Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf’s war with PGA Tour Inc. has polarized fans, challenged players’ loyalty, and created legal disputes. It has now taken a darker turn.
LIV, financed by the $676 billion Saudi royal wealth fund, was charged on Tuesday with utilizing its US lawsuit with PGA to “create an intelligence file” on 9/11 victims’ relatives who have been hostile to the king and the new career golf circuit.
The startup has retorted that the PGA is conducting a covert “smear campaign” against it.
Clout Public Relations, PGA’s public affairs business, is essential to the issue.
One of its other clients is 9/11 Justice, engaged in a separate lawsuit against Saudi Arabia regarding the 2001 terrorist incidents and other horrific acts, including the killing of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.
9/11 Justice is led by a former chief of staff to US Senator Ted Cruz.
Today through court documents we are able to confirm the connection between the PGA Tour and 9/11 Justice Inc, a group formed in June '22 that spent $100,000+ protesting #LIVGolf events.
Let me make this clear: The PGAT is using the victims families to protect their bottom line. pic.twitter.com/ODufD4fma7
— LIV Golf Updates (@LIVGolfUpdates) January 4, 2023
Now, Clout is now contesting the summons filed by LIV and accuses the tour of employing a third-party business to monitor the 9/11 organization.
Clout stated in its filing that LIV boldly hired an organization in the United States to record and follow the movements of 9/11 victims and their relatives while using antitrust findings to sift Clout’s correspondence with these families now.
They have absolutely nothing to do with LIV, golf, or golfers.
Keith Frost of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, who represents LIV, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The litigation represents a dramatic intensification in the battle between the two competitive golf circuits.
It also, until now, has mainly been based on the Saudi venture luring some of the sport’s biggest stars, such as Phil Mickelson as well as Cameron Smith, with enormous salaries and unorthodox tournaments.
Sports Washing Charges
Critics of the LIV contend that Saudi Arabia is attempting to “sports wash” the country’s well-documented human rights violations with its ostentatious golf tournaments, two of which are played on estates owned by erstwhile President Trump.
When PGA started penalizing players who departed for LIV, the Saudi tour filed a lawsuit, claiming the PGA was an “ingrained monopolist” attempting to cut off its supply of great golfers.
"LIV, backed by the $676 billion Saudi sovereign wealth fund, was accused on Tuesday of using its US lawsuit against PGA to “build an intelligence file” on families of 9/11 victims"https://t.co/KrPw2gOKri
— Paul Gottinger (@PaulGottinger) January 5, 2023
As part of its investigation, LIV ordered that Clout hand up its interactions with the PGA and any internal records on the US tour.
LIV sought to execute the subpoena last month, claiming the US golf circuit hired Clout in part to organize 9/11 relatives’ protests at LIV events. LIV stated it did not believe the PGA’s assertion that it needed to defend American golf from Saudi Arabia’s “taint.”
David Polyansky, the head of Clout, served as Cruz’s chief of staff and as a key consultant to Scott Walker’s 2016 presidential election. Samantha Dravis served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s director of operations during the Trump administration.
The business and 9/11 Justice have a legitimate concern that the revelation of their internal correspondence may result in retribution, according to Clout.
It was stated that the subpoena might expose telephone numbers, person names, and email addresses, as well as information regarding plans to continue condemning Saudi Arabia, which “could very easily lead to hacking or other reprisal.”This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.