Resolute Forest Products Hires Trump Lawyers to Silence Critics

Resolute Forest Products Hires Trump Lawyers to Silence Critics Civil Society, Free Speech Groups Fight Back in Court & in Full Page New York Times Ad

Bellingham, WA – In May, 2016 Resolute Forest Products (NYSE: RFP), Canada’s largest logging company, hired Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman to silence Stand.earth, Greenpeace and individuals who work at both organizations with a frivolous intimidation lawsuit in U.S. federal court. Last month it was reported that President-elect Donald Trump was using the same lawyers to threaten a lawsuit against The New York Times for releasing portions of his tax returns from 1995. Today more than 75 civil society and free speech organizations from Canada and the United States joined together on the pages of The New York Times to fight back against Resolute’s bullying tactics. A full list of signatories is below. “Attempting to persuade U.S. courts to label environmental advocacy as a criminal enterprise sets a dangerous precedent,” reads a portion of the full-page advertisement. “We condemn Resolute’s intimidation lawsuit and call on the company to respect the U.S. Constitution—and our planet.”

The lawyers for Resolute and Trump are using a civil RICO statute – a law typically used to fight organized crime – to intimidate critics of its logging practices in Canada’s Boreal Forest. The Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press, American Society of News Editors, The Seattle Times Co., Association of American Publishers and eight other news and media interest have filed an amicus brief in the case, supporting Stand.earth and Greenpeace motions to dismiss the suit and citing serious threats to First Amendment protections.

"Our democracy rests on the rights of citizens to stand up and share their opinions," said Todd Paglia, Stand.earth Executive Director . "That value, put forth by our Founding Fathers, has never been more important. Stand.earth is grateful to the over 75 public interest groups that have joined voices to affirm this critical right."

Two weeks ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council joined the chorus of voices demanding that Resolute drop its lawsuit, and encouraged Resolute’s customers to engage. “NRDC is calling on the U.S. marketplace to urge the logging company Resolute Forest Products (Resolute) to drop its litigation against public interest organizations and instead focus on demonstrating its commitment to sustainable forestry and conservation,” added Anthony Swift, Director of NRDC’s Canada project.

Full List of Signatories:

  • 350.org
  • Amazon Watch
  • Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
  • Action on Smoking & Health
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network
  • Avaaz
  • Bold Alliance
  • Breast Cancer Action
  • Breast Cancer Fund
  • Broadbent Institute
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
  • Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society
  • Catskill Mountainkeeper
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Center for Environmental Health
  • Center for Media and Democracy
  • Center for Race, Poverty & the Environment
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  • CIVICUS
  • Clean Air Council
  • Code Pink
  • Communities for a Better Environment
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group
  • Corporate Accountability International
  • Corporate Ethics
  • CorpWatch
  • Council of Canadians
  • Courage Campaign
  • David Suzuki Foundation
  • Dogwood Alliance
  • Earth Economics
  • Earthworks
  • Ecology Action Centre
  • Ecojustice
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Environmental Action
  • Environmental Defence Canada
  • Equiterre
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Foundation Earth
  • Friends of the Earth US
  • GAIA
  • Global Exchange
  • Green America
  • Green for All
  • Healthcare Without Harm
  • Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy
  • International Forum on Globalization
  • International Rivers
  • Labor Network for Sustainability
  • The Leap Manifesto team
  • Make the Road New York
  • Mining Watch Canada 
  • Movement Rights
  • Movement Strategy Center
  • National Nurses United
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Oil Change International
  • OneAmerica
  • Pacific Environment
  • Pesticide Action Network North America 
  • People's Action
  • Pembina Institute
  • Powershift Network
  • Presente.org
  • Public Citizen
  • Rainforest Action Network
  • RE Sources for Sustainable Communities
  • Rootskeeper
  • SmarterShift
  • Story of Stuff
  • SumOfUs
  • Surfrider Foundation
  • Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
  • The Other 98%
  • Waterkeeper Alliance 
  • West Coast Environmental Law
  • Wildlands League
  • Women's Voices for the Earth