By The Mirror Contributor EVAN GAHR
Fox News wannabee and MSNBC host Ed Schultz has convinced a federal judge to hold an emergency hearing about alleged collusion between his ex-business partner and this reporter to “destroy” his career.
The proceeding is scheduled for Friday morning before U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit Judge Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee and donor.
At issue are two items published in The Daily Caller and an inquiry for a third about materials culled from publicly available court filings of NBC sound engineer Michael Queen. Queen is suing Schultz in a federal lawsuit that could go to trial later this year. He claims Schultz owes him money for arranging his MSNBC show.
The third item concerns an email from Schultz to Queen belittling the second most powerful black person in the country, if not the whole world: Oprah Winfrey. [Related: ‘I Am Not Interested In Oprah. She Is Not A Serious Player]
An MSNBC spokesperson had only this to say on the matter: “These matters do not involve MSNBC and we are not going to comment on them,” the individual said, asking that this reporter attribute to an MSNBC spokesperson and not use his or her name.
Schultz’s lawyers are apoplectic that Queen allegedly breached a confidentially agreement by disclosing materials from the lawsuit, including a letter asking FNC President Roger Ailes to give Schultz a job. The materials Schultz is so upset about also include depositions in which Schultz first pleaded the Fifth, but then remembered he could not remember anything concerning a protective order that his first wife obtained against him.
Lawyers for Schultz asked Howell to enforce a confidentiality order and asked for the court’s help in determining “whether the plaintiff or his counsel are responsible for its breach.”
They objected that “a third party has contacted the defendant’s employer making scurrilous and unfounded accusations,” referring to an emailed inquiry to MSNBC President Phil Griffin and NBC News President Deborah Turness about the protective order, as well as Schultz’s broadside against Winfrey.
Schultz is frazzled that this reporter sent Griffin the entire publicly available transcript and warned that ignoring the domestic abuse allegations against a high profile employee could ultimately prove a political relations nightmare as it did for the NFL.
This is the full email copied to Turness that left Schultz frightened he could soon be on the bread line with Brian Williams: “Does MSNBC have any problem with Ed Schultz calling CNN a bunch of shits and trashing Oprah? Here is my article about Ed being asked about restraining order his first wife got against him. I have the ENTIRE deposition.
“Phil, I am very curious if you are going to ignore these allegations of domestic abuse by one of your employees now that they were brought to your attention–like the NFL did with its employees. That turned into a pr nightmare. Or be proactive? As mentioned several times I only represent myself. Evan Gahr [phone number removed].”
Seems straightforward enough.
Two days after the missive to Griffin, Schultz filed a sworn statement that the 1995 restraining order was issued without any allegations of domestic violence, even though North Dakota law explicitly requires such assertions for any edict. This, after he professed multiple times to have no recollection in depositions?
So now it happened so long ago it is not that long ago anymore?
Or did Schultz forget that he forgot?
In a sworn declaration arguing for an emergency hearing, Schultz said, “After repeated public insinuations and accusations about the protective order, and after defamatory attempts by Mr. Gahr and Mr. Queen to destroy my career, I felt obligated to address these concerns.”
On February 23, Schultz asserted that “Mr. Gahr’s defamatory statements and allegations that I committed domestic abuse requires a response. The protection order referred to by Mr. Gahr does not pertain to physical or emotional abuse. The order simply restricted me from telephoning or contacting my son on days that my ex-wife had physical custody of him. It had absolutely nothing to do with domestic violence or abuse towards my ex-wife and none was ever alleged.”
Except that North Dakota law states that “if an applicant alleges an immediate and present danger of domestic violence to the applicant, based upon an allegation of a recent incident of actual domestic violence, the court may grant an ex parte temporary restraining order.”
The application for a protective custody order in North Dakota is called “Petition for protected relief” under Ch. 14-07.1 stating that “I want the Respondent to be restrained from harassing, threatening, molesting, or injuring me. I want the Respondent to be restrained from having contact with me in person, by phone, by mail, by any electronic means, or through third parties.” (Source: State Supreme Court website.)
Schultz, who was previously accused of hitting a woman during a bar fight with her husband, added in his court filing that “I want to emphatically state that I have never committed or been involved in any violence towards women in my life. I have never hit a woman, been violent towards a woman and have never been arrested.”
Noteworthy: Schultz’s claim that I insinuated and asserted that he “committed” domestic abuse is patently false. The item only noted the circumstances under which judges generally issue temporary protective orders. As stated in a previous Daily Caller story on Schultz, veteran North Dakota family lawyer Mike Gjesdahl said ex-parte orders are not findings of fact. “It is just a way to say freeze,” he explained.
Gjesdahl explained the “only” statutory basis for issuing a temporary restraining order is 14-07. He said the judge has “discretion” but it must be based on the law.