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Charlottesville suit references new Cantwell charges in request for judge to step in

Following Christopher Cantwell’s arrest and indictment in federal court in New Hampshire last week on charges of making threats, counsel for plaintiffs in a rally lawsuit in Virginia have renewed allegations that Cantwell used similar language in their case.

Cantwell is one of more than a dozen defendants in a lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Charlottesville against various Unite the Right organizers. The expansive lawsuit has been working its way through the court for more than two years.

Last week, Cantwell was indicted on federal charges in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire after allegedly threatening a person identified in the indictment only as “VM.”

He pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion and sending interstate threats last week and, according to the The Associated Press, is expected to begin a multi-day trial on March 3.

In July, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion to enjoin Cantwell from making threats of violence against attorney Roberta Kaplan.

In a supplemental filing Friday, counsel for plaintiffs — who are funded by Integrity First For America nonprofit — in the Charlottesville civil case added Cantwell’s New Hampshire indictment to its motion to enjoin the defendant.

“The threat detailed in last week’s indictment is just a tiny fraction of Cantwell’s violent and hateful track record — which includes the violence he orchestrated in Charlottesville two-and-a-half years ago, and the threat against our legal team,” Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First For America, wrote in an email to the Daily Progress. “It only makes our plaintiffs’ original motion all the more urgent.”

Cantwell posted an article on June 18 describing Kaplan as a “stupid ke whore,” and wrote “we’re going to have a lot of fing fun with her” after the lawsuit ends.

The plaintiffs filed a second motion to enjoin soon after, citing further comments the plaintiffs allege are threatening. An enjoinment is a legal remedy that seeks to prevent a party from continuing a certain behavior — in this case, Cantwell’s alleged verbally threats to Kaplan.

At the end of July, Cantwell’s attorneys, Elmer Woodard and James Kolenich, asked to drop Cantwell as a client, citing difficulties working with him and rebuking his behavior.

In a lengthy response filed in September, Cantwell denied claims he threatened Kaplan and alleged a political conspiracy against him while simultaneously denying the existence of a conspiracy to commit acts of racist violence at the Aug. 12, 2017, rally.

Cantwell, who remains in federal custody while awaiting trial in New Hampshire, has not responded to the latest filing in the Charlottesville lawsuit.

A U.S. magistrate has yet to rule on plaintiffs’ motion to enjoin.

The Charlottesville trial is expected to begin in October and last three weeks.


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