Posted tagged ‘Judicial Watch’

Inside Judicial Watch: The Politicized DOJ — Mueller, Comey, Strzok, Yates, & More!

December 7, 2017

Inside Judicial Watch: The Politicized DOJ — Mueller, Comey, Strzok, Yates, & More! Judicial Watch via YouTube, December 5, 2017

 

Judicial Watch: Justice Department Argues Comey’s Leak of ‘Flynn’ Memo to New York Times was Unauthorized, Compares Comey to Wikileaks

November 9, 2017

Judicial Watch: Justice Department Argues Comey’s Leak of ‘Flynn’ Memo to New York Times was Unauthorized, Compares Comey to Wikileaks, November 8, 2018

Judicial Watch argues that if disclosure of the “Flynn” memo would harm the Russia investigation, then the Justice Department should have taken steps to “address Ex-Director Comey’s removal of the memo from the FBI, leaking of the memo to the media, and subsequent testimony about the memo, to the extent that testimony was unauthorized and not coordinated with [the Justice Department], the FBI, and/or Special Counsel Mueller. Removal of government records is a federal offense.” While the Justice Department compares Comey to WikiLeaks, it makes no claim to have addressed Comey’s misconduct. Judicial Watch points out that its “failure to do so further undercuts any claim of harm” to an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

“We now have Justice Department confirmation that Comey was wrong to have leaked records to the media to settle a score with President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “How can this Justice Department defend its position that memos written for pernicious purposes to target a sitting president with a criminal investigation should remain secret? Mr. Mueller may have an interest in protecting Comey, but the public’s interest demands transparency about Comey’s vendetta against President Trump.”

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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Justice Department is now comparing former FBI Director James Comey to WikiLeaks. After Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, he gave the New York Times a February 14, 2017, memorandum written about a one-on-one conversation he had with President Trump regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Judicial Watch is asking a federal court to order the release of all Comey’s unclassified memoranda about his one-on-one conversations with the president.

Comey testified under oath before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he authored as many as nine such memos about his one-on-one conversations with President Trump. He also admitted, regarding the “Flynn” memo, “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter [for The New York Times] … I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” The New York Times published a report about the memo on May 16, 2017. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed the following day.

On June 16, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a May 16 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01189)). Judicial Watch seeks:

FBI Director James Comey’s February 14, 2017 memorandum…memorializing an Oval Office conversation he had with the President on that date regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

In its lawsuit Judicial Watch refutes the Justice Department’s claim of exemption for law enforcement purposes:

Ex-Director Comey plainly did not use the February 14 Memo for any recognized or legitimate law enforcement purpose. He used it to settle a score with the President, who had just fired him.

Judicial Watch argues that if disclosure of the “Flynn” memo would harm the Russia investigation, then the Justice Department should have taken steps to “address Ex-Director Comey’s removal of the memo from the FBI, leaking of the memo to the media, and subsequent testimony about the memo, to the extent that testimony was unauthorized and not coordinated with [the Justice Department], the FBI, and/or Special Counsel Mueller. Removal of government records is a federal offense.” While the Justice Department compares Comey to WikiLeaks, it makes no claim to have addressed Comey’s misconduct. Judicial Watch points out that its “failure to do so further undercuts any claim of harm” to an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

On September 7, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a June 9 FOIA request (Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01830)). The lawsuit seeks:

All unclassified memoranda authored by former FBI Director James Comey that contemporaneously memorialized his discussions with President Donald Trump and his aides [during] the time frame…November 8, 2016 to May 9, 2017.

In the Daily Caller News Foundation suit Judicial Watch argues that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department prevented Comey from testifying, nor do they dispute anything he said. Comey is not under investigation for violating any non-disclosure agreements or removing records from the FBI when he was fired. “Their silence and inaction speak volumes,” Judicial Watch argues.

Judicial Watch further debunks the notion that Comey wrote the memos for law enforcement purposes:

[Director Comey] explained, “I knew that there might come a day when I would need a record of what happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI and – and our integrity as an institution and the independence of our investigation.” … He authored the records not for law enforcement purposes but for administrative and institutional purposes. His testimony could not be clearer.

Judicial Watch argues in both filings against withholding the memoranda under the guise of a national security exemption. The FBI fails to demonstrate that material contained in the memoranda was classified through proper procedures.

In its court filing opposing the release, the Justice Department also asserts that some of the Comey memos contain classified material.

“The Freedom of Information Act was designed to give the American people access to the records its government keeps,” said Neil Patel, publisher and CEO of the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This access is fundamental in a democracy like ours. Today, when so many Americans feel detached from a government that they feel often doesn’t serve their interests, this sort of access is more important than ever. When the Daily Caller News Foundation made a reasonable request for access to FBI Director Comey’s memos we were completely stonewalled. Our request is legally sound and completely within the public interest so with the help of our friends at Judicial Watch we are fighting in court to see it through.”

“We now have Justice Department confirmation that Comey was wrong to have leaked records to the media to settle a score with President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “How can this Justice Department defend its position that memos written for pernicious purposes to target a sitting president with a criminal investigation should remain secret? Mr. Mueller may have an interest in protecting Comey, but the public’s interest demands transparency about Comey’s vendetta against President Trump.”

Both cases have been consolidated in Cable News Network, Inc., v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-01167).

Tom Fitton on Clinton/Russia Scandal, FBI Coverup of Clinton/Lynch Meeting, & Abedin/Weiner Laptop

October 20, 2017

Tom Fitton on Clinton/Russia Scandal, FBI Coverup of Clinton/Lynch Meeting, & Abedin/Weiner Laptop, Judicial Watch via YouTube, October 20, 2017

(Please see also, How Corrupt Are American Institutions? — DM)

Senate Intelligence Committee expands Russia investigation

October 5, 2017

Senate Intelligence Committee expands Russia investigation, Fox News via YouTube, October 4, 2017

The blurb beneath the video states,

Judicial Watch director of investigations Chris Farrell discusses the news that the Senate Intelligence Committee will be expanding its investigation into whether Russia colluded to influence the 2016 election.

Judicial Watch Presents: ‘Exposing the Deep State’

September 16, 2017

Judicial Watch Presents: ‘Exposing the Deep State’ via YouTube, September 15, 2017

The blurb beneath the video states,

Judicial Watch hosted a special educational panel on Friday, September 15, 2017, discussing “Exposing the Deep State.” The expert panelists include: Dr. Sebastian Gorka Former Deputy Assistant to the President Author of New York Times best seller Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War Diana West Journalist and Author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character Todd Shepherd Investigative Reporter Washington Examiner James Peterson Senior Attorney Judicial Watch Moderated by Christopher J. Farrell Director of Investigations and Research Judicial Watch.

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.