“No doubt these tweets, and many other things, incited these riots,” Karsnitz wrote, while noting that Wood’s conduct in that regard did not play any part in his ruling.
Instead, Karsnitz indicated that he was concerned about Wood’s actions in Georgia and Wisconsin. He described the Georgia lawsuit as “textbook frivolous litigation,” noting that a Georgia judge had determined that it had “no basis in fact or law.” He also chastised Wood for filing an error-ridden affidavit of an expert witness, describing the failure to ensure its accuracy as “either mendacious or incompetent.”
Initial pleadings in the Wisconsin case were “riddled with errors,” said Karsnitz, rejecting Wood’s contention that they amounted to “proof reading errors.”
“Failure to certify a complaint for injunction or even serve the defendants are not proof reading errors,” Karsnitz wrote. “The complaint would not survive a law school civil procedure class.”
Wood did not immediately respond to email and phone messages Wednesday.
In a Jan. 6 response to Karsnitz’s rule to show cause, lawyers for Wood said he has not been found in violation of any rules of professional conduct in Delaware or any other jurisdiction. They also said he was acting as a plaintiff, not a lawyer, in the Georgia case, and was not the attorney of record in the Wisconsin lawsuit. They nevertheless requested that he be allowed to voluntarily withdraw his application to appear in the Delaware lawsuit.
Page filed the Delaware suit in July against Oath Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. which is now known as Verizon Media and which includes Yahoo! and AOL. The company also owned HuffPost, formerly known as The Huffington Post, but sold it to BuzzFeed in November.
Page claims that he was harmed by the publication of false and defamatory statements suggesting that he was secretly plotting with Russian leaders to sabotage the 2016 presidential election. Page was the target of a secret surveillance campaign by the FBI as part of an investigation into Russian interference in the campaign, but he was never charged with any wrongdoing.