The Council on American-Islamic Relations' latest legal brief in its "Muslim Mafia" lawsuit provides no evidence it suffered damages and effectively concedes it filed the complaint under a false name, concludes a lawyer defending a father-and-son team that conducted an undercover probe to document the Muslim group's ties to terrorism.
CAIR's reply to a motion to dismiss its lawsuit against former Air Force special agent P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris, who served a six-month CAIR internship posing as a young Muslim convert, "concedes that they don't have any legal damages, but they hope they'll find some," said attorney Daniel Horowitz, who filed the motion to dismiss in December.
CAIR alleges the Gaubatzes obtained access to the Muslim group's property under false pretenses, removed internal documents and made recordings of officials and employees "without any consent or authorization and in violation of his contractual, fiduciary and other legal obligations to CAIR."
However, asserted Horowitz, CAIR is on a "fishing expedition," filing a lawsuit with the hope that "after the expenditure of unknown amounts of money and time, it might find some damages."
"If CAIR is conceding that they have no interests that prevent the materials from being disclosed, what is their excuse for trying to suppress the book?" Horowitz asked. "It's about time the American public put an end to these legal abuses by CAIR."
In his motion to dismiss, Horowitz argued that CAIR is unable to demonstrate it suffered harm and, furthermore, has no claim because the group does not legally exist. Horowitz explains that CAIR changed its name to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network almost immediately after it was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.
As WND reported yesterday, the Gaubatzes' legal counsel, in compliance with a subpoena served by the FBI, turned over to federal authorities 12,000 of pages of internal CAIR documents obtained in the undercover probe that allegedly confirm the D.C.-based Muslim group's role as a front for terrorist groups that seek Islam's domination over the U.S.
The documents provided key material for the book "Muslim Mafia," co-authored by David Gaubatz and "Infiltration" author Paul Sperry. The authors assert CAIR is acting as a front for a conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood – the parent of al-Qaida and Hamas – to infiltrate the U.S. and establish Saudi-style Islamic law.
Horowitz contends CAIR's reply does not address his allegation that the group used a non-existent entity to file the lawsuit, "dismissing the use of the wrong name by calling it a 'misnomer.'"
"This is not like confusing the name 'Dan' with 'Don' or 'Tim' with 'Tom'," Horowitz said.
"CAIR forms groups, dissolves them, takes credit for them or disclaims them as it sees fit," he said.
The legal name change in May 2007 to Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network, for example, came just two weeks after the Justice Department's designation of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation. The Texas-based group was convicted of channeling funds to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Horowitz points out that when he defended Michael Savage in CAIR's case against the radio talk host, CAIR's own attorneys appeared separately for CAIR and for CAIR Action Network, or CAIR-AN.
"CAIR and CAIR-AN are two distinct corporate entities," he said, "and while CAIR-AN may be a successor to CAIR, the name problem goes far deeper than mistakenly using a predecessor corporation."
In its legal reply to Horowitz, CAIR concedes it cannot sue over First Amendment-protected activities such as publishing information about the organization.
But Horowitz argues that CAIR, nevertheless, focuses its entire complaint "on the attacks on its self-proclaimed character as a civil rights organization."
CAIR, he points out, says Chris Gaubatz' mission was both to collect and to "misappropriate information" that was "to later be disclosed publicly and used to cast CAIR in a negative light."
Those actions, CAIR claims, "caused CAIR and its officials and employees to suffer unwarranted harassment up to and including threats of violence."
But Horowitz argues that in CAIR's legal briefs, "no specific threats are alleged and no attempt is made to show that the alleged wrongful conduct had any relation to the alleged threats."
He also points out CAIR's original pleading does not make it clear that the documents taken from CAIR were consigned to the shredder.
CAIR says in its reply brief that much of "Muslim Mafia" is "devoted to critiquing CAIR" and, contrary to the defendants' claims, is "a decidedly unserious book that only warrants CAIR's attention due to the criminal and tortious conduct which it admits Defendants perpetrated upon CAIR."
Horowitz calls that statement another concession by CAIR that it suffered no damages.
"If all that warrants 'CAIR's attention' is the alleged 'criminal and tortious conduct,' there is simply no federal jurisdiction," he contends.
Horowitz calls CAIR's complaint "an impermissible end run around First Amendment protections."
"The fact that 'CAIR' is upset or that members may have been threatened does not weaken the First Amendment protections," Horowitz argues.
CAIR's claim of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract is based on its allegation thath Chris Gaubatz signed a confidentiality agreement when he began his internship. But CAIR has not been able to produce evidence any agreement was ever signed, and Horowitz says that even if signed, "this document would have been signed between a non-existent corporate entity and Chris Gaubatz. There need to be two parties to a contract."