by Tom Fitton –
Despite what you may hear from the liberal media, the Clinton email scandal is far from over. In fact, I think we’re in the middle of the scandal. Even though President Obama and his troops left town with a number of critical issues unresolved, this week we announced that we put key members of the his administration on notice that we intend to sue if necessary to get an official damage assessment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s scandalous email practice. And if it means that the Trump administration won’t enforce the rule of law, we may go to court as we would have against the prior administration.
In fact, we have taken a two-pronged legal action to force the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to conduct a full-scale damage assessment of Hillary Clinton’s use of an “unsecure, unofficial email account” and to explain why it failed to do so when information about the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server to transmit classified information first surfaced.
The demand for a damage assessment was contained in a January 10 certified letter sent to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and Director of National Intelligence Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina. The request for an explanation of why the Office of the Director of National Intelligence failed to act earlier was part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on January 11. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (No. 1:17-cv-00053)).
In the January 10 letter informing Clapper, Kerry, and Evanina that we are “prepared to file suit” to force a damage assessment, we first cited an assessment by FBI Director James Comey revealing that 110 emails Clinton returned to the State Department contained “classified information,” while others contained “Top Secret,” “Secret,” and “Confidential” information.
We then cited Intelligence Community Directives that require a damage assessment to be conducted when classified national intelligence is actually or suspected to have been compromised:
Intelligence Community Directive (“ICD”) No. 732 requires a damage assessment be conducted when there is “an actual or suspected unauthorized disclosure or compromise of classified national intelligence that may cause damage to U.S. national security” or “an actual or suspected loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of classified national intelligence that could adversely affect national security. The National Security Act of 1947, as amended, mandates that the Director of National Intelligence “shall protect intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disc1osure” (50 U.S.C. § 3024(i)(1)), and ICD No. 700 requires that agency heads “within the Intelligence Community, including the Department of State, [p]rotect national intelligence and intelligence sources, methods, and activities from unauthorized disclosure.” Assessing the damage from actual or suspected, unauthorized disclosure plainly is an important part of protecting intelligence sources, methods, and activities.
We concluded the letter by putting the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the State Department on notice:
A damage assessment such as the one required by ICD No. 732 is a quintessential type of record that Judicial Watch would request and obtain under FOIA, analyze, and then make available to the public in carrying out its educational mission.
Should the required assessment not be undertaken, we are prepared to file suit in an appropriate federal district court seeking to compel compliance with ICD No. 732, so that we might seek and obtain access to the assessment…. Please advise us no later than February 10, 2017 if an assessment will be undertaken. If we do not hear from you by that date, we will assume no assessment will be undertaken and will act accordingly.
Our January 11 FOIA lawsuit was filed after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence failed to comply with a September 16, 2016, FOIA request seeking access to the following:
• All records that form the foundation for the decision by ODNI not to conduct an assessment of the damage to national security resulting from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sending and receiving classified national security information on a private email server.
• All records sent to or from ODNI officials regarding the decision not to conduct an assessment of the damage to national security resulting from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sending and receiving classified national security information on a private email server.
Two days before we filed our FOIA request, Joel D. Melstad, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, released a statement saying, “ODNI is not leading an [intelligence community]-wide damage assessment and is not aware of any individual IC element conducting such formal assessments.” Melstad would not answer questions about the reasoning behind the decision.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has a legal obligation to assess the damage done by Hillary Clinton’s illicit email practices. Therefore, the American people have a right to know the basis of that decision. And they have a right to expect the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to follow the law and determine how badly Mrs. Clinton’s actions compromised national security and put our nation at risk.
It’s Naive to Think Not One
of the Millions of Aliens in the U.S. Is Voting
It’s now officially an issue: illegal aliens are voting. President Donald Trump has announced a major investigation into the charges and counter charges surrounding this phenomenon. At Judicial Watch, however, it’s nothing new. We’ve had our eye on this for years, and our Election Integrity Project was active in monitoring polling places in the most recent election.
I was interviewed some time ago (when the issue was first raised around the November election) by Breitbart Daily News about illegal voting, and I want to share that with you. Here is a report at Breitbart on the interview:
On…Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton about a study from the Center for Immigration Studies that revealed that “there could be as many as 43 million non-citizens in the United States right now.” Fitton had previously spotlighted this study on Twitter as evidence of potential voter fraud issues.
“There’s 43 million people who are not citizens and are ineligible to vote, but a good percentage of them do register to vote. And of those that do, some vote,” Fitton explained.
“Most tend to vote Democrat. It’s a fact,” he continued. “There’s been a study out of Old Dominion University that shows it is enough of a vote to sway elections, one way or another. It may have resulted in election, specifically, of Al Franken to the United States Senate, and all the bad things politically or public policy-wise that happened as a result, like Obamacare and things like that.”
“Are we supposed to be so naive as to think that tens of millions of people are here, present in the United States, and none of them are illegally voting?” Fitton asked. “In states where you don’t have voter ID, in states where most voter registration, you’re not required to certify citizenship, other than signing and saying you’re a citizen?”
“It happens repeatedly where you have these voter registrations signed by aliens because they shouldn’t be voting, so they’re registered to vote – and the irony is, once they’re registered to vote, voter ID ain’t gonna protect you,” he noted, “because they have the ID necessary to vote, once they’re registered. So you have many non-citizens voting in elections, and they vote in large numbers in a way to sway elections.”
“The number of non-citizens in the United States are at record proportions – about as big as it’s been in 105 years, according, I think, to CIS, the Center for Immigration Studies,” he observed. “It is looking at U.S. Census data, and there’s just been this massive uptick, just even the last few years.”
“And it’s not just illegal aliens. We’re talking about aliens who are here legally, who are also voting illegally, potentially,” he added. “That’s why we’re gonna be in Virginia, trying to monitor elections, because we know this is an issue. This is one of the issues that can lead to voter fraud and a stolen election.”
The Washington Times published a big story today following up on this issue and featuring JW:
But conservative activists say the liberal media are ignoring evidence — that noncitizen voting is illegal and, thus, fraud. They say the Justice Department in the Obama administration was more concerned with preventing states from cleansing rosters of dead and inactive voters than in mounting any investigation into fraud.
“Most voters are never asked for voter ID, so it is dishonest to suggest that with the tens of millions of illegal and legal aliens here, there is no voter fraud,” said Tom Fitton, who heads the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. “If the key Old Dominion study results on the 2008 election are applied to 2016 — 1.41 million aliens may have voted illegally, with 1.13 million voting for Democrats.”
“A federal voter fraud investigation is long overdue,” Mr. Fitton said. “It would be a simple matter of analyzing voter registration databases against federal databases of aliens and deceased individuals. Why is the left afraid to even ask the questions? The jig is up.”
President Trump is right. A full-scale, non-partisan federal voter fraud investigation is long overdue. I’m not aware of any systematic federal investigation of voter fraud – ever. Initially, such an investigation would be a simple matter of analyzing voter registration databases against federal databases of aliens and deceased individuals.
Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity team, headed up by Robert Popper, former deputy chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, would be more than happy to help.
In the meantime, you can sample our comprehensive efforts on election integrity here.
Rule of Law Makes a Comeback and Just in Time
President Trump’s executive orders reversing years of Obama lawlessness on immigration enforcement and sanctuary policies is a wonderful development for those of us at JW who’ve been fighting an often lonely battle for our country and the rule of law. There is still work to do, especially as the lawless Left tries to gum up enforcement efforts (and even a border wall that could protect us from the illegal alien invasion) in the courts. But Judicial Watch will continue to march into court against sanctuary policies (as we are doing now in San Francisco) and expose the truth on the illegal immigration crisis.
As the Trump administration has made clear even in its first week, we won’t begin to get a handle on illegals voting and committing crimes until we can get an honest picture of the situation on the ground. That picture, it turns out – and not surprisingly – was deliberately distorted by the Obama administration in its lawless push to scrap our borders. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the frightening story.
The U.S. Border Patrol alters statistics involving the apprehension of criminal illegal immigrants to conceal that thousands are being released, a new federal audit reveals. The frontline Homeland Security agency charged with preventing terrorists and weapons—including those of mass destruction—from entering the country also skews figures to drastically deflate the high recidivism rate of aliens caught entering the U.S.
The distressing details of this crucial agency’s crafty record-keeping practices are outlined in a scathing report issued this month by the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The probe focuses on a Border Patrol system developed to address a smuggling crisis along the southwest border. It’s officially known as Consequence Delivery System (CDS) and is used to identify the most effective and efficient consequences to deter illegal cross border activity in each of the agency’s sectors. For the system to work, the Border Patrol must report accurate information involving illegal aliens who are apprehended.
Instead, it appears that federal agents on the ground are being ordered to fudge the numbers as part of a broader Obama administration effort to protect illegal immigrants and falsely portray the Mexican border as safe. The GAO report suggests that Border Patrol headquarters directed agents to misclassify criminal illegal aliens, presumably to hide the fact that they were being released instead of prosecuted. Officials interviewed as part of the probe “said that agents received oral direction from headquarters to reclassify criminal aliens who cannot be given a consequence of federal prosecution, and that written data integrity guidance to sectors did not include activities for checking the accuracy of alien classifications,” the GAO report states.
The misclassification of apprehended illegal immigrants resulted in nearly 4,000 criminal aliens being returned to their home country rather than prosecuted between 2013 and 2015, the GAO found. After analyzing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data, congressional investigators determined that an astounding 94% (109,080) of the 116,409 aliens given a consequence of warrant or notice to appear still had an open case and “may remain in the United States.” Thousands more escaped criminal prosecution because they were not properly classified.
“Specifically, of the approximate 15,000 apprehensions of criminal aliens who were not classified according to CDS guidance between fiscal years 2013 and 2015, 8 percent were recommended for criminal prosecution (3,912 apprehensions) compared to 47 percent of all criminal aliens during that timeframe,” the GAO writes.
In some cases, Department of Justice (DOJ) restrictions limit the number of illegal aliens that can be referred for prosecution, the report says. This leaves agents in a bind and hesitant to apply consequences that require referral to federal partners. Here’s an example: “Rio Grande Valley sector officials said that while agents apprehended over 129,000 aliens in fiscal year 2015, the sector can only refer about 40 immigration-related cases each day to the corresponding USAO District (Southern District of Texas) for prosecution. Once this daily limit is reached, agents must apply an alternative consequence that is not the Most Effective and Efficient as defined by the CDS guide.”
Recidivism numbers are kept down by using an unscrupulous system that only classifies an apprehended illegal alien as recidivist if he or she had been previously caught within a fiscal year. The system doesn’t account for immigrants with no record of removal after apprehension and who may have remained in the United States without the opportunity to recidivate. The Border Patrol guidance also states that a first-time apprehension classification may be used on an alien that has been apprehended by another agency.
Congressional investigators determined that the Border Patrol system slashed recidivism numbers in half. In one outrageous case cited in the report an “alien apprehended 54 times in the Rio Grande Valley sector between October 2012 and May 2015 was classified as a First Time Apprehension 6 times.”
Unchecked illegal immigration has made our streets unsafe and American lives have been sacrificed by politicians more concerned about the politics of open borders than the rule of law. Judicial Watch will call out President Trump when he does the wrong thing. But right now, he is to be commended for correcting the course and putting the safety of Americans at the forefront of his administration’s immigration agenda. …….