Many, many many people have asked me if I have seen this story, so I think I’ll post it. (As some of you know, I’m still in litigation with him. Yes, still.) There’s much more to the story than what I quote here, so read the whole thing; this is just a teaser.
The piece revolves around the efforts of a fellow named Yoni Ariel to get leftists or Big Media (but I repeat myself) interested in an anti-Trump story that turns out to be based on documents that several media organizations have concluded were forged. The story, at BuzzFeed, is titled The 1.6 Billion Dollar Hoax. The involvement of Jason Leopold as a contributor to the story makes me wary, so caveat lector. Brett Kimberlin makes his appearance here:
Ariel, intrigued, decided he would need help paying for trips to Rome to acquire the documents and also with authenticating them. A string of contacts, including the chairman of Democrats Abroad France, and a former Democratic National Committee operative in Washington, DC, eventually led Ariel to Brett Kimberlin, a left-wing political activist who is also notorious as a felon convicted of setting off bombs in the American heartland.
A string of contacts eventually led Ariel to Brett Kimberlin, a left-wing political activist who is also notorious as a felon convicted of setting off bombs in the American heartland.
In September 1978 a series of homemade explosive devices blew up in Speedway, Indiana, including one that maimed a Vietnam veteran who later fell into a deep depression and killed himself.
Kimberlin was convicted of planting all of them and spent a total of 17 years in federal prison for that and other crimes, including drug conspiracy and impersonating a federal officer.
In 1988, while still behind bars, he famously claimed that he sold marijuana to a young Dan Quayle when the vice presidential candidate was a law student in Kimberlin’s hometown.
Kimberlin’s story and his claims that powerful people in Washington, DC, were silencing him won over New Yorker writer Mark Singer, who penned a sympathetic profile. But four years later, when Singer turned that article into the book Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin, the author concluded that Kimberlin’s story about Quayle was a lie.
Kimberlin appears to have had lots of cash to use to fly this Ariel fella around from place to place:
Ariel recalled that he contacted Kimberlin, who then arranged for him to travel to Washington. Ariel had been sounding alarm bells about Russia’s meddling in the presidential campaign so, he said, Kimberlin wanted him to meet people on Capitol Hill. Kimberlin covered the cost of the trip, according to Ariel.
Ariel had not yet seen the documents at that time, but what he did know about them seemed like exactly the sort of thing Kimberlin was interested in digging up. When told about them, Kimberlin quickly agreed to finance Ariel’s efforts to acquire them, according to Ariel and two people with knowledge of the arrangement.
Kimberlin ultimately covered the costs for Ariel to travel to Rome three times, Ariel said. On the first trip, just before Christmas, Pasetti showed him portions of the documents; on the second trip, a price was negotiated; and on the last one Ariel actually purchased the documents. The $9,000 payment was also covered by Kimberlin, according to Ariel and the two people familiar with the arrangement.
Reached Sunday evening at his home in Maryland, Kimberlin declined to discuss the documents or his relationship with Ariel.
“I don’t want to be part of this story. It has nothing to do with me. I have nothing to say,” Kimberlin said.
So there you have it.
[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]