WASHINGTON — Political activist Lyndon LaRouche, insisting he can't pay a $200,000 court judgment, has told a federal judge he's like a poor uncle, "traveling from place to place and relative to relative, who never asks who's paying the bill."
LaRouche's attorneys are to appear in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., on Friday, to appeal a magistrate's order that LaRouche answer questions about who pays his personal expenses, from the heavily guarded million-dollar Virginia estate where he lives, to daily bills for food and laundry.
U.S. Magistrate W. Curtis Sewell last month fined LaRouche $2,000 and ordered him to pay $200 a day until he provides the court with answers to those questions.
The court inquiry into LaRouche's ability to pay could shed light on his multimillion-dollar empire and network of corporations and organizations.
The court's inquiry arose after the NBC television network won a $200,000 judgment against LaRouche last year for interfering in the network's business.
LaRouche maintained during the trial that he has no income, has filed no income tax returns for more than 10 years and pays none of his own personal expenses.
Responding to the filing of more than 150 financially oriented questions by NBC in legal discovery motions, LaRouche said he doesn't know who has paid his expenses since 1973. He also contended that groups associated with him have refused to say if they paid the bills.
His response was filed in court.
"During the time period . . . I have been 'safehoused' by friends and associates in many different places because of threats to my physical security," LaRouche said.
"During this time I have been the guest of many persons, including some foreign governments and political parties," he said. "I have never asked my hosts for an accounting of this hospitality. . . . "
"In certain respects I am like an impecunious uncle traveling from place to place and relative to relative, who never asks who's paying the bill," he said.
LaRouche, who is constantly under heavy guard against what he claims is the threat of assassination, said he doesn't know who pays for "securing the physical safety of myself and others" except the portion paid by his campaign committee in the 1984 presidential elections.
LaRouche is a frequent fringe candidate for President and head of an extremist political movement with candidates across the country.