by Tom Fitton –
Your Judicial Watch had a remarkably successful week, finally breaking open the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Now, the American people may finally get answers directly from Mrs. Clinton about her email gamesmanship – under penalty of perjury! The developments come in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened last month because of revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email records.
Late last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the U.S. State Department to request that Hillary Clinton and her top aides confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all government records in their possession, return any other government records immediately, and describe their use of Hillary Clinton’s email server to conduct government business.
The court issued the order after holding a status hearing earlier in the day on our Abedin FOIA lawsuit. The text of Judge Sullivan’s order to the State Department is worth reviewing:
As agreed by the parties at the July 31, 2015 status hearing, the Government shall produce a copy of the letters sent by the State Department to Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin and Ms. Cheryl Mills regarding the collection of government records in their possession. These communications shall be posted on the docket forthwith. The Government has also agreed to share with Plaintiff’s counsel the responses sent by Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. These communications shall also be posted on the docket forthwith. In addition, as related to Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests in this case, the Government is HEREBY ORDERED to: (1) identify any and all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices currently in the possession or control of the State Department or otherwise that may contain responsive information; (2) request that the above named individuals confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive information that was or is in their possession as a result of their employment at the State Department. If all such information has not yet been produced, the Government shall request the above named individuals produce the information forthwith; and (3) request that the above named individuals describe, under penalty of perjury, the extent to which Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used Mrs. Clinton’s email server to conduct official government business. The Government shall inform the Court of the status of its compliance with this Order no later than August 7, 2015, including any response received from Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 31, 2015.
The State Department finally complied with part of Judge Sullivan’s order and yesterday provided the letters it sent asking for the government records in the possession of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. The Obama State Department also included the responses to the document requests from representatives for the three officials. The letters show that, on July 31, the State Department, for the first time, demanded that Mills and Abedin “return all copies of potential federal records in your possession.” The State Department did not provide correspondence demanding Mrs. Clinton return all copies of potential federal records.
Despite the court’s July 31 order for immediate disclosure, the State Department and its Justice Department attorneys took six days to disclose the 13 letters, which total 19 pages. The letters also show that the State Department asked no questions of Clinton, Mills, and Abedin about Mrs. Clinton’s separate email system or classified material.
That’s significant because it tells us the Obama State Department stonewalled a federal court order by waiting six days to produce these letters. One can see why the Obama administration would risk contempt of court. This new information shows that Hillary Clinton is getting special treatment from the State Department and that the agency took no action to find out details about Hillary Clinton’s notorious email system.
You’ll see below how the Obama State Department is allowing Hillary Clinton and her aides to stall and play games with federal records in violation of law.
Yesterday’s court filing includes a March 24 letter in which Mills’ attorneys acknowledge: “We believe that Ms. Mills may have documents responsive to your letter, and will work with her to produce any such documents to you as soon as possible.” Three full months later, on June 25, Mills attorneys turn over some of the requested records but request more time to turn over other records.
On June 29, Huma Abedin’s attorneys try to explain to State the three-month delay in response to its March 11 request, saying that Abedin did not receive its request until May 19:
The Department’s initial correspondence sent by mail and dated March 11, 2015, was returned undelivered to the Department on April 17, 2015. Similarly, we understand that your office attempted to send an electronic mail copy of that letter to Ms. Abedin, but that email was sent to domains (@clinton.senate.gov and @hillaryclinton.com) that as of March 2015, had not been active for the past several years.
The letter goes on to reference another Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit:
We also understand that the Department is defending a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding a request for a) copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya; and b) any and all records or communications concerning, regarding or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency. To date, in the course of our review, we have not identified documents responsive to this FOIA request.
Abedin’s attorneys sent a July 9 letter stating: “Enclosed herewith are documents identified by Ms. Abedin as responsive or potentially responsive to the [Benghazi] Select Committee’s request and therefore also to your request.” The State Department had requested the record four months earlier, on March 11.
In July 31 letters to Abedin’s and Mills’ attorneys, Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management at State, asks “that you and your client now take steps to return all copies of potential federal records in your possession to the Department as soon as possible.” Rather than allowing Abedin and Mills to retain the records for further review, Kennedy gives instructions that State will maintain the documents and make them available to the attorneys and their clients “during regular working hours at the Department.” Adding a new level of scrutiny, State specifies:
To the extent documents are stored electronically, we ask that you please copy them onto a digital video disc or compact disc … The Department asks that the documents be provided in original/native electronic format with the associated metadata …
Judicial Watch also has active but unanswered FOIA requests to the State Department for certain emails to be produced in native format with associated metadata.
These two letters seem to have only been sent after Judge Sullivan’s court hearing during which U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered that the correspondence about State Department efforts to retrieve records be disclosed “forthwith.”
Recall that it was over four months ago, on March 2, 2015, that The New York Times reported then-Secretary Clinton used at least one non-“state.gov” email account to conduct official government business during her entire tenure as the secretary of state. It also was reported that Secretary Clinton stored these records on a non-U.S. government server at her home in Chappaqua, New York.
Your Judicial Watch has nearly 20 federal lawsuits that touch on Mrs. Clinton and her staff’s use of secret email accounts to conduct official government business. In our various FOIA lawsuits, our lawyers have informed attorneys for the Obama administration that Hillary Clinton’s account and any other secret accounts used by State employees should be secured, recovered and searched.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of what has transpired here. Judge Sullivan’s blockbuster ruling is the most significant legal development to date in the ongoing Clinton email scandal. Hillary Clinton will now have to answer, under penalty of perjury, to a federal court about the separate email server she and her aides used to avoid accountability to the American people. This court action shows that the rule of law and public’s right to know will no longer take a back seat to politics. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration that is covering for her are not above the law.
The Republican leadership in Congress is inexcusably AWOL on its constitutional oversight responsibilities. The liberal media both support Hillary Clinton and are cowed by her notorious intimidation tactics. And the Obama administration is, at best, a co-conspirator in this scandal. The Obama administration is looking for that poor dentist that allegedly shot a lion but the FBI can’t bother to secure Hillary Clinton’s email that has classified information.
So once again, it is your Judicial Watch that proves to be the most effective entity this great nation has for forcing corrupt politicians such as Hillary Clinton to be accountable to the rule of law. If you aren’t supporting our work, I hope you now will. And if you have supported our work, thank you (and feel free to support us some more!).
Obama Administration Uses Tax Dollars to Pay Race-Baiting “Comedian” to Attack White People
In the era of Obama, it often seems the worst crime one can commit is to make a comment deemed offensive by totalitarian guardians of various racial and other demographics. Yet these same liberal guardians often make patently racist remarks and think nothing of spending your tax dollars to subsidize this so-called hate speech. Judicial Watch’s Corruption Chronicles blog broke the story this week:
The U.S. government paid a controversial civil rights activist/comedian to deliver an anti-white racist tirade at a major federal agency during Black History month and Judicial Watch has obtained the disturbing transcript and the shocking video of the offensive political rant.
It took place at the United States Census Bureau earlier this year and the paid speaker was Dick Gregory, a self-professed humanitarian and drum major for justice who claims that his social satire changed the way white Americans perceive African American comedians. But Gregory’s angry outburst at the Census Bureau was not funny to some employees, and the agency was forced to explain that it will thoroughly review its procedures for selecting future speakers to “ensure their views are appropriate for the federal workplace.”
Based on Gregory’s well-known reputation as a fiery race-baiter, it’s unlikely that the government officials who booked him didn’t know about his discriminating, shock-based performances. The Census Bureau paid Gregory $1,400 to “share a wealth of history as a Civil Rights Activist,” according to the records obtained by JW under the federal public records law known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Instead, American taxpayers funded a disgusting stand-up routine filled with the “N word” and replete with conspiracy theories about whites and the U.S. government targeting prominent blacks-including Martin Luther King and Malcom X-for assassination or career destruction (golfer Tiger Woods and beleaguered comedian Bill Cosby).
Gregory also said whites stole black inventions, such as ice hockey and the cotton gin, and accused the U.S. government of conspiring to kill Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio. The movie King Kong is really a depiction of former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson dating white women, Gregory claimed at the Census Bureau performance, and whites treat President Obama “like dirt” and “like he’s a Redneck Cracker that can’t read or write.” Gregory delivered most of his routine in Ebonics (also known as African American Vernacular English) and advised his black audience not to obey “white racist cops,” which he also referred to as “filth.”
The rioters who destroyed Ferguson after a cop fatally shot a black man with an extensive criminal record who had just committed a robbery, didn’t steal enough merchandise from the businesses they looted, Gregory told his government audience. “I was complaining about Ferguson because the N_ _ _ _ _ _ wasn’t getting enough,” Gregory said, according to the transcript obtained by JW. “Did you see the brother go in there and walk out with a half-pint, I said ‘Get some tips.’ And, y’all be trying to trick them White folks and say rebellion. No rebellion is put together, predicated, on some White person shooting a Black person and that tips it off. Those was riots, riots.”
Gregory also told his audience of public servants that if he were president of the United States no white people would be in his cabinet. “Had I been elected to be the President, listen good White folks, none of y’all would be in my cabinet,” he says. “Now don’t worry about Black folks who be saying ‘oh, he didn’t mean it.’ So, I’ll say it ten times, non of y’all be in my cabinet, none of y’all be in my cabinet, none of y’all be in my cabinet.”
Many years ago, I met Dick Gregory. Mr. Gregory was interested in JW’s efforts to investigate the mysterious circumstances of former Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown’s death (which he seems to reference in his remarks). He is a smart man, is well-known in the black community (walking down the block with him in D.C. gives one a new appreciation of what a “celebrity” is), and can often be funny. So it is shameful that he wastes his God-given gifts on such racially hostile nonsense and calumny against the police. Frankly, his words are bothersome and expose the hypocrisy of the Left on racial matters. The real scandal is the waste of $1400 of your tax dollars to pay him – and the waste of tens of thousands more dollars in the time wasted by government employees listening to him. One must wonder if whites are welcome to work at the U.S. Census Bureau after viewing a video such as this. (By the way, this anti-white racial animus is all too common in the federal bureaucracy.)
Will the FBI and the leftists at the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department investigate this incident? We all know the answer to that, so it will be up to JW to continue to expose this corruption in our federal government.
Judicial Watch Continues Legal Fight
to Halt Congress’s Obamacare Fraud
For all the Republican complaints about Barack Obama’s lawlessness, Americans should know that many Republican members of Congress, especially its leadership, are happy to partner in Obama’s despotic approach to governing.
You can see this hypocrisy in our lawsuit on behalf of a DC taxpayer challenging the use of local dollars to help Congress obtain Obamacare benefits in violation of Obamacare law itself. Judicial Watch’s legal team is pursuing an appeal to keep the case going, having just filed the opening appellate brief in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals The lawsuit, filed on behalf of District taxpayer Kirby Vining, challenges the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange’s expenditure of municipal funds on the Small Business Exchange to allow Congress, congressional staffers and their dependents to participate in the Exchange (Kirby Vining v. Executive Board of D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority, et al.) A lower court had dismissed the lawsuit on standing grounds.
Just to review, the lawsuit, which names the District of Colombia Health Benefit Exchange Authority and its officials as defendants, was filed on October 15, 2014, on behalf of Mr. Vining in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. D.C. law limits participation in the Exchange to small businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time employees. Vining, a District of Columbia resident since 1986, seeks to prevent the Exchange Authority from allowing at least 12,359 members of Congress, congressional staffers, their spouses and dependents to purchase health insurance in D.C.’s Small Business Exchange.
Congressional figures who were keen on breaking the rules just assumed no one would be watching. But your JW was. It was our lawsuit that first exposed fraudulent applications filed by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with the D.C. Exchange Authority. The applications, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, show that the House and Senate claimed to have only 45 employees each. They also show that the House and Senate attested to having “50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.” Congress employs upwards of 20,000 people. The applications also falsely state that the House and Senate are “local/state governments.” The “electronic signature” section of the application includes the following language:
I’ve provided true and correct information to all the questions on this form to the best of my knowledge. I know that if I’m not truthful, there may be a penalty.
The actual names of the signatories were blacked out by the D.C. Exchange in the documents Judicial Watch obtained. The lawsuit seeks to prevent at least $77 million in District funds from being used to help Congress violate the restrictions imposed on it by the Obamacare law. The fraudulent Obamacare applications filed by Congress resulted in an U.S. Senate investigation led by Senator David Vitter (R-LA). (Separately, Judicial Watch, Citizens Against Government Waste, and eight other public interest groups filed an ethics complaint over this dishonesty with the Senate Ethics Committee.)
On January 7, 2015, the D.C. government admitted that the law does not allow for Congress to obtain benefits on the Exchange, but also argued that the Office of Personnel Management could override the District’s law. The case was dismissed on February 25, 2015, despite the continued fraudulent use of D.C. monies to provide special health benefits to Congress.
In its appeal, Judicial Watch argues that the D.C. Exchange Authority has knowingly allowed Congress to participate in the Small Business Exchange, despite the fact that Congress employs thousands of individuals:
Since November 2013, the Exchange Authority has allowed the U.S. House of Representatives … and the U.S. Senate … to use the Small Business Exchange to provide health insurance to some (but not all) congressional employees, including members of Congress and these employees’ spouses and dependents … At all relevant times, Defendants have known that the House and the Senate were participating in the Small Business Exchange to provide health insurance to some (but not all) congressional employees … As of February 9, 2014, at least 12,359 congressional employees and their dependents had obtained health insurance through the Small Business Exchange. These 12,359 persons represent approximately 86 percent of the 14,289 persons enrolled in the Small Business Exchange between October 1, 2013 and September 9, 2014.
We also argue that in light of the district’s use of municipal funds to pay for the D.C. Small Business Exchange, Kirby Vining, a longtime D.C. resident, has standing to file this lawsuit as a D.C. resident and taxpayer.
What we see in motion here is an abuse of District monies to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress. It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud. The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.
Our client Mr. Vining is also concerned, stating, “I am doubly disturbed by what members of Congress and their staff have done here, both because this program was designed to provide benefits for small businesses, businesses that form the spine of our economy and society, but also because Congress has chosen to claim eligibility to participate in this program, claiming to be a ‘small business.’ Congress authored the law, and is going to rather questionable lengths to avoid compliance with the law it drafted.”
It is an abuse of District taxpayers to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress. It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud. The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.
It seems to me a truism that President Obama is a corrupt president and his administration’s lawlessness undermines our republican form of government. But Americans should understand that Republicans in Congress are behaving corruptly when they also allow two sets of rules for Obamacare: one of the political class and one for the rest of us. Our litigation, which could stop District monies from being used for this scam, is a reminder to these corrupt politicians that no one is above the law.
Tom Fitton – President