Posted on April 7, 2024

Letitia James’s Offensive Against VDARE Is Harrowing for Free Speech

Christopher Brunet, American Conservative, April 3, 2024

After spending several years hauling the former President Donald Trump through court in an attempt to puncture his bottom line, New York’s Attorney General Letitia James is now employing the same lawfare tactics against VDARE, an anti-immigration website. This appears to be a war, not of laws, but of ideology, where the stakes are nothing less than the foundational principles of free speech and dissent.

“I launched on Christmas Eve 1999,” wrote Peter Brimelow, VDARE’s founder and editor, on Friday. “So it is perhaps appropriate that, on Good Friday 2024, the anniversary of Christ’s death, I must announce’s crucifixion by New York State’s communist Attorney General Letitia James.”

VDARE has not been charged with any crime, yet has “fought NYAG Letitia James, at a cost of up to $1 million, for nearly three years.” An onslaught of onerous subpoenas marks not a quest for justice but an orchestrated attempt to financially and morally bankrupt those who dare resist the liberal creed.

Letitia James’s electoral platform was built on this very promise: she vowed to “shine a bright light into every dark corner of [Donald Trump’s] real estate dealings,” just like she promised to “take tougher legal action on organizations that engage in…online hate speech against protected classes.” Except, James cannot actually take legal action against VDARE for their “hate speech against protected classes” because everything that VDARE writes is protected by the pesky First Amendment.

So she has been digging for a reason, any reason, to bring them both down, desperately searching for anything that could be construed as a misstep. {snip}

After years of aimless fishing expeditions, what James has latched onto is VDARE’s real estate dealings, just as she latched onto Trump’s real estate dealings. In 2020, the VDARE foundation bought a castle for $1.4 million in West Virginia to use as a conference space because hotels kept canceling their meetings. (Similarly, VDARE can’t get any bank to enable credit card donations.) They needed a cancel-proof event space.


As part of this investigation, Letitia James is demanding that VDARE hand over 40 gigabytes of emails which “could in fact reveal the names of [our] pseudonymous writers, as well as our donors.” {snip} While the court has ostensibly extended a courtesy by permitting VDARE to redact their names from these emails, the estimated fees for such redactions are projected to come to $150,000. This presents VDARE with a stark dilemma: incur a hefty $150,000 expense to protect the anonymity of its donors and writers, or risk revealing their identities. The lesson here is that if your speech falls outside the Overton window, the state of New York will aggressively attempt to bankrupt and/or doxx you.