by Tom Fitton –
The FBI Ignores Federal Records Laws, and President Trump Notices
The Deep State still lumbers along, concealing its illicit activities and protecting its own. Nowhere is this more prevalent that in the Department of Justice and its FBI.
We have had to file lawsuits regarding the maintenance of text messages as federal records and for records of the audit of communications of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe because the FBI refuses to release them.
President Trump noticed the FBI’s behavior and tweeted:
Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities. FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people…..
9:17 AM – 11 Aug 2018
After the FBI claimed that text messages are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we filed suit to ensure that text messages are being preserved. The new Administrative Procedure Act lawsuit against the FBI challenges the FBI failure to preserve FBI text messages as required by the Federal Records Act. (Judicial Watch v. FBI (No.1:18-cv-02316)).
In our lawsuit we point to a related case in which Michael G. Seidel, the assistant section chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section in the FBI’s Information Management Division, stated: “text messages on [FBI]-issued devices are not automatically integrated into an FBI records system” (Danik v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01792)).
We argued that the FBI “does not have a recordkeeping program in place that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages, including text messages.” Moreover, “The FBI relies upon its personnel to incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system. If FBI personnel do not actively incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system, the text messages are not preserved.”
We asked the court to declare the FBI’s failure to have a recordkeeping program for electronic messages to be “not in accordance with law” and that the court order the FBI “to establish and maintain a recordkeeping program that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages.”
If text messages are not preserved, then they may be deleted and never produced to Congress, criminal investigators, and to the American people under FOIA.
We also filed suit against the Justice Department after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 27, 2018, FOIA request for the FBI’s audit records of McCabe’s communications (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02283)).
In 2015, a political action committee run by Terry McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Andrew McCabe’s wife Jill, who was then running for the Virginia State Senate. Also, the Virginia Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe had significant influence, donated an additional $207,788 to the Jill McCabe campaign. In July 2015, Andrew McCabe was in charge of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, which provided personnel resources to the Clinton email probe.
In July 2017, we filed three FOIA lawsuits seeking communications between the FBI and McCabe concerning “ethical issues” involving his wife’s political campaign; McCabe’s communications with McAuliffe; and McCabe’s travel vouchers.
Following an Inspector General Report, a grand jury reportedly was impaneled recently to investigate McCabe’s possible role in leaks to the media “to advance his personal interests.”
The FBI has told us that it is under no legal obligation to produce any of Andrew McCabe’s text messages under FOIA, which has attracted criticism from President Trump.
Our lawsuit exposes a massive FBI cover-up of its text messages, which are government records and are, by the thousands, likely to have been deleted and lost by FBI employees. And, of course, this cover-up conveniently affects the production of text messages to us and to the Congress of disgraced FBI officials Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and James Comey.
Let’s hope President Trump takes additional notice and orders compliance. In the meantime, we will seek accountability in the courts.
Judicial Watch Sues for Information on Hillary Clinton’s Security Clearance
Why did Hillary Clinton have a security clearance
despite her email misconduct?
Judicial Watch wants answers.
We just filed a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. State Department requesting all records regarding her security clearance status and that of four of her top aides during her tenure at the State Department. Clinton’s security clearance reportedly was withdrawn at her request on August 30. It just so happens that this is nine days before we had filed an August 21 FOIA request seeking information on her security clearance status.
We filed our lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (1:18-cv-02496)) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the State Department failed to respond to our big August 21 FOIA request for:
Any and all records concerning, regarding, or relating to the security clearance status of Clinton, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Jacob Sullivan and Phillipe Reines.
In a September 21 letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Charles S. Faulkner said that, at her request, Clinton’s security clearance was “administratively withdrawn” on August 30.
The letter added that, on September 20, security clearances were “administratively withdrawn” for Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and four other redacted names who “had been granted access to classified information through a request made by Secretary Clinton designating them as researchers.” The letter also suggests that Mrs. Clinton and her aides may have been cited for “valid security incidents.”
An October 12 news release from the Senate Judiciary Committee said that the news on Clinton’s security clearance was part of an update from the State Department of “its ongoing review of the mishandling of classified information related to the use of Clinton’s non-government email server…. Department authorities are continuing to review tens of thousands of documents for classified content.”
The State Department needs to provide the full truth on the security clearances of Hillary Clinton and her top aides and why the agency allowed Mrs. Clinton to keep her clearance despite her mishandling of classified information and related false statements.
More Evidence of George Soros
Foundation Ties to State Department
The State Department has been all too happy to collude with leftwing billionaire George Soros, using your tax dollars to fund his zealotry. Of course the department would rather you not know about it, but we’re keeping our foot in the door.
We just released 49 pages of new State Department documents showing top Soros representatives in Romania collaborating with the State Department in a program jointly funded by, among others, Soros’s Open Society Foundations – Romania and USAID, called the “Open Government Partnership.”
The documents were obtained thanks to our March 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of State and USAID after it failed to substantively respond to an October 2017 request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:18-cv-00667)). The lawsuit seeks:
· All records relating to any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its personnel and/or any OSFR subsidiary or affiliate.
· All assessments, evaluations, reports or similar records relating to the work of Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations.
On September 16, 2016, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Senior Program Designer Jennryn Wetzler sent an email announcing that the featured speaker in a State Department-sponsored “Open Government Partnership” conference call would be longtime Soros foundations official in Romania, Ovidiu Voicu. Voicu is the Executive Director of a Romanian non-government organization (NGO) called the Center for Public Innovation, which describes itself as a “spin-off” of Soros’ Open Society Foundation Romania.
From: Wetzler, Jennryn M
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 2:36 PM
To: Wetzler, Jennryn M
Cc: ‘Jan GondoI’; ‘Nicole Allen’; ‘Ovidiu Voicu’; ECACollaboratory .
Subject: Invitation to the monthly OGP and open education network call: 9/28 at 14:00 UTC/ 10:00 EDT
Please join us for a conversation with Ovidiu Voicu, Executive Director of Romania’s Center for Public Innovation. Ovidiu will share updates from Romania, including recent OGP commitments to OER and open data & transparency in education! We encourage everyone to share thoughts and questions, as well as their own country updates.
Speaker Bio: Ovidiu Voicu leads the Center Public Innovation, a spin-off of the Open Society Foundation Romania. He joined the Foundation in 2000 to coordinate its social research programs, and in April 2012, he. took the leadership of the newly created public policy unit. In 2015, with the Foundation phasing-out its activities in Romania, Ovidiu and his team created the Center for Public Innovation, to continue the open society legacy and work on the ground.
On April 19, 2016, Wetzler emails Romanian chancellery official and Open Government Partnership participant Radu Puchiu regarding a meeting with an “Open Society Romania colleague” regarding the possibility of Romania committing to open educational resources (OER) programs.
On October 13, 2016, State Department official Richard Silver circulated summaries of Romanian news stories. In an analytical comment concerning a summary of a newspaper article discussing a proposal by Romanian politicians to ban George Soros-backed NGO members from holding public office, he defended Soros’ Open Society Foundation’s involvement in Romania. Ironically, in doing so, he confirmed the Soros operations outsized influence in Romania and other countries:
Since 1990, the Soros ‘s Foundation for Open Society was one of the main donors in Romania and other former communist countries, financing sociological research, education, social inclusion, good governance, civic culture and integrated community intervention. The most influential Romanian NGOs as well as politicians, researchers and other players who had scholarships abroad benefitted by its financing. Over the past 26 years, a series of political parties, mainly PSD and its political allies, have blamed NGOs, intellectuals, cultural personalities of eroding Romania’s economy, territorial autonomy, public order or the health of the population. Independent analysts warned about the danger of such messaging which creates social shifts and turns Romania back to communist practices.
Also on October 13, 2016, Silver circulated the same news summaries, but the analysis contained additional material that was redacted as classified.
These government documents detail a close working relationship between the State Department and the Soros foundations’ operations in Romania and Europe. The State Department shouldn’t be using tax dollars to either fund or advocate for Mr. Soros’s far-left agenda. George Soros needs zero financial assistance from taxpayers.
We are currently pursuing three FOIA lawsuits relating to the Obama administration’s funding for Soros’ operations. We are pursuing information about Soros’ activities in Macedonia and Colombia as well.
In April 2018, we published an in-depth study of Soros’ Open Society Foundation activities in Guatemala.
In July 2018, a Colombian human rights group funded by the U.S. government and Soros attacked us for exposing its ties to FARC, the country’s famously violent Marxist guerrillas.
In February 2017, we reported that the U.S. government had quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia.
In a March 2017, letter to former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, six U.S. Senators (Sens. Lee (R-UT), Inhofe (R-OK), Tillis (R-NC), Cruz (R-TX), Perdue (R-GA) and Cassidy (R-LA)) called on the secretary to investigate the relations between USAID and the Soros Foundations and how U.S. tax dollars are being used by the State Department and the USAID to support left-of-center political groups who seek to impose left-leaning policies in countries such as Macedonia and Albania.
The leftist media is circling the wagons around Mr. Soros, and smearing Judicial Watch and others investigating his network. As you can see, your Judicial Watch won’t be cowed and will continue our oversight work about how his foundations are able to leverage taxpayer resources to advance his radical left agenda.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton