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LAROUCHE v. WEBSTER

April 18, 1983

LYNDON H. LaROUCHE, JR., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
WILLIAM H. WEBSTER, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LOWE

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 MARY JOHNSON LOWE, D.J.

 BACKGROUND

 This case has a long and complex history which need not be repeated here. Since it was filed seven years ago, over 180 entries have been placed on its docket sheets and three separate District Judges have filed pretrial opinions on the case.

 The plaintiffs are various individuals and political organizations generally centered around Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. The complaint describes Mr. LaRouche as the founder of the "National Caucus of Labor Committees (plaintiff NCLC), an internationally recognized author and economist, and . . . a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 1980." Second Amended complaint para. 6.

 The defendants are the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), its Director, and the United States Attorney General. Director Webster and Attorney General Smith are sued in their official capacity only. Second Amended Complaint at paras. 9, 10, 11.

 The complaint contains two basic claims for relief. The first claim is for injunctive and declaratory relief against the FBI's "bad-faith" and " ultra vires " investigation of plaintiffs in violation of their First, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendment rights. The second cause of action is a Freedom of Information Act claim. Affidavit Indexing Second Amended Complaint.

 The investigation referred to in the complaint was an internal security investigation of NCLC which terminated in 1977. The present motion deals with a later investigation.

 Several motions are pending before this Court. Presently at bar are plaintiffs motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 65 for a preliminary injunction, and defendants' motion to quash subpoenas served upon the FBI. For the reasons stated below plaintiffs' motion is denied, and defendants' motion is granted.

 As framed by plaintiffs, the injunction requested would consist of two parts. *fn1" The first part would prohibit any further investigation by the FBI into NCLC member Debra Freeman's congressional campaign. The other part would impose a broad ban on any FBI investigation pertaining to plaintiffs or any organization or entity associated with plaintiffs. The injunction would require the FBI to receive court approval prior to any such investigation.

 FACTS

 Despite the huge amount of ink spilt on the subject, the facts, as they relate to the Freeman campaign are simple. Ms. Freeman ran for the Democratic congressional nomination in the third district of Maryland in 1980. The Baltimore Sun ("Sun"), apparently quite antagonistic to Freeman and the NCLC cause, published a series of investigative articles and editorials which alleged that the Freeman campaign engaged in improper and possibly illegal campaign financing practices. The articles alleged that the campaign misused VISA credit card numbers which were given to pay for magazine subscriptions.

 The Sun articles came to the attention of the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. The United States Attorney's Office requested that the FBI conduct a preliminary investigation of the Sun charges. Affidavit of Special Agent Charles Wroblewski at 1. It is this investigation which the plaintiffs wish to enjoin. The plaintiffs argue that the investigation is in bad-faith and intended to chill the exercise of their First Amendment rights.

 The challenged investigation has consisted thus far of interviews with people listed as contributors to the Freeman campaign. Plaintiffs argue that this activity will chill their associational rights by generating negative publicity about plaintiffs and discouraging future ...


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