by Tom Fitton –
Success doesn’t come easy. As JW president, I have the honor of reporting to you our successes in holding our government to account. We beat the Obama IRS and exposed its ongoing corruption. We exposed the deepest Benghazi cover-ups all the way to the Oval Office. We forced the creation of a Select Committee on Benghazi. We forced the Clinton email scandal into the open. And then uncovered even more facts in a way that embarrasses most of the media and Congress (and helped lead to the resignation of John Boehner as Speaker of the House).
Many ask how we are able to achieve so much! The answer is hard work, determination, and smarts. Our successes come because of countless hours by my Judicial Watch colleagues who investigate and litigate against a government that is to transparency what a black hole is to light.
Let’s focus again on the Clinton email scandal. I’ve told you that we have 20 lawsuits that relate to this scandal. It is one thing to say we have 20 lawsuits, and then move on to the latest revelations, but let me tell you how much of a massive effort it is to litigate these lawsuits. For example, you may know that the Obama gang at the State Department (to help the Hillary Clinton gang) has sought to delay 32 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits (of which JW filed 16) – under the guise of a coordination motion with the court.
Of course, we opposed this motion, which has no basis in law:
Finally, before the State Department initiated this action, Judicial Watch asked it to identify the legal basis for the action. It could not do so. The State Department responded, “There is no precise rule that provides for what we are seeking. Since we will be filing a notice with the motion attached in each case, all 17 (sic) judges and 13 plaintiffs will receive notice, and the Court will be able to respond as it sees fit.” See Exhibit 1. It continued, “We will, of course, follow directions from the Court if it turns out a miscellaneous action is inappropriate.” Id. In short, the State Department knew its miscellaneous action had no basis in law – certainly none that it could identify – but proceeded nonetheless.
Imagine facing government lawyers trying to upend all at once 16 federal FOIA lawsuits you filed! Just opposing that one move requires significant effort, but it gets worse. The Obama administration filed motions to stay in nine of these lawsuits, eight of which required response from our legal team. And the briefs opposing this massive stonewall had to be individually tailored to each of our lawsuits, so it required another gargantuan legal effort. For your education, I have linked each opposition motion to document our work on behalf of the American people and the Obama administration’s contempt for transparency. You can read each Judicial Watch legal filing via this web page.
At least three judges already have rejected or put aside the efforts to delay our cases. I believe only one court granted the State Department’s effort to delay accountability and transparency. Next week, Judicial Watch will appear in two different courts on the email issue. Judge Emmet Sullivan has scheduled a hearing for October 6 that we hope will result in further success in forcing answers about where the Clinton-related emails are being secreted from the American people. And Judge Reggie B. Walton has scheduled a hearing for the next day, October 7, that we will hope will result in a protective order (at a minimum) that directs Hillary Clinton and others to preserve (and not delete or destroy) all emails that she has yet to turn over to the government, the FBI, and federal prosecutors.
You can see how the astonishing work of our lawyers, investigators, and other hard-working Judicial Watch employees are the keys to our success. Could anyone other than JW handle this complex, intense, high-stakes, closely-watched litigation and investigation? I think not. Especially since no one can match the loyal support of our 370,000 plus active supporters!
Your JW’s work resulted in all sorts of news this week. The Wall Street Journal confirmed the Clinton email gap story first broken by your JW on September 14 (which the Journal did not acknowledge). Though JW is featured in a Wall Street Journal video report featuring yours truly talking about the latest developments.
Again, keep track of all our work at www.JudicialWatch.org and I’ll report to you next week about the latest. In the meantime, please join our cause with a contribution that shows your support for our essential work.
Obama Secret Service Violates Privacy Act in Retaliatory Move against Republican Oversight Chairman
Obama once talked about rewarding friends and punishing enemies. This now seems to be the governing philosophy of the Obama Secret Service, which is reeling from scandals that suggest this president and countless other Americans who depend on the agency are at risk.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In this capacity, he has raised questions about the performance of the Secret Service, while highlighting potential security breaches that could have serious ramifications.
Apparently, the day after a particularly critical congressional hearing on the Secret Service, an assistant director for the Secret Service pushed to have information contained in a personnel file on Chaffetz publicly released, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Report. That’s a problem, because the information was stored in a restricted database and was required by law to be kept private. Sure enough, the private personnel information was breached in myriad ways, including, evidently, through a leak to the Daily Beast and, the IG confirms, to the Washington Post. The Daily Beast report is awful journalism and is oblivious to the lawlessness of the leak it peddled without question.
Chaffetz had, at one time, applied for a position with the Secret Service, but was rejected. It was during a March 24 House hearing that Chaffetz unloaded on the agency for “its series of security gaffes and misconduct,” as it is explained in a report by the Washington Post.
The entire Inspector General’s report is available here. It reads in part as follows:
We have substantially completed our review of the allegation and have determined that a Secret Service database containing sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) pertaining to Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was accessed on approximately 60 occasions by Secret Service employees. We have concluded that a vast majority of those who had accessed the information did so in violation of the Privacy Act, as well as Secret Service and DHS policy. Additionally, we identified one individual who acknowledged disclosing information protected by the Privacy Act to an outside source. However because the number of individuals with access to this information was so great, we were unable to identify others who may have disclosed protected information to third parties.
An aggressive prosecutor could bring 60 criminal charges for each time Chaffetz’s privacy was violated by the Secret Service.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secret Service Director Joe Clancy have both apologized to Chaffetz for the incident. Apparently, those apologies included a lie or two. Just today it is reported that Clancy is trying to correct previously false statements about when and what he knew about the leaks.
Who will be held responsible for this attack on Chaffetz? If a powerful congressional chairman isn’t protected from Obama administration retaliation, what about everyday Americans! Will the Obama Justice Department take time away from its anti-local cop obsessions and criminally prosecute any of the Secret Service thugs, including at least 18 supervisors, who violated Chaffetz’s privacy. You probably already know what JW thinks. We are conducting our own investigation of this scandal and will see what other crimes are to be found in yet another compromised federal law enforcement agency.
Obama Administration Gives Residency and Asylum to 1,519 Foreigners Who Committed Terrorism “While Under Duress”
One reason to check in regularly with Judicial Watch’s Internet site is JW’s Corruption Chronicles blog, which is on the cutting edge of Judicial Watch’s educational journalism efforts. This week, JW’s Corruption Chronicles made waves again with the publication of a report that suggests that our immigration laws are being ignored and twisted by the Obama administration in ways that could lead directly to terrorism. You may want to sit down before reading the article, which I quote in full below:
As if the President Obama’s sweeping amnesty measures haven’t compromised national security enough, the administration let 1,519 “inadmissible” foreigners embroiled in terrorism into the U.S. last year because the crimes were committed “while under duress.”
Before the Obama administration tweaked a federal law last year, these foreign nationals would have been banned from the country for supporting terrorist causes. But under the changes the Secretary of Homeland Security has “discretionary authority” to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility relating to terrorism. We’ve seen this discretionary authority abused in the last few years and in fact, the administration has eliminated a zero tolerance policy for granting asylum or residency to individuals who have provided any sort of terrorism-related support.
The government’s latest available figures for granting asylum or residency to individuals embroiled in terrorist causes are incredibly disturbing, especially since the agency charged with keeping the nation safe, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), appears to downplay the seriousness of the crimes. Judicial Watch obtained the numbers from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) annual report to Congress on the DHS secretary’s application of discretionary authority.
The biggest chunk of exemptions was processed for refugee applicants and lawful permanent resident status, with 806 and 614 respectively. The rest were processed under other DHS programs such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), asylum and relief through a Justice Department initiative. The bottom line is that the U.S. government is allowing them all to stay in the country with rights and benefits afforded to legal residents despite their terrorist connections and associations.
More than half of the candidates rewarded by DHS last year provided material support to terrorist organizations, according to the DHS report. The others received military-type training from a terrorist organization, voluntarily provided medical care to members of a terrorist group and solicited funds or individuals for membership in a terrorist organization. After a case-by-case review, Obama’s DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, determined that the recently admitted terrorists only participated in these activities “while under duress.” So, welcome to America!
This effort was officially launched last year when the administration quietly changed the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), implemented decades ago to govern immigration and citizenship in the United States. The law includes a ban on admitting refugees and asylum seekers who may have provided terrorists with any sort of material support, even the kind that may be considered trivial by some. In other words, the federal law rightfully had a zero tolerance for any kind of involvement with terrorist elements. But a joint effort by DHS and the State Department created an “Exercise of Authority” that allows “an alien who provided limited material support” to a terrorist organization to stay in the U.S. if the powers that be in our government believe they pose no threat.
The administration seems to have a soft spot for terrorists. A few months after the INS change was exposed, a frustrated U.S. senator revealed that the administration appears to have a terrorist “hands off” list that permits individuals with extremist ties to enter the country. The lawmaker obtained the information from internal DHS documents that include communication between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asking whether to admit an individual with ties to various terrorist groups. The suspect had scheduled an upcoming flight into the U.S. and was believed to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a close associate and supporter Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
This is astonishing, yet Congress is interested in passing monstrous spending bills to fund this lawlessness rather confront it. Ending this pro-terrorist approach to immigration is especially urgent given the Obama administration’s dangerous plans to allow hundreds of thousands of “refugees” from the Syrian disaster Obama created into the United States. We’ll continue to highlight the existential threat caused by Obama’s pro-terrorist immigration policy. In the meantime, you might want to ask your elected representatives when they are going to start protecting the nation’s security from the Obama administration menace.
Tom Fitton – President