Defending ‘freedom to post,’ ‘Kraken’ lawyer says ex-Overstock CEO didn’t violate order again


Patrick Byrne, Stefanie Lambert

Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive of arrives at the O’Neill House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 15, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File); Stefanie Lambert attends a rally for Republican candidates at the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center in Warren, Mich., Oct. 1, 2022. (Todd McInturf/Detroit News via AP)

After a hearing on Dominion Voting Systems‘ demand that she be disqualified from representing ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne in the defamation lawsuit for leaking discovery, a Michigan “Kraken” lawyer is trying to put out a new fire.

Stefanie Lambert responded Tuesday to a Dominion complaint from last week, which claimed that Byrne violated a protective order in the case hours after the hearing, by “us[ing] X to further disseminate the impermissibly leaked documents.”

Lambert pushed back on the filing by saying her client had done “nothing more than the reposting of information that had already been posted” and did not violate the court’s orders because Byrne “did not disseminate further information beyond that which the Court has already taken account of in its previous orders.”

Last week, Dominion lawyer Davida Brook told U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya that Byrne had reposted content that contained a “string of posts promoting false claims” and screenshots of leaked discovery.

May 17 Patrick Byrne post on X that Dominion cited in a court filing.

May 17 Patrick Byrne post on X that Dominion cited in a court filing.

“Yes, it does seem like they made many important concessions today,” Byrne wrote in response, commenting on how he thought the disqualification hearing went. “Methinks their lawyers are more familiar with civil practice than criminal law.”

Lambert, now facing two election-related felony indictments in Michigan, found herself in hot water as soon as she entered the case in March. Robert Driscoll, Patrick Byrne’s attorney at the time, told Dominion that Lambert had shared discovery with Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, a 2020 election-denying sheriff who was allegedly given “username-and-password access” to “more than 1 million documents” from discovery, documents the sheriff cited as “evidence” of crimes in a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Lambert previously justified the protective order breach by saying she forwarded evidence of 2020 election “criminal activity” to law enforcement, claiming that emails written in “Serbian and foreign languages” were “evidence of criminal violations” involving “top level Dominion employees directing and tasking foreign nationals to remotely access voting machines utilized in the United States during the November 3, 2020 election.”

Dominion countered that there was, indeed, a protective order violation, and that Lambert’s claims were based on the “xenophobic conclusion […] that any email from non-US-based Dominion personnel is conclusive evidence of criminal activity.” As a result, Dominion pushed for her disqualification from representing Byrne and complained a second time last week about his repost of leaked discovery.

On Tuesday, Lambert, citing the “freedom to post information on the internet,” said there was no issue with Byrne’s repost on X since “truth is an absolute defense” in a defamation case.

“Further, Dominion and its counsel enjoy free reign to speak about the lawsuits and elections anytime they choose, and their websites and profiles read like a play-by-play dissemination of information about this and other lawsuits,” Lambert wrote. “The freedom to post information on the internet is enjoyed by all Americans under the First Amendment, and cannot be stymied by one side or the other, especially in a case of this magnitude, and even more where the truth is an absolute defense to defamation claims that have been brought against Dr. Byrne.”

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