Posted tagged ‘Clinton advisers’

Carlson Exposes Russia Story the Rest of Mainstream Media Missed

October 26, 2017

Carlson Exposes Russia Story the Rest of Mainstream Media Missed, Accuracy in Media, Brian McNicoll, October 25, 2017

(Please see also, DOJ lifts gag order; former FBI informant can tell Congress about 2010 uranium deal. — DM)

 

Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.

“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”

“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”

The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.

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Nowhere in the New York Times or Washington Post will you find it, but Tucker Carlson might have pulled off the scoop of the year on his show on Fox.

Paul Manafort has long been known to be at or near the center of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The FBI searched Manafort’s house, he was at the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., and the Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton and his past as a lobbyist for foreign governments means he likely knows the people might collude with.

But the assumption has been that Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a brief period in the summer of 2016, was a problem for Trump and perhaps a link from underground Russian dealings to the Oval Office itself.

Carlson said that a former senior employee at the Podesta Group with “direct personal knowledge” of the Mueller investigation contacted the show because he was “motivated … by the disgust he felt watching media coverage.”

Not only are the media getting it wrong, he said, they are getting it backwards. 

The man told Carlson the Russians were deeply involved in American politics, but the real story – perhaps now even the focus of the Mueller investigation – has “almost nothing to do with the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Instead, it is about Manafort working for years with the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian government interests, the source told Carlson. Manafort was a regular in the Podesta offices and sought to influence the Obama administration, Congress and the Hillary Clinton State Department on behalf of Russian government interests.

Tony Podesta, in turn, was a constant voice in Hillary Clinton’s ear when she was secretary of state, working through David Adams, whom he hired from the State Department to improve access.

The man said he knows of at least one meeting held to “determine how to help Uranium One, whose board members gave $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.

“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”

The Podestas “are in the crosshairs,” Carlson concluded.

He then brought on Brit Hume, who agreed this revelation changed the story completely by complicating everyone’s idea of Manafort’s place in it and by revealing that Mueller “is on this” and may now be involved in “a more broad-gauged effort to determine the extent and depth of Russian efforts to influence American politics going back several years.”

But then raised perhaps an even more significant question.

The story “suggests what collusion that have been was between Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian interests,” Hume said. “What you’re coming around and getting at this now … how could it be that all these journalists chasing this story for lo these many months and never ran across this thing? How can that be?”

“It’s pretty striking, and it suggests the work done on this story has not been of the best quality or this would have turned up. I’d also suggest you have a pack of journalists who are so determined to follow one storyline that they completely missed this.

“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”

The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.

“The tide may be turning in political terms and hopefully in journalistic tones,” Hume said.

Weekly Update: It’s amateur hour at State

September 16, 2017

Weekly Update: It’s amateur hour at State, Judicial Watch, September 15, 2017

(The second part of the article deals with the failure of the Department of Justice to prosecute former IRS head Lois Lerner. I have not corrected typos in the article because my internet keeps going down and I want to get this posted promptly.– DM)

Clinton Emails Reveal Additional Mishandling of Classified Information

We continue to accumulate details of the communications abuses in the Hillary Clinton State Department, but after you read the following report pause and consider the big picture. For four years the inner workings of her department were porous to prying eyes. Is it just a coincidence that Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic efforts so often failed?

This week we released 1,617 new pages of documents revealing numerous additional examples of classified information being transmitted through the unsecure, non-state.gov account of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, as well as many instances of Hillary Clinton donors receiving special favors from the State Department.

The documents included 97 email exchanges with Clinton not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 627emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over, and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.

The emails are the 20th production of documents obtained in response to a court order in a May 5, 2015, lawsuit we filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)). We sued after State failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”

On September 11, 2009, the highly sensitive name and email address of the person giving the classified Presidential Daily Brief was included in an email forwarded to Abedin’s unsecure email account by State Department official Dan Fogerty. The State Department produced many more Clinton and Abedin unsecured emails that were classified:

  • On April 16, 2009, Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman sent to Abedin’s unsecure email account classified informationabout an unknown subject.
  • On June 18, 2009, Abedin sent classified informationsummarizing a June 18, 2009, “Middle East Breakfast” meeting between various senators, representatives and State Department officials, at which Deputy Secretary Jack Lew and George Mitchell briefed the congressmen with “an update on our discussions with the [Middle East] parties.”
  • On June 23, 2009, U.S. diplomat Martin Indyk, who had his security clearance suspendedin 2000 for “possible sloppiness” in the handling of classified information, sent a memo containing classified information to Abedin’s unsecure email account. The memo, written for Clinton, pertained to Indyk’s discussions with top Israeli officials:

Could I ask you to review the memo below that I wrote yesterday on my return from Israel?  If you think it worthwhile, I’d be very grateful if you showed it to HRC (I have already shared it with Mitchell and Feltman). A confrontation with Bibi appears imminent.  I’ve never been one to shy away from that, as she may know.  But it has to be done carefully, and that doesn’t appear to be happening.  And I’m concerned that she will be tarred with the same brush if this leads to a bad end.  So I think she needs to make sure that the friction is productive.  I’ve made some suggestions at the end of the memo

  • On August 1, 2009, Abedin forwarded classified informationfrom State Department official Richard Verma to her unsecure email account. The email from Senator Russ Feingold was sent to Hillary Clinton regarding her upcoming Africa trip.
  • On August 4, 2009, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman sent classified informationabout discussions with Kuwaiti officials to Abedin’s unsecure email account. Feltman noted that the Kuwaitis felt a lunch they had with Obama was “chilly.” The discussions concerned Guantanamo as well as Kuwait’s treatment of detainees.
  • On Sept 20, 2009, Abedin forwarded classified informationto her unsecure email account. The email was from State Department official Esther Brimmer and concerned foreign leaders’ discussions regarding a UNESCO leadership appointment.
  • On November 1, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Rick Olson sent classified informationto Abedin’s unsecure email account. The email shows that Olsen was traveling with Hillary in the Middle East, and Abedin asked him to “work on a list of everything covered in the mbz [presumably Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi] meeting for Hillary.” Olson asks: “do you want it on this system (I can sanitize), or on the other system.” She replies: “This system easier. We are staying without class[ified] computers. Thx.”
  • On December 1, 2009, Abedin sent classified informationabout foreign military contributions to the Afghanistan war effort to her unsecure email account. The email originated with State official Sean Misko who wrote to Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan that he first “accidentally” sent it on the “high side” (secure) but was resending.
  • On December 25, 2009, Abedin sent to her unsecure email account classified informationprepared by Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Francis Ricciardone concerning the Afghan elections.
  • On December 26, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual sent a memo to Clinton, which was found on Abedin’s unsecure email account. It contained extensive classified information involving U.S. and Mexican counter-drug operations in Mexico.
  • On March 22, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified informationabout a telephone conversation between President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
  • On April 13, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified informationfrom Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman regarding diplomatic discussions with the foreign ministers of Algeria and Morocco.
  • On May 24, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified informationabout the minutes of a State Department senior staff meeting regarding State Department officials’ meetings in Uganda.
  • Among Abedin’s unsecure email records is a document that is simply titled “NOTE” with the date September 12, 2010. The contents are entirely redacted as classified.
  • On January 28, 2011, Abedin sent Clinton an unsecure email containing classified informationrelating to a briefing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave.
  • On March 21, 2012, Clinton received a memo from State Department officials Joseph Yun and Derek Mitchell marked “Sensitive But Unclassified” and sent to Abedin’s unsecure email account. It contained classified informationabout elections in Burma.
  • Jake Sullivan emailed to Hillary’s unsecure email account classified informationin which Sullivan discussed the content of conversations with UK Prime Minister Gordon regarding “the situation” in Northern Ireland. The date of this email is not included on the document.
  • On April 8, 2012, Abedin sent classified informationto her unsecure email regarding a call sheet and an “Action Memo” for Clinton relating to a call with Malawi President Joyce Banda. On April 9, 2012, confidential assistant Monica Hanley again forwarded the classified information to Clinton’s unsecure email account.

Other emails contain sensitive information that was sent via Hillary Clinton’s unsecure email servers.

  • On August 18, 2009, Hanley provided Abedin with laptop and fob (a physical device that provides a login code) logins and passwordsto log onto a laptop, as well as a secure State Department website at https://one.state.gov. Included were a PIN number and instructions on how to access her email from the secure State Department website. Abedin forwarded this information to her unsecure account.

(The FBI interviewed Hanley in its probe of Clinton’s email practices, and State’s Diplomatic Security staff reprimanded her after she left classified material behind in a Moscow hotel room. Hanley was the staffer tasked with finding BlackBerry phones for Clinton to use.)

  • On August 19, 2009, Hanley asked Abedin to call her and provide Abedin’s computer passwordso that she could download a UN document for Cheryl Mills from Abedin’s computer. Instead of calling Hanley, Abedin apparently provided the computer password in her unsecure reply email, saying, “Its [redacted].”
  • On April 17, 2009, Clinton aide Lona Valmoro emailed Clinton’s sensitive daily schedulefor April 18 to various Clinton Foundation officials, including Doug Band, Terry Krinvic and Justin Cooper. She also forwarded Clinton’s daily schedule for July 16 to numerous Clinton Foundation officials. She did the same thing on September 8, 2009. She did so again on January 10, January 14 and April 11, 2010.
  • The details of Hillary’s arrivalon November 18, 2009, in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan, for the inauguration of President Karzai, were found on Abedin’s unsecure email account. Included were precise times of landing at Kabul Airport, the occupants of her vehicle, arrival and departure times at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and meeting times with U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The new documents show that Clinton donors frequently requested and received special favors from the State Department that were connected to the Clinton Foundation.

  • On July 14, 2009, Gordon Griffin, a XL Keystone lobbyist,sent an email to Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band, asking if Band could get him into a Council on Foreign Relations dinner at which Clinton was speaking. Band forwarded the email to Abedin, saying, “Can u get him in?” Abedin replied: “Yes will get him in.” Band was a top aide to President Bill Clinton and co-founder of Teneo. Griffin was a major donor to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential
  • On July 16, 2009, Zachary Schwartz asked Band for help getting visas to travel to Cuba for a film production crew from Shangri La Entertainment. Band forwarded the requestto Abedin, telling her, “Please call zach asap on this. [Redacted.] Important.” Abedin responded, “I’ll call zach when we land in India.” Abedin concludes with “Enjoy. Cuba is complicated. Am sure you aren’t surprised to hear that.” Schwartz worked for Steve Bing, a mega-donor to the Clintons and owner of Shangri La Entertainment. Bing has reportedly donated $10-25 million to the Clinton Foundation and paid Bill Clinton personally $2.5 million a year to be an adviser to a green construction company Bing owned.
  • On September 11, 2009, Terrence Duffy, chairman of futures brokerage firm CME Group, a donor to the Clinton Foundation, asked Clinton to arrange “government appointments” for him in Singapore and Hong Kong. Clinton, using her HDR22@clintonmail.comaddress, forwarded the request to Abedin, “fyi.” Abedin responded to Duffy’s email, saying she would “follow up” with Duffy’s secretary, Joyce. Duffy gave $4,600 to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign; CME Group paid Hillary $225,000 for a speaking fee and has donated between $5,001 and 10,000 to the Clinton Foundation.Abedin, using her huma@clintonmail.com address, later told Joyce, “Would like to get some more information and details so we can try to help.” Further along in the exchange, Joyce responds “We would also like some help in arranging meetings with some key govt officials in both locations, such as the Prime Minister of Singapore, and would appreciate any help you may be able to provide.”

On September 29, 2009, Abedin followed up with Duffy, telling him that “we are happy to assist with any and all meetings” and that she had “discussed you and your trip with our assistant secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs,” suggesting that Duffy write the assistant secretary, Kurt Campbell. Duffy replied, “Thank you very much. I did connect with Kurt Campbell today.”

  • On May 5, 2010, major Clinton Global Initiative member, Clinton Foundation donor and real estate developer Eddie Trump forwarded to “Dougie” Band a request for assistancefrom Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner to get the Russian American Foundation involved in a State Department program. Band forwarded the request to Abedin, saying, “Can we get this done/mtg set.” As Judicial Watch previously reported, the State Department doled out more than $260,000 to the Russian American Foundation for “public diplomacy.”
  • Major Clinton donor Bal Das, a New York financier who reportedly raised $300,000for Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign, asked Abedin on November 11, 2009 if Hillary Clinton could address the Japan Society at its annual conference in 2010. Clinton did speak to the Japan Society’s annual conference in 2011.

The emails also provide insight on the inner workings of the Clinton State Department, in particular her engagement with her staff.

  • In a May 19, 2009, “Global Press Conference” memo, Clinton was given in advance the “proposed questions” of four of the seven foreign reporters. Examples include: “What is the Obama administration’s view of Australian PM Rudd’s proposal to form an Asia-Pacific Community” and “Why can’t American drones not find, detect and destroy the insurgency supply line?”
  • In a document entitled “HRC Pakistan Notes” prepared for Clinton by her staff, Clinton apparently had to be reminded about all her trips to Pakistan and of “stories that you have told/remember.” Her reminder instructions include: “You loved Faisal mosque, and it was especially meaningful to have CVC [Chelsea] with you.” And: “Your first Pakistani friend was in College. She introduced you to Pakistani food and clothes.” And: “You have had lots of Pakistani and Pakistani American friends over the years. From Chicago to California to Washington, DC, you have friends all over the country. They know how much you love Pakistani food …”
  • On February 12, 2010, Case Button, a Clinton speechwriter, asked Abedin if her mother, a professor at Dar Al Hekma, a women’s university in Saudi Arabia where Clinton held a town hall meeting,would be willing to give him advice on talking points he was preparing for Clinton. Abedin responded, “Talk to my mom for sure. She will have good points for you.” After reviewing Hillary’s draft remarks, Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, (a controversial Islamist activist), offered some advice: “Do not use the political terms such as ‘democracy/elections/freedom.’ Do not use the term ‘empowerment of women’ instead say ‘enabling women’ Do not even mention driving for women! Don’t sound sympathetic to ‘women’s plight’ or be ‘patronizing’ as other visitors have done and made the students extremely annoyed. They rightly consider these as in-house issues …” No references to these issues appear in Clinton’s speech.

Abedin’s involvement in a major appointment at the State Department is controversial given that Abedin’s mother was an Islamist activist.

  • On July 24, 2009, Cheryl Mills forwarded to Abedin a CV for someone being considered for the position of Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It had been sent to Mills from State Department recruiter Margaret Carpenter. Rather than forwarding the resume on to Clinton for her approval, Abedin simply responds to Mills: “I’m a hundred percent fine with him.”

Abedin also offered her opinion to Clinton on administration leaders: On January 21, 2011, while on a trip to Mexico, Abedin emailed Hillary that, “Biden is a disaster here.”

  • On February 20, 2012, Clinton expresses outrage over an apparent wardrobe miscommunication for a meeting in Mexico and sent an emailto Abedin with the subject line “I’m venting.” Clinton admonished:

So, here I sit in the meeting surrounded by ever other person dressed in a white shirt provided by the Mexicans. Patricia is not wearing the exact style that all others are but her own white shirt. But, since no one ever told me about this, and instead assumed I didn’t need to know, I had no idea about any of this until I just walked into the large meeting in front of the entire press corps and I’m wearing a green top. So, what’s my answer when asked why I think I’m different than all my colleagues and why I’m dissing our hosts? I am sick of people deciding what I should know rather than giving me the info so I can make a decision. This really annoys me and I told Monica [Hanley] I just didn’t understand.

These emails show ‘what happened’ was that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin obviously violated laws about the handling of classified information and turned the State Department into a pay for play tool for the corrupt Clinton Foundation. The clear and mounting evidence of pay for play and mishandling of classified information warrant a serious criminal investigation by an independent Trump Justice Department.
To read more about Huma Abedin’s emails, click here.

 

 

The IRS Scandal Is Still a Scandal

In a baffling move, President Trump’s Justice Department has decided not to prosecute Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:

When we learned of this, I issued this statement:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

Let’s review the history.

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report, which said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The documents revealed that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Our litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems. Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents.  Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:

  • In June 2014the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • In July 2014Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to submit to the court a written declaration under oath about what happened to Lerner’s “lost” emails. The sworn declarations proved to be less than forthcoming.
  • In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
  • In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testifiedto the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner.  This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
  • In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admitin a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
  • In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contemptof court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.

While Washington spins in circles trying to find election rigging on the part of Donald Trump, it closes its eyes to genuine election skullduggery.

Making Sense of the Russian Hacking Saga

December 31, 2016

Making Sense of the Russian Hacking Saga, PJ Media, Charlie Martin, December 30, 2016

Now, we have leaked files that exposed real corruption in the DNC and real conspiracies against private citizens. We’re told this is an attack on our democracy. At the same time, there was an ongoing effort to lobby, coerce, even threaten electors to get them to change their votes in the Electoral College.

So you tell me what the bigger threat to democracy is: Revealing actual facts about the DNC and the Clinton campaign? Or trying to suborn the electors and change the election results?

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A quick trip to an alternate timeline:

New York Times, December 7, 2016

Trump Campaign Claims Times’ Coverage Skewed Election

“Hacked” Emails Responsible for Trump Loss

In a dramatic announcement, failed presidential candidate Donald J. Trump accused the New York Times and the Russian FSB of sabotaging his campaign by hacking and releasing emails from the Trump campaign’s mail servers.

Mr. Trump announced a campaign to convince members of the Electoral College to vote for him even if their state had voted for Mrs Clinton.

“A source inside the FBI told me that the Russians released these emails because they wanted Crooked Hillary to win,” Mr Trump said. “They call electors who change their votes ‘faithless electors’ but we should call them ‘faithFUL’ — faithful to what Alexander Hamilton meant electors to do. They should vote for me, to prove to Vladimir Putin he can’t corrupt American elections.”

President-Elect Clinton’s spokesperson issued this statement: “As we saw before the election, Mr Trump refused then to promise to accept the election results, and continues to refuse, even going so far as to attempt to subvert the electoral process by suborning electors. President-elect Clinton won fair and square, and Mr. Trump is, at best, grasping at straws.”

So I admit it: the “what if a Republican said that” trope has gotten to be so much a cliche that I honestly hate to use it. The problem is, it’s so often right.

For the last several weeks, people in the Democratic Party, the press, groups of crazies like Media Matters, and individual nuts like Keith Olbermann have been pushing this idea that the Rooosians are hacking our elections, doom!

So get out your tinfoil hats and let’s see if we can make some sense of this mess.

What we know for certain. Starting on July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks started releasing emails obtained from the Democratic National Committee going back well into 2015. These emails proved to be, at the very least, embarrassing to lots of people involved with the Hillary Clinton campaign: they resulted in Debbie Wasserman Schultz being forced to resign as head of the DNC when it became clear she and the DNC were conspiring behind the scenes to prevent Bernie Sanders from being nominated; they also revealed that Donna Brazile, acting head of the DNC, had been passing supposedly confidential debate questions to the Clinton campaign.

In November, WikiLeaks started to release emails obtained from John Podesta’s personal email accounts. These also proved embarrassing for many reasons — not just because of the campaign, but by exposing Podesta and the Center for American Progress conspiring to use political pressure against private citizens, in one notable case very successfully intimidating Roger Pielke Jr. into leaving the Climate Change debate entirely.

There is one more thing we know: with the exception of a desultory attempt to claim the emails had been modified, there has been essentially no attempt to deny the illicitly obtained emails were authentic.

How were the emails obtained? The consensus of the legacy press and the Clinton campaign has been that the emails were “hacked.” Now, any time you read a news story about anything relating to computer security, it’s worth remembering that to most people in either media or politics, the word “hacked” means “this happened somehow with a computer and computers are scary.” In this case, what people really mean is that somehow someone illicitly got access to a bunch of embarrassing email.

What we know is this: There were active Russian efforts to hack both Democrats and Republicans. To anyone with even a vague knowledge of intelligence and counter-intelligence — say, anyone who has read a detailed history of World War II, or a John LeCarré novel — the basic reaction to this should be, “well, duh.” The Russians are almost certainly trying to hack various email systems — as well as trying to intercept Internet traffic, exploit zero-day flaws, seduce young and impressionable (and old and lonely) staffers, dig through trash, and everything else that has been part of spying since Ur and the Assyrians. So are the Americans. And the Israelis. And the Chinese. And the Germans and the French and pretty much everyone else.

(Just as an aside — if the Russians were hacking the DNC successfully, I wonder what happened to the clintonemail.com server…)

In the case of the Russians, though, we have something more, since we have a number of statements on the part of the DNI and the DCIA that there were active Russian attempts to hack U.S. servers. And I have sources of my own who confirm the intelligence community really does have good evidence the Russians were involved.

There’s another point here: while the Russians were trying to hack both parties, there are only some unsubstantiated assertions the hackers were successful with the RNC computers. The RNC has repeatedly denied they were successfully hacked.

WikiLeaks says they didn’t get the emails from the Russians. This is one of those things that we don’t know how to evaluate. WikiLeaks honestly has a pretty good record of their released data being the real thing. When Julian Assange and Craig Murray are willing to come out publicly and say they got these emails from a disgruntled DNC staffer disgusted with what happened to Sanders, we ought to at least consider it.

On the other hand, it’s exactly what we’d expect if Assange really were a front for Russian intelligence.

What to make of that? I don’t know.

What we can suspect. Now we come to the part where I dance. These are some things I find suspicious.

  • What is the evidence the Russians wanted to help Trump? As far as I can tell, the public evidence for this assertion is that derogatory information was leaked about the DNC and not the RNC. But then, the RNC tells us they weren’t actually hacked.
  • Why did the evaluation change so quickly? In October, there was no evidence the Russians were taking sides. On November 17, there was no evidence the Russians were taking sides. On December 9, the CIA (according to anonymous sources) had decided it was an effort to help Trump, but the FBI disagreed. By December 16, the FBI reportedly came around.Here’s one other thing we know: over that same interval, a Democrat-connected PR firm began a campaign to suborn electors.
  • It’s possible everyone involved is telling the truth. That is, the Russians really did hack the DNC, and a DNC insider really did leak the emails to WikiLeaks.

This is an article that, by the nature of things, doesn’t have any conclusions. There’s too much we don’t know. And yes, before someone starts up on “how dare you not trust the CIA?!,” I’m just going to tell you, it’s easy.

The CIA, like every other bureaucracy, suffers from the SNAFU principal: in most circumstances, bureaucrats will tell their bosses what they think the bosses want to hear. (Yes, this is not exactly the original SNAFU principal. For a longer exposition, see this Ignite talk I did some years ago.)

Intelligence assessments almost never say something with absolute certainty; they’re usually phrased to lay out all possibilities and then say which ones seem most probable. When you hear that the intelligence says something certainly — think “slam dunk” — it means the SNAFU principle is probably in action.

After all these years, though, I am pleased to see the strange new respect the CIA is getting from the Left.

Did the Russians or WikiLeaks or both “hack the election”?

Now, here’s where we run into a third version of the word “hack.” No one is asserting that the Black Hats, whoever they were, actually affected the voting. (Well, there was one person at New York Magazine suggesting computer scientists were suggesting this, but no one took it seriously, including the computer scientists he was misinterpreting.) All that anyone is suggesting is that publishing the emails may have led some people not to vote for Clinton.

What to make of all this?

Here, at last, we wrap around to the little parallel-universe story that started this piece. We know that a number of emails, ranging from embarrassing to really really embarrassing and possibly criminal, were exposed by WikiLeaks, and after that Clinton lost the election.

This isn’t the first time documents have been released — whether by “hacking” or old-fashioned leaking. Think back to the Pentagon Papers, which were leaked to the New York Times, and published. I don’t recall anyone at the time suggesting this was a threat to democracy, and even if it was, we seem to have survived. Certainly, repeated leakings of FBI investigations during Watergate were noble moments of journalistic perfection, not threats to democracy.

Now, we have leaked files that exposed real corruption in the DNC and real conspiracies against private citizens. We’re told this is an attack on our democracy. At the same time, there was an ongoing effort to lobby, coerce, even threaten electors to get them to change their votes in the Electoral College.

So you tell me what the bigger threat to democracy is: Revealing actual facts about the DNC and the Clinton campaign? Or trying to suborn the electors and change the election results?

The Clinton E-mails Are Critical to the Clinton Foundation Investigation

November 2, 2016

The Clinton E-mails Are Critical to the Clinton Foundation Investigation, National Review, Andres C. McCarthy, November 1, 2016

lynchagAttorney General Loretta Lynch (Reuters photo: Shannon Stapleton)
 

(Please see also, Am I back in Argentina? — DM)

The Wall Street Journal’s report that, for over a year, the FBI has been investigating the Clinton Foundation for potential financial crimes and influence peddling is, as Rich Lowry said Monday, a blockbuster. As I argued over the weekend, the manner in which the State Department was put in the service of the Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary is shocking. It is suggestive of a pattern of pay-to-play bribery, the monetizing of political influence, fraud, and obstruction of justice that the Justice Department should be investigating as a possible RICO conspiracy under the federal anti-racketeering laws.

The Journal’s Devlin Barrett buries the Clinton Foundation lede in the 14th paragraph of his report. Even more astonishing are his final three paragraphs:

In September, agents on the foundation case asked to see the emails contained on nongovernment laptops that had been searched as part of the Clinton email case, but that request was rejected by prosecutors at the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn. Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.

Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. [FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they couldn’t “go prosecutor-shopping.”

Not long after that discussion, FBI agents informed the bureau’s leaders about the Weiner laptop, prompting Mr. Comey’s disclosure to Congress and setting off the furor that promises to consume the final days of a tumultuous campaign.

Let me unpack this.

Readers are unlikely to know that the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn is not just any United States attorney’s office. It is the office that was headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch until President Obama elevated her to attorney general less than two years ago.

It was in the EDNY that Ms. Lynch first came to national prominence in 1999, when she was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bill Clinton — the husband of the main subject of the FBI’s investigations with whom Lynch furtively met in the back of a plane parked on an Arizona tarmac days before the announcement that Mrs. Clinton would not be indicted. Obama reappointed Lynch as the EDNY’s U.S. attorney in 2010. She was thus in charge of staffing that office for nearly six years before coming to Main Justice in Washington. That means the EDNY is full of attorneys Lynch hired and supervised.

When we learn that Clinton Foundation investigators are being denied access to patently relevant evidence by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, those are the prosecutors — Loretta Lynch’s prosecutors — we are talking about.

Recall, moreover, that it was Lynch’s Justice Department that:

refused to authorize use of the grand jury to further the Clinton e-mails investigation, thus depriving the FBI of the power to compel testimony and the production of evidence by subpoena;

consulted closely with defense attorneys representing subjects of the investigation;

permitted Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson — the subordinates deputized by Mrs. Clinton to sort through her e-mails and destroy thousands of them — to represent Clinton as attorneys, despite the fact that they were subjects of the same investigation and had been granted immunity from prosecution (to say nothing of the ethical and legal prohibitions against such an arrangement);

drastically restricted the FBI’s questioning of Mills and other subjects of the investigation; and

struck the outrageous deals that gave Mills and Samuelson immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing the FBI with the laptops on which they reviewed Clinton’s four years of e-mails. That arrangement was outrageous for three reasons: 1) Mills and Samuelson should have been compelled to produce the computers by grand-jury subpoena with no immunity agreement; 2) Lynch’s Justice Department drastically restricted the FBI’s authority to examine the computers; and 3) Lynch’s Justice Department agreed that the FBI would destroy the computers following its very limited examination.

As I have detailed, it was already clear that Lynch’s Justice Department was stunningly derelict in hamstringing the bureau’s e-mails investigation. But now that we know the FBI wassimultaneously investigating the Clinton Foundation yet being denied access to the Clinton e-mails, the dereliction appears unconscionable.

It had to be screamingly obvious that the Clinton State Department e-mails, run through a server that also supported Clinton Foundation activities, would be critically important to any probe of the Foundation. Consider, for example, the issue of criminal intent, over which much has been made since Director Comey stressed the purported lack of intent proof in recommending against an indictment of Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information.

I believe, to the contrary, that there is abundant intent evidence. The law presumes that people intend the natural, foreseeable consequences of their actions: When you’re the secretary of state, and you systematically conduct your government business on private, non-secure e-mail rather than the government’s secure servers, you must know it is inevitable that classified information will be transmitted through and stored on the private server. Still, even though Clinton’s misconduct was thus willful and grossly negligent, no sensible person believes she was trying to harm the United States; the damage she did to national security was an easily foreseeable consequence of her scheme, but that damage was not what motivated her actions.

In such circumstances, it is a common tactic of defense lawyers to confound motive and criminal intent. Every criminal statute has an intent element (i.e., a requirement to prove that conduct was knowing, willful, intentional, or grossly negligent). Prosecutors, however, are virtually never required to prove motive. To be sure, they usually do introduce evidence of motive, because establishing a motive often helps to prove intent. But motive can sometimes confuse matters, so proving it is not mandatory.

A common, concrete example is helpful here: the guy who robs a bank because he is strapped for cash and his mom needs an operation. Although it was not the robber’s purpose to petrify the bank teller, proving that he had a desperate need for money helps demonstrate that his theft of money was quite intentional — not an accident or mistake. So even though we can all agree that our bank robber did not have a motive to do harm, his benign motive does not absolve him of guilt for the bank robbery he fully intended to commit.

Yet, such absolution is exactly what Comey offered in claiming there was insufficient proof of criminal intent to charge Clinton with mishandling classified information.  It was a rationale that echoed public comments by President Obama and Lynch’s Justice Department. They would have you believe that because Clinton was not motivated by a desire to harm national security she cannot have intended to violate the classified-information laws. It is sleight-of-hand, but it was good enough for Democrats and the media to pronounce Clinton “exonerated.”

Now, however, let’s consider the Clinton Foundation. While Clinton may not have been motivated to harm our national security, she was precisely motivated to conceal the corrupt interplay of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. That was the real objective of the home-brew server system: Mrs. Clinton wanted to shield from Congress, the courts, and the public the degree to which she, Bill, and their confederates were cashing in on her awesome political influence as secretary of state. That is exactly why she did business outside the government system that captures all official e-mails; and, critically, it perfectly explains why she deleted and attempted to destroy 33,000 e-mails — risibly claiming they involved yoga routines, Chelsea’s wedding, and the like.

While knowing the purpose of the private server system may not advance our understanding of the classified-information offenses, it greatly advances our understanding of the scheme to make the Clinton Foundation a State Department pay-to-play vehicle. Consequently, the Clinton e-mails generated in the course of this scheme are apt to be highly probative of  public-corruption offenses.

With that in mind, let’s go back to the Journal’s account of why Loretta Lynch’s EDNY prosecutors have blocked the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigators from examining the Clinton e-mails found on the laptop computers of Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson:

Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.

The Journal’s report says the FBI’s Clinton Foundation team was “dissatisfied” with this explanation — as well they should have been. The grants of immunity and limited-use agreements were disgraceful for the reasons outlined above. Significantly, however, the limitations imposed on the classified-information investigation should not, in the main, be binding on the Clinton Foundation investigation. Of course, the immunity grants to Mills and Samuelson must be honored even though they should never have been given in the first place. But those agreements only protect Mills and Samuelson. They would not prevent evidence found on the computers and retained by the FBI from being used against Hillary Clinton or any other possible conspirator.

Clearly, that is why agents on the FBI’s Clinton Foundation team wanted to get their investigation out of the EDNY’s clutches and move it to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York (my office for many years, as well as Jim Comey’s). The SDNY has a tradition of relative independence from the Justice Department and a well-earned reputation for pursuing political-corruption cases aggressively — a reputation burnished by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara’s prosecutions of prominent politicians from both parties. Alas, the Clinton Foundation agents were said to be barred from “prosecutor shopping” by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — the official whose wife’s Virginia state senate campaign was infused with $675,000 in cash and in-kind contributions by political committees controlled by Governor Terry McAuliffe, a notorious Clinton fixer and former Clinton Foundation board member.

Because of Democratic and media furor over Director Comey’s reopening of the Clinton e-mails investigation last week, the FBI is now under enormous pressure to review tens of thousands of e-mails stored on the laptop shared by Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner. The point is to hound the bureau into announcing before Election Day (seven days from now) whether any new classified e-mails have been found. If none are found, this outcome will be spun as yet another “exoneration” of Hillary Clinton.

Here, however, is the real outrage: Beneath all this noise, Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department is blocking the FBI from examining Clinton e-mails in connection with its investigation of the Clinton Foundation — an investigation that is every bit as serious.

Were it not for the Clinton Foundation, there probably would not be a Clinton e-mail scandal. Mrs. Clinton’s home-brew communications system was designed to conceal the degree to which the State Department was put in the service of Foundation donors who transformed the “dead broke” Clintons into hundred-millionaires.

At this point, the reopened classified-information investigation is a distraction: Under the Comey/DOJ “insufficient intent evidence” rationale, there would be no charges even if previously undiscovered classified e-mails were found on the Abedin/Weiner computer. Instead, what is actually essential is that the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigators get access to all the thousands of Clinton e-mails, including those recovered from the Mills and Samuelson laptops. The agents must also have the time they need to piece together all the Clinton e-mails (from whatever source), follow up leads, and make their case.

No one seems to notice that they are being thwarted. Hillary hasn’t even been elected, but already we are benumbed by Clinton Scandal Exhaustion Syndrome.

Brazile Under Fire As More Emails Purport to Show Secret Leaks of Questions To Clinton

November 1, 2016

Brazile Under Fire As More Emails Purport to Show Secret Leaks of Questions To Clinton, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, November 1, 2016

donnab

 

cnn1

 

It would seem of more than passing interest for the media to determine if the head of the DNC, let alone a former CNN contributor, is lying. Yet, there appears to be a minimal level of coverage of the story.

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We discussed earlier how Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, denied the legitimacy of emails that showed her leaking a question to Hillary Clinton that would be asked verbatim at the CNN downhill event. The media has largely declined to investigate the claim, including confirming the receipt of the earlier email from the Clinton staffer. Now additional emails allegedly show Brazile secretly feeding information to the Clinton campaign. Again, there has been relatively little media attention to the story and CNN issued a remarkably weak response that it was “uncomfortable” with the new disclosures on Brazile’s actions while a CNN commentator. “Uncomfortable”? How about words like “unethical”?

There are now three troubling levels to this story. First, CNN maintained throughout the primary that Brazile (who was well known as a supporter of Hillary Clinton) was a “neutral” commentator. It was a facially ridiculous claim for anyone familiar with Washington. Second, Brazile then alleged passed along questions to Clinton in what would be a deeply unethical act. Third, Brazile then said that the emails were not real and that she could prove it.

The easiest way to confirm the earlier story is to ask the recipient campaign adviser Jennifer Palmieri who is readily available to the media. However, reporters have not pressed Palmieri. In the meantime, Brazile gave a rambling denial of the story that would normally trigger a feeding frenzy. In addition, some techies have posted a research that they say strongly support claims of authenticity, but the response of the media has been crickets.

Now, the latest email show that Brazile revealed to the Clinton campaign the name of the person who provided her with a question that was asked of Clinton at a March 13 town hall co-hosted by CNN and TV One. Brazile also shared a question from a debate hosted by CNN a week earlier. She allegedly named Roland Martin, a TV One host who co-moderated a March 13 town hall with CNN’s Jake Tapper, as her source. The March 5th email shows Brazile sharing a question with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri that was to be asked in a March 6 debate hosted by CNN in Flint, Mich.

In a March 12 exchange, Brazile again refers to Martin and offers to provide more than just the one town hall question: “I’ll send a few more. Though some questions Roland submitted,” Brazile wrote to Palmieri in the March 12 email thread, which is entitled “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”

Now the emails contradict the denials of other CNN figures about sharing questions with Brazile.

In a March 5 email, Brazile reportedly leaked a question that was to be asked the next day at a debate that was hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper: “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash . . . Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”

Then in the debate a woman named Lee-Anne Walters did ask the question of both Clinton and Sanders:

“After my family, the city of Flint and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the – the citizens that have said service lines,”

In response, CNN again denied sharing questions and said “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.” CNN has cut all ties with Brazile, but of course she remains the DNC head after replacing Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who ironically was viewed as working to rig the primary for Clinton).

It would seem of more than passing interest for the media to determine if the head of the DNC, let alone a former CNN contributor, is lying. Yet, there appears to be a minimal level of coverage of the story.

Weekly Update: Clinton Email Crimes?

October 29, 2016

Weekly Update: Clinton Email Crimes? Judicial Watch, October 28, 2016

Clinton State Department IT Official John Bentel Takes the Fifth
U.S. Spends Millions on “Green Bus Corridor” in Mexico, “Bicycle Highway” in Colombia
Judicial Watch Will Monitor Virginia Polls on Election Day
Special Report: Clinton’s Pay to Play Scheme

 

Clinton State Department IT Official John Bentel Takes the Fifth

The bureaucrats Hillary Clinton worked with at State still are withholding what they know about her illicit email practices.

You can see that in the deposition transcript of John Bentel, the State Department’s former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat, who was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to respond to our questions. We released the transcript this week.

Mr. Bentel, whose office handles information technology for the Office of the Secretary, answered 87 questions with: “On advice from my legal counsel, I decline to answer the question and I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights.”

We had the same experience with IT political appointee Bryan Pagliano, the Clinton State Department IT official who reportedly provided support for the Clinton email system.

Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment right in answer to many key questions about issues raised directly by Judge Sullivan. On August 19, 2016, Judge Sullivan granted Judicial Watch’s request to depose Bentel, citing significant discrepancies in Bentel’s previous statements on the Clinton non-state.gov email system:

The Court is persuaded that Mr. Bentel should be deposed because the record in this case appears to contradict his sworn testimony before the [House Select] Benghazi Committee . . .. Specifically, Mr. Bentel testified that he was not aware that Secretary Clinton’s email account was housed on a private server until media reports in 2015 . . .. However, several emails indicate Mr. Bentel knew about the private server as early as 2009.

Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment rights in response to all questions about what he knew about Hillary Clinton’s email system and its impact on the Freedom of Information Act.

In ordering Bentel’s deposition, Judge Sullivan also cited a May 2016 Inspector General’s report that found that Mr. Bentel told employees in his office that Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement had been approved by the State Department’s legal staff and also instructed his subordinates not to discuss the Secretary’s email again:

In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements. According to the staff member, the Director stated that the Secretary’s personal system had been reviewed and approved by Department legal staff and that the matter was not to be discussed any further . . . . According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns about the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.

Bentel asserted his Fifth Amendment right when asked about this reference to the State Department Inspector General’s report and about his FBI interview.

Mr. Bentel, on advice of the Obama Justice Department and personal counsel, refused to answer any questions about whether Hillary Clinton was paying his legal fees or offered him employment or other financial incentives. Pagliano also declined to say who was paying for his legal representation.

We previously deposed seven former Clinton top aides and current State Department officials, including top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin. We also deposed IT official Bryan Pagliano, who asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify during the Judicial Watch deposition. And Clinton last week answered our questions under oath regarding her non-government email system.

The depositions come in connection with a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the corrupt patronage job given to Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, who served as deputy chief of staff to former Secretary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

The fact that yet another State Department official took the Fifth highlights the disturbing implication that criminal acts took place related to the Clinton email system and our FOIA requests.

 

U.S. Spends Millions on “Green Bus Corridor” in Mexico, “Bicycle Highway” in Colombia

A recent survey revealed that Americans most fear government corruption and that the climate doesn’t even make the Top Ten list of worries.

Our Corruption Chronicles blog illustrates why Americans should worry about climate change – because of the government corruption involved in supposedly combatting it:

Surprise, surprise: The U.S. is the first to donate millions of dollars to yet another global warming experiment—run by the famously corrupt United Nations—that aims to forge “climate resilient infrastructure” in third-world countries.

The money will help build a bicycle highway in Colombia and bring electric buses and a “green bus corridor” to Mexico, issues that are unlikely to keep most American taxpayers up at night.

It’s part of an initiative called C40 Cities Finance Facility, launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year. The global warming powwow in France has already cost American taxpayers a chunk of change, and Judicial Watch made the numbers public over the summer after obtaining records from the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of the Air Force.

The documents offer a detailed breakdown of the cost, but the total expenditure to have President Obama attend the ludicrous Paris shindig was an eye-popping $4,165,068. Judicial Watch had to file a lawsuit to get the information because the administration refused to provide it under the federal public-records law that was enacted to keep government in check.

During the Paris conference, the C40 Cities Finance Facility was launched to provide much-needed cash for a 10-year-old program called C40 that claims to be a “network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.” The conglomerate specializes in tackling climate change in developing countries by driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

Evidently, it’s come up with some brilliant ideas in the last decade to accomplish its mission but not enough money to implement them. As is the case in many of these global, feel-good initiatives, Uncle Sam has generously opened his checkbook for this important cause. Germany is the other “funding partner” listed along with the U.S.

The first $2 million, doled out this month by the U.S., will fund two urban pilot projects in Latin America that are expected to bring “climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits.” The first project is a 25-kilometer bicycle highway in Bogota, Colombia, that will connect citizens from low, middle and high-income neighborhoods to work, education, and recreation opportunities.

An announcement published by the U.S. government calls the project a “first-of-its-kind” traversing the Colombian city from south to north. The rest of the money will buy a fleet of at least 100 electric buses for Mexico City and install a “green bus corridor” in one of its major thoroughfares. It’s expected to serve an estimated 133,400 Mexicans daily, providing connections to metro lines. This is an important investment for the U.S., a government official says in the announcement, because the impacts of climate change are impeding cities from delivering reliable services, “especially to the poorest.”

Years ago, the Obama administration determined that the poor will feel the brunt of climate change and it has cost American taxpayers monstrous sums. In the last few years the U.S. government has funded a number of programs, both domestic and international, to prepare those communities for the impact.

Back in 2012 the administration asked Congress for a whopping $770 million to help developing countries with climate change initiatives after it had already spent $323 million on a project called Global Climate Change Initiative that helps “meet the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries, including deploying clean energy technologies.”

Earlier this year, a federal audit revealed that a $25 million project to help Guatemala combat the ills of climate change is rife with problems that include data errors and discrepancies. The program is officially known as Climate Nature and Communities in Guatemala (CNCG).

Ideology wrapped in dubious science = taxpayer boondoggle. Is it any wonder that people are tired of corrupt politicians?

 

Judicial Watch Will Monitor Virginia Polls on Election Day

As part of our ongoing Election Integrity Project, we plan to have Judicial Watch volunteer poll observers will monitor polling sites in Virginia on Election Day. We have significant concerns about the integrity of the election process there:

  • 1,046 aliens, or residents who are not U.S. citizens, were on the voter rolls in 8 Virginia counties.  If that rate of non-citizen registration held in the rest of Virginia’s counties, that would mean that about 6,500 non-citizens are registered to vote in Virginia.
  • A September 2016report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation and the Virginia Voter’s Alliance shows: “In the 8 jurisdictions that provided us with lists of aliens recently removed from their voter rolls, we discovered that 31 non-citizens had cast a total of 186 votes between 2005 and 2015. The most alien votes were cast in 2012 followed by 2008, the year President Obama was elected to his first term.” There are 133 total Virginia voting jurisdictions, so the number in this report represents a mere fraction of the true total of illegal votes.
  • 19 deceasedindividuals recently re-registered to vote in Virginia.
  • In 2013, the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program (Crosscheck), which provides a lists of voters who are registered in more than one of the 26 states participating in the program, revealed that57,923 Virginia voters were registered to vote in at least one other state. Of course this number would be much higher if the Crosscheck program included every state – including New York, California, and Texas, the most populous states in the country.

Our Election Integrity Project leader, Robert Popper, will train Virginia’s poll watchers.  Bob is a former deputy chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and a veteran poll observer for the Department of Justice.

The Election Integrity project began in February 2012. Since that time Judicial Watch has put several state and county officials on notice when they are in violation of federal laws requiring them to clean up their voter rolls.

We also took action in lawsuits defending photo ID and other commonsense election integrity measures.  And there are also our historic and  successful lawsuits in states like Ohio and Indiana that resulted in cleaner voter rolls and have achieved victories in the United States Supreme Court to stop race-based elections in Hawaii.

Our team also fought in court against the Left (i.e. the Obama administration) that wants to make it easier for non-citizens to register to vote, and harder to remove them once they are illegally registered. And Judicial Watch has conducted election monitoring before, for example in New Hampshire in 2014.

“Judicial Watch election monitors will be neutral and silent observers at select polling places in Virginia,” Popper noted. “We do not oppose or endorse candidates for public office. Our election monitoring in Virginia is wholly independent of any party or candidate.”

Recent polls show that voters are becoming “deeply skeptical” about election integrity. One poll found that 98 percent of people believe that voter fraud occurs: 74 percent believed that “some” or a “great deal” of voter fraud is going on, and 24 percent said hardly any. A poll in The Washington Post found that: “60% of Republicans believe illegal immigrants vote; 43% believe people vote using dead people’s names.”

Virginia residents interested in monitoring a local polling site on Election Day may respond by email to Eric Lee at elee@judicialwatch.org.

The integrity of our government begins with our ability to trust what happens in the voting booth. Incidents of voting fraud now flaring up around the country are an indication that our concern is not misplaced.

 

Special Report: Clinton’s Pay to Play Scheme

Let me encourage you to watch the “One America News Network Special Report: Clinton’s Pay-to-Play Scheme.”

This well-crafted report reveals how the Clintons went from being “broke” to being worth hundreds of millions. In it, you will hear the experts, including representatives from Judicial Watch, disclose how the Clinton Foundation traded government access in exchange for donations. You also will see the evidence of an FBI “cover-up” of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

You can watch it here. It is worth your time.

Clinton’s State Department: A RICO Enterprise

October 29, 2016

Clinton’s State Department: A RICO Enterprise, National Review, Andres C. McCarthy, October 29, 2016

hillary-clinton-corruption-foundation-was-keyClinton is sworn in as secretary of state, February 2, 2009. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

Whatever the relevance of the new e-mails to the probe of Clinton’s classified-information transgressions and attempt to destroy thousands of emails, these offenses may pale in comparison with Hillary Clinton’s most audacious violations of law: Crimes that should still be under investigation; crimes that will, in fitting Watergate parlance, be a cancer on the presidency if she manages to win on November 8.

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She appears to have used her official powers to do favors for major Clinton Foundation donors.

Felony mishandling of classified information, including our nation’s most closely guarded intelligence secrets; the misappropriation and destruction of tens of thousands of government records — these are serious criminal offenses. To this point, the Justice Department and FBI have found creative ways not to charge Hillary Clinton for them. Whether this will remain the case has yet to be seen. As we go to press, the stunning news has broken that the FBI’s investigation is being reopened. It appears, based on early reports, that in the course of examining communications devices in a separate “sexting” investigation of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, the bureau stumbled on relevant e-mails — no doubt connected to Huma Abedin, Mr. Weiner’s wife and, more significantly, Mrs. Clinton’s closest confidant. According to the New York Times, the FBI has seized at least one electronic device belonging to Ms. Abedin as well. New e-mails, never before reviewed by the FBI, have been recovered.

The news is still emerging, and there will be many questions — particularly if it turns out that the bureau failed to obtain Ms. Abedin’s communications devices earlier in the investigation, a seemingly obvious step. As we await answers, we can only observe that, whatever the FBI has found, it was significant enough for director James Comey to sense the need to notify Congress, despite knowing what a bombshell this would be just days before the presidential election.

One thing, however, is already clear. Whatever the relevance of the new e-mails to the probe of Clinton’s classified-information transgressions and attempt to destroy thousands of emails, these offenses may pale in comparison with Hillary Clinton’s most audacious violations of law: Crimes that should still be under investigation; crimes that will, in fitting Watergate parlance, be a cancer on the presidency if she manages to win on November 8.

Mrs. Clinton appears to have converted the office of secretary of state into a racketeering enterprise. This would be a violation of the RICO law — the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1971 (codified in the U.S. penal code at sections 1961 et seq.).

Hillary and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, operated the Clinton Foundation. Ostensibly a charity, the foundation was a de facto fraud scheme to monetize Hillary’s power as secretary of state (among other aspects of the Clintons’ political influence). The scheme involved (a) the exchange of political favors, access, and influence for millions of dollars in donations; (b) the circumvention of campaign-finance laws that prohibit political donations by foreign sources; (c) a vehicle for Mrs. Clinton to shield her State Department e-mail communications from public and congressional scrutiny while she and her husband exploited the fundraising potential of her position; and (d) a means for Clinton insiders to receive private-sector compensation and explore lucrative employment opportunities while drawing taxpayer-funded government salaries.

While the foundation did perform some charitable work, this camouflaged the fact that contributions were substantially diverted to pay lavish salaries and underwrite luxury travel for Clinton insiders. Contributions skyrocketed to $126 million in 2009, the year Mrs. Clinton arrived at Foggy Bottom. Breathtaking sums were “donated” by high-rollers and foreign governments that had crucial business before the State Department. Along with those staggering donations came a spike in speaking opportunities and fees for Bill Clinton. Of course, disproportionate payments and gifts to a spouse are common ways of bribing public officials — which is why, for example, high-ranking government officeholders must reveal their spouses’ income and other asset information on their financial-disclosure forms.

While there are other egregious transactions, the most notorious corruption episode of Secretary Clinton’s tenure involves the State Department’s approval of a deal that surrendered fully one-fifth of the United States’ uranium-mining capacity to Vladimir Putin’s anti-American thugocracy in Russia.

The story, significant background of which predates Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, has been recounted in ground-breaking reporting by the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer (in his remarkable book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich) and the New York Times. In a nutshell, in 2005, under the guise of addressing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan (where the disease is nearly nonexistent), Bill Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire pal Frank Giustra to convince the ruling despot, Nursultan Nazarbayev (an infamous torturer and human-rights violator), to grant coveted uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company, Ur-Asia Energy (notwithstanding that it had no background in the highly competitive uranium business). Uranium is a key component of nuclear power, from which the United States derives 20 percent of its total electrical power.

In the months that followed, Giustra gave an astonishing $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation and pledged $100 million more. With the Kazakh rights secured, Ur-Asia was able to expand its holdings and attract new investors, like Ian Telfer, who also donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Ur-Asia merged with Uranium One, a South African company, in a $3.5 billion deal — with Telfer becoming Uranium One’s chairman. The new company proceeded to buy up major uranium assets in the United States.

Meanwhile, as tends to happen in dictatorships, Nazarbayev (the Kazakh dictator) turned on the head of his state-controlled uranium agency (Kazatomprom), who was arrested for selling valuable mining rights to foreign entities like Ur-Asia/Uranium One. This was likely done at the urging of Putin, the neighborhood bully whose state-controlled atomic-energy company (Rosatom) was hoping to grab the Kazakh mines — whether by taking them outright or by taking over Uranium One.

The arrest, which happened a few months after Obama took office, sent Uranium One stock into free fall, as investors fretted that the Kazakh mining rights would be lost. Uranium One turned to Secretary Clinton’s State Department for help. As State Department cables disclosed by WikiLeaks show, Uranium One officials wanted more than a U.S. statement to the media; they pressed for written confirmation that their mining licenses were valid. Secretary Clinton’s State Department leapt into action: An energy officer from the U.S. embassy immediately held meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that Russia’s Rosatom had purchased 17 percent of Uranium One. Problem solved.

Except it became a bigger problem when the Russian company sought to acquire a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would mean a takeover not only of the Kazakh mines but of the U.S. uranium assets as well. Such a foreign grab requires approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a powerful government tribunal that the secretary of state sits on and heavily influences. Though she had historically postured as a hawk against foreign acquisitions of American assets with critical national-security implications, Secretary Clinton approved the Russian takeover of Uranium One. During and right after the big-bucks Russian acquisition, Telfer contributed $1.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Other people with ties to Uranium One appear to have ponied up as much as $5.6 million in donations.

In 2009, the incoming Obama administration had been deeply concerned about the potential for corruption were Hillary to run the State Department while Bill and their family foundation were hauling in huge payments from foreign governments, businesses, and entrepreneurs. For precisely this reason, the White House required Mrs. Clinton to agree in writing that the Clinton Foundation would annually disclose its major donors and seek pre-approval from the White House before the foundation accepted foreign contributions. This agreement was repeated flouted — for example, by concealing the contributions from Telfer. Indeed, the foundation was recently forced to refile its tax returns for the years that Secretary Clinton ran the State Department after media reports that it failed to disclose foreign donations — approximately $20 million worth.

Under RICO, an “enterprise” can be any association of people, informal or formal, illegitimate or legitimate — it could be a Mafia family, an ostensibly charitable foundation, or a department of government. It is a racketeering enterprise if its affairs are conducted through “a pattern of racketeering activity.” A “pattern” means merely two or more violations of federal or state law; these violations constitute “racketeering activity” if they are included among the extensive list of felonies laid out in the statute.

Significantly for present purposes, the listed felonies include bribery, fraud, and obstruction of justice. Fraud encompasses both schemes to raise money on misleading pretexts (e.g., a charitable foundation that camouflages illegal political payoffs) and schemes to deprive Americans of their right to the honest services of a public official (e.g., quid pro quo arrangements in which official acts are performed in exchange for money). Both fraud and obstruction can be proved by false statements — whether they are public proclamations (e.g., “I turned over all work-related e-mails to the State Department”) or lies to government officials (e.g., concealing “charitable” donations from foreign sources after promising to disclose them, or claiming not to know that the “(C)” symbol in a government document means it is classified at the confidential level).

The WikiLeaks disclosures of e-mails hacked from Clinton presidential-campaign chairman John Podesta provide mounting confirmation that the Clinton Foundation was orchestrated for the purpose of enriching the Clintons personally and leveraging then-Secretary Clinton’s power to do it. Hillary and her underlings pulled this off by making access to her contingent on Clinton Foundation ties; by having top staff service Clinton Foundation donors and work on Clinton Foundation business; by systematically conducting her e-mail communications outside the government server system; by making false statements to the public, the White House, Congress, the courts, and the FBI; and by destroying thousands of e-mails — despite congressional inquiries and Freedom of Information Act demands — in order to cover up (among other things) the shocking interplay between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Under federal law, that can amount to running an enterprise by a pattern of fraud, bribery, and obstruction. If so, it is a major crime. Like the major crimes involving the mishandling of classified information and destruction of government files, it cries out for a thorough and credible criminal investigation. More important, wholly apart from whether there is sufficient evidence for criminal convictions, there is overwhelming evidence of a major breach of trust that renders Mrs. Clinton unfit for any public office, let along the nation’s highest public office.