The Obama, and soon-to-be Clinton administration – with Beck’s help – will not tolerate exposing Saudi terror links.
So far, Beck’s team has not complied but this has case could have major implications. Source: Glenn Beck producer defies judge’s order to name sources – POLITICO
A producer for conservative media host Glenn Beck is declining to comply with a judge’s order to identify the sources for reports accusing a Saudi Arabian student of involvement in the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013.
U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris, acting on a defamation suit brought by Saudi Abdulrahman Alharbi, instructed Beck, two of his producers and related companies to come forward by Wednesday with the names of the sources for the accusations Beck persisted in leveling even after senior U.S. officials publicly cleared the student.
However, a lawyer for Beck’s operation and producer Joe Weasel said Wednesday that he will not name the sources, previously identified as veteran officials of the Department of Homeland Security.
“Defendants cannot disclose the identities of Confidential Sources 1 and 2 for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, as a matter of fundamental journalistic integrity, Defendants cannot disclose the identities of the Confidential Sources without their authorization,” attorney Michael Grygiel said in a letter to Saris on Wednesday afternoon.
Grygiel said the sources were told of the judge’s demand, but “were unwilling to be identified,” despite the fact that Saris said she would keep their names out of the court record and bar those involved in the litigation from revealing who the sources are.
Beck’s lawyer also appeared to echo a public claim by Beck this month that the sources could be harmed, or possibly even killed, if they were publicly named.
“As previously represented to the Court, Defendants are justifiably concerned that substantial harm could come to the Confidential Sources if they are identified. Second, if Mr. Weasel were to disclose the identities of the Confidential Sources, it is a near certainty that no confidential sources would ever again speak to Mr. Weasel or The Blaze Inc. and its affiliates, to the detriment of an informed public,” Grygiel wrote.
The letter says Weasel worked for The Blaze “at the time” of the 2013 marathon reports, but it does not say if he still works for the firm or for Beck. A Beck spokesman did not immediately respond to a query on the point.
Weasel’s refusal to name the sources creates the possibility that he could be held in contempt of court and jailed, although Weasel is not a defendant in the case so there could be more legal hoops to jump through to go after him personally. Saris could impose fines on The Blaze Inc. or take action to limit the company’s defenses in the lawsuits, such as instructing a jury that it could infer that the sources did not exist.
It seems less likely that Beck would be held in contempt personally because Grygiel’s letter says the host had no contact with the sources “and could not identify” them.
It’s unclear whether mainstream journalists and other First Amendment advocates who have fought to protect sources in other instances will rally around Beck and Weasel as the judge mulls what action to take in the fight involving the polarizing conservative commentator.
In his letter, Grygiel asked Saris to set a conference to discuss what sanctions should be imposed due to the failure to comply with the judge’s order.
An attorney for Alharbi, Peter Haley, declined to comment on the development.
Alharbi was not your average Saudi Muslim in the U.S.
- He was on terror watch list and had a prior file (before it was disappeared).
- He had visited the Obama White House multiple times since 2009.
- Michelle Obama Visited him in the hospital after the bombing.
- He then joined Obama at the White House for a July 4 event.
- Before he was reportedly hastily deported.