The election interference lawsuit Democrats filed last April against Russia and the Donald Trump campaign is becoming a magnet for other aggrieved parties working to expose their own conspiracy theories.
In the last two months the court docket in Democratic National Committee v. The Russian Federation et al has been virtually overrun with dozens of filings by two conspiracy theorists, one who believes Trump-Russia is in the center of a conspiracy that resulted in the bank repossession of his home, and the other a New Orleans man warning that the U.S. government let loose a chemical weapon during Hurricane Katrina.
Available on the web for 10 cents a page, federal court dockets in newsworthy cases, like those linked to Russiagate, are followed slavishly by hundreds if not thousands of journalists and devotees of law.
“It is not that easy to get on social media when you’re talking about the things I’m talking about,” said one of the filers, David Andrew Christenson, in an interview with The Daily Beast. “My only outlet, I realized a long time ago, would be the courts.”
A 60-year-old Navy veteran from New Orleans, Christenson saw his house condemned after Hurricane Katrina hit the area in 2005. He believes, based largely on self-guided research, that a deadly chemical weapons agent that he’s dubbed the “Katrina Virus” was released from top-secret CIA and Defense Department facilities during the hurricane, and has been quietly chalking up a global body count ever since.
Christenson has been featured in conspiracy blogs, and is the author of seven titles available on Amazon, including The New York Times and the Supreme Court Are Murdering Mankind via Direct and Indirect Suicide(s). The End Result Will be the Genocide and the Extinction of Mankind via the Katrina Virus, and An American Born Terrorist’s Emails To The Department of Justice, which consists of 422 pages from Christenson’s outbox.
Christenson said he turned to court filings as a last resort after his YouTube channel, Twitter account, and website were all shut down, and his direct outreach to government officials got him arrested on suspicion of cyberstalking an FBI agent (he was released with no charges after about two weeks in jail). He estimates that he’s filed motions and letters in about 100 different cases over the years, though most judges have taken a dim view of his efforts. In February, a committee of federal judges in Chicago took the unusual step of blocking Christenson’s email addresses entirely from the court’s system, complaining that his emails were “straining judicial resources.”
When Robert Mueller started handing down indictments last year, Christenson hit those cases like a graffiti artist on a freshly painted wall. “Everything Mueller has brought I’ve filed in,” he said. But the Washington, D.C., court handling most of them is taking a hard line on docket spam, and virtually none of Christenson’s motions have made it into the case record. “The Court recognizes that the movant sincerely believes that he has information to share that bears on this case, and that, understandably, he wishes to be heard,” wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a minute note last November in the Paul Manafort case. “There are many places and means available for a private citizen to express his views about matters of public interest, but the fact is, the Court’s docket is not one of them.”
Last March, Christenson’s “Emergency Motion to Intervene Filed on Behalf of All Americans” slipped onto the Manafort docket, and Jackson dignified the filing—a screed against Mueller—with a formal ruling denying the motion. At the same time, Jackson ordered that no further Christenson filings would be permitted into the case.
But the judge overseeing the Democratic National Committee’s civil lawsuit in New York, John Koeltl, has been more tolerant, and Christenson has filed 30 letters and motions by U.S. mail in six weeks. “The continuing cover-up of what happened in New Orleans will ensure the Genocide of Mankind,” he wrote in one. In another: “If we don’t change the narrative Mankind will cease to exist by October 12th, 2050. This is not a prophecy or prediction but a mathematical certainty.”
“There’s two court cases now where they’ve sort of given me carte blanche,” said Christenson. “There’s this one, and there the BP Oil Spill appeal of mine to the 5th Circuit… It took me a long time to get to this point. I’m putting everything in writing and putting it in the docket.”
Christenson isn’t the only one using the Russiagate lawsuit as a soapbox. He’s competing for eyeballs with Patrick Farrell, a Florida man whose two filings place both Trump and Russia in a complicated conspiracy that he says resulted in a bank foreclosure on his home, and that involves “the Jews.” He credits his own whistle-blowing with spawning the entire Robert Mueller investigation, and writes that he’s faced retaliation ever since.
One of Farrell’s filings concludes on this note: “WHEREFORE, I the Living Man, demand this court to monetary award for a 10 year frivolous filing, leave to amend and jury trial.”
Christenson has encountered Farrell before on other cases, and doesn’t think much of his work. “I run into him all the time,” he said. He confesses he even harbors suspicions that Farrell is part of a government plot to discredit Christenson’s filings. “He may not exist.”