A frivolous law suit has been filed against me. I have learned about the lawsuit via news accounts. I have not been served by the lawsuit (and neither has Fox), but I have read newspaper stories forwarded to me.
In the lawsuit, a woman claims I libeled her. Rather than accept my word it is frivolous, I am supplying you the transcript (below) from the ON THE RECORD at 10pm show she claims libeled her. The transcript proves her lawsuit is frivolous.
It is important to note when reading the transcript below:
* She (the one suing me) was never named on our show. It is hard to figure out why she feels harmed having not been named or identified. We didn’t even know her. We had no reason to name her. This was not about her.
* Not only was she not named, we weren’t talking about her and we didn’t even trash her drumsticks - we were talking about something else, the outrageous government spending of taxpayer money;
* What was said was opinion about the government’s decision of how it spends taxpayer money. An opinion is not libel.
To show you how absurd this is, take a look at another example. In your wildest dreams, can you imagine an unnamed vendor who sells the $16.00 hamburgers to Amtrak having a claim against me because I express outrage that the Federal Government (taxpayers) pays $16.00 for a hamburger on Amtrak that it sells for only $9.40 — a loss to the taxpayers ? Of course not.
Because the lawsuit is frivolous, under the rules, I can seek sanctions (money penalty and lawyers fees) against the lawyer under what is familiarly called Rule 11. As you might imagine, this could get pricey for them. I am not trying to get them to spend money or give them a hard time - but just the opposite. I am now helping them out of a jam with a good offer - the proverbial “get out of jail free card.”
Here it is: if the lawyer and his client simply send a letter apologizing for filing the lawsuit and if they dismiss the lawsuit against me, I won’t Rule 11 their case. I won’t ask for lawyers fees nor a sanction against the lawyer. (The lawyer and his client also sued Fox and 2 colleagues — I don’t speak for either of them.)
And if the lawyer and his client doesn’t take me up on it? I think I will call Bernie and Ted. I suspect they will fight over who gets to do this one!
So here is the transcript – look for her name (not there), see what we were talking about (government spending of taxpayer money) and tell me what you think:
PS – What is with all the “I means” in the transcript? I have to drop that habit!
VAN SUSTEREN: That’s not a Friday night concert. That’s another GSA awards ceremony thrown just one month after that lavish Vegas party that cost taxpayers almost a million dollars. Now, this second one is a one-day awards ceremony. It cost only $270,000. It was held at a suburban Washington hotel.
There were no clowns, mind-readers or bosses in the bathtub with unmatching wine glasses. But the event did feature a violinist and a guitarist — and that’s not all — $21,000 worth of drumsticks. I have two here. These are not really from that particular one. These were just a gift. And $35,000 worth of picture frames were given to the guests — gifts — guests.
Of course, now that the GSA has gotten caught with its pants down again, it is now insisting that under its new GSA leadership, this event and type of spending is not tolerated. But the GSA inspector general and a House committee are launching another investigation.
Congressman Jeff Denham joins us. Nice to see you, sir.
REP. JEFF DENHAM (R), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. Good to see you again.
VAN SUSTEREN: And you brought me the gift of the drumsticks.
DENHAM: Not the paid for by taxpayers!
VAN SUSTEREN: No, you paid for these yourself. All right, now, what’s going on here?
DENHAM: It’s a blatant abuse of taxpayer dollars. You know, originally when the Vegas story came out, GSA tried to say, Well, this is just region nine or it’s just the regions within the public building area. And now this is a completely different area of GSA.
And don’t forget GSA is the agency that sets the standard for every other agency! And so this is going wide across GSA. We want to find out how deep it goes into other areas of the bureaucracy and put a stop to it.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you spend $21,000 on drumsticks? How many did they buy?
DENHAM: Four thousand sets of drumsticks.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what was the purpose of the drumsticks?
DENHAM: Well, the audience was playing along with the drummers that you saw.
VAN SUSTEREN: That’s almost impossible! I mean — I mean, it’s — it’s, like, unthinkable! I mean, I — I mean, I realize that that’s a small amount of the entire cost, but I mean, it is so unbelievably insane to take taxpayer money and do something like that!
DENHAM: It’s a blatant abuse. I mean, this is the arrogance of…
VAN SUSTEREN: You say blatant abuse. I say stealing! You know? I mean — I mean, you do have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers! I mean, I think saying it’s — I mean, I — I think it’s worse than just sort of a flagrant abuse!
DENHAM: Yes, and the thing that they came back to me and said, Well, do you want us to not have conferences altogether?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes!
DENHAM: I said, Absolutely. Yes. No more conferences! But if you’re going to have a conference, if you have a legitimate reason to have a conference, you have 14,000 vacant buildings under GSA that they could be holding a conference in. Hold it in one of the national parks. But to have these different types of vacations all around the nation is unacceptable.
VAN SUSTEREN: What were the awards for, by the way? What they get the awards for?
DENHAM: We actually are doing an investigation right now. The investigator investigating the IG’s office is coming back with a full report of everything the they’re finding and how many other of these vacations and trips that have happened.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, speaking of vacant buildings, there’s a new lease the GSA has signed, 1 World Trade Center in New York, office space. Why are they getting this office space?
DENHAM: They haven’t justified it. They haven’t told us who the tenants are. The one thing that is very clear is they’re breaking the law. Even by GSA standards or by the law in three different areas, it says that any time they spend more than $2.6 million, any lease larger than that, they have to go for Congressional approval. Well, they didn’t feel like they were going to get approved, and so they went around Congress.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I mean, I — one story I read, Senator Schumer — it’s his jurisdiction. He was — at least it appears that he was encouraging it. I assume he was trying to — you know, trying to get money into showing support for New York, trying to show support for the World Trade Center.
But we don’t know who the tenants are, right, just that GSA has rented this?
VAN SUSTEREN: And I guess the thing is that we’ve done stories here “On the Record” of — and you mentioned it — empty office space. I don’t know who the tenants are in New York, but it seems to me that maybe we should look at some of the empty office space that we have and perhaps use that first?
DENHAM: Absolutely. Force them to justify it. You know, we’ve got all of these vacant buildings. In fact, we’ve got huge vacant buildings in New York right now, yet they’re going to go outside of Congress, go around the law to get this lease.
And they did the same thing here in Washington, D.C., with the SEC, went out and backdated a document and broke the law again, tried to cover it up, and we actually pulled their leasing authority back. So now GSA, who said they would never do this again if they had the leasing authority, has done very…
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, who…
DENHAM: … that within in a year.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who broke the law and in what fashion with this SEC?
DENHAM: Well, the SEC was very clear that they backdated documents. We had the two different documents.
VAN SUSTEREN: That may…
DENHAM: They did it over a weekend. No competitive bid.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why don’t you refer them to the Justice Department, they’ve backdating documents? Why don’t we have — why haven’t we started criminal investigations? If people are backdating documents and committing a fraud — you know — you know, if I do that, I get — my name gets referred to Justice!
DENHAM: Absolutely. In fact, we did refer one to the Justice. A couple of people were let go after that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let go? That’s different! Let go!
DENHAM: I understand.
VAN SUSTEREN: I go to the — I go to the — you know, the slammer! You know, (INAUDIBLE) let go? That’s the least of the problem!
DENHAM: It does seem like there’s certainly a different standard within GSA and within government altogether.
VAN SUSTEREN: But how do you back-date a document? I mean — I mean, unless you’re committing a crime.
DENHAM: I agree. That’s why we referred it to Justice.
VAN SUSTEREN: And have they done anything except, I guess, someone loses a job, but that’s it?
DENHAM: It’s one of the things that’s going to come up in our hearing a week-and-a-half from now. We want to find out directly from GSA. We were going to use subpoena power if that’s what we have to do.
But ultimately, we have asked for this information. We’ve demanded this information. We’ve passed laws to force them to give us the information, and we end up just like Chairman Issa, getting all of this information either from whistleblowers or from doing an IG report.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, I just had to throw in my — my, quote, “favorite” SEC story ever was the lawyers who were downloading porn on American taxpayer dime, and they downloaded so much on the computer that they actually had to do it to external hard drives. But that’s what we’re paying for.
But anyway — well, I look forward to your investigation to see what you discover about this — about the GSA and their awards ceremony and also the renting of office space. Thank you, sir.
DENHAM: Thank you.