Is the TPM Quickening Upon Us?


This goes way back into the archaic age of TPM, even one of the obsessions I brought from my pre-TPM days at The American Prospect. But look at this

Corsi has hired Larry Klayman, an attorney known for taking on long-shot conservative causes, to assist in his defense. Klayman founded and later split with conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and has more recently represented former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

As longtime TPMers know, Klayman’s sheet includes a lot besides Roy Moore. Klayman is essentially Jerome Corsi with a law degree. Indeed he is actually a seminal figure in the American right’s long march to Trumpism, a pioneer in the organized and largely mainstreamed use of demonization and fabrication as political tools at scale. Klayman founded Judicial Watch in 1994 and through the 1990s was the originator and popularizer of many of the ugliest and bizarre Clinton related conspiracy theories.

A representative example was the death of former DNC Chair and Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in 1996. Brown and 34 others died on a trade mission when their Air Force CT-43 crashed near Dubrovnick, Croatia. Klayman’s Judicial Watch for years pressed the theory that the crash was part of assassination attempt against Brown. When Brown purportedly survived the crash, in Klayman’s theory, US government agents at the crash scene executed him with a gunshot to the head. (Yes, this is something we actually had to spend time talking about in the 1990s.) That’s Larry Klayman and that is only one of his slanders which kept Judicial Watch rolling in dollars from rightwing contributors.

Klayman eventually lost control of the group in the early Bush years. It was taken over by Tom Fitton, another serial fabricator and propagandist who brought Judicial Watch more firmly into the GOP judicial firmament. That’s as much a product of GOP radicalization as anything to do with Judicial Watch. Remember Chris Farrell? The guy who got bounced from Fox News and Fox Business News after I pointed out he was spewing anti-Semitic conspiracy code language about the “Soros-occupied State Department”? Well, Chris is the head of ‘research’ at Judicial Watch.

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