New York – In what is easily the most ironic press event of the worldwide coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, disgraced Chevron Ecuador attorney Steven Donziger appealed to be released from house arrest during New York City’s “Shelter in Place” regulations.
Who demands to go outside when there is a shelter in place for everyone’s protection from coronavirus? Here’s the latest weird twist in the strange tale of the Bernard Madoff-want-to-be Steven Donziger.
Donziger is locked up in his NYC apartment after he failed to obey a judge’s order to not continue profiting from his fraudulent attempt to steal billions of dollars from Chevron in a fake lawsuit in Ecuador. He was sentenced by the court to house arrest on criminal contempt charges.
Joined by a group of Nobel Prize winners who were also calling for his release from house arrest, Donziger held an online press conference demanding his freedom.
Adding to the irony of the press event was Hollywood actor, rage-a-holic and homophobe Alec Baldwin, who attacked Chevron for pursing its case of fraud against Donziger. Baldwin lashed out at Chevron, using the name of his old Hollywood friend convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, with whom he is pictured in this story.
Donziger, as reported in Hot Air, has found a new set of friends to speak up on his behalf. A group of thirty Nobel Prize winners has penned an open letter calling for his release from home detention, praising him as a hero for his groundbreaking advocacy or something.
How Donziger managed to round up this crew of Nobel Prize winners to plead his case is something of a mystery. One court after another has found that what he attempted in Ecuador was a complete and total fraud, with a corrupt judge inventing “evidence” out of whole cloth to make the case against Chevron. Everyone involved had their hands out, waiting for their cut of the nearly $10 billion dollar settlement that they expected Chevron to fork over. Donziger was even selling shares of the expected loot to cover all of the legal costs he ran up in an effort to pull this off. Those people and offices have all since relinquished their share of the prize… to Chevron.
Donziger’s claim this month is that he’s experiencing “retaliation” for his self-proclaimed “effective and successful advocacy for these communities.” That’s another irony since the only people he was advocating for were his shareholders and himself. And none of these questions address the fact that it was Ecuador’s state-run oil company who continued to pollute the land in question long after Texaco (which was later purchased by Chevron) had pulled out and been given a clean, legal bill of health for having cleaned up the sites where they had been drilling.
Just to be fair to both sides here, there is one element of this ongoing legal saga that is at least unusual, if still legal.
Back when Judge Lewis Kaplan was accusing Donziger of failing to comply with the court’s orders, he turned the issue over to federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. For some reason, they declined to prosecute him on the criminal contempt charges, so Kaplan took matters into his own hands and drafted the charges himself. But that only dealt with the criminal contempt charges, not the larger questions of the fraudulent lawsuit.
Donziger has been disbarred everywhere he was once licensed to practice law. His fraudulent scheme has been exposed for the world to see. But somehow there’s an international collection of Nobel Prize winners taking up his cause. Reading some of their statements, the reason begins to come clear. These are environmentalist advocates who hate Chevron for being in the oil and gas business. They mention Chevron far more often than they do Donziger. And they just don’t want to see a fossil fuel giant like Chevron come away with a win.
Sad to see a once legitimate environmental organization, AmazonWatch, which sponsored the Donziger online press conference, sink even deeper into his fraud. Who would give any money to AmazonWatch after they knowingly support a fraud like Donziger? Perhaps the same Nobel Prize Winners who got duped by him as well.