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.
But Fargo, North Dakota Family lawyer Lisa Benson said that any domestic violence protection order would “supersede” the custody dispute and that “there must be a domestic violence allegation.” She was told Schultz’s claims, but not his name.
The applicant, who can only file under 14-7 would be saying now “something happened involving violence,” Benson said.
She explained explicitly that any applicant who asks for a protective order in connection with a custody matter, as Schultz claims his ex-wife did, must expressly allege violence.
Those lawyerly explanations aside, even the court docket on behalf of Schultz’s ex-wife makes clear what this is about.
What transpired in Schultz’s case is impossible to ascertain because he had all the records sealed—supposedly for financial reasons. But he could certainly clear up any supposed confusion by simply unsealing the records.
The email to Griffin referred only to “allegations.”
Lawyers for Michael Queen replied in court papers Wednesday that the motion to enforce the confidentiality order was a malicious diversionary tactic by Schultz.
“Defendant and his counsel are attempting to create a sideshow, and engage in the character assassination of the Plaintiff and his counsel and non-parties in the case—something Defendant has done throughout this litigation and during the partnership relationship of Mr. Queen and Mr. Schultz.”
Co-counsels Frazer Walton, F. Catfish Abbott and Steven Teppler denied in sworn affidavits that they provided “confidential information to any reporter, including Evan Gahr, in this matter.”
They said the non-confidential parts of the deposition transcripts that sent Ed Schultz off the deep end were originally filed by his own lawyers.
“For Defendant’s vague and unsupported assertions, together with his repeated misrepresentations of the truth, firmly support the denial of Defendant’s instant motion, and further argue in favor of this Court setting this matter for an expedited pre-trial and trial.”
To make matters worse, Schultz also seems desperate to show he never begged Ailes for a job. Is sucking up to Fox News a bigger sin at MSNBC then getting slapped with a protective order? (RELATED: Ed Schultz once begged to be on Fox News)
In a sworn statement attached to the motions for a hearing, Schultz depicts the entreaty as some kind of rogue effort. “I am aware of an article which discusses a letter written by Michael Anderson [Michael Queen] to Roger Ailes, Chairman, FOX Media Group. I had no part in writing that [April 22, 2008] letter and did not see it until it was produced in this litigation.”
Back in 2008, Schultz encouraged Queen to push Fox News. When Queen apprised Schultz that he had pitched Fox News, Schultz wrote, “The networks is our only chance [his Buckwheat grammar]. Hopefully, FOX or MSNBC will come through.”
As noted in both items and in direct communication with one of his lawyers, all information was obtained independently. So basically, Schultz wants the judge to stop leaks that are not happening.
Jeffrey Landa, the lawyer for Schultz, claims in a sworn statement that he first caught wind of the whole diabolical plot when this Evan Gahr guy asked Schultz why he was sucking up to Roger Ailes.
“On February 6, 2015 Ed Schultz received an email from a person identifying himself as Evan Gahr in which he claimed to have ‘found’ a letter from Michael Queen to Roger Ailes [Fox News]. It was signed by Michael Andreson, a pseudonym used by Michael Queen. Because nothing on the letter ‘identified’ or mentioned Mr. Queen, I deduced that Mr. Queen was the likely source of Mr. Gahr’s information.”
Then the plot thickened.
“On or about February 7, 2015 I received a telephone call on my cell phone from Evan Gahr who claimed to be a reporter. Mr. Gahr repeatedly questioned me regarding the ‘letter’ he ‘found’ addressed to Roger Ailes of Fox News; Although the letter on its face was Michael Anderson Mr. Gahr repeatedly stated that the letter was from defendant ‘begging for a job on Fox News.'”
Landa also found it sinister that I asked him about the letter rather than John Hayes, Schultz’s Washington lawyer.
Uh, because Landa’s name, not Hayes’s, was on the letter?
Voila: based on something not said plus a routine request for comment Landa “realized that Mr. Gahr had an agenda that was inconsistent with any legitimate journalistic efforts.”
“On or about February 10, 2015, Mr. Gahr’s article, ‘Ed Schultz Once Begged to Be on Fox News’ was published in what I believe to be the internet publication called ‘The Mirror’ and ‘The Daily Caller.'” In addition: “On or about February 11, 2015 Mr. Gahr’s article was reiterated” on TruthRevolt.org.
His statement then cited The Mirror item on the depositions.
Schultz’s lawyers filed the articles as exhibits to their motions.
As noted in previous stories, all legal papers were obtained through public sources. In fact, the Schultz deposition, with a small portion redacted, was first filed by Schultz’s own lawyers—duh for them.
On Friday, Schultz‘s lawyers, with him possibly in attendance, are going to ask the judge to seal leaks that are not leaks about a temporary protective order that he now remembers was not about domestic violence. Plus, the embarrassing news that Schultz once begged Ailes for a job he really did not want.
Although the way things are heading, he might need to ask him for one again.