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Libertarian Charged With Assaulting Bolduc Now Banned From St A’s

Joa Orga, aka Joe Hart, the Libertarian activist accused of assaulting GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc Wednesday night, is banned from St. Anselm College property and facing charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. 

“He hit me,” Bolduc is seen saying in a video that captured the brief interaction with Orga.

The incident took place as Bolduc was greeting supporters ahead of his debate with Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan. At least one fellow Libertarian says Orga never touched Bolduc.

Goffstown police stated Thursday that Orga, 37, had been told to leave the property by college staff before Bolduc arrived at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for the debate. Witnesses told NH Journal Orga was seen shouting obscenities and making bizarre statements before Bolduc got there.

Libertarian activist Ian Freeman released videos late Wednesday disputing the narrative that Orga assaulted Bolduc, as Bolduc and at least one other witness claim.

“The guy came at Gen. Bolduc in a threatening way, and he chest bumped or pushed Gen. Bolduc,” said Chris Ager, chairman of the Hillsborough County GOP Committee.

The videos showed Orga, holding what appeared to be a cell phone on a selfie stick, moving quickly toward Bolduc. In a quick sequence of events, Orga made some type of movement before Hillsborough County GOP Chair Chris Ager and another man moved to get Orga away from Bolduc. Police, already circling the area, quickly descended on the group and separated everyone. Bolduc was seen pointing at Orga and saying he was hit.

Bolduc later told a staffer the blow “glanced off” him. He also mentioned it during the debate, in response to a question about political violence and the recent attack on the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“I am really sorry for what happened to the Speaker’s husband,” Bolduc said. “Nobody should have that happen to them anywhere in America. But it’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats fuel issues with people that get them to the point where they are just so upset at an individual that they strike out at them. That’s what happened to me outside, just before I came in here.”

Freeman says Bolduc is lying about the incident, and that Orga never assaulted him. The videos do not show Orga throwing a punch.

“The campaign and Bolduc himself are lying. Joa never threw a punch nor did he even try to touch Bolduc. He did approach him and yell at him about being a warmonger, that’s it,” Freeman said.

Freeman is no stranger to law enforcement. He is currently heading to trial on dozens of federal charges accusing him of money laundering and wire fraud. Freeman was, on paper, kicked out of the Free State Project in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent laws. Despite that public disavowal, Freeman is a frequent presence at Free State Project functions. He was an invited speaker at this year’s Free State Project annual PorcFest.

Orga, a self-described police auditor, has a history of negative interactions with law enforcement. In 2019 he was arrested inside the Worcester, Mass. police station for allegedly being disruptive while filming police. That same year he allegedly cyber-stalked the wife of a Rhode Island police officer after the officer stopped him for a traffic violation.

Orga is free on personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned on Dec. 1 at the Goffstown District Court. The incident remains under investigation and Goffstown police ask anyone with additional information to contact Detective Sergeant Kevin Laroche at (603) 497-4858.

Woodburn, Convicted of Assaulting Girlfriend, to Represent Himself In Appeal

Former Democratic leader Jeffrey Woodburn, convicted of physically abusing his ex-fiancée, will represent himself next week as he seeks to reverse his case at a hearing before the state Supreme Court. 

The hearing is set for Tuesday morning. Woodburn is expected to argue he was denied a fair trial because he could not accuse the victim of abuse for trying to take his phone.

Woodburn (D-Whitefield) was the Democrat’s Senate Minority Leader when he was charged in 2018 with nine counts of assaulting his former fiancée. Though he initially resigned as leader, Woodburn clung to his Senate seat for months and members of the Coos County Democratic Committee initially refused to ask him to step down.

The appeal stems from Coos Superior Court Judge Peter Bornstein’s ruling that Woodburn could not argue self-defense during the trial. Woodburn was originally charged with nine counts stemming from more than a year of abuse he reportedly directed at the victim.

The convictions are based on Woodburn’s violent actions related to three separate incidents, according to court records. The victim went on the record telling Bornstein that at one point during her many struggles with Woodburn she tried to grab his phone without permission. Bornstein stated in court the attempted grab did not rise to the level of behavior that allows for Woodburn’s self-defense claims.

In the lead-up to the trial, Woodburn leaked the name of the victim to the media by having his attorney, Donna Brown, send unredacted copies of sealed court records to members of the press.

“His lawyer proactively sent copies of unsealed documents to the media,” the alleged victim’s attorney—and former Hillsborough County prosecutor— Patricia LaFrance told NHJournal at the time. “I’ve never seen that in my 16 years as a prosecutor”

Woodburn was sentenced to two years in jail with all but 60 days suspended. He has been out on bail pending his appeal.

New Hampshire Democrats now have the specter of Woodburn’s domestic violence haunting them again a few weeks before the midterm elections. Representatives for the state Democratic Party did not respond to a request for comment.

Woodburn’s case came at a particularly problematic time for New Hampshire Democrats, during the hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen both opposed the Trump nominee and used unfounded — and in some cases, ludicrous — allegations of sexual assault from Kavanaugh’s high school and college days as a reason to reject him. They were unwilling, however, to publicly criticize Woodburn until months after he was charged with a crime.

Woodburn won the Democratic nomination in 2018 but lost the general election.

The most egregious blow to the victim, critics say, came when a Woodburn paramour who smeared the victim as a “liar” and “sociopath” was given a leadership award by the Manchester Democrats organization.