fearless journalism, and followed the roadmap our foundational works laid out to expose the truth about an issue of great public importance to the real people in their community.
Do you want to see good reporting die because people are afraid?
I sure don’t.
Help us fight this.
Help us set a precedent so that the criminals who can afford fancy attorneys stop winning cases and undermining the rule of law.
It doesn’t matter who you are, whether it be an anonymous twitter parody account of Devin Nunes, a political blogger, me, or even Politico or CNN, the use of SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) are on the rise and the frivolous action we must now defend is no exception.
This is why independent journalists all over are running scared. Between legal threats, doxxing, and various other unsavory tactics, we are constantly being stopped in our tracks just for exercising freedom of the press.
Please donate whatever you can to the Simpson/Stern legal defense fund. Any left over funds will be donated to a nonprofit organization to support journalism and government transparency.
UPDATE: We filed a motion to dismiss on Friday. We did this because it is a frivolous complaint. Our motion is multi-layered and goes through each and every one of Gitman's false claims, and even point out that his complaint goes farther beyond what our article said, connecting himself personally to Monarch Air. There has been no hearing set yet.
Update 3/1/20: Jacob Gitman has filed a response to our motion to dismiss. It's the first time that Gitman admits he's really suing us because he wants to abuse the court discovery process to abuse people in Arizona, whom I never knew existed when i exposed his office as the epicenter of numerous dubious enterprises by using Public record research.
- Ross Randrup