by Tom Fitton –
Judicial Watch –
A House Committee Hears Our Clinton Foundation Scandal Evidence
When I was asked by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations to testify this week about the Clinton Foundation, I knew the challenge would be organizing the vast trove of information we have accumulated through court action over the past several years.
That evidence, I told the committee, warrants a serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation. Moreover, there is evidence that the Obama Justice Department suppressed an investigation of the Foundation.
In my testimony, I said that we were suspicious from the very beginning of Hillary Clinton’s term at the State Department if she and Bill could keep Foundation and government business separate. By 2014, it was evident that we were right, and we issued a report with the Washington Examiner:
A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state…
State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one.
Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S.
[A]n inspection by the Examiner and Judicial Watch of donations to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton’s personal financial disclosure forms, and the State Department conflict-of-interest reviews show that at least $48 million flowed to the Clintons’ personal coffers from many entities that clearly had interests in influencing the Obama administration — and perhaps currying favor with a future president as well.
I detailed for the committee Bill Clinton’s speeches in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and China, all of which poured enormous sums into the Foundation. And there were Bill Clinton’s infamous speeches in Russia. There he gave two for $625,000. One was to the Russian investment bank, Renaissance Capital, at a 2010 event.
I also reminded the committee that it was our efforts that uncovered Hillary Clinton’s notorious private email system, which effectively shielded her various dealings. After our lawsuits forced the disclosure of the Clinton email server, another Judicial Watch lawsuit broke open what is now known as the Clinton Foundation pay-to-play scandal.
Emails we uncovered demonstrate that Clinton Foundation donors and supporters received special favors and consideration from the Clinton State Department. Just one example:
Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain: A Judicial Watch-obtained Huma Abedin-Doug Band email exchange from 2009 revealed that Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton but was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours. According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had spent $32 million in conjunction with CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
I concluded my prepared remarks this way:
Judicial Watch will continue its various independent lawsuits and investigations, on behalf of the public interest, into the Clinton Foundation and the related Clinton email scandal.
Because the Clinton Foundation issue is not a “private” scandal. It is a State Department scandal, it is an FBI scandal, it is a Justice Department scandal, it a foreign potentate scandal, it is a shady corporation scandal, and, for sure, it is a government transparency scandal.
It was a privilege to represent you before Congress and to put forward in a public forum what we have known for a long time about Bill and Hillary Clinton and their Foundation: Influence pays handsomely.
You can watch my testimony and congressional follow-up questions here. If you wish, scroll directly to the 15-minute mark where I begin.
Obama’s State Department Worked to Undermine
the Trump Administration
In the investigation of the Deep State’s efforts against President Trump, national attention has been focused primarily on the Justice Department and the FBI. Now we have more evidence of Obama’s State Department inserting itself into the resistance melee.
This comes in two sets of heavily redacted State Department documents, 38 pages and 48 pages, showing classified information was researched and disseminated to multiple U.S. senators by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).
We obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department after it failed to respond to our February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).
The documents show the Obama State Department urgently gathering classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office.
• In a Thursday, January 5, 2017, email chain then-State Department Congressional Advisor Hera Abassi indicates that then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland’s bureau was attempting to get Russian investigation related documents to the office of Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) office as quickly as possible. (In June 2016 Nuland permitted a meeting between Steele and the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome. Nuland told CBS News that the State Department knew about the Steele dossier by July 2016.)
In the email, with the subject line “For Immediate Review – Call Sheet for S Call with Senator Warner,” Abassi writes:
“I told Cardin’s folks … that the process is long. Can we ensure that there are no holdups on our end?”
Minutes later, Abassi confirms that Nuland was fully aware of the information that the State Department was providing to members of Congress alleging Russia interference information:
“This is definitely on EUR A/S radar!”
• Leaving no doubt that the State Department officials knew they were transmitting classified information, in a Wednesday, January 18, 2017, email with the subject line “Cables/M,” Former Foreign Service Officer Kerem Bilge writes to State Department Congressional advisor Hilary Johnson and others: “Highest class is SECRET/NOFORN.”
“FYI – so we can keep the SECRET/NOFORN header, and should declassify it 25 years from tomorrow.
“I forwarded the fully cleared version to the two of you on the high side [Editor’s Note: “high side” is State Department term for high security classification system], but let me know if there’s anything else you need from me on this.
“Note: we’ll need to make sure there is someone in Senate security tomorrow who can accept these.”
• On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Johnson confirms that classified documents were sent to Senator Corker in addition to Senator Cardin. “Flagging that I sent you a high side request for clearance of the draft transmittal letter to send documents to Senators Corker and Cardin.”
Additionally involved in providing classified information to members of the Senate was Naz Durakoglu, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. In an email dated Thursday, January 19, 2017, with the subject line “Signed, sealed, delivered” Durakoglu apparently confirms that Obama State Department officials were eager to provide the classified material before Trump was sworn into office: “We made the deadline!” Durakoglu states [Emphasis added] “Thank you everyone for what was truly a Department-wide effort!”
President Trump was inaugurated less than 24 hours later.
• In a Wednesday, January 18, 2017 email, Naz Durakoglu signed off on the document transmittal letter on behalf of her bureau. This letter accompanied “the documents to Senator Corker and Cardin”
• In a Thursday, January 19, 2017 email, Durakoglu appears to confirm that she is who carried the documents from the State Department to Capitol Hill. She states, “I will be carrying over the cables to the Hill.”
These documents show remarkable evidence of the non-stop, unethical effort in the Obama State Department to gather and send its own dossier of classified information on Russia in an effort to discredit the incoming Trump administration.
According to a March 2017 report in the Baltimore Sun:
“Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin received classified information about Russia’s involvement in elections when the Obama administration was attempting to disseminate that material widely across the government in order to aid in future investigations, according to a report Wednesday … Obama officials were concerned, according to the report [in The New York Times], that the Trump administration would cover up intelligence once power changed hands.”
We have confirmed through previously obtained State Department documents that the Obama State Department did, in fact, provide classified documents to Senator Cardin. The documents also show Russian political interference in elections and politics in countries across Europe. In a section of the documents provided to Cardin titled “Political Parties” and marked as sensitive, Russia reportedly sought to foster relationships with groups in Germany, Austria, and France, to include paying members to travel to conferences in Crimea and Donbas “where they stoutly defend Russian policy.”
The next section, titled “Pro-Kremlin NGOs and Think Tanks,” also marked as sensitive, discusses the Russian government funded Caucasus Research Network, which helped to spread anti-EU and NATO reports throughout the region. Also discussed is the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative, which was founded by Natalia Veselnitskaya. The Initiative was reportedly “working to erode support for the Magnitsky Act (which imposes sanctions on … gross human rights violations). The organization screened an anti-Magnitsky film at Washington’s Newseum in June.”
The Magnitsky Act attracted public attention earlier this year when it was reported Veselnitskaya obtained a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. with the purpose of seeking to undermine the act. It was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to repeal the act at least in part because it targeted top Russian officials who had committed human rights violations and were the beneficiaries of a $230-million tax fraud that Magnitsky exposed.
The State Department, whose home is in DC’s Foggy Bottom, was certainly part of the Swamp.
Hillary Clinton Claims
Her Email System Was for ‘Convenience’
As you know, a federal judge ordered Hillary Clinton to answer two more of our deposition questions about her secret emails.
She has submitted additional written answers under oath. Clinton testified that she used the controversial email system for the “purpose of convenience.” Clinton initially objected and refused to answer the questions but was ordered to do so last month by U.S. District Court Judge G Emmet Sullivan.
The court ordered Clinton to “[D]escribe the creation of the clintonemail.com domain name and the decision to set the domain up on the existing server, the date it was decided to create the domain and set it up on the existing server, who made those decisions, and when the domain became operational on the existing server.”
Clinton answered under oath:
Subject to and without waiving the forgoing objections, Secretary Clinton answers as follows: As Secretary Clinton prepared in late 2008/early 2009 to serve as Secretary of State, she was aware that President Clinton’s office had set up an e-mail system, but she had no role in this process. Secretary Clinton knew that President Clinton’s staff had recently upgraded that system.
Secretary Clinton does not know what equipment that system used, how it was created, who decided that the system needed to be upgraded, or who else had accounts on the system.
Secretary Clinton believes that one of the President’s aides, Justin Cooper, set up the system. Secretary Clinton decided to use a clintonemail.com account on the system for the purpose of convenience. Secretary Clinton recalls that the clintonemail.com account was created in early 2009. Although Secretary Clinton does not have specific knowledge of the details of the creation of the account, the “domain,” or the “domain name,” her best understanding is that Mr. Cooper set it up.
To another question regarding her October 22, 2015, testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi, during which she testified that 90 to 95 percent of her emails “were in the State’s system” and “if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so,” Clinton suggests she learned this from her attorneys, who seem to have guessed this answer.
In a separate Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that first led to the disclosure of the “private” Clinton email system, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth called the Clinton email issue “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency” and ordered additional discovery into whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to “stymie” FOIA.
Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that she used a separate email system as a matter of ‘convenience’ is simply not credible and is belied by evidence and testimony. We intend to pursue additional questions with Mrs. Clinton and others on this blatant attempt to hide her emails from Judicial Watch, the courts, Congress, and the American people.
In 2016, Clinton was required to submit under oath written answers to our questions. Clinton objected to and refused to answer questions about the creation of her email system; her decision to use the system despite warnings from State Department cybersecurity officials; and the basis for her claim that the State Department had “90-95%” of her emails.
After a lengthy hearing on November 13 this year, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that Clinton must address two questions that she refused to answer under-oath.
Judge Sullivan read his opinion from the bench, deciding that the question about the creation of the email system was within the scope of discovery. Judge Sullivan rejected Clinton’s assertion of attorney-client privilege on the question about the emails “in the State’s system.”
The answers now provided by Clinton are the latest development in our FOIA lawsuit 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 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)). The court also granted us discovery to help determine if and how Clinton’s email system thwarted FOIA.
Media Buries Key Facts to Conceal Migrant Health Threat—TB, Hepatitis, HIV
The media do a lot of heavy lifting for the Left in all of its pursuits, and that includes its mania to open our borders to any and all. Many of those crossing and hoping to cross are not physically well, and could make a lot of us not well. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the latest.
Here’s a great example of the mainstream media distorting information to promote a liberal agenda, an act that is especially pervasive when it comes to immigration coverage.
A story published by NBC news, and reiterated by various other outlets, claims illegal immigrants don’t bring disease into the United States. The headline reads: “Migrants don’t bring disease. In fact, they help fight it, report says.” The article focuses on a study commissioned by a medical journal called The Lancet and University College London. The finished product is titled “Global patterns of mortality in international migrants: a systematic review and meta-analysis”, and one of the researchers, Dr. Paul Spiegel, proclaims that migrants spreading disease is a “false argument” used to keep them out. The editor of the Lancet said: “In too many countries, the issue of migration is used to divide societies and advance a populist agenda.”
Nevertheless, buried deep in the news article the reporter offers this important nugget from the study, only after writing that migrants are less likely than people in their host countries to die of heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and other ills: “The exceptions are hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV.” Last we checked those are deadly diseases, and Judicial Watch has interviewed medical experts that confirm illegal immigrants do indeed pose a serious public health threat to the U.S. by bringing dangerous diseases into the country. This includes tuberculosis, dengue and Chikungunya. Just last month a prominent physician in a key border state warned that the caravan streaming north from Honduras will undoubtedly bring infectious diseases into the U.S. Among them are extremely drug resistant strands of tuberculosis and mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya that are widespread in the region.
The same week Judicial Watch published the story about the caravan health threat a major newspaper reported on the health crisis created by the influx of Venezuelans fleeing to neighboring countries. The migrants are spreading malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue, tuberculosis and AIDS throughout South America. Many of the diseases had been considered eradicated in the neighboring Latin American countries, according to government officials cited in the article, which states that “contagion from Venezuela’s economic meltdown is starting to spread to neighboring countries—not financially, but literally, in the form of potentially deadly diseases carried among millions of refugees.” As an example, the story reveals that “measles reappeared with a vengeance” in a Brazilian city near the Venezuelan border that had declared the highly contagious airborne disease “vanquished” nearly two decades ago. “Measles is already spreading beyond the Brazilian Amazon to other Brazilian states, as well as Colombia, Peru and as far south as Argentina, according to recent Pan American Health Organization reports,” the article states. “Other diseases racing through communities in Venezuela are now crossing borders and raising concerns among health authorities as far away as the U.S.”
Years ago, when Barack Obama let tens of thousands of illegal immigrant minors into the country, health experts warned about the serious hazards to the American public. Most of the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) came from Central America, like the current caravan, and they crossed into the U.S. through Mexico, in the same way that the caravan expects to. Swine flu, dengue fever and Ebola were among the diseases that the hordes of UACs brought with them, according to lawmakers and medical experts interviewed by Judicial Watch during the influx. At the time, a U.S. Congressman, who is also a medical doctor, told Judicial Watch about the danger to the American public as well as the Border Patrol agents forced to care for the UACs. The former lawmaker, Phil Gingrey, referred to it as a “severe and dangerous” crisis because the Central American youths were importing infectious diseases considered to be largely eradicated in this country. Many migrants lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles, leaving America’s young children and the elderly particularly susceptible, Gingrey pointed out then. To handle the escalating health crisis the CDC activated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that largely operated in secrecy.
Even the recent study twisted by the mainstream media acknowledges that illegal immigrants are likely to carry hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV. Selectively burying the information doesn’t change the severity of the matter. Though not a mainstream media outlet, a popular leftist news and opinion site went so far as to label those who claim migrants pose a threat to public health racist.
The headlong rush to “fundamentally transform” this country has consequences, and they aren’t all pleasant.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton