A federal judge yesterday granted a request by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to block the authors of Muslim Mafia from publishing any of the documents taken by Chris Gaubatz while he was posing as an intern during a “counterintelligence operation” for the book.
Separately, Muslim Mafia author Dave Gaubatz and his son Chris are now being represented by the lawyer who represented shock jock Michael Savage in his 2007 copyright infringement suit against CAIR. We’ll have more on this soon.
Besides barring publication of the docs, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered in her opinion yesterday that the authors return to CAIR any of the files that contain donor, attorney-client, or confidential employee information. She ruled CAIR is likely to succeed in its claim that Gaubatz violated the confidentiality agreement that CAIR alleges he signed when he became an intern at the group’s Washington office.
“This is the first step,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper tells TPMmuckraker. “This is going to be a long legal battle and we won the first skirmish.” He adds that CAIR has not yet received the documents, and that it is mulling further legal action on issues including defamation.
Kollar-Kotelly writes in her opinion:
The Court shall therefore GRANT CAIR’s request for a temporary restraining order enjoining Defendants from making any use, disclosure or publication of any (a) document (including emails and other electronic documents) or copy thereof obtained by Defendant Chris Gaubatz from CAIR’s offices or facilities, or (b) recording (or copy thereof), whether audio or video, of meetings or of conversations involving CAIR officials or employees.
Of course Muslim Mafia, published last month by WorldNetDaily, makes use of those documents and sparked a request by four House Republicans for an investigation into alleged Muslim intern spying on Capitol Hill. And it’s worth noting that at least a few of the documents are already in wide circulation, including a CAIR “strategy” memo released by the members of Congress.
Kollar-Kotelly also writes in her ruling that the information she has seen suggests Gaubatz took information from CAIR — including, they say, 12,000 pages of internal files — unlawfully:
[T]he record now before the Court supports a finding that Defendants have unlawfully obtained access to, and have already caused repeated public disclosure of, material containing CAIR’s proprietary, confidential and privileged information. Although Defendants have not yet appeared before the Court in person, CAIR has provided sworn declarations detailing apparent admissions made by Defendant Paul David Gaubatz in his book, Muslim Mafia, in which he admits that his son, Defendant Chris Gaubatz, obtained an internship with CAIR under the “nom de guerre” of “David Marshall,” and “routinely load[ed] the trunk of his car with boxes of sensitive [CAIR] documents and deliver[ed] them into the custody of investigative project P. David Gaubatz who in turn stockpiled them at his office in Richmond, Virginia.”
Gaubatz told WND that research for the book “was conducted professionally and legally.”
Here in full, via Josh Gerstein, is the 25-page opinion: