Michael Mann is not a victim.
That was the theme of Mark's closing today in court. The judge began the day by reading the jury instructions and the afternoon was devoted to closing arguments. First up was the Plaintiff's counsel. Then Victoria Weatherford on behalf of Rand Simberg. And then Mark. The Plaintiff then got 15 minutes to rebut the Defenses' closing before the jury began its deliberations.
By this point, any one of Mark's readers could write the Plaintiff's closing. Mann was severely wronged... his life was terrible... Mark and Rand are guilty of actual malice and knowingly spread false information — because the Plaintiff's counsel is also a mind reader and no one in their right mind could not possibly agree with the Plaintiff on everything because he's a famous climate scientist.
Which brings us to that final 15 minutes. As we have repeatedly reported over the past four weeks, this case for the Plaintiff has always been about "ruining" anyone who or anything that does not agree with him (again, his word not ours) — i.e., those on the right side of the political spectrum. And in today's final closing, his counsel was not even overt about it.
While instructing the jury to find for the Plaintiff and set an example to others (i.e., a large monetary penalty), he stated, "These attacks on climate scientists have to stop." The Defense immediately objected, which then led the Plaintiff's counsel to close with their last card: Election denial is the same as climate denial. Led by Donald Trump — a name to strike fear into a DC jury — this case is no different than the justice being sought in other courts and justice must be done to make it stop. We'll see tomorrow if the Plaintiff's last minute theatrics worked.
But back to Mark's closing. Mark focused on the Plaintiff's own words given during his testimony or those of his witnesses that showed as they say in the legal circles: No Case to Answer. That testimony, under penalty of perjury, demonstrates that Mann did not suffer from the "statements at issue" nor had anyone taken the "statements at issue" in the climatology world as anything more than metaphor.
Regarding the supposed decline in Mann's grant monies (emphasis added):
Question: In your June 2020 responses, you claim that the amount at issue for that grant was $9,713,924, is that correct?
Question: Okay. Then in your March 2023 response you change that amount down to $112,000. Is that correct?
Question: So from your June 2020 answers ... to your March 2023 answers under penalty of perjury, the amount of that not funded grant after the blog post changed from about $9.7 million to $112,000, isn't that right.
Mann: Yes, it did.
Regarding Mann being a "pariah" to his peers (from Dr. Abraham, one of Mann's friends, emphasis added):
Question: Why did you bring him [Mann] in in 2020?
Abraham: Well, as I mentioned yesterday in testimony, he has special knowledge that is important to us, and I felt enough time had lapsed for this whole ClimateGate thing to die down that I could venture to include him on a paper with many of these international contributors.
On Mann's personal relationship with Graham Spanier, the former Penn State president who was found guilty of child endangerment for his role in the Sandusky scandal (emphasis added):
Question: It's 12 years since he [Spanier] was fired from Penn State for enabling Jerry Sandusky to feast on middle age schoolboys for years on end. Yet you're still thanking him in the acknowledgements even though he's now been jailed for child endangerment, correct?
Mann: As I said, I'm not deleting people who — because of things they've done.
And on Mann's personal finances and legal fees incurred over the past 12 years (emphasis added):
Mann: Thus far, I don't believe that I have made payments, but I'm not sure. I don't think I have.
Question: So, you don't think you've paid any money in 12 years for your lawyers in this case, is that right?
Mann: As of yet, not to my knowledge.
Question: And you don't have a financial debt to any of these lawyers or their law firms for legal fees that you will have to pay, win or lose, after this trial?
Mann: I'm not sure about that. I don't think I do.
We will let everyone know when we know if and when the jury reaches a verdict tomorrow. In the meantime, the past four weeks have been tough on Mark, so please say a prayer as we head into the 'morrow.
Our thanks to those who have already written in:
Still praying for your health and strength, Mark. And for justice to prevail! Thank you for your continued fight for what is RIGHT! — Suz K.
I am praying for you Mark! You are a brilliant and kind man that I truly respect. — Victoria C
And from Cathleen T:
Whatever happens tomorrow, your stature as the most courageous, brilliant and important voice in the public square today will remain unchanged. I know that I'll burst into tears whatever the verdict, but I've been praying throughout that they are tears of joy and relief. If I'm this worked up at this distance, I can't imagine what you're going through.
I've been a fan of yours since I first read you on NR back in the early 2000's. I remember laughing aloud at a line about French ministers dancing a conga line, then realizing that I ALWAYS laughed out loud when I read your columns! I rarely do that!
Since then, I've bought every book, read every column, and listened to every Mark Steyn show. Your "Tales For Our Time" and poetry presentations have provided endless entertainment on my many road trips up and down the east cost. I usually have "Making Spirits Bright" on an endless loop from Thanksgiving to Christmas (and always imagine you dancing with Jessica during those extended fun interludes), and your review of "The Passion Of The Christ" became my focus on a Triduum retreat years ago. How do you DO all that???
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to buy a Liberty Stick, but I still proudly wear my Steyn vs the Hockey Stick T-shirt, and wear my founding member of the Mark Steyn Club status as a badge of honor.
I read once that the ideal man is a perfect balance of brilliance, humility, kindness, and strength. That is as apt a description of you that I have ever seen. We who are fortunate enough to benefit from your gifts are and will be eternally grateful for your courage, determination, brilliance and wit as you fight the good fight for all of us.
I continue to pray for a happy outcome and an end to this nightmare for you and your loved ones. I know that you guard your private life jealously, but I sincerely hope that those who are most dear to you have been with you every step of the way, and that they appreciate their extraordinary good fortune to count such a man as you among their loved ones.
All the best, Mark. You are a gift to us all.
While we're all sold out of the popular Liberty Stick and the next cruise is completely full, you can still join the Mark Steyn Club yourself or buy a book for a friend to continue to support Mark. We thank you for your generosity and continued messages!