Trial of Ricky Vaughn delayed over alleged SPLC interference

Expert witness drops out over alleged SPLC smear threat

The federal trial against Douglass Mackey, AKA Ricky Vaughn, has been adjourned for two weeks after the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] threatened to publish private e-mails from George Hawley, an associate professor of political science at the University of Alabama.

Hawley was scheduled to testify as an expert witness on behalf of Mackey. According to attorney Andrew Frisch, Luke O’Brien contacted him on behalf of the SPLC. O’Brien allegedly informed him that he had obtained some private e-mails and was preparing to write an article disparaging him for testifying in the trial.

O’Brien waited until jury selection had already started to inform Hawley of the SPLC’s plans against him.

From the motion filed by Attorney Andrew Frisch:

The government’s motion to preclude the testimony of Professor George Hawley, an expert witness noticed by Douglass Mackey in the above-referenced case, is sub judice. I learned this morning that a researcher named Luke O’Brien from the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”) is close to publishing an article about the imminent trial in this case which, among other things, unfairly disparages Professor Hawley. Mr. O’Brien waited until the start of trial to submit written questions to Professor Hawley in an apparent attempt to paint him as an extremist, including questions based on private emails which Mr. O’Brien obtained, simultaneously asking Professor Hawley if his employer, the University of Alabama, is aware of his proffered testimony at Mr. Mackey’s trial.

Opening statements in the trial were scheduled to start on 3/17. The judge granted a tentative delay till 3/20. It could be delayed longer. Frisch wants more time to recruit a replacement expert witness.

The judge also permitted federal prosecutors to allow an “FBI informant” to testify anonymously. The person is testifying as part of a plea deal with the government.

Meanwhile, Thomas Jurgens, a staff attorney for the SPLC, was arrested and charged with domestic terrorism in AtlantaHe is one of twenty-three people charged. Video clips show a mob of Antifa launching an ambush on police officers with rocks and fireworks and committing hundreds of thousands in arson damage after police fled.

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