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Duke loses initial bid to block access to his records

Long-time racist David Duke has struck out in his initial attempt to block access to his communications leading up to last August’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Virginia.

Acting as his own attorney, Duke filed a motion in late February asking a federal judge to quash a subpoena filed by plaintiffs in a U.S. District Court lawsuit, one of two filed in the aftermath of the rally in Charlottesville.

The plaintiffs are demanding Duke turn over all his text messages, emails, Facebook messages, tweets, direct messages on Twitter and messages on Discord involving the rally.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe denied Duke’s motion to quash the request, saying he filed it in the wrong district.  

The subpoena for the records was served on Duke in late January at his residence in Mandeville, Louisiana.  Therefore, the judge ruled, Duke’s motion opposing the subpoena should be filed in that federal jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs opposed Duke’s motion, claiming not only that it was filed in the wrong federal district court, but that his objections were untimely and that they are meritless.

“The Court declines to consider the motion’s timeliness or to reach the merits of the parities’ dispute because [court rules] expressly and unambiguously instructs that ‘the court for the district where compliance is required’ has primary authority over all subpoena-related motions,” the judge said in a four-page order filed on Friday.


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