Art Moore entered the media world as a public relations assistant for the Seattle Mariners and a correspondent covering pro and college sports for Associated Press Radio. He reported for a daily newspaper and served as senior news writer for Christianity Today magazine before joining WND shortly after 9/11. He holds a master's degree in communications from Wheaton College Graduate School.More ↓Less ↑
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad shakes hands with intern Chris Gaubatz, aka David Marshall, at CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2008
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a federal lawsuit against a co-author of the newly released book “Muslim Mafia” and his son, charging they conspired to carry out a six-month undercover operation in which they secretly recorded meetings and stole thousands of pages of sensitive documents from the Washington, D.C.-based Muslim group.
In the lawsuit, however, CAIR, which describes itself as a Muslim civil-rights group, does not defend itself against the book’s claims.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered P. David Gaubatz and his son, Chris Gaubatz, to appear in her District of Columbia court today to respond to CAIR’s demand for a restraining order. CAIR says it seeks to prevent any further disclosure or distribution of the 12,000 pages of documents Chris Gaubatz acquired from the group while working as an intern under the pseudonym David Marshall.
The two defendants did not appear in court. Dave Gaubatz told WND he had not seen the complaint and had not been served with a subpoena.
The complaint says CAIR is seeking punitive damages for trespass, breach of contract, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty.
The FBI cut off ties to CAIR in January after the group was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas, the largest terrorism-finance case in U.S. history. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and other senators have called for a government-wide ban on CAIR.
CAIR’s lawsuit alleges Chris Gaubatz obtained access to CAIR property under false pretenses and removed the internal documents and made recordings of officials and employees “without any consent or authorization and in violation of his contractual, fiduciary and other legal obligations to CAIR.”
Dave Gaubatz told WND the “research project pertaining to CAIR was conducted in a professional and legal manner.”
He said it was “funded by a high profile U.S. organization with very close ties to senior law enforcement and U.S. government officials.”
Gaubatz said he cannot name the group now, but noted it is not SANE, the Society of Americans for National Existence, as widely believed.
“This organization is very professional, and every step of the research was coordinated with their legal team and senior personnel,” he said. “From the very onset of the research, our researchers observed intelligence in CAIR documents which appeared to be national security concerns.”
Farah asserted the CAIR material was legally obtained by Chris Gaubatz, who had been asked by CAIR officials “to shred documents he believed might be criminal evidence … and involve matters of national security.”
“On advice from counsel, he collected those documents and preserved them. None of the documents were ‘stolen,’” Farah said.
“They were, in fact, handed to him by CAIR employees for destruction,” Farah wrote to the Congress members. “All of the documents are available for review by appropriate law-enforcement authorities and, in fact, some have already been provided to them.”
Farah concluded Chris Gaubatz’s “patriotic activities within CAIR, an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, were done on advice of counsel at every step, and were in accordance with District of Columbia and Virginia state law.”
According to a Washington attorney, “it is a federal and state crime to participate in the destruction of evidence of a crime if reasonable suspicion exists the documents are evidence of criminal activity.”
David Gaubatz said he continues to maintain contact with law enforcement officials.
“CAIR does not represent the Muslim people nor do they represent the interests of America,” he said. “Behind their doors they represent Hamas, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the other violent ideologies targeting America and Israel.”
He noted CAIR executives and their supporters “are frustrated our researchers did not use their true name and they did not destroy ‘criminal evidence’ as they were requesting.”
“My researchers and I are more concerned about the security of our country,” Gaubatz said, “than in hurting the feelings of CAIR’s Nihad Awad and Ibrahim Hooper – neither of whom use their ‘true name’ in public.”
The complaint says Chris Gaubatz told CAIR he was a Muslim convert studying at Ferrum College in Virginia and that his father was in the construction business.
CAIR claims that as “David Marshall,” Chris Gaubatz signed a confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement in which he agreed he would not divulge to others any trade secrets, confidential information or other proprietary data. Politico reported, however, CAIR officials say they can’t find the agreement Gaubatz allegedly signed.
The complaint asserts the Gaubatzes’ actions have impaired CAIR’s “reasonable expectation in the confidentiality of its internal documents, resulted in public disclosure of the personal information of CAIR’s employees and donors, cause injury to CAIR, and caused CAIR and its officials and employees to suffer unwarranted harassment up to and including threats of violence.”
CAIR’s complaint says “Muslim Mafia” cites from confidential internal memos, board meeting minutes, budget reports, real estate records, strategy papers, agendas, long-term goals, employee evaluations, e-mails, wire transfers and other bank statements, proposals, handwritten notes, letters, brochures, spreadsheets, visitor logs and other sensitive documents.
Gaubatz also published names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of former CAIR employees and of donors, the complaint says.