by Tom Fitton –
You might think that everyone wants integrity in elections. That, as you know, is naïve, as events in Ohio and other states demonstrate. We were encouraged this week, however, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and agreed to hear a case related to Ohio’s efforts to maintain accurate voting rolls.
The citizens of Ohio may yet see their right to clean and fair elections upheld. Clearly, dirty election rolls can mean dirty elections. We hope that the Supreme Court will reverse the Sixth Circuit decision and allow Ohio to more easily remove ineligible names from its voter registration lists.
Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Ohio’s efforts to ensure that its voter rolls are up to date. The case was on appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which held Ohio’s process is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) (Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State v. Philip Randolph Institute, et al. (No. 16-980)).
Our amicus brief argues that the Sixth Circuit ruling would adversely affect its settlement agreement with Ohio were it allowed to stand:
In January of 2014 the parties settled the lawsuit, agreeing to terms for Ohio to perform certain NVRA Section 8 list maintenance practices through November 2018. A key provision of this Settlement Agreement was Ohio’s agreement to perform an annual list maintenance “Supplemental Mailing” to voters who had no contact with Ohio’s election offices in two years.
The Settlement Agreement required Ohio to send the Supplemental Mailing every year, whereas Ohio had previously been sending the mailing every two years. The Supplemental Mailing portion of the Settlement Agreement was so important to the parties that they subsequently negotiated an amendment solely to give Ohio greater flexibility over which month of the year to initiate the Supplemental Mailing.
Judicial Watch never would have agreed to the Settlement Agreement with Ohio and dismissed its lawsuit if it believed that the Supplemental Mailing was legally impermissible. If the Sixth Circuit’s ruling in this case is allowed to stand, this key provision of Judicial Watch’s Settlement Agreement could be voided.
Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper, the director of our Election Integrity Project, joined with five other former attorneys of the Civil Rights Division Attorneys of the Justice Department to file an amici curiae brief in the Husted case.
That the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Ohio election integrity dispute is a great sign, because it shows that the Supreme Court has noticed and cares about the issue and also because it means there is a fair chance now for the Sixth Circuit’s flawed ruling to be reversed on appeal. You can bet Judicial Watch will continue to brief the High Court on the importance of election integrity laws as this appeal proceeds.
President Obama “weaponized” the agencies of our government to advance his leftist agenda both at home and abroad. Little reporting was done regarding his funneling of tax dollars to an organization run by George Soros that sought to impose left-leaning policies on other nations. We’re in the lead in shedding some light on that misdeed.
We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records relating to their funding of the political activities of the Soros Open Society Foundation – Albania (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-01012)).
We sued last week here in DC after both State and USAID failed to respond to our requests for:
• All records relating to any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department (USAID) to the Foundation Open Society-Albania (FOSA) and/or its personnel and/or any FOSA subsidiaries. Such records shall include, but is not be limited to proposals, contracts, requests for funding, payment authorizations, invoices, and similar budget records, as well as any and all related records of communication between State Department officials, employees, or representatives and officials, employees, or representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
• All records of communication between any officials, employees or representatives of the State Department (USAID), including but not limited to U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu, and any officials, employees or representatives of Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or affiliated organizations.
• All assessments, evaluations, reports or similar records relating to the work of Foundation Open Society-Albania and/or its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations.
• All records of communications transmitted via the State Department’s SMART system sent to or from any employee of the U.S. Government operating under the authority of the Chief of Mission in Tirana that pertain to Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or affiliated organizations.
In a March 14, 2017, letter to 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.
In the letter, the senators reference USAID funding of Soros activities in Macedonia and then cite similar activities in Albania:
Much of the concerning activity in Macedonia has been perpetuated through USAID funds awarded to implement in entities such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. As the recipient of multiple grant awards and serving as a USAID contractor implementing projects in this small nation of 2.1 million people, our taxpayer funded foreign aid goes far, allowing Foundation Open Society-Macedonia (FOSM) to push a progressive agenda and invigorate the political left…
This problem is not limited to Macedonia, but appears to follow a pattern of alarming activity in this volatile region. Respected leaders from Albania have made similar claims of US diplomats and Soros-backed organizations pushing for certain political outcomes in their country. Foundation Open Society-Albania (FOSA) and its experts, with funding from USAID, have created the controversial Strategy Document for Albanian Judicial Reform. Some leaders believe that these “reforms” are ultimately aimed to give the Prime Minister and left-of-center government full control over judiciary power.
Soros’ association with the State Department in Albania goes back at least to 2011 when Soros urged Hillary Clinton to take action in Albania over recent demonstrations in the capital of Tirana. Fox News reported on August 17, 2016, that:
Newly leaked emails and other files from billionaire George Soros’ web of organizations are shedding light on the liberal powerbroker’s extensive influence in political and diplomatic affairs.
One email chain shows the Wall Street titan in 2011 personally wrote then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging intervention in Albania’s political unrest. Within days, an envoy he recommended was dispatched to the region.
In May 2016, USAID announced that it was providing
$9 million for the “Justice for All” project in Albania “to improve the performance of Albanian courts by introducing comprehensive judicial standards for efficiency, transparency, accessibility, and accountability.” According to the announcement, the project “will be implemented by USAID Contractor East-West Management Institute” (EWMI). According to EWMI’s 2011 financial report, it has received funding from the Soros Economic Development Fund: “loans … of up to $1,000,000.”
This is our second FOIA lawsuit to uncover the truth about the scandal of the Obama administration’s siphoning of tax dollars to the Soros operations in Europe. We expect the Trump administration to finally let the sunlight in on this gross politicization of our tax dollars.
On April 19, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records and communications relating to the funding and political activities of the Foundation Open Society-Macedonia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-00729)).
In February, we reported:
The U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Here’s how the clandestine operation functions, according to high-level sources in Macedonia and the U.S. that have provided Judicial Watch with records as part of an ongoing investigation.
The Open Society Foundation has established and funded dozens of leftwing, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Macedonia to overthrow the conservative government. One Macedonian government official interviewed by Judicial Watch in Washington D.C. recently, calls it the “Soros infantry.” The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros’ groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian. The book is a tactical manual of subversion, provides direct advice for radical street protests and proclaims Lucifer to be the first radical.
Thanks to Obama’s ambassador, who has not been replaced by President Trump, Uncle Sam keeps the money flowing so the groups can continue operating and recruiting, sources in Macedonia and the U.S. confirm.
I’ll be sure to report to you as appropriate if and when we finally get documents on this scandal (I worry the money is still flowing—even under the Trump administration).
Judicial Watch Uncovers Shocking New Clinton Emails
Let’s remember that amid the miasma of charges and accusations hovering over Washington the real scandal of the Clinton email scheme is being exposed – without fanfare in the press – as bureaucrats reluctantly relinquish the evidence to the only game in town when it comes to fighting and exposing government corruption – Judicial Watch!
This week JW released 2,078 pages of documents revealing yet more instances of the former secretary of state sending and receiving classified information via an unsecured email server. They also show Clinton’s daughter Chelsea and others involved with the Clinton Foundation receiving special favors from Huma Abedin, the former secretary’s deputy chief of staff.
The records were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, lawsuit filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) after it failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”
The new documents include 115 Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 432 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.
On December 6, 2010, Secretary Clinton shared classified information with non-U.S. government employees Justin Cooper, then-aide to President Clinton who helped manage Hillary Clinton’s unsecure email system, and Clinton Foundation director Doug Band (neither of whom held security clearances). The email instructs her aide Oscar Flores to “print for Bill” (presumably Bill Clinton). The email exchange, which involved allegations of the theft of foreign aid by Bangladeshi banker and major Clinton Foundation donor Muhammad Yunus, started with an email from an unidentified person to State Department official Melanne Verveer, who forwarded her exchange on to Hillary Clinton, who then sent it on to Flores, Cooper and Band.
Yunus was accused of embezzling $100 million from the Grameen Bank he founded and was removed from it, although the charges were never proven, and Yunus reportedly returned the money. Subsequently, Clinton’s State Department was accused of threatening IRS action against the Bangladesh prime minister’s son in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of Yunus.
In a similar instance on March 14, 2011, State Department official Maria Otero emailed Clinton information about the Grameen Bank/Foundation that was again deemed classified as Confidential by the State Department and redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D) – “Information specifically authorized by an executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy … Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Clinton then responds to Otero using her HDR22@clintonemailcom account and copies Abedin on Abedin’s unsecure email account, email@example.com.
In a May 21, 2011, email exchange sent to Abedin’s unsecure account, then- Ambassador Princeton Lyman sent information relating to his conversation with South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit that is also redacted and classified as “Confidential.”
On July 17, 2012, Abedin forwarded to her private email account for printing a call briefing sheet for Clinton’s upcoming call with Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, which was classified Confidential and redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D).
The new Abedin emails also reveal additional instances in which Clinton’s then- scheduler Lona Valmoro forwarded the former secretary of state’s detailed daily schedule to top Clinton Foundation officials.
The new emails also reveal a number of favors that were requested and carried out.
In May 2010, Ben Ringel, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation Judicial Watch previously documented, asked Abedin to intervene in an employment dispute on behalf of a USAID employee. Abedin agreed, telling Ringel to forward the woman’s documents to her official State Department email account.
Also in May 2010, Abedin tells Band that she has “hooked up” people from the Russian American Foundation with “the right people” at the State Department after Abedin received a request from Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner, forwarded by Clinton Foundation donor Eddie Trump (no relation to President Trump).
On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM, Huma Abedin <Huma@clintonemail.com> wrote:
Hi Rina – wanted to connect on meeting at state department. Eddie trump passed on your email. Will be in touch soon
From: Rina Kirshner
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:29 AM
To: Huma Abedin
Subject: Re: Eddie Trump/Doug Band
Just wanted to follow up and express our gratitude. I was contacted today by Ms. Christina Miner who invited us to be part of the US-Russia Cultural Sub-Working Group meeting next week. Thank you very much for all your assistance – if there is any way we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
From: Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:19:12
To: Doug Band
Subject: FW: Eddie Trump/Doug Band
fyi – we hooked her up with the right people here
The Russia-American Foundation, which was staffed by Clinton political supporters and operatives, received over $260,000 in grants for “public diplomacy” from the Clinton State Department, and its leadership was supportive of Obama’s Russia policies.
In July 2011, when Chelsea Clinton, using the alias Diane Reynolds and the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, was planning to fly to Germany to see the U.S. women’s soccer team play, her travel agent asked Abedin to confirm that Chelsea’s travel costs could be placed on her parents’ credit card. In response, Abedin tells the agent that she can “stand down” from making arrangements to get Chelsea to Germany, as Chelsea and Bari Luri, Chelsea’s Clinton Foundation chief of staff, would be made part of the “official delegation” going to the match and she would “fly on official govt plane both ways and they will take care of hotels and all transportation.” Chelsea was a fully employed Clinton Foundation executive at this time.
In July 2011, Hillary Clinton tells Abedin that she doesn’t wish to fly on the same airplane with Michelle Obama on their way to Betty Ford’s funeral: “I’d be honored to speak. Is it ok that we and Mrs. O take two separate planes?”
A December 15, 2012, email chain shows that a committee of Clinton staffers, including Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines, was required to draft a “doctors statement” as to why Hillary supposedly fainted due to “dehydration,” causing her supposedly to hit her head and suffer a “concussion” in December 2012. The same committee then prepared a “discharge statement” when Hillary was released from the hospital.
These shocking new Clinton emails show why the Justice Department should reevaluate, reopen, or reinvigorate Clinton, Inc. investigations. The casual violation of laws concerning classified material and noxious influence peddling show the Clinton State Department was “corruption central” in the Obama administration. No wonder Clinton’s allies in the State and Justice Departments have been slow-walking and hiding these emails.
There are more emails to come, so check back with us often over the next few weeks and months.
Tom Fitton – President