Records Sought on Contacts with President Obama, “Olympics Czar’ Valerie Jarrett and Other Top White House Officials
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it will file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s office to obtain records related to the Obama administration’s failed bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago. President Obama tapped White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to lead the Olympics effort, despite her personal and business ties to Chicago, which included a stint working for Mayor Daley. The Obama White House granted Jarrett a conflict of interest “ethics waiver” to allow her to serve as “Olympics Czar,” despite her having personally led the Olympics bid for Chicago before entering the White House. (Other potentially conflicted White House officials with Chicago-ties include Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior Advisor David Axelrod.)
With its lawsuit, filed with the Cook County Circuit Court, Judicial Watch seeks access to the following records:
1. All correspondence between the Office of the Mayor and President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, the White House, and/or the Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport regarding the City of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
2. All notes, memoranda, and/or reports related to the June 6, 2008 outdoor rally at the Daley Center Plaza in Chicago, hosted by Mayor Daley, then-Senator Barack Obama, and then-Congressman Rahm Emmanuel.
3. All correspondence between the Office of the Mayor and the Chicago 2016 Committee that references President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, the White House, and/or the Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport.
4. All memoranda and/or reports prepared by the Chicago 2016 Committee that references President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, the White House, and/or the Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport.
Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request on September 5, 2009. The Mayor’s office acknowledged receipt of the request on October 1 and granted itself an additional seven days for processing, but failed to abide by its self-imposed deadline. Following an administrative appeal by Judicial Watch, a response was due by November 3rd. However, to date, Mayor Daley’s office has failed to produce any documents or demonstrate the records are exempt from disclosure.
“The Obama White House’s failed Olympics bid is a scandal. Why else would Obama’s ‘Olympics Czar’ Valerie Jarrett need an ‘ethics waiver’ to lead the campaign to bring the Olympics to Chicago? Mayor Daley’s illegal refusal to release documents about the Olympics bid is a rather transparent effort to protect President Obama and other key White House officials,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Visit www.JudicialWatch.org to read Judicial Watch’s FOIA request and related lawsuit. ###
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