by Tom Fitton –
May 20, 2016 –
Our investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email system entered a significant new phase this week.
We announced a schedule of depositions of her top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, as well as top State Department official Patrick Kennedy, and former State IT employee Bryan Pagliano.
Their testimony is about the creation and operation of Clinton’s non-government email system. The first witness, Lewis A. Lukens, a deputy assistant secretary, was deposed on May 18. I can’t say much about the testimony at this point, other than to tell you that it was not helpful to either Mrs. Clinton or the Obama State Department.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan set this historic evidence gathering in motion. Judge Sullivan granted us “discovery” into Clinton’s email system, noting that “based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary.”
The depositions are part of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit, which seeks records regarding the authorization for Abedin to engage in outside employment (the Clinton Foundation and other Clinton, Inc. entities) while employed by the Department of State, was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
We have permission from the court to question these individuals for as long as seven hours:
May 18 – Lewis A. Lukens, deputy assistant secretary of state and executive director of the State Department’s Executive Secretariat from 2008 to 2011, who emailed with Patrick Kennedy and Cheryl Mills about setting up a computer for Clinton to check her clintonemail.com email account. (This testimony took a little over two hours.)
May 27 – Cheryl D. Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff throughout her four years as secretary of state.
June 3 – Stephen D. Mull, executive secretary of the State Department from June 2009 to October 2012, who suggested that Clinton be issued a State Department BlackBerry, which would protect her identity and would also be subject to FOIA requests.
June 6 – Bryan Pagliano, State Department Schedule C employee who has been reported to have serviced and maintained the server that hosted the “clintonemail.com” system during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
June 8 – 30(b)(6) deposition(s) of the State Department regarding the processing of FOIA requests, including Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, for emails of Clinton and Abedin both during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and after.
June 28 – Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and a senior advisor to Clinton throughout her four years as secretary of state and also had an email account on clintonemail.com.
June 29 – Patrick F. Kennedy, undersecretary for management since 2007 and the secretary of state’s principal advisor on management issues, including technology and information services.
As you will see below, in a separate FOIA lawsuit concerning Hillary Clinton and the Benghazi terrorist attack, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth also ruled that we could conduct discovery into the email practices of Clinton and her top aides.
This court-order testimony could finally reveal new truths about how Hillary Clinton and the Obama State Department subverted the Freedom of the Information Act.
Judicial Watch Seeks Hillary Clinton Testimony
The question of whether Hillary Clinton can be questioned under oath by Judicial Watch attorneys now is squarely before a federal court judge.
We also announced this week that we have filed a proposed order for discovery with a federal court that seeks the testimony of Hillary Clinton, herself, about her use of non-state.gov email account(s) for official State Department business.
This additional discovery comes in a July 2014 Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records and communications in the Secretary’s Office related to the since discredited talking points used by then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to describe the nature of the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).
Clinton’s proposed testimony would cover the State Department’s search of documents in response to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request and, according to the filing:
• searches of the Office of the Secretary for emails relating to the September 12, 2012 Benghazi attack and its aftermath, including searches for the Accountability Review Board, congressional inquiries, other FOIA requests, and the preparation of Secretary Clinton’s testimony before Congress on January 23, 2013;
• the State Department’s policies, practices, procedures and/or actions (or lack thereof) to secure, inventory, and/or account for all records, including emails, of Secretary Clinton, prior to [her] termination of employment with the State Department; and
• the use of non-state.gov email account(s) to conduct official State Department business by Secretary Clinton and other officials and staff in the Office of the Secretary;
Judicial Watch also seeks documents about the State Department’s Benghazi document responses and the handling of non-State.gov emails of Clinton and other top State officials, in particular:
1. All documents that concern or relate to the processing of any and all searches of the Office of the Secretary for emails relating to the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack and its aftermath, including but not limited to:
• searches for records for the Accountability Review Board;
• searches in response to congressional inquiries (including requests from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform dated September 20, 2012, October 2, 2012, October 29, 2012, and November 1, 2012);
• searches in preparation of Secretary Clinton’s testimony before Congress on January 23, 2013; and
• searches in response to FOIA requests, including but not limited to the FOIA request submitted by Plaintiff in this case.
Such documents would include the tasking, tracking and reporting records for such searches. Forms DS-1748 and any “search slips,” “search tasker,” “search details,” shall also be considered responsive.
2. All communications that concern or relate to the processing of all searches referenced in Document Request No. 1 above, including directions or guidance about how and where to conduct the searches, whether and how to search Secretary Clinton’s email, and issues, problems, or questions concerning the searches and/or search results.
3. All records that concern or relate to the State Department’s policies, practices, procedures and/or actions (or lack thereof) to secure, inventory, and/or account for all records, including emails, of Secretary Clinton, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Jacob Sullivan prior to their termination of employment with the State Department.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth is also concerned about potential government misconduct. Judge Lamberth ruled on March 29 that “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate, even though it is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases.”
(In the lawsuit that has discovery already underway, Judge Emmett Sullivan noted in his May 4, 2016, order that “based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary.”)
In response to our request for her testimony, the Clinton campaign attacked your Judicial Watch with an over-the-top, false statement. We won’t be deterred, nor do I expect that the courts will be either.
Mrs. Clinton’s testimony will help the courts determine whether her email practices thwarted the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act.
In the meantime, you might enjoy watching this C-Span coverage of our Clinton email investigations.
Pakistani with Fake Ecuadorean Passport
Enters U.S. via Mexico Multiple Times
It is difficult to overstate the dangers of our open border with Mexico. For example, we reported just last month that Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks. And we revealed in our Corruption Chronicles blog how the Obama administration wastes your tax money to fund studies to justify its lawlessness.
This week, we uncovered that illegal aliens from countries such as Pakistan are exploiting Obama’s purposeful subversion of border security:
A Pakistani man with a fake passport and residence card from two different South American countries has been caught entering the U.S. illegally through Mexico and federal court documents reveal he has previously crossed into the country undetected by immigration authorities. The distressing case comes less than a month after Judicial Watch reported that an ISIS operative who trained terrorists in Pakistan travels back and forth through the porous southern border from a camp in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. His name is Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, a Kuwaiti who trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, according to JW’s high-ranking Homeland Security sources.
The Pakistani apprehended in the region this month, Javaid Muhammad, is in federal custody in Texas and is scheduled to appear in court on May 20 in McAllen. U.S. Border Patrol agents busted him on May 8, according to court documents obtained by JW, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken over the case. Authorities have confiscated Muhammad’s fraudulent Ecuadorean passport and Chilean residence card and he has admitted he’s never visited or resided in either South American country. Muhammad also “admitted to illegally crossing the international boundary of the United States without prior inspection by a United States Immigration Officer,” court files state. The FBI has evidence, including travel records and other government files, that proves Muhammad’s statements to the Border Patrol and FBI “were materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent,” the court documents say.
Some of the records related to the case have been sealed by the government so many of the specific details are not available, presumably for security reasons. We do know that Muhammad initially lied to both the Border Patrol and FBI and that he has provided the FBI with a sworn statement detailing his illegal travel from Pakistan to the United States, according to the files that have not been sealed. That information is being kept under wraps by the feds. So is Muhammad’s financial affidavit, which is listed on the federal court docket but not available for public view. Another interesting tidbit is that American taxpayers are providing the Pakistani with a free lawyer because the judge, Dorina Ramos, determined this week that Muhammad doesn’t have the money to hire one.
It remains unclear how many times Muhammad has entered the U.S. illegally and if all the violations occurred through Mexico, though it appears to be the case. As part of an ongoing investigation into the growing terrorism threats on the southern border JW has reported that Middle Eastern terrorists and Mexican drug cartels have joined forces to infiltrate the U.S. to plan future attacks. Just a few weeks ago JW’s government sources outlined the operation headed by Khabir, the ISIS leader who’s training in Chihuahua and regularly crosses into the U.S. assisted by Mexican drug traffickers. Khabir actually brags in an Italian newspaper article that the border region is so open that he “could get in with a handful of men, and kill thousands of people in Texas or in Arizona in the space of a few hours.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz, Mexico’s top diplomat, says in the article that she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration and the U.S. media are “culpably neglecting this phenomenon,” adding that “this new wave of fundamentalism could have nasty surprises in store for the United States.”
Last summer JW wrote about a sophisticated operation in which Mexican drug cartels smuggle Middle Eastern terrorists into a small Texas rural town near El Paso using remote farm roads—rather than interstates—to elude the Border Patrol and other law enforcement barriers. The foreigners are classified by the U.S. government as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) and they are transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20. Once in the U.S., the SIAs wait for pick-up in the area’s sand hills just across Highway 20. At the time JW’s government sources revealed that terrorists have long entered the U.S. through Mexico and in fact, an internal Texas Department of Public Safety report leaked by the media documents that several members of known Islamist terrorist organizations have been apprehended crossing the southern border in recent years.
A few months after JW broke the Acala smuggling piece, five young Middle Eastern men were apprehended by the Border Patrol in an Arizona town situated about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Federal agents spotted the men crossing a ranch property in the vicinity of Amado, which is located about 35 miles south of Tucson and has a population of 275. Two of the Middle Eastern men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks. Days earlier six men—one from Afghanistan, five from Pakistan—were arrested in nearby Patagonia, a quaint ranch town that sits 20 miles north of the Mexican border city of Nogales.
Do you think this one Pakistani is the only person from regions of the world consumed by Islamic terrorist ideology that exploits our open borders? Does Congress? Does Barack Obama? Does the governor of Texas? One might ask these and other elected officials whether their responses are commensurate with the threat.
Tom Fitton – President