by Tom Fitton –
President Judicial Watch –
The already strange case of James B. Comey gets, as Lewis Carroll might observe, “curiouser and curiouser” with each passing day.
We have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation against the U.S. Department of Justice seeking memoranda allegedly written by former FBI Director James Comey regarding his discussions with President Donald Trump and Trump’s aides (Daily Caller Foundation v. U.S. Department Justice (No. 1:17-cv- 01830)).
We sued after the Justice Department declined to respond to a June 9, 2017, FOIA request and then failed to respond to an administrative appeal. The Daily Caller is asking for:
“All unclassified memoranda authored by former FBI Director James Comey that contemporaneously memorialized his discussions with President Donald Trump and his aides. The time frame for the request was from November 8, 2016 to May 9, 2017.”
Four of the seven memos that Comey wrote following his interactions with President Trump reportedly contained classified information.
“Americans have a right know the full facts about former FBI Director James Comey’s unclassified memos regarding his conversations with President Trump and his aides prior to his firing,” said Daily Caller News Foundation co-founder Neil Patel. “And the FBI must be required to honor the Freedom of Information Act.”
We are separately pursuing a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice for information about Comey’s memorandum written after his meeting with President Trump regarding potential interference by the Russians in the 2016 presidential election (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01189)).
In July, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice for the metadata of the memoranda written by Comey memorializing his conversations with President Donald Trump as well as records about Comey’s FBI-issued laptop computer or other electronic devices and records about how Comey managed his records while he was FBI Director (Judicial Watch, Inc., v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 17-cv-01520)). The metadata information may include details about when the memos were created or edited and by whom.
In August, we sued the Justice Department for all non-disclosure agreements pertaining to the handling, storage, protection, dissemination, and/or return of classified information that were signed by or on behalf of former FBI Director James Comey (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01624)).
Such records would include:
• All SF-312 (Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement) forms
• All FD-857 (Sensitive Information Nondisclosure Agreement) forms
• All FD-597 (Receipt for Property Received/Returned/Released or Seized) forms
• All FD-291 (FBI Employment Agreement) forms
• All Case Briefing Acknowledgement forms
To see my comments about this in a video click here. Here is the bottom line: Comey leaked information from these memos so that the media would pick it up. It is a scandal and contrary to FOIA law for the FBI to hide this information.
We Applaud the End to Obama’s
Illegal Alien Amnesty Program
The Left seems to have settled on the word “cruel” to describe President Trump’s ending of Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I choose to say that he restored the rule of law. Here is the statement I issued:
“Judicial Watch applauds the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Obama administration amnesty program for 800,000 illegal aliens. Judicial Watch already exposed how the Obama administration bypassed security background checks for DACA recipients, which placed the nation’s security and public safety at risk. President Trump’s decision helps restore the rule of law and constitutional governance. The Trump administration’s enforcement action on immigration shows the best immigration reform is to finally enforce the law.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made the announcement, called DACA a “unilateral executive amnesty.” Sessions also called DACA an “open-ended circumvention of immigration laws” and an “unconstitutional exercise of authority” by the Obama administration.
In June 2013, we released documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showing that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks, adopting instead costly “lean and lite” procedures in an effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications spurred by President Obama’s DACA directive.
Not only was this program illegal, it posed a real threat to American citizens. That’s what strikes me as genuinely cruel.
Judicial Watch Lawyers Take On Sanctuary Policy
We will be in court on Monday, September 11, 2017, before Judge Harold A. Kahn regarding our taxpayer lawsuit against San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD).
Our goal is to prevent the use of taxpayer funds on policies “that prohibit or restrict SFSD personnel from sharing … immigration-related information with federal immigration law enforcement officials.”
We filed on behalf of Cynthia Cerletti, a taxpayer of the city and county of San Francisco, in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco (Cynthia Cerletti v. Vicki Hennessy (No. CGC-16-556164)). Robert Patrick Sticht, a Los Angeles-based attorney, is serving as lead counsel in the Cerletti litigation.
In our court filing opposing Sheriff Hennessy’s effort to have Ms. Cerletti’s lawsuit dismissed, we argue:
Sheriff Hennessy’s refusal to share basic information about the release of deportable criminal aliens in her custody – the date, time, and place of their scheduled release – plainly frustrates Congress’ clear purpose in enacting section 1226(c). By refusing to share release information, Sheriff Hennessy allows deportable criminal aliens in her custody – aliens Congress plainly intended to be detained upon release from the custody of [law enforcement agencies] such as SFSD – to escape federal immigration officials’ grasp. Her restrictions enable aliens who have committed aggravated felonies or other crimes deemed sufficiently serious by Congress to warrant detaining them and denying them bond or conditional parole to remain at large pending removal. Not only might such persons pose a further danger to the community – which was one of Congress’ main concerns – but federal immigration officials must spend additional time and resources and assume unnecessary risk to themselves, the aliens, and others locating and apprehending them.
Simply put, San Francisco’s sanctuary policy is illegal and dangerous. It and other sanctuary cities are on notice that taxpayers can challenge these unlawful policies in court.
Be Sure to Tune In to Judicial Watch’s ‘Exposing the Deep State’
We will host a spectacular panel a week from today (Friday, September 15, 2017, from 2 to 3 pm ET) to discuss “Exposing the Deep State.” It would be hard to top our panelists who currently include:
Dr. Sebastian Gorka
Former Deputy Assistant to the President
Author of New York Times best seller Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War
Journalist and Author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character
Sara A. Carter
Senior National Security Correspondent
I hope you will take the opportunity to watch the panel live at www.judicialwatch.org/live. We will also stream the presentation on Facebook Live – visit our Facebook page to watch.
In the meantime, let’s all pray for a miracle down in Florida this weekend as our fellow Americans face a terrible threat.
Tom Fitton – President