Charlottesville Trial Part VII


Most of the eighth day of the Sines v. Kessler trial was taken up by emotional or expert testimony that laid absolutely no foundation for the allegation that the organizers and participants in the August 2017 “Unite the Right” permitted event engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence. 

There was histrionic and seemingly neurotic testimony from one witness to the Friday torchlight march from a UVA student who is not a party to the lawsuit, followed by lengthy, dubious testimony from an “expert” witness about the mainstream “Holocaust” narrative that had no apparent connection to any of the defendants. 

The morning started with defendants concluding their cross-examination of fellow defendant Matt Heimbach, who was called by plaintiffs’ attorneys to the stand on Tuesday and interrogated most of the day.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Karen Dunn went on a roll of objections to much of the cross-examination, including the defendants’ introduction of a video from the Aug. 12 event that was in plaintiffs' own exhibit list.

She objected to Heimbach identifying violent acts from Antifa towards the permitted rally. It appeared she didn’t want jurors actually seeing what happened at the Charlottesville UTR rally on videotape in its entirety – but rather just snippets that supported plaintiffs’ case – because plaintiffs know it will show that Antifa were the ones causing and initiating the violence.

“Objection your honor! This is going to change the entire character of the trial!” Dunn said. 

U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon repeatedly overruled Dunn.

On redirect Dunn tried to say that Heimbach’s orders to TWP members to charge in with shields up showed aggression on his part, but Heimbach was able to explain the reason they wanted to surge forward was because they wanted to help a fallen comrade. 

Judge Moon even seemed puzzled by Dunn’s approach, asking if Dunn was asking, "Is it a pattern that [Heimbach] runs to help his friends who are under attack?"

"Yes," Dunn replied. 

Heimbach did tell the court that the reason a laptop of his that was subpoenaed that he didn’t turn over was because his wife at the time threw it away. 

Dunn played audio of Heimbach on pro se defendant Christopher Cantwell’s “Radical Agenda” podcast from 2018, saying he’d disposed of it on advice from his attorney (not his current attorney, Josh Smith). 

Heimbach said that he had made that claim on the entertainment podcast because he didn’t think it proper to reveal a domestic dispute publicly. 

Before the lunch break, plaintiffs also called Diane D’Costa, a Jewish former UVA student who was a senior at the time of Unite the Right. 

Under questions from plaintiffs’ attorney Alan Levine, senior counsel and former head of the international law firm of Cooley LLP, D’Costa – who is not a plaintiff – gave a lurid account of the Aug. 11 torchlight march that went near her dorm room on the UVA lawn.

D’Costa said she was so frightened by hearing legally protected speech from organized White men that she hid her Israeli flags and other symbols of her Judaism. 

She further testified she was frightened for her life, but then admitted she went out to film the marchers for her SnapChat. 

D’Costa went on for half an hour in near hysteria about how emotionally distressed she was over seeing a torchlight march. D’Costa, who is half Indian, half-Jewish, said she fled her room and stayed with a friend that night, and said that it was akin to when her grandparents had to flee Poland in World War 2.

Although Judge Moon told jurors to disregard her description of her emotional state, it was clear the plaintiffs’ attorneys wanted to prejudice the jury with such lurid accounts of her “harrowing” escape. 

Notably, D’Costa said she was not a political activist, but on her LinkedIn profile she describes herself as a “Liberation Design Lab Teacher at the Social Justice School,” which, unfortunately, defendants didn’t get into the record. 

Dunn tried to scold Judge Moon about pro se defendants allegedly testifying during direct examinations, but Judge Moon responded, “And you have problems too.”

He also informed plaintiffs he didn’t want any more witnesses who aren’t plaintiffs testifying about their “emotional distress.”

“No more testifying about how terrified they are,” Judge Moon said, directing comments at Levine. He reiterated his instructions to the jury to disregard the D’Costa’s testimony regarding her emotional state. 

Jewish activist and plaintiffs’ attorney Roberta Kaplan called expert witness Deborah Lipstadt, the Jewish Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University to the stand after lunch. 

Lipstadt went on to present the mainstream narrative of the “Holocaust” and that Holocaust denial is anti-Semitism. She also testified that the Great “Replacement Theory, otherwise called White Christian Replacement Theory” is likewise anti-Semitic.

Lipstadt talked about how ubiquitous anti-Semitism has been both throughout the world and throughout history. 

She also, very oddly, claimed that the NSDAP marched with Tiki torches on Adolf Hitler’s inauguration, which would have been in January 1933. The Tiki torch company that manufactures Tiki torches was started in the 1950s. It appeared a ballpoint pen sort of moment. 

How any of Lipstadt’s testimony about the Holocaust went towards establishing a criminal conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence was far from clear. It appeared the sole purpose was to prejudice the jury. 

After all, it shouldn’t take an expert to establish that the defendants, at least at the time of Unite the Right, considered themselves “anti-Semitic.” 

She also mentioned “blood libels” against Jews, while continuing to promote the blood libel against White people known as the Holocaust. 

Pro se defendant Christopher Cantwell was the first to cross-examine Lipstadt, and probably the most salient point was that Lipstadt made the claim that, essentially, there is no such thing as a harmless joke at the expense of Jews – essentially that jokes lead to genocide.

The other defendants and defense attorneys, except the lawyer for James Fields, declined to cross-examine Lipstadt, seeing it probably rightly as a potential trap that could make them unsympathetic to the jury, since Lipstadt literally offered no testimony supporting that there was a criminal conspiracy among defendants. 

Plaintiffs’ attorney Bill Isaacson then read a series of posts and messages from the Daily Stormer’s Robert “Azzmador” Ray, though to what end it wasn’t apparent. Ray had abandoned the lawsuit and is, by definition, already considered liable. 

Then plaintiffs’ attorneys played a videotaped deposition of Eli Kline (aka Eli Mosley). He, too, has abandoned the lawsuit and is, by definition, already considered liable. 

The day ended before the deposition could be played in its entirety, so its conclusion will lead off Thursday’s proceedings. 

As always, National Justice cautions readers that how testimony and evidence is received by outside observers is not necessarily how a jury will receive it. Predicting the outcome of a jury trial is always problematic for that reason.

This is a civil trial and the jury consists of 12 members with no alternates. Jurors could drop out or be dismissed, but as long as six remain there can be a verdict. 

The standard of finding here is a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt. A finding of liability in this court would require a unanimous verdict.

At heart in this case, is the 10 plaintiffs and their attorneys who allege that the defendants “conspired to commit racially motivated violence” at the legally permitted Unite the Right rally held in August 2017. The 2017 lawsuit – amended in 2019 – lists 20 White nationalist organizations and individuals, including the Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin, Matt Parrot, Matt Heimbach, Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, Christopher Cantwell, the League of the South, the National Socialist Movement, the defunct Traditional Workers Party and Identity Evropa, and at least two chapters of the Ku Klux Klan. 

The lynchpin of the plaintiff’s lawsuit is the claim that organizers planned the rally with the purpose of committing violence. The independent Heaphy Report, which plaintiffs have desperately tried to avoid being introduced as evidence in the case, proves this accusation to be a blatant falsehood.