Bauman v. Butowsky et al, Dismissed, Circumstances surrounding Seth Rich’s death remain unresolved, Bauman “Democrat crisis management person”
“On March 1, 2017, Wheeler told Butowsky that he (Wheeler) had independently acquired some “dynamic information” from one of his sources, the “lead detective” on the Seth Rich murder case. Wheeler also claimed that he had learned and knew who was “blocking the [murder] investigation”…Butowsky Vs Folkenflik, NPR, et al
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″
“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells
The ruling by judge Richard J. Leon was filed on March 29, 2019 dismissing the case against Ed Butowsky.
Heard much about this from the fake news media?
Heard much in the fake news media about the lawsuits Ed Butowsky has filed against those making false allegations against him?
Perhaps they are too busy trying to keep the false Russian Narrative alive and trying to obfuscate the Seth Rich murder story and possible link to the DNC leaks to Wikileaks.
From the ruling by judge Richard J. Leon on Bauman v. Butowsky, et al.
“While there is, of course, no real comparison to be made between the public debate over the Kennedy assassination and Seth Rich’s murder, this case does share much with Lane. Like the Kennedy assassination, the circumstances surrounding Seth Rich’s death remain unresolved. Compl. at ¶¶ 2, 29. Perhaps this would be a different case if the murderer had been caught, tried, and convicted and the motive made public; the present state of play, however, effectively precludes a factual determination as to the falsity of Butowsky’s statement. See Campbell v. Citizens for an Honest Gov’t, Inc., 255 F.3d 560, 577(8th Cir. 2001) (“[w]hile we are not aficionados of conspiracy theories, we suppose that if [defendant’s] assertions are true, there would be inherent difficulties in verifying or refuting such a claim”). To be sure, my decision in this case in no way condones Butowsky’s conduct. But our Circuit Court has said that “where the question of truth or falsity is a close one, a court should err on the side of non-actionability.” Moldea II, 22 F.3d at 317. I will heed that admonition.
The remaining statements—that Bauman is a “Democrat crisis management person” “assigned” by the DNC to act as the Rich Family spokesperson, Compl. at ¶ 53—are not defamatory. To be defamatory, a statement must not only be capable of injuring the plaintiff “in his trade, profession or community standing” but also goes beyond mere offensiveness to “make the plaintiff appear odious, infamous, or ridiculous.” Competitive Enterprise, 150 A.3d at 1241 (internal quotation marks omitted). As with falsity, whether a statement is capable of defamatory meaning is a threshold question of law for the Court. Jankovic v. Int’l Crisis Grp., 494 F.3d 1080, 1091 (D.C. Cir. 2007). The pleadings in this case make clear that Bauman is a public relations specialist, see Compl. at ¶¶ 14, 22, 51, and Bauman does not appear to dispute that his work often relates to Democratic Party causes, see Def. Butowsky’s Mot. to Dismiss at 5-6 [Dkt. # 12]; Mem. in Supp. of Def. Heavin’s Mot. to Dismiss at 1 [Dkt. # 14-1]; see generally Pl.’s Opp’n to Def. Heavin’s Mot. to Dismiss; Pl.’s Opp’n to Def. Butowsky’s Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. # 23]. Thus, an accusation of being a “Democrat crisis management person” would hardly harm Bauman professionally. Indeed, it could be easily viewed by many as a badge of honor. Nor would the assertion that Bauman had been tasked by the DNC to handle communications on a matter of public interest that had quickly become politicized make him appear odious.
Of course, defamatory meaning need not be express. White v. Fraternal Order of Police, 909 F.2d 512, 518 (D.C. Cir. 1990). A statement may be defamatory by implication if “a reasonable person could draw a defamatory inference” from the statement. Parnigoni v. St. Columba’s Nursery School, 681 F.Supp.2d 1, 15 (D.D.C. 2010). “In other words, defamation by implication evolves from what a statement reasonably implies.” Id. Here, the overarching defamatory inference that Bauman presents is that Butowsky’s statements form part of a larger narrative accusing him of working alongside the DNC to conceal criminality “at the highest echelons,” to cover up Seth Rich’s murder, and to impede law enforcement’s investigation into the murder. Compl. at ¶¶ 4, 59, 75, 129. But defamation by implication requires “an especially rigorous showing,” as the publication “must not only be reasonably read to impart the false innuendo, but it must also affirmatively suggest that the author intends or endorses the inference.” Guilford Transportation Industries, Inc., 760 A.2d at 596 (quoting Chapin v. Knight-Ridder, 993 F.2d 1087, 1092-93 (4th Cir. 1993)). In the article on which Bauman relies, Butowsky certainly states his opinion that the DNC is engaged in nefarious activities, and he suggests that Bauman appeared at the DNC’s behest and that his role is deserving of suspicion. SeeCompl. at ¶ 53. But the facts alleged are insufficient to show that Butowsky intended, or affirmatively endorsed, the implication that Bauman’s job was, as the complaint puts it, to “execute the DNC’s plan to cover up Seth Rich’s murder.” Id. at ¶ 4; see also id. at ¶ 129(b) (“assigned and paid by the DNC to serve as the Rich family spokesperson so that he could obstruct the investigation into Seth Rich’s murder”). Accordingly, Butowsky’s statements, although clearly hyperbolic, are not actionable in defamation.
As Bauman has not met the first element of a defamation claim, I need not address Butowsky’s argument that Bauman is a limited purpose public figure under the First Amendment. ——–
b. Remaining Causes of Action
Bauman also brings claims for defamation per se and false light against Butowsky. For the reasons stated above, Bauman has not stated a claim for defamation per se, which occurs when a defendant falsely accuses the plaintiff of committing a crime or other unlawful act. See, e.g., Guilford Transp. Indus., Inc., 760 A.2d at 600. Additionally, “[w]hen a false light claim is based upon the same factual allegations as a defamation claim, the two are analyzed identically.” Parisi v. Sinclair, 845 F.Supp.2d 215, 218 n.1 (D.D.C. 2012) (citing Blodgett v. Univ. Club, 930 A.2d 210, 223 (D.C. 2007)). Bauman therefore also has failed to state a false light claim.
For the foregoing reasons, Heavin’s Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and Butowsky’s 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim are hereby GRANTED, and this case is DISMISSED as to those defendants. A separate order consistent with this decision accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.”