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The Legal Pad
Case Watch II Page

 
Ruby Ridge Shooter Free From Manslaughter Charges
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge dismissed a state manslaughter charge against FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi on May 14, 1998, almost six years after Horiuchi and eleven other federal officers laid siege to the home of white separatist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Horiuchi was accused by Idaho prosecutors of shooting Weaver's wife Vicki during the assault on the Weavers' cabin
 
House Ethics Report on Gingrich
The following is the public version of the findings of the House of Representatives on ethical violations by House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The House voted 395-28 to reprimand Gingrich and impose a $300,000 penalty.
 
FBI Agent Charged with Hiding Ruby Ridge Papers
FBI official, E. Michael Kahoe, has been charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the criminal investigation of white separatists Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris. Weaver and Harris were charged and later acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan, who was shot and killed on August 21, 1992, in a confrontation near Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Kahoe, former chief of the FBI's violent crime section, was ordered to prepare a critique of the Ruby Ridge incident. Prosecutors in this case allege that Kahoe withheld the critique from the Weaver prosecution team, destroyed his copies of the critique, and ordered a subordinate official to destroy all copies of the critique and to make it appear as if the critique never existed.
 
Matt Drudge Libel Suit
Presidential aide Sidney Blumenthal filed a $30 million defamation suit against Matt Drudge, after the famed capricornist published an August 10, 1997 story in which he alleged Blumenthal "has a spousal abuse past that has been effectively covered up." Blumenthal vehemently denied the charges and Drudge retracted the allegations the following day. Also named in the suit is America Online, the online provider which hosts Drudge's cybercolumn called the "Drudge Report."
 
Godzilla Book Suit
A Los Angeles federal judge preliminarily enjoined William Morrow and Company from publishing "Godzilla!," a book about the famous movie monster. The court ruled that the Godzilla character is a valid trademark, an "arbitrary word used to describe a fire-breathing, pre-historic, often-schizophrenic dinosaur." The court also found that the William Morrow book would probably irreparably hurt sales of a competing book from Random House, for which licensing fees were paid.
 
Perot Sues FEC & Presidential Debate Commission
After Ross Perot was excluded from the presidential debates, the Reform Party filed suit September 23, 1996 against the Federal Elections Commission and the Commission on Presidential Debates demanding that Perot be allowed to participate. According to the suit, the exclusion of Perot and his running mate will result in "incalculable damage to their campaign." Perot argues, "Declaring the election essentially over for all candidates but two before a single debate takes place will only deepen the nation's cynicism about government." The suit also claims that the Commission on Presidential Debates failed to use an objective standard in deciding Perot could not participate.
 
News Organizations Settle Suit Against Total News, Inc.
The Washington Post and several other news media organizations that maintain web sites settled their lawsuit against Total News, Inc. June 5, 1997. Total News operates a web site which allowed viewers to link to many news organizations' web sites, but only within Total News's "frame." This "framing" rendering invisible ads and other material the original news pproviders intended to be viewed along with the text. As part of the settlement, Total News agreed to cease "framing" the content.
 
Class Action Suit Over FBI Files
Earlier this year, the White House was accused of improperly obtaining background files from the FBI on hundreds of former Republican administration officials. In a class action suit filed September 12, 1996 on behalf of some 700 former Republican officials , the plaintiffs charge the White House, the FBI, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former White House employees Bernard Nussbaum, Craig Livingstone, and Anthony Marceca with improperly obtaining confidential FBI files in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974. The suit also alleges individual liability for invasion of privacy by the First Lady and the former White House staffers