Here’s an interesting development in the defamation suit against Glenn Beck filed by Abdulrahman Alharbi, the Saudi student he slandered by declaring over and over again that he was the “money man” behind the Boston Marathon bombing. The lawyers for both sides will get access to FBI files on their investigation into Alharbi, which totally exonerated him.
Lawyers representing both sides in a defamation case that was filed against radio host Glenn Beck in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings will get access to confidential information compiled by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies under a seal that will block the public and press from seeing the material, a federal judge ruled this week.
U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris authorized the arrangement after lawyers for Beck and plaintiff Abdulrahman Alharbi stated in a joint motion that investigators wouldn’t provide the information without such an order. Saris stipulated that some federal agencies would have to justify each seal case-by-case…
In their joint motion seeking information from investigators, the attorneys wrote: “The Subpoenaed Non-Parties have objected to the production of documents in response to the Subpoenas on the grounds, inter alia, that certain responsive documents affect the privacy rights of individuals and/or the confidentiality needs of law enforcement. In view of these concerns, the Subpoenaed Non-Parties have agreed to produce documents responsive to the Subpoenas only upon the entry of a stipulated protective order.”
Referencing one part of the claim against them, the defendants countered: “Plaintiff is not entitled to recovery because he is an involuntary public figure and the statements complained of were published in good faith without actual malice, meaning knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of probable falsity.”
That’s just false. First of all, Alharbi was only an “involuntary public figure” because Beck made him one. Had Beck not identified him, falsely, as being involved he would have been just another bystander who was injured in the bombing. Beck already tried that argument in pretrial motions and the judge rejected it. As for the claim that Beck acted in good faith and didn’t know his claims were false, remember that he claimed repeatedly that he had the proof that Alharbi was involved, that the FBI was covering it up and that he would reveal that proof in a few days if the government did not admit that Alharbi was the one who plotted and financed the bombing. If he can’t produce that evidence — and he can’t — then he was clearly lying and this claim of good faith is conclusively disproved.