Judicial Watch Is On The Case

The following Press Release was issued by Judicial Watch yesterday:

Sues for Records on Links Between FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that it today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of Jeffrey A. Danik, a retired FBI supervisory special agent, against the U.S. Department of Justice for records concerning FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (Jeffrey A. Danik v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01792)). Danik worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for almost 30 years.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia in support of Danik’s October 25, 2016, and February 28, 2017, FOIA requests for records about McCabe’s “conflicts of interest” regarding his wife’s (Dr. Jill McCabe’s) political campaign, and McCabe’s reporting to the FBI of any job interviews or offers.  Specifically, the two FOIA requests seek:

Text messages and emails of McCabe containing “Dr. Jill McCabe,” “Jill,” “Common Good VA,” “Terry McAuliffe,” “Clinton,” “Virginia Democratic Party,” “Democrat,” “Conflict,” “Senate,” “Virginia Senate,” “Until I return,” “Paris,” “France,” “Campaign,” “Run,” “Political,” “Wife,” “Donation,” “OGC,” Email,” or “New York Times.”  

In 2015, a political action committee run by McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe, wife of McCabe, 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.

“I am saddened by how the FBI’s reputation has been tarnished by the poor judgement and ethics of its leadership,” stated Mr. Danik. “I know I’m not the only retired (or serving) FBI special agent who is concerned about Mr. McCabe’s conflicts of interest on the Clinton email matter.  The agency seems to be illegally hiding records about this scandal, which is why I’m heading to court with Judicial Watch.”

“We’re honored to help Mr. Danik hold accountable the FBI—the agency he served for decades,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We believe Mr. McCabe’s text messages and emails will be particularly enlightening to the public seeking answers about the Clinton email debacle.”

In July 2017, Judicial Watch 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.

There are obviously some honest FBI agents who are concerned with the reputation of the Agency. Hopefully, the corruption in the FBI will be exposed and dealt with.

Is The Justice Department Honest?


Evidently under President Obama, the Justice Department was more interested in political issues than honesty. According to an article posted yesterday by John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has finally finally gotten a response from the Justice Department to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding documents related to the meeting in Phoenix between former President Clinton and Loretta Lynch.

The ACLJ website reports:

We have just obtained hundreds of pages in our ongoing investigation and federal lawsuit on former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton while the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI had an ongoing criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. The results are shocking.

First, the Comey FBI lied to us. Last July, we sent FOIA requests to both the Comey FBI and the Lynch DOJ asking for any documents related to the Clinton Lynch plane meeting. The FBI, under the then directorship of James Comey, replied that “No records responsive to your request were located.”

The documents we received today from the Department of Justice include several emails from the FBI to DOJ officials concerning the meeting.  One with the subject line “FLAG” was correspondence between FBI officials (Richard Quinn, FBI Media/Investigative Publicity, and Michael Kortan) and DOJ officials concerning “flag[ing] a story . . . about a casual, unscheduled meeting between former president Bill Clinton and the AG.” The DOJ official instructs the FBI to “let me know if you get any questions about this” and provides “[o]ur talkers [DOJ talking points] on this”. The talking points, however are redacted.

Another email to the FBI contains the subject line “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?”

On July 1, 2016 – just days before our FOIA request – a DOJ email chain under the subject line, “FBI just called,” indicates that the “FBI . . . is looking for guidance” in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking pictures of the Clinton Lynch meeting. The discussion then went off email to several phone calls (of which we are not able to obtain records). An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey. The information that was to be provided to Rybicki is redacted.

Also of note several of the documents contain redactions that are requested “per FBI.”

It is time to ask Robert Mueller to investigate the actions of his friend James Comey when James Comey was the FBI Director. Please follow the link above to read the entire post at the ACLJ, it is disturbing that the media and the government worked together to squelch information that might have had a negative impact on the Hillary Clinton campaign for president.

 

Laws Were Broken, Consequences Were Non-Existent

Yesterday The Hill posted an article about violations of the civil liberties of Americans under the Obama Administration. I will try to highlight the article here, but I strongly suggest following the link above to read the full article. It is chilling in the fact that it illustrates how people in high office can use their position to violate the rights of other Americans. It is a very unusual day when I am in agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union, but they are right in this case.

The article reports:

The National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation violated specific civil liberty protections during the Obama years by improperly searching and disseminating raw intelligence on Americans or failing to promptly delete unauthorized intercepts, according to newly declassified memos that provide some of the richest detail to date on the spy agencies’ ability to obey their own rules.

The memos reviewed by The Hill were publicly released on July 11 through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The article reminds us:

“Americans should be alarmed that the NSA is vacuuming up their emails and phone calls without a warrant,” said Patrick Toomey, an ACLU staff attorney in New York who helped pursue the FOIA litigation. “The NSA claims it has rules to protect our privacy, but it turns out those rules are weak, full of loopholes, and violated again and again.”

Section 702 empowers the NSA to spy on foreign powers and to retain and use certain intercepted data that was incidentally collected on Americans under strict privacy protections. Wrongly collected information is supposed to be immediately destroyed.

The Hill reviewed the new ACLU documents as well as compliance memos released by the NSA inspector general and identified more than 90 incidents where violations specifically cited an impact on Americans. Many incidents involved multiple persons, multiple violations or extended periods of time.

The NSA’s chief spokesman, Michael T. Halbig, stated, “Quite simply, a compliance program that never finds an incident is not a robust compliance program.” The NSA has also stated that the violations amount to a small percentage when compared to the hundreds of thousands of specific phone numbers and email addresses the agencies intercepted through the so-called Section 702 warrantless spying program created by Congress in late 2008. In my opinion that doesn’t help the NSA’s case–a violation is still a violation.

The article further states:

CIA and FBI received unminimized data from many Section 702-tasked facilities and at times are thus required to conduct similar purges,” one report noted.

“NSA issued a report which included the name of a United States person whose identity was not foreign intelligence,” said one typical incident report from 2015, which said the NSA eventually discovered the error and “recalled” the information.

Likewise, the FBI disclosed three instances between December 2013 and February 2014 of “improper disseminations of U.S. persons identities.”

Some of our government officials need to be held accountable for this violation of the civil rights of Americans. The people in leadership in the NSA and the FBI during the time of these violations need to be removed from office if they are still there. Jail time would be appropriate. I would like to remind everyone that spying on American citizens is not an authorized government activity. Whether it was for political reasons or other purposes, there need to be consequences.

I Think The Special Prosecutor Is Following The Wrong Trail

The following is a press release from Judicial Watch today:

Judicial Watch: Obama NSC Advisor Susan Rice’s Unmasking Material is at Obama Library

 Records Sought by Judicial Watch May Remain Closed to the Public for Five Years

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library.

The NSC will not fulfill an April 4 Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.”

The agency also informed Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials. Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch:

Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library.  You may send your request to the Obama Library.  However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.

Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) April 4 request sought:

1.) Any and all requests for information, analyses, summaries, assessments, transcripts, or similar records submitted to any Intelligence Community member agency or any official, employee, or representative thereof by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice regarding, concerning, or related to the following:

  • Any actual or suspected effort by the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government to influence or otherwise interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
  • The alleged hacking of computer systems utilized by the Democratic National Committee and/or the Clinton presidential campaign.
  • Any actual or suspected communication between any member of the Trump presidential campaign or transition team and any official or employee of the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government.
  • The identities of U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.

2.) Any and all records or responses received by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council in response to any request described in part 1 of this request.

3.) Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of any Intelligence Community member agency and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council regarding, concerning, or related to any request described in Part 1 of this request.

The time frame for this request was January 1, 2016, to the April 4, 2017.

While acknowledging  in its FOIA request that “we are cognizant of the finding by the Court of Appeals … that [the NSC] “does not exercise sufficiently independent authority to be an ‘agency’ for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act,” Judicial Watch argued:

The records sought in this request pertain to actions by the former National Security Advisor that demonstrate a much higher degree of independent authority than was contemplated by the court; specifically, the issuance of directives to the Intelligence Community related to the handling of classified national security information…

The recent revelations of the role of Susan Rice in the unmasking the names of U.S. citizens identified in the course of intelligence collection activities and the potential that her actions contributed to the unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information are matters of great public interest.

Judicial Watch has filed six FOIA lawsuits related to the surveillance, unmasking, and illegal leaking targeting President Trump and his associates (see hereherehereherehere and here).

“Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

 

Remember The IRS Scandal? It Just Got Worse

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the IRS Scandal of targeting tea party groups and their members.

The article reports:

The Internal Revenue Service has located 6,924 documents potentially related to the targeting of Tea Party conservatives, two years after the group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for them.

The watchdog group intended to find records regarding how the IRS selected individuals and organizations for audits that were requesting nonprofit tax status.

The agency will not say when it will make the documents available to the public.

“At this time, the Service is unable to provide an estimate regarding when it will complete its review of the potentially responsive documents,” the agency said. “The Service will begin producing any non-exempt, responsive documents by March 10, 2017, and, if necessary, continue to produce non-responsive records on a bi-weekly basis.”

The IRS needs to be cleaned up from top to bottom. I am sure there are good people doing their job at the IRS, but it has become obvious that the agency has become politicized in recent years. The best solution would be to abolish the IRS and go to a use tax that did not require monitoring by the IRS.

There Are Always Unintended Consequences

There are always unintended consequences. Sometimes those consequences continue for a generation. Recent events illustrate that.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). President Lyndon Johnson signed the act on July 4, 1966. President Johnson referred to FOIA as “the damned thing” when he signed it.

The article reports:

Bill Moyers, LBJ’s press secretary at the time, recalled in a 2003 broadcast how FOIA nearly didn’t become law: The president “hated the very idea of a Freedom of Information Act, hated the idea of journalists rummaging in government closets, hated them challenging the official view of reality.”

I am sure Hillary Clinton would have agreed with him.

The article reports:

Mrs. Clinton stonewalled FOIA requests for years with her keep-no-records, produce-no-records strategy. In a deposition last month in a civil lawsuit challenging her personal email server, the State Department said its staffers in charge of records didn’t realize until 2014 that its former boss had used private email.

Appropriately enough, Mrs. Clinton’s explanation that she used a private email server to keep her records secret only became public in a lawsuit challenging the State Department’s insistence that it couldn’t respond to FOIA requests because it couldn’t locate her emails on its .gov server.

The State Department’s inspector general in May ruled that Mrs. Clinton broke record-keeping laws such as those requiring compliance with FOIA requests, never got permission for her home server and ignored numerous security warnings.

…the judges (federal appeals court judges in Washington, DC) said evading government servers is no defense against a FOIA request:

“If a department head can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to by the simple expedient of maintaining his departmental emails on an account in another domain, that purpose is hardly served,” the judges wrote. “It would make as much sense to say that the department head could deprive requestors of hard-copy documents by leaving them in a file at his daughter’s house and then claiming that they are under her control.”

The article also reminds us that there are indications that Russian agents hacked the servers of the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee. That means that Vladimir Putin has all sorts of information he can either release in October or hold over Mrs. Clinton’s head if she becomes President. Her desire to hide information from the public has potentially damaged American national security.

A representative republic (which America is) relies on informed voters to maintain freedom. When people work against informing the voters, it hurts us all. The fact that Washington, DC, has become a city where wealthy elite politicians govern for their own good may explain why Donald Trump has done so well in this campaign cycle. Because Donald Trump may well go into Washington and clean house, he is opposed by the Washington elites. This opposition will become more obvious at the Republican National Convention and in the press coverage he receives between now and the November election. It is up to Americans to decide whether they want more Washington secrecy and elitist government or whether they want someone to clean house.

Demanding Transparency And Accountability

Yesterday Congressman Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, released the following Press Release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) has signed onto a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Interior, asking for all correspondence relating to federal lands that were considered, analyzed, or designated as national monuments since January 20, 2009, when President Obama began his first term as president. In the past six years, special interest groups have been pushing the Obama administration to use the Antiquities Act to lock up large tracts of federal land – both onshore and offshore – by designating these areas “national monuments.”

Led by Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, the FOIA request comes in response to increasing speculation that President Obama may follow the example of his predecessor George W. Bush and unilaterally designate large swaths of America as “national monuments.” In September, Congressman Jones became a cosponsor on H.R. 330, the Marine Access and State Transparency (MAST) Act. The bill would prevent President Obama, or any future president, from unilaterally designating offshore areas as “national monuments” and restricting the public’s ability to fish there. Instead, the bill would require a president to get the approval of Congress and the legislature of each state within 100 nautical miles of the monument before any “monument” designation could take effect.

“Presidents from both parties have abused their monument designation authority for far too long,” said Congressman Jones.  “No president should be allowed to just lock up millions of acres of fishing grounds by fiat, with no public input whatsoever.  Frankly, it’s un-American, and it must be stopped.  The public deserves to know about any back room conversations between special interest groups and the Obama administration regarding shutting down large parts of our coast to fishing.”

Thank you, Congressman Jones.

The Lies Begin To Add Up

Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill, have never had a strong reputation for honesty, but sometimes it is a good idea to remind ourselves why they have such a miserable rating in that area. Last week The Hill posted an article by A. B. Stoddard about Hillary Clinton’s rather distant relationship with the concept of truth.

The article notes:

In the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, even though Clinton beats most GOP candidates, Sanders performs better against them, and she loses independents in every match-up. Her numbers on honesty and trustworthiness, according to Qiunnipiac, are 36 percent to 60 percent — worse than for any candidate in either party.

It is a sad reflection of the values of American voters that a candidate who has such a low rating on honesty and trustworthiness is leading the fight for the presidential nomination of the Democratic party.

The article goes on to list some of Hillary Clinton’s more recent lies:

Clinton said she was transparent, yet her emails were under congressional subpoena for years while she kept her private server a secret. 

Clinton said she used one device at State for convenience, but she in fact used several. 

She said her email server was destroyed, but it was not. 

She said she handed over all work emails to the State Department, but then congressional investigators turned up others. 

She said she responded to a routine records request from the State Department and turned over her emails when several other secretaries of State did, but State officials were asking for her emails in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and congressional investigations months before that.

Clinton said the State Department affirmed that 90 percent of her work email was captured on the State.gov accounts of other employees — a statistic department officials conceded, after she repeated it under oath in her Benghazi Committee testimony, they know nothing about. 

Clinton claimed in March “there is no classified material,” yet indeed there was. 

Clinton has repeated numerous times that the arrangement was “allowed,” though no one in the administration has ever said they approved her server. So Democrats — like Republicans — assume she is making a misleading statement about her own unorthodox decision to do something no Cabinet secretary had ever before done.

When asked on NBC’s “Meet The Press” whether she deleted any emails to hide information from future investigations, Clinton said the idea “never crossed my mind.”

America is a representative republic. We elect our leaders. We get the leaders we deserve. If that is the degree of honesty that we expect from our President, we are in serious trouble.

 

Closer To The Truth

The Daily Caller posted an article today about the ongoing quest for Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The article reports:

A federal judge has ordered Hillary Clinton and two of her top aides at the State Department, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to attest, under penalty of perjury, that they have turned over all official government records in their possession.

…In his ruling, Sullivan (U.S. District Court judge Emmett Sullivan) ordered the Staet Department to “identify any and all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices currently in the possession or control of the State Department or otherwise that may contain responsive information.”

The State Department must also request that Clinton, Abedin and Mills “confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive information that was or is in their possession as a result of their employment at the State Department.”

“If all such information has not yet been produced, the Government shall request the above named individuals produce the information forthwith,” Sullivan ruled.

The State Department must also require the trio “describe, under penalty of perjury, the extent to which Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used Mrs. Clinton’s email server to conduct official government business.”

The use of a private email server was illegal. It also posed a security risk because the private server did not have the anti-hacking software that would have been on the government server. It would probably be easier to ask the Chinese to give us everything that was on Mrs. Clinton’s server. Chances are that they have it.

Controlling The Message

Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal posted an article on Thursday about the IRS and the 2014 election.

The article reports:

President Obama and Democrats have been at great pains to insist they knew nothing about IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofits before the 2012 election. They’ve been at even greater pains this week to ensure that the same conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms.

That’s the big, dirty secret of the omnibus negotiations. As one of the only bills destined to pass this year, the omnibus was—behind the scenes—a flurry of horse trading. One of the biggest fights was over GOP efforts to include language to stop the IRS from instituting a new round of 501(c)(4) targeting. The White House is so counting on the tax agency to muzzle its political opponents that it willingly sacrificed any manner of its own priorities to keep the muzzle in place.

The article explains that a new rule introduced by the Treasury Department and the IRS during Thanksgiving will recategorize as “political” many of the educational activities that 501(c)(4) social-welfare organizations currently engage in.

The article further reports:

And an IRS rule that purports to—as Mr. Werfel explained—”improve our work in the tax-exempt area” completely ignores the biggest of political players in the tax-exempt area: unions. The guidance is directed only at 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups—the tax category that has of late been flooded by conservative groups. Mr. Obama’s union foot soldiers—which file under 501(c)(5)—can continue playing in politics.

Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents targeted tea party groups, has filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting documents or correspondence with the White House or outside groups in the formulation of this rule.

The article reports the response:

Treasury sent a letter to Ms. Mitchell this week saying it wouldn’t have her documents until April—after the rule’s comment period closes. It added that if she didn’t like it, she can “file suit.” The IRS has yet to respond.

The abuse of the IRS is continuing. Unless someone in Congress stands up against it or Ms. Mitchell is successful in her quest for information or her lawsuit, the 2014 election is in danger. If the Tea Party and similar groups are silenced, there will be no one to stand for the Constitution during the 2014 campaign.

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