Unite the Right

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH FILE Protesters stand in front of state troopers in attempt to block them in during the Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville.

Following deposition and months of delayed discovery, attorneys for plaintiffs in a lawsuit against organizers of the Unite the Right rally have again asked for harsh sanctions against a white supremacist defendant.

Elliott Kline, aka Eli Mosley, a key organizer of the 2017 rally and former leader of the now-defunct Identity Evropa, is one of more than a dozen defendants in a lawsuit filed by area residents nearly two years ago.

The plaintiffs recently requested a bench warrant for Kline’s arrest until he complies with the court’s orders and asked for the court to instruct the jury that Kline chose to intentionally withhold his documents and that they may draw adverse inferences from that fact.

The lawsuit has moved at a snail’s pace since its initial filing, which attorneys for the plaintiffs have attributed to a lack of cooperation from the defendants. In particular, some defendants have been slow to comply with discovery requests, causing U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe to threaten financial sanctions.

In August, Kline was ordered to comply with discovery requests and sanctioned with attorneys fees. Kline agreed to turn over his cellphone to a third-party vendor later that same week and to be deposed.

However, according to the plaintiffs’ recent motion for sanctions, Kline took much longer to turn in his cellphone and he evaded questions during his deposition.

“Kline’s testimony was repeatedly internally inconsistent and contradicted by the evidence produced by others in the case. His explanations for his failure to participate in the litigation ranged from implausible to nonsensical,” the motion reads. “Most concerning, Kline’s testimony strongly suggested that he has withheld and continues to withhold, if he has not outright destroyed, documents and electronic devices central to this litigation.”

The lengthy motion also includes transcript portions from Kline’s deposition, various sections of which are also examined for purposes of argument in the motion for sanctions.

According to the plaintiffs, Kline has not handed over log-in information for many of his social media accounts, despite multiple requests from the third-party vendor. To date, Kline only has handed over documents related to Discord.

“In other words, despite this Court’s repeated Orders, Plaintiffs have no greater access to Kline’s documents (other than his Discord posts) today than when this case began almost two years ago,” the motion reads.

Kline’s Discord chats reveal a different perspective on his involvement in organizing the UTR rally and include claims that he owned three cellphones. During his deposition this summer, Kline appeared to attempt to walk back claims he owned multiple cellphones and denied other claims he made in the chat logs.

According to the motion, Kline testified “unequivocally” that he only owned one cellphone during 2017, which still has not been turned over. The phone he did turn over is not the one he had during the time of the rally.

A telephonic hearing to discuss the pace of discovery is set for 3 p.m. Oct. 18

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