Archive for the ‘Judicial Watch’ category

Phoenix Becomes Illegal Alien Sanctuary after Leftist Group Orders it in Private Meeting with Police Chief

August 23, 2017

Phoenix Becomes Illegal Alien Sanctuary after Leftist Group Orders it in Private Meeting with Police Chief, Judicial Watch, August 22, 2017

Arizona’s largest city recently became a sanctuary for illegal aliens after its police chief held a private meeting with a leftist group that demanded a change in immigration enforcement policies, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. The closed-door session between Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Will Goana, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, occurred just weeks before the Phoenix Police Department quietly implemented a new policy banning officers from contacting the feds after arresting an illegal alien and forbidding them from asking about suspects’ immigration status. The new order violates key provisions of a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leaves the city vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

Judicial Watch exposed the abrupt policy revision last month after obtaining a copy of the Phoenix Police Department’s new sanctuary Immigration Procedures and filed a public records request to uncover the steps that led to the change. Law enforcement sources told Judicial Watch in July that the revisions were crafted by a Hispanic advisory committee that promotes open borders with the backing of the influential ACLU. It appears to be part of a broader scheme to dodge federal immigration laws in Arizona’s most populous county. Earlier this year Judicial Watch reported that the newly elected sheriff in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was releasing hundreds of criminal illegal immigrants—including violent offenders—from county jail facilities to protect them from deportation.

The new records obtained by Judicial Watch show that an ACLU offshoot known as People Power attempted to meet with Williams, who became chief on October 28, 2016, on April 19, 2017 to order the policy change. It’s not clear if that meeting took place, but it appears that it did not and People Power called in the big guns at the ACLU. That’s when Goana, who also lobbies the Arizona legislature on civil liberties issues, met privately with the chief, on May 9, according to the records. People Power reps followed up with a meeting request on May 16 to discuss the Phoenix Police Department’s immigration policy changes with Chief Williams, the records show. The meeting occurred on June 9, about a week after Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher met with People Power and gave the group a glowing review. In his assessment, the city manager describes the leftist group as “one of the most reasonable groups I’ve talked with” and says it consisted of “a former high school teacher, a magazine editor, 2 attys, a massage therapist, and two Hispanic advocates who I’ve never seen before.” On June 29, Chief Williams had a follow-up meeting with the ACLU and People Power regarding the changes to the immigration policy, the records show.

People Power was launched by the ACLU as a direct response to the “Trump administration’s attacks on civil liberties and civil rights.” It recruits local activists to pressure law enforcement and elected officials to commit to the following demands: Not ask people about immigration status; Decline to engage in the enforcement of immigration law; Refuse to detain immigrants on behalf of the federal government unless there is a warrant signed by a judge. Thanks in large part to the group’s efforts, the 3,000 officers in the Phoenix Police Department have been stripped of discretion from addressing the crime of illegal immigration or using sound judgement when it involves suspects thought to be in the U.S. illegally. No other federal crime in department policy has those restrictions. Officers continue to have the discretion to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) without fear of violating department policy.

Allowing officers to use their discretion when dealing with criminal aliens has been an effective tool in curbing crime. In 2008, former Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris revealed that a 24% decrease in homicides and a 26% decrease in auto thefts could be partly attributed to “a new immigration policy that allows our officers to use their discretion when dealing with criminal aliens” and “unprecedented cooperation between our investigative units and our state, federal, and local partners (Maricopa County Attorney’s Office).” Border patrol contacts in the Tucson Sector reported that in the same fiscal year (2008 – October to September) they saw a 41% decrease in border apprehensions. Nevertheless, on July 24 the new restrictive immigration policy went into effect at the Phoenix Police Department at the request of an open borders coalition. Now officers can’t even use the term “illegal alien,” which has been officially replaced with “unlawfully present.”

Report: Obama Holdovers Slow-Roll Release of Clinton Emails, Officials Cite ‘Diminished Public Interest

July 24, 2017

Report: Obama Holdovers Slow-Roll Release of Clinton Emails, Officials Cite ‘Diminished Public Interest, BreitbartKristina Wong, July 24, 2017

AP/Cliff Owen

Officials from the State and Justice Departments argue a hiring freeze and lack of public interest are responsible for its inability to process and release the 100,000 Hillary Clinton emails as ordered under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, according to a report.

A U.S. official familiar with the case told Circa “there are still holdovers” within the State and Justice Departments who don’t want to see the emails released, and are slow-rolling the process. But the report also said the president’s own Justice Department attorneys are citing “diminished public interest” in the emails, and that the president should demand the agencies abide.

According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, the FBI turned over to the State Department a new disk of emails belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were discovered on a laptop owned by her husband, Anthony Weiner.

State and Justice Department lawyers say they can’t release them until they judge whether they are personal or government, and can be shared publicly. Fitton said there are apparently 7,000 emails on the laptop.

State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala told Circa that the Department “takes its records management responsibilities seriously and is working diligently to process FOIA requests and to balance the demands of the many requests we have received.”

“We are devoting significant resources to meeting our litigation obligations,” she said.

Fitton argued they are moving too slowly. The State Department was ordered in November to process 500 pages per month, but he said it would take until 2020 for the bulk to be made public.

“President Trump needs to direct his agencies to follow the the law but right now they are making a mockery of it by saying they won’t finish releasing it until 2020,” he said.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, released 448 pages of documents the State Department did turn over from Abedin last week. The group said the emails describe preferential treatment “to major donors to the Clinton Foundation and political campaigns.”

“The documents included six Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 439 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department, and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, ‘as far as she knew,’ all of her government emails had been turned over to the State Department,” the group said in a July 14 press release.

Judicial Watch Joins Allied Educational Foundation in Opposing FCC Takeover of Internet

July 18, 2017

Judicial Watch Joins Allied Educational Foundation in Opposing FCC Takeover of Internet, Judicial Watch, July 17, 2017

[T]he prior Commission ignored its own expert opinion that heavy regulations would harm the internet, and it did so to appease the former President’s agenda for battling the opposition party while cementing his legacy via regulatory accomplishment.    These net neutrality rules are a far-left, base-appeasing federal power grab.

****************************

Adoption of Current Net-Neutrality Regulations Was a Politically Corrupted Decision that Will Do Far More to Increase Wealth of D.C. Powerbrokers and Lobbyists than it Will Do to Protect Consumers

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it joined the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing comments that oppose Obama-era internet regulations that resulted in massive new federal regulations of the internet under the Federal Communications Commission.

On May 18, 2017, the FCC voted to propose a new review of the Obama-era regulations passed in 2015 on Internet service providers – frequently referred to as “net neutrality” rules – which greatly increased the FCC’s management of internet content delivery and operations.

The Judicial Watch/AEF comment reads:

[T]he prior FCC was not content to merely protect internet openness.  Rather than adopt simple rules toward that end, the prior FCC adopted a raft of economic regulations that serve little purpose other than to bring a thriving and successful industry to heel, placing it under the control of federal regulators.  This was a simple power grab, taking decision-making authority away from entrepreneurial businesses and putting it in the hands of the FCC.  If allowed to stand, these economic regulations will do tremendous harm to a rapidly evolving internet economy that continues to grow and expand.

JW/AEF also highlight the political motivation behind the Obama FCC “power grab” that produced this “politically corrupted decision to regulate the Internet:”

The prior FCC’s adoption of the net neutrality regulations was a politically-corrupted decision, which will do far more to increase the wealth of Washington DC power-brokers and lobbyists than it will to protect consumers.  The FCC is an independent regulatory agency designated by Congress to apply expert industry and technical knowledge to ensure the smooth function of communications markets in a nonpartisan way.  But the prior Commission ignored its own expert opinion that heavy regulations would harm the internet, and it did so to appease the former President’s agenda for battling the opposition party while cementing his legacy via regulatory accomplishment.    These net neutrality rules are a far-left, base-appeasing federal power grab.  The regulations as written are certain to increase the amount of rent-seeking behavior already present in a usually smoothly functioning industry.   As industry players position themselves to curry favor with federal bureaucrats possessed of far-reaching adjudicatory powers, internet innovation, investment and consumers all will suffer.

“The Obama FCC’s attempted takeover of the Internet must be stopped,” said Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton.  “As with the collapsing Obamacare, the FCC regulation of the Internet seems to be another corrupt effort by the Obama administration to federalize a previously free market.”

Two months ago, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FCC seeking records of the Obama White House’s influence in the FCC’s decision to reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility so that it could impose its restrictive net neutrality regulatory rules (Judicial Watch v. Federal Communications Commission (No. 1:17-cv-00933)).

Judicial Watch: Options Exist to Obtain Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Requests

June 21, 2017

Judicial Watch: Options Exist to Obtain Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Requests, Newsmax, Brian Freeman, June 21, 2017

(Please see also, Susan Rice skates again. — DM)

Records concerning the unmasking of Trump campaign officials by former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice that have been sealed for five years at the Barack Obama Presidential Library can be obtained if Congress or special counsel Robert Mueller requests them, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.

The president could also obtain the material if it is deemed important to carry out his tasks, Fitton said.

“There are options to get these records and they need to be taken because there could be elements of the records in other agencies, but these are key White House records about what the White House was up to,” Fitton said. “And that seems to me as important as anything else.”

Fitton argued those record need to be obtained, so it can be determined if intelligence abuses by Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House actually occurred.

He added that it’s also important to figure out when the records were sent off to the presidential library.

“Did it happen during the Trump administration? Were they told about it? Was this a bureaucratic shell game?” Fitton said.

After reports emerged in April that Rice had requested to unveil the hidden names of Trump transition officials who were caught up in surveillance of foreign targets, Judicial Watch requested materials related to the issue.

But the group announced earlier this week that it received a letter from the National Security Council that the material had been sent to the Obama Library.

This means that they are sealed from the public for at least five years.

How should Trump deal with the deep state?

June 15, 2017

How should Trump deal with the deep state? Fox News via YouTube, June 14, 2017

 

Did Loretta Lynch try to protect Clinton?

June 14, 2017

Did Loretta Lynch try to protect Clinton? Fox News via YouTube, June 13, 2017

 

Tom Fitton discussing Comey Lawlessness, Smoking Gun Clinton Email, & New JW Lawsuits

June 9, 2017

Tom Fitton discussing Comey Lawlessness, Smoking Gun Clinton Email, & New JW Lawsuits, Judicial Watch via YouTube, June 9, 2017