A federal judge handling a federal lawsuit filed by a former ACORN employee against James O’Keefe has ordered the conservative provocateur and filmmaker to disclose video footage and payments he received from Andrew Breitbart in relation to one of his sting operations.
“The Court believes that it may be relevant that Defendant was paid for the video of
Plaintiff,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. “Such a payment may inform the intent of the Defendant in engaging in the alleged illegal activity and Plaintiff must prove that the actions were intentional.”
At the same time the judge ruled that O’Keefe wouldn’t have to turn over a list of his expenses from filming the videos across the country or communications about other ACORN targets.
“The Court simply cannot discern how the disclosure of expenses incurred, even if limited to the incident alleged in the complaint, informs any aspect of the asserted cause of action,” Dembin wrote.
The lawsuit in question was filed by former ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, who was filmed by O’Keefe and Hannah Giles in August 2009. “These people are despicable. They’ve hurt his reputation,” Eugene G. Iredale, a lawyer representing Vera, previously told TPM.
O’Keefe’s lawyers, representing him on a pro bono basis, have cited the work of everyone from James Madison to Ashton Kutcher in defense of his sting operations.