There could be an ulterior motive for LIV Golf’s U.S. lawsuit against the PGA Tour’s public relations firm, Clout Public Affairs.
On Tuesday, Clout accused LIV — backed by Saudi Arabia’s $676 billion sovereign wealth fund — of using the lawsuit to “build an intelligence file” on the families of 9/11 victims that have criticized the kingdom and the rival golf league.
- Clout also has 9/11 Justice as a client, which is involved in a separate suit against Saudi Arabia related to the attacks in 2001 and other cases, including the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- LIV Golf demanded Clout hand over internal documents and communications with the PGA and sued to enforce the subpoena in December.
LIV Golf has argued that the PGA Tour hired Clout to run a “smear campaign” and arranged for the families to protest at LIV-related events.
“LIV has brazenly hired a firm in the United States to track and monitor the activities of these 9/11 victims and families, while simultaneously, through the underlying lawsuit, using antitrust discovery to now sift Clout’s communications with these families, even if they have nothing to do with LIV, golf, or golfers,” the filing reads.
Clout and 9/11 Justice fear that disclosing the internal communications “will provoke retaliation.”
LIV Golf sued the PGA Tour after the latter suspended players for defecting to the new competition. The PGA Tour countersued, alleging damages.
Clout pointed out that the subpoena isn’t needed, as the PGA Tour already handed over documents in the antitrust case.