Further Shenanigans In Arizona

Red State Observer recently reported that Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, is investigating illegal aliens voting in Arizona.

The President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton said Over 1,400 voters attempted to register with their alien number.

“Of the 143,542 new voter registrations in Maricopa County, AZ between Jan 1-Sep 25, 2018, 1,470 registrants provided Alien Registration Numbers, meaning they were aliens not eligible to vote: @JudicialWatch investigation,” Fitton tweeted.

Non-citizens should not be voting in our elections. That represents foreign interference in our elections. It needs to be stopped.

Ignoring Government Transparency Rules

The following is a Judicial Watch Press Release dated November 1:

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed 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.

After the FBI claimed that text messages are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Judicial Watch 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 its lawsuit Judicial Watch points 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)).

Judicial Watch 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.”

Judicial Watch 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.

Judicial Watch also filed suit against the Justice Department after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 27, 2018, FOIA request seeking 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, 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.

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 Judicial Watch 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.

“This 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,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And of course, this cover-up conveniently impacts the production of text messages to Judicial Watch and Congress of disgraced FBI officials Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and James Comey.”

It is time to uncover the corruption in the FBI during the Obama administration. The FBI should be subject to FOIA requests.

Who’s In The Caravan?

On October 25th, Judicial Watch posted an article about the caravan heading for the southern border of America. The title of the article is, “Guatemalan Authorities Rescue Group of Minors from Human Smugglers in Caravan.”

The article reports:

Judicial Watch has obtained exclusive information and photos from Guatemalan authorities revealing that they have recovered seven unaccompanied minors from human smugglers working inside the caravan. The children have been taken into custody and they are being provided with food, water and medical attention, according to a high-level Guatemalan government official. The smugglers have been arrested and the broader investigation into criminal activity in the caravan is ongoing.

A Judicial Watch team, headed by Director of Investigations Chris Farrell, spent several days on the Guatemala-Honduras border covering the illegal alien caravan, which originated in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. The team filed a number of exclusive reports and videos and met with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and other top government officials.

“Judicial Watch has been at the forefront of this top news story, reporting exclusive information from inside that no other news organization is reporting,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Chris Farrell and Irene Garcia put themselves in harm’s way to get this material, and Judicial Watch supporters nationwide are highly grateful for their sacrifices.”

In articles posted October 26th, Judicial Watch reported:

The migrant caravan marching northbound through Central America is an “elaborately planned” movement that’s benefiting human smugglers and bringing disturbing numbers of violent gang members and other criminal elements through Guatemala, according to government sources in the capital city.

“MS-13 gang members have been detained and coyotes (human smugglers) are joining the march with clients who pay to get smuggled into the United States,” a Guatemalan official told Judicial Watch. People from Asian countries waiting to get smuggled into the U.S. through Central America are also integrating with poor Hondurans in the caravan, a high-level Guatemalan government source confirmed. Among them are nationals of Bangladesh, a south Asian Islamic country that’s well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). “There are lots of dirty businesses associated with this,” Guatemalan authorities told Judicial Watch. “There’s lots of human trafficking.”

Sandwiched between Honduras and Mexico, Guatemala has been overrun with the onslaught of migrants that began their journey last week in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. At last count around 7,000 have participated in the trek, a great deal of them rowdy, angry men ages 17 to 40. President Jimmy Morales has ordered the military and police to detain all of the migrants and facilitate their safe return back to Honduras, though thousands have already reached the Mexican border. In a morning interview with Judicial Watch at the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense, Secretary of Defense General Luis Miguel Ralda Moreno said more than 2,000 Hondurans have been sent back home on buses. “We’re doing everything possible to stop the caravan while still respecting human rights,” General Moreno said.

During an afternoon interview at the National Palace, President Morales said that Guatemala has absorbed the huge cost of mobilizing police and military to return thousands of people to Honduras. He would like the United States to help him find the organizers of the caravan so they can face legal consequences. “Mass immigration like this endangers lives,” Morales said. “This is unprecedented. We are in the process of investigating who is behind the caravan.” Morales assures that Guatemala is doing everything possible to curb illegal immigration and asked for cooperation from the United States.

It has been a delicate and complicated task, Guatemalan officials say, because the caravan is a very organized movement that has been well orchestrated. There are rest points along the route with food, water and shelter for the migrants as well as medical care in some areas. “It’s very strategic and extremely organized,” a Guatemalan government source told Judicial Watch. “It is very complex, not a simple march. There is nothing spontaneous about it.” During a visit to the Guatemalan-Honduran border this week Judicial Watch interviewed multiple migrants who repeated the same rehearsed line when asked who organized the caravan, insisting it was a spontaneous event even though there were clearly organizers shouting instructions in Spanish and putting select persons in front of cameras for interviews. All of them said the caravan was not about politics but rather poverty.

Guatemalan officials disagree, estimating that the caravan is a movement of radicalized forces to destabilize Central American countries. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, a conservative, echoes that assessment. In a local newspaper report published last week Hernández asserted that leftist interests seeking to destabilize the country are manipulating migrants. Women and children are being used without regard to the risks to their lives, Hernández said. “The irregular mobilization was organized for political reasons to negatively affect the governance and image of Honduras and to destabilize the peace of neighboring countries,” the president said, adding that many have returned to the country after realizing they’ve been fooled.

We need to use whatever force is necessary to keep the people in the caravan from illegally entering America. If they are economic migrants, they need to come here legally through our immigration system. What we see happening is an illustration of the fact that Congress is unwilling to deal with this issue. Congress is responsible for making laws in the United States. They have not put in place sane immigration laws because the Democrats believe that the illegals will eventually become legalized and be a Democrat voting bloc and the Republican big money wants cheap labor. Meanwhile ordinary Americans are caught in the middle.

Isis In Central America

Judicial Watch posted the following on its website yesterday:

In a startling revelation, Guatemala’s president announced in the country’s largest newspaper that nearly 100 ISIS terrorists have been apprehended in the impoverished Central American nation. Why should Americans care about this? A caravan of Central American migrants is making its way north. Let’s not forget that Guatemala is one of the countries that bombarded the U.S. with illegal immigrant minors under Barack Obama’s open border free-for-all. They came in droves from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala through the Mexican border and for years Uncle Sam rolled out the welcome mat offering housing, food, medical treatment and a free education

A terrorist could have easily slipped in considering the minors, coined Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), were not properly vetted and some turned out to be violent gangbangers who went on to commit heinous crimes in their adopted land of opportunity. In fact, the nation’s most violent street gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), was energized by the barrage of UACs. The Texas Department of Public Safety even issued a report documenting how the MS-13 emerged as a top tier gang in the state thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that came with the UACs. At the time more than 60,000 UACs—many with criminal histories—had stormed into the U.S. in a matter of months. Tens of thousands more eventually made it north.

Guatemala has long been known as a major smuggling corridor for foreigners from African and Asian countries making their way into the U.S. Last year Guatemala’s largest paper, Prensa Libra, published an in-depth piece on the inner workings of an international human smuggling network that moves migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh to the U.S. Individuals are sent to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates then flown to Brazil before heading to Colombia. Once in South America, the migrants are transported to Panama before moving on to Costa Rica then a central point on Guatemala. One Spanish news report refers to Guatemala as a human smuggling paradise because it’s so easy to get fake passports. A few years ago, the head of Guatemala’s passport division got arrested for selling fake passports to a group of Colombians, according to a government announcement.

All this makes ISIS terrorists operating in Guatemala incredibly alarming. President Jimmy Morales confirmed it during a recent security conference attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as the presidents of Honduras and El Salvador and other Latin American dignitaries. Morales said that his administration has captured “close to 100 persons completely involved with terrorists, with ISIS and we have not only detained them within our territory, but they have been deported to their country of origin.” Several of the terrorists were Syrians caught with fake documents, according to Guatemala’s head of intelligence. At the same event, President Morales also revealed that Guatemalan authorities captured more than 1,000 gangbangers, including members of the MS-13.

Many more probably make it into the U.S. via the Mexican border and a lot of them get released inside the country. In fact, Border Patrol agents in Texas have been ordered to release illegal immigrants caught entering through Mexico because detentions facilities have no bed space, according to a news report. Earlier this year Judicial Watch exposed a secret program—started by Obama and continued by Trump— that quietly relocates illegal immigrants to different parts of the country on commercial flights. Years earlier Judicial Watch uncovered a similar DHS initiative that transported illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and released them without proper processing. The government classified them as Other Than Mexican (OTM) and transferred them 116 miles north from Tucson to a Phoenix bus station where they went their separate way. The OTMs were from Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala and a security company contracted by the U.S. government drove the OTMs from the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector where they were in custody to Phoenix. Some could have been ISIS operatives.

A secure border protects our country. It is time to build the wall.

The Truth Is Still Leaking Out

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the cover-up by the State Department of both information surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private server and information regarding the attack at Benghazi.

The article reports:

In a combative exchange at a hearing Friday in Washington, D.C., a federal judge unabashedly accused career State Department officials of lying and signing “clearly false” affidavits to derail a series of lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth also said he was “shocked” and “dumbfounded” when he learned that FBI had granted immunity to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills during its investigation into the use of Clinton’s server, according to a court transcript of his remarks.

“I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case,” Lamberth said during the hearing.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, noted in a bombshell report in June that it was “inconsistent with typical investigative strategy” for the FBI to allow Mills to sit in during the agency’s interview of Clinton during the email probe, given that classified information traveled through Mills’ personal email account. “[T]here are serious potential ramifications when one witness attends another witness’ interview,” the IG wrote.

The article notes that the Judge did not know that Cheryl Mills had been granted immunity.

The article continues:

The transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after the government didn’t respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Other parallel lawsuits by Judicial Watch are probing issues like Clinton’s server, whose existence was revealed during the course of the litigation.

The State Department had immediately moved to dismiss Judicial Watch’s first lawsuit on a motion for summary judgment, saying in an affidavit that it had conducted a search of all potentially relevant emails in its possession and provided them. The affidavit noted that some more documents and emails could be forthcoming.

But Lamberth denied the request to dismiss the lawsuit at the time — and on Friday, he said he was happy he did, charging that State Department officials had intentionally misled him because other key documents, including those on Clinton’s email server, had not in fact been produced.

“It was clear to me that at the time that I ruled initially, that false statements were made to me by career State Department officials, and it became more clear through discovery that the information that I was provided was clearly false regarding the adequacy of the search and this – what we now know turned out to be the Secretary’s email system,” Lamberth said Friday.

Please follow the link to read the entire article, which includes the transcript of the hearing.

How Do You Acquire A Net Worth Of $80 Million While Making $174,000 A Year?

Although the information about to be shared deals with only one person, the story is not unique. I am posting this example because it was very easily researched. More diligent research could probably find at least fifty more examples of what I am about to illustrate.

The following was posted by a Facebook friend today:

THE TRUTH ABOUT FEINSTEIN
The US has entered into a contract with a real estate firm to sell 56 buildings that currently house U.S. Post Offices. All 56 were built, operated, and paid for by tax-paying American citizens. Now enjoy reading the rest: The government has decided it no longer needs these buildings, most of which are located on prime land in towns and cities across the country.

The sale of these properties will fetch about$19 billion!

A regular real estate commission will be paid to the company that was given the exclusive listing for handling the sales. That company is CRI and it belongs to a man named Richard Blum.

Richard Blum is the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein!(Most voters and many of the government people who approved the deal have not made the connection between the two because they have different last names).

Senator Feinstein and her husband stand to make a fortune, estimated at between $950 million and $1.1 BILLION from these transactions!

His company is the sole real estate agent on the sale!

CRI will be making a minimum of 2% and as much as 6% commission on each and every sale. All of the properties that are being sold are all fully paid for. They were purchased with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars.

The U.S.P.S. is allowed free and clear, tax exempt use. The only cost to keep them open is the cost to actually keep the doors open and the heat and lights on. The United States Postal Service doesn’t even have to pay county property taxes on these subject properties. QUESTION? Would you put your house in foreclosure just because you couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill?

Well, the folks in Washington have given the Post Office the OK to do it! Worse yet, most of the net proceeds of the sales will go back to the U.S.P.S, an organization that is so poorly managed that they have lost $117 billion dollars in the past 10 years!

No one in the mainstream media is even raising an eyebrow over the conflict of interest and on the possibility of corruption on the sale of billions of dollars worth of public assets.

How does a U.S. Senator from San Francisco manage to get away with organizing and lobbying such a sweet deal ? Has our government become so elitist that they have no fear of oversight?

It’s no mere coincidence that these two public service crooks have different last names; a feeble attempt at avoiding transparency in these type of transactions.

Pass this info on before it’s pulled from the Internet. You can verify it on TruthorFiction and Snopes:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/…/Blum-Post-Office-Sale-06101…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/blum.asp

If this doesn’t upset you, don’t complain about the corruption and the ineptness in D.C.

It didn’t take a lot of research to verify most of this. I found a few interesting tidbits. Snopes describes the claims as ‘mixed.’ In case you are not aware, Snopes has a bit of a mixed record itself.

From a website called The New American:

It’s unfortunate that Snopes didn’t dig any further into the matter. It could have, for instance, sourced an 11-page exposé of Blum and Feinstein published by the online site FoundSF entitled “Richard C. Blum and Dianne Feinstein: The Power Couple of California.” There Snopes would have found how this couple, through a continuing series of events that could only be called crony capitalism on steroids, grew their wealth, starting in 1980 when they were married, from a modest sum to well over $100 million.

In that exposé they would have uncovered another source, this time from the Los Angeles Times, which noted the couple’s illicit activities from the beginning:

A review of the senator’s first two years in office found that Feinstein supported several positions that benefited Blum, his wealthy clients and their investments. She was a vocal proponent of increased trade with China while Blum’s firm was planning a major investment there. She also voted for appropriations bills that provided more than $100 million a year in federal funds to three companies in which her husband is a substantial investor.

Visiting the Times article would have led them to another source that explained in detail her votes as head of the Military Construction Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee (MILCON), which funneled $1.5 billion worth of military construction contracts to URS Corporation, an engineering, design, and construction company located (where else?) in San Francisco — in which Blum had a significant financial interest. Her committee also funneled millions into Tutor Perini, one of the largest general contractors in the country, also located in California, and in which Blum also had a significant financial interest. When Blum sold his interests in URS and Tutor Perini, he booked profits estimated at between $5 and $10 million.

Another example from Breitbart:

On April 21, 2009, the Washington Times broke an exclusive story that Feinstein proposed legislation to direct $25 billion in taxpayer money to the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation

The alleged Blum connection was that the FDIC had just awarded Blum’s real estate firm a profitable contract to resell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms. 

According to the Washington Times, “Mrs. Feinstein’s intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn’t a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments–not direct federal dollars.”

Documents obtained by the newspaper exposed that Feinstein had sent a letter to the FDIC on October 30, 2008 offering to help it secure funds to help them stave off ensuing foreclosures. 

That letter was sent only a few days before CB Richard Ellis Group (the commercial real estate firm that Blum serves as board chairman) had won a contract to sell foreclosed properties that FDIC was taking on from failed banks. 

According to Weiss, “this is an allegation that has totally been discredited.” 

Feinstein’s explanation was that the senator simply introduced legislation to allocate $25 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2009 because California had the third highest number of foreclosures in the nation.  

“Senator Feinstein learned of FDIC Chair Sheila Bair’s proposal for foreclosure relief from news reports, expressed her support in a letter, and introduced legislation to implement it,” Weiss wrote to Breitbart News. “She was unaware of CBRE’s bid for an FDIC contract so it clearly played no role in her decision to introduce legislation. The Inspector General at the FDIC reviewed this and concluded there was ‘no improper influence’ in the awarding of the contract.” 

LaJuan Williams-Young, a spokeswoman for the FDIC, declined to explain why CBRE was chosen and instead simply defended the agency: “There are four other contractors that perform similar work for the Corporation.”

According to Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to monitoring Washington ethics, Feinstein’s explanation isn’t adequate. He says that neither the FDIC nor MILCON connections pass muster under the U.S. Senate Ethics Rules or the U.S. Criminal Code.

“In these cases, she was voting on bills that ultimately benefited her husband’s companies . . . she knew, everyone knew what would come out of those bills, and at the least she should have known where that money could have gone, and that simply doesn’t stand scrutiny.” 

When asked about Feinstein and her husband benefitting from all of these contracts as well as the FDIC legislation, Weiss simply responded, “All items referred to above are Richard Blum’s separate property relating to his business . . . Senator Feinstein is not involved with and does not discuss any of her husband’s business decisions.” 

Blicksilver mirrored Weiss’ response, saying that, “Blum Capital Partners has a strict confidentiality policy which Mr. Blum and other members of the firm adhere to. As such, he does not discuss the Firm’s investments with the Senator.” 

Not only does it pay to be a Senator, it pays to be married to one.

This is only one example of the swamp in Washington that needs to be cleared out.

Is Voter Fraud Real?

In August of 2017, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial that is still significant today. The editorial dealt with voter fraud.

The editorial stated:

Elections: American democracy has a problem — a voting problem. According to a new study of U.S. Census data, America has more registered voters than actual live voters. It’s a troubling fact that puts our nation’s future in peril.

The data come from Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project. The group looked at data from 2011 to 2015 produced by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, along with data from the federal Election Assistance Commission.

As reported by the National Review’s Deroy Murdock, who did some numbers-crunching of his own, “some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens. Such staggering inaccuracy is an engraved invitation to voter fraud.”

Murdock counted Judicial Watch’s state-by-state tally and found that 462 U.S. counties had a registration rate exceeding 100% of all eligible voters. That’s 3.552 million people, who Murdock calls “ghost voters.” And how many people is that? There are 21 states that don’t have that many people.

The article concluded:

And, in at least two nationally important elections in recent memory, the outcome was decided by a paper-thin margin: In 2000, President Bush beat environmental activist and former Vice President Al Gore by just 538 votes.

Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat, won his seat by beating incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman in 2008. Coleman was initially declared the winner the day after the election, with a 726-vote lead over Franken. But after a controversial series of recounts and ballot disqualifications, Franken emerged weeks later with a 225-seat victory.

Franken’s win was enormous, since it gave Democrats filibuster-proof control of the Senate. So, yes, small vote totals matter.

We’re not saying here that Franken cheated, nor, for that matter, that Bush did. But small numbers can have an enormous impact on our nation’s governance. The 3.5 million possible fraudulent ballots that exist are a problem that deserves serious immediate attention. Nothing really hinges on it, of course, except the integrity and honesty of our democratic elections.

I don’t claim to be a mathematical genius, but logically it doesn’t seem as if you should have more registered voters than live people. I understand that there can be a delay if a person dies, but hopefully that person can be taken off of the voter rolls quickly. There are also cases of intentional fraud. A friend of mine checked the voter rolls for the names of anyone registered to vote at her address. She found three names that she did not even recognize.

Recently there has been a move in some areas to compare voting rolls with the names of those refusing jury duty by stating that they are not American citizens. A number of people have been charged with crimes for voting when they were not eligible to vote.

We need honest elections. That is one reason that voter identity is a good idea. We also need checks and balances on our data–reporting and storing data. Recently a friend checked election data and found that it has been altered after certification. That should not happen.

North Carolina has a voter id measure on the ballot in November. The voters had already passed a voter id measure, but the courts struck it down. Let’s hope the will of the people will prevail this time.

This Is Not The America Most Of Us Want

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

‘[N]o such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist.’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.

In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:

[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.

The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.

The DOJ filing is in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).

In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.

“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”

This is a blatant example of using the apparatus of the government to spy on a political opponent. It is illegal and should result in jail time for those involved. To let this go unpunished means that it will be acceptable behavior in the future. We are in danger of losing our country to a group of elites who have no respect for either the law or the voters.

This Is Really Sad

John McCain is a war hero. When given the chance to go home from a North Vietnam prison camp because of his father’s rank, he chose to stay with his men. Because of that choice he was severely beaten and mistreated. That is heroism. Unfortunately his actions in recent years have not reflected the patriotic service to his country that his time in Vietnam exemplified. We have no way of knowing how long the brain cancer he is suffering from clouded his judgement, but even so, some of his actions in recent years are reprehensible.

On Friday, The Washington Times posted an article about some recent documents received by Judicial Watch as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The article reports:

A new report from Judicial Watch reveals a concerted effort from Sen. John McCain’s office to urge the IRS under Lois Lerner to strike out against political advocacy groups, including tea party organizations. 

Thanks to the results of an extensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that has been delayed for many years, Judicial Watch has obtained several key emails from 2013 that chronicle McCain’s and Democrat Sen. Carl Levin’s efforts to reign in the advocacy groups that sprouted immediately following the Citizens United decision from the Supreme Court. 

The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch include notes from a high-level meeting on April 30, 2013 between powerful members of McCain’s and Levin’s staffs and Lerner, then-director of tax exempt organizations at the IRS under Barack Obama. The notes reveal the suggestions from McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner who urges Lerner to use IRS audits on the advocacy groups to financially ruin them:

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday detailing some of the biography of Henry Kerner.

The Conservative Treehouse reports:

Yesterday it was revealed that Henry J Kerner (Henry Kerner), as a former McCain senior staff official, was part of a bipartisan DC team who constructed the IRS weaponization program to target the Tea Party.  That’s bad enough.  However, a little more digging, you’re not going to believe this: the same guy who was attached to the prior investigations, is now in charge of all DC “corruption” and “whistle-blowing” cases, including the current FBI and DOJ corruption.

Henry Kerner is Special Counsel in charge of all “whistle-blowing” witnesses and cases of government corruption.  Henry Kerner controls the events as the lead official, the Special Counsel in charge of the Office of Special Counsel; and he is in the position to manipulate/control any investigative outcome.

Now a whole bunch of things begin to make sense. From his CV summary Henry Kerner would have been in position to influence: Fast-n-furious scandal (Issa), IRS scandal (Chaffetz), Benghazi (Chaffetz, Gowdy, McCain); and now in his position in charge of the entire Office of Special Counsel he would have influence and control over Spygate etc. (underline is mine)

This is how the deep state works–put a person in a position to act as a dam in case of scandal. In case we ever wondered why none of the above scandals ever resulted in a prosecution, we have a common thread–Henry Kerner.

John McCain’s treachery is bad enough, but to have his former staff member as the protector of those involved in scandals is disgusting. We really need to start voting some of our Congressmen out of office–they have not served us well.

I’m Not Sure The Editorial Was A Good Idea

Townhall.com posted an article today that sheds a little more light on the firing on Andrew McCabe. As usual, there was more to the story than we were initially told. It should also be noted that his wife, Jill, recently posted an editorial in The Washington Post stating that there was not conflict of interest on his part because of her Senate campaign.

The article reminds us of Mrs. McCabe’s claim:

His wife, Jill, a doctor, penned an op-ed in The Post about her failed 2015 Virginia Senate run and how there was no conflict of interest. There have been allegations that McCabe’s donations from pro-Clinton Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s PAC during that run, which exceeded $400,000, was a sort of down payment for political protection since soon after her campaign ended, Mr. McCabe became deputy director, where one of his tasks was to oversee the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco…

The editorial was a preemptive strike. The Townhall article cites a Judicial Watch report that states:

The documents also show repeated use of the official FBI email system in connection with Mrs. McCabe’s political campaign. For example:

On March 13, 2015, Mrs. McCabe emails to her husband’s official FBI email account a draft press release announcing her run for state Senate.

In August 2015, McCabe uses his official FBI email account to advise a redacted recipient to visit his wife’s campaign website: “Jill has been busy as hell since she decided to run for VA state senate (long story). Check her out on Facebook as Dr. Jill McCabe for Senate.”

On November 2, 2015, Mrs. McCabe forwards an email to her husband – then the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Office – that accuses her opponent of extorting local businessmen. The email was sent to her husband’s official FBI account.

The documents include an October 2016 letter from House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to McCabe questioning a possible conflict of interest by noting that Clinton headlined a Virginia fundraiser on June 26, 2015, for Mrs. McCabe. “A significant amount was donated after the FBI had initiated its investigation and begun meeting with Secretary Clinton’s attorneys in August 2015.”

The documents also show that FBI leadership was sensitive to reports of FBI internal dissent with then-Director Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation. On October 24, 2016, Mrs. McCabe forwarded to Director McCabe a True Pundit article titled, “FBI Director Lobbied Against Criminal Charges For Hillary After Clinton Insider Paid His Wife $700,00.” The story reported that former FBI Executive Assistant Director John Giacalone resigned in the middle of the Clinton email investigation because he saw it going “sideways” and that Jill McCabe received money from a PAC headed by McAuliffe, who was under investigation by the FBI for campaign finance law violations. McCabe forwarded the article to Comey, noting “FYI. Heavyweight source.” Comey replied to McCabe, copying Chief of Staff James Rybicki, saying, “This still reads to me like someone not involved in the investigation at all, maybe somebody who heard rumors …”

“These new documents show that the FBI leadership was politicized and compromised in its handling of the Clinton email investigation,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch President. “It well past time for a do-over on the Clinton emails that requires a new, honest criminal investigation of her misconduct.”

So now we know that McCabe lied to the FBI, violated the Hatch Act, and was probably totally compromised in his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. I guess there were sufficient reasons to fire him.

Congress Needs A Babysitter

No wonder the federal deficit is out of control. Yesterday Judicial Watch sent out the following Press Release:

Obamacare Recruiters Get $1.2 Billion Under Proposed Law

A fraud-infested Obamacare “outreach” program will get an astounding $1.2 billion from American taxpayers if legislation introduced by a veteran congresswoman becomes law. The preposterous measure, introduced by California Democrat Maxine Waters a few week ago, aims to recruit customers for the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama’s disastrous healthcare overhaul. The 14-term congresswoman, investigated by the House Ethics Committee for steering federal funds to her husband’s failing Massachusetts bank, crafted the law because the Trump administration slashed Obamacare outreach funding by more than 90%.

“Our health care system is under attack by a president, administration, and Republican-controlled Congress that – after numerous failed attempts to repeal Obamacare – are sabotaging it for political gain,” Waters said in a statement. “My legislation seeks to reverse their vindictive efforts to undermine and de-stabilize our health care system by ensuring that all consumers are provided with the information they need to make timely and well-informed decisions when purchasing health coverage through the federal and state-run marketplaces.” The bill, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Outreach for the Uninsured, Transformative Recruitment, and Enrollment Action for Compassionate Healthcare (ACA OUTREACH) Act, is cosponsored by 36 other lawmakers. If it passes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would dole out $300 million annually through 2021 for “navigator” grants. Minority and underserved communities would be especially targeted, according to language in the bill’s text.

The Obamacare navigator program was rife with fraud and corruption and Judicial Watch sued HHS back in 2014 to obtain records that the agency refused to provide under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In 2013, the Obama administration gave dozens of leftists organizations a whopping $67 million to help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges that weren’t even fully established. In a “culturally competent manner” the so-called navigators were tasked with helping people shop for and enroll in plans that would eventually be available on the federal government market places. The money was divided between 105 mostly leftist groups that assisted and recruited the uninsured to sign up for coverage and understand their options.

Here are a few examples of the community organizations that received navigator grants from the government; an Arizona nonprofit called “Campesinos Sin Fronteras” that provides services to farm workers and low-income Hispanics; a south Florida legal group that provided navigators in “racially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse” communities; three Planned Parenthood branches—in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire—got a combined $655,000 to serve as navigators. Others include; the Arab Community Center in Michigan, which got nearly $300,000 to reach out to and engage uninsured community members through “multicultural” media. A Black Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina received north of $230,000 to “provide outreach around new coverage options” and a Hispanic aging group in Texas got over $646,000 help members that are “socially isolated due to cultural and linguistic differences.”

Some of the navigator money went to a labor front group called Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York headed by an illegal immigrant activist named Maria Marroquin. The group received navigator funds shortly after Marroquin, an illegal alien from Peru, had been arrested for participating in disruptive demonstrations protesting the deportation of fellow undocumented immigrants and demanding amnesty.

Besides the outrage of hiring an illegal immigrant to promote a U.S. government program, it’s equally disturbing to know that navigators have access to the sensitive personal information of healthcare enrollees. This includes Social Security numbers, which can be used for identity theft, a rampant crime among illegal alien populations seeking to establish residency and land jobs in the U.S.

Navigator funds also went to a nonprofit (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with such a huge history of corruption that Congress issued a federal funding ban. As part of a broader investigation into ACORN Judicial Watch obtained records showing that HHS violated the congressional ACORN funding ban by awarding a Louisiana nonprofit called Southern United Neighborhoods (SUN) a $1.3 million Obamacare navigator grant to recruit customers. Headquartered in New Orleans, SUN is dedicated to combating poverty, discrimination and community deterioration that keep low-income people from taking advantage of their rights and opportunities, according to its website.

This is what Congress is doing with our money.

Another Reason Someone Needs To Audit The Federal Budget

The following was posted on the Judicial Watch Blog yesterday:

U.S. Has a National Mango Board With a $6.7 Million Budget

Even those who follow government closely may not know that the United States has a National Mango Board with a multi-million-dollar budget to help increase consumption of the juicy tropical fruit. This is a serious matter that is handled at the presidential cabinet level. The Mango board is a type of panel that was authorized by Congress decades ago and has 18 members who are appointed by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It operates under a USDA oversight body known as the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

Based in Orlando, Florida, the National Mango Board has a generous $6.7 million annual budget, according to USDA figures. The board is composed of eight importers, two domestic producers, one first handler and seven foreign producers who serve three-year terms. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently appointed six members to the board, including a mango producer from Jalisco, Mexico and another from Piura, Peru. The others are importers from California and Texas and a producer from Hawaii. “I truly appreciate the time and expertise that these individuals have agreed to give guiding the National Mango Board in its mission to find ways to provide fresh mangos to U.S. consumers and help their industry thrive,” Perdue said in an agency statement.

Here’s why this obscure government entity exists; to increase the consumption of fresh mangos in the United States, unlikely to be a pressing issue for most Americans. The board accomplishes this with promotion and market development activities that naturally also support a thriving industry. “The board’s vision is to bring the world’s love of mangos to the U.S.,” according to the National Mango Board website, which describes itself as a “promotion and research organization.” The site includes all sorts of interesting information about mangos, including the unique texture and flavors of different varieties, how to ripen, cut and store the fruit and tips on choosing the perfect mango—don’t focus on color because it’s not the best indicator of ripeness. There are also recipes for just about any dish with mango, including tropical mango guacamole, shrimp and mango curry, mango Manchego stuffed with jalapeños and crusted pork with mango relish, among others. Six varieties of mangos are sold in the U.S.; Tommy Atkins, Haden, Kent, Keitt, Honey and Francis.

The board’s research portion is displayed in several sections that offer information on nutrition, history and “fun facts.” For instance, mangos were first grown in India over 5,000 years ago and mango seeds traveled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D. “Legend says that Buddha meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree,” according to the National Mango Board. More serious research includes academic studies on consumer attitudes, bioactive components of mangos and the effect of hot water treatment on a Mexican specie (Tommy Atkins) vulnerable to fruit flies. A separate study on this type of mango, which also comes from Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, focuses on sunken pits on the fruit’s peel caused by pitting or lenticel damage. This can deter consumers at the store level, according to researchers, and most packers do not have a clear understanding if the damage comes from the orchards or the packing process. Tommy Atkins mangos from Oaxaca, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa are the focal point of that research.

One of the more recent studies sponsored by the board includes an in-depth analysis on the ideal temperature to deliver the highest quality mangos. The findings are delivered in an exhaustive 38-page report, but the nutshell is that the optimal transit temperature for mangos is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem however, is that mangos are often transported in refrigerated trailers with other food items that require colder temperatures and the mangos get compromised. The experts in “perishable food cold chain”  hired to research the matter were left with the objective of finding commercially available pallet covers for the thermal protection of mango pallets transported in a mixed load refrigerated trailer. It’s not clear how much this important research cost the Mango Board. For those wondering, Kent mangos were used in the study and pallet covers were tested with and without a base.

There is absolutely nothing I can add to this!

Was Anyone Paying Attention To The Law?

Judicial Watch released the following Press Release today:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new U.S. Department of State documents showing former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin were permitted to remove electronic and physical records under a claim they were “personal” materials and “unclassified, non-record materials,” including files of Clinton’s calls and schedules, which were not to be made public. The documents show the Obama State Department records would not be “released to the general public under FOIA.”

The new records also show that Huma Abedin was allowed to take five boxes of “physical files” out of the State Department that include records described as “Muslim Engagement Documents.”

Judicial Watch obtained the reports about the records from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:

Any and all DS-1904 (Authorization for the Removal of Personal Papers and Non-Record Materials) forms completed by, or on behalf of, any of the following individuals:

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton

Former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan

The documents include a list of official and personal calls and schedules that Clinton removed, which carry a special notation that the documents were not to be made public records. The notation is on an addendum to a DS-1904 signed by Clarence N. Finney Jr., then-director of the Office of Correspondence and Records, who was the reviewing officer. (Judicial Watch has a pending request for the deposition of Finney in separate litigation concerning Clinton emails and the Benghazi terrorist attack.):

NOTE: The Secretary’s call log, grid and schedules are not classified, however, they would not be released to the general public under FOIA. They are being released to the Secretary with this understanding. [Emphasis in original]

***

Electronic copy of “daily files” – which are word versions of public documents and non-records: speeches/press statements/photos from the website, a non-record copy of the schedule, a non record copy of the call log, press clips, and agenda of daily activities

Electronic copy of a log of calls the Secretary made since 2004, it is a non-record, since her official calls are logged elsewhere (official schedule and official call log)

Electronic copy of the Secretary’s “call grid” which is a running list of calls she wants to make (both personal and official)

16 boxes: Personal Schedules (1993 thru 2008-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State.

29 boxes: Miscellaneous Public Schedules during her tenure as FLOTUS and Senator-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State

1 box: Personal Reimbursable receipts (6/25/2009 thru 1/14/2013)

1 box: Personal Photos

1 box: Personal schedule (2009-2013)

The originals of some Clinton documents were retained, such as the call logs and schedules. For other records, including material that predates Clinton’s tenure, there is no indication that a copy was made. The most significant of these are her personal correspondence and gift binders, which could reflect Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative ties.

Through its previous investigations Judicial Watch made public numerous examples of Clinton’s schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server (for example, see here, here, here and here.)

The records uncovered by Judicial Watch also contain a list of materials removed by Clinton accumulated by Robert Russo, Clinton’s then-special assistant, including PDFs of Clinton’s “correspondence in response to gifts … thank you and acknowledgements,” as well as other records.

The documents indicate that Clinton removed a physical file of “the log of the Secretary’s gifts with pictures of gifts.”

The receipt of gifts by federal employees in the Executive Branch is regulated:

A “prohibited source” [of gifts] under the regulations is one who seeks official action from the employee’s agency; one who does business or seeks to do business with the agency; one whose activities are regulated by the employee’s agency; one whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties; or an organization a majority of whose members fit any of the above categories.

A gift is given “because of” the employee’s official position if it would not have been offered “had the employee not held the status, authority or duties associated with his Federal position.”  Gifts that are “motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship” may therefore be accepted without limitation.

“We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information. But these new records show that was only part of the scandal. These new documents show the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her calls logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?”

What are they trying to hide?

There Might Be A Reason They Are Not Cooperating

On Wednesday, The Daily Signal posted an article with the headline, “States Spurning Election Commission Show Irregularities in Voter Registration.” Obviously, someone in those states who is in authority likes the way things are going and does not want the system in place to change. It seems that common sense tells us that where there are more registered voters than people eligible to vote there might be a problem. Unfortunately, that is true in many counties in America.

The article cites a few examples:

Kentucky, a decisively red state in previous elections, had the most counties where registered voters outnumber eligible voters. California, a strongly blue state, also had significant problems, according to findings from Judicial Watch and the Public Interest Legal Foundation, both conservative watchdog groups.

Other states that outright refuse to cooperate with the commission are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

The states of Arizona, Illinois, and Indiana are still undecided.

“Overall, in most of the states not providing information to the commission, there are a significant number of counties with problems,” Robert Popper, senior attorney for Judicial Watch and director of its Election Integrity Project, told The Daily Signal, adding:

Most voter registration lists are available for free or for a small fee. Commercial entities can obtain voter registration lists. The only entity that is having a hard time obtaining these lists is the president’s advisory commission, which is trying to investigate data everyone has access to.

This kind of opposition to cleaning up our election process really makes me wonder what is going on behind the scenes. Every illegal vote cancels out the legitimate vote of an American citizen. It seems to me that we should all be concerned about voter integrity.

The article lists additional states with numbers that are a problem:

According to Judicial Watch’s findings, two of 15 counties in Arizona, which is undecided about cooperating, list more registered voters than eligible voters. Two of eight counties in Connecticut, which has refused to cooperate, are not in compliance with the “motor voter” law regarding maintaining voter lists.

In Delaware, which isn’t cooperating, one of the state’s three counties had more registered voters than eligible voters. Illinois, which is undecided, has 26 of 102 counties with more registered voters than eligible voters, according to Judicial Watch.

In Pence’s home state of Indiana, where the decision to cooperate with the White House commission is being held up by litigation, 34 of 92 counties have more registered than eligible voters.

In Maine, half of 16 counties have too many registered voters compared with those eligible, Popper said. In Maryland, it’s only two of 24 counties—Montgomery and Howard—but they are among the state’s largest.

Massachusetts has two of 14 counties that have too many registered voters, and in New Mexico it’s six of 33 counties.

Only two of Tennessee’s 95 counties have the issue, but Williamson County is one of the state’s largest, Popper noted. In Vermont, it’s four of 14 counties, and in Virginia, it’s 18 of 133 counties, Popper said.

As for other states that aren’t cooperating with the commission, South Carolina didn’t have any counties with the problem, Popper said, but election officials said the state won’t release data to anyone who isn’t a registered voter in the state.

The other states not complying with the commission—Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wyoming—are not subject to the “motor voter” law, Popper said. States that either had laws on the books in 1994 allowing same-day voter registration or didn’t require registration to vote were not subject to the law.

That’s why Judicial Watch didn’t track their status, Popper said. Other states with this exemption from the “motor voter” law are Idaho, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.

Judicial Watch has done a lot of the preliminary work in the area of voter fraud. Now we need to let the election commission finish the job. We need to be able to depend on the integrity of American elections–they are one of the foundations of our republic.

Keeping Up With The Story

In August 2014, I posted an article about the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration distributing funds from fines imposed on banks to political leftist groups. The article explains that the Bank of America was forced to pay fines that Countrywide Mortgage and Merrill Lynch had incurred before they were owned by Bank of America.

The article explains what happened to these fines:

The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

This was the government equivalent of a mob shakedown.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about this practice.

The article reports:

Emails written by Obama administration Department of Justice officials confirm reports the agency engaged in a systemic effort to funnel money to liberal advocacy organizations from settlements reached with big banks.

The documents, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee as part of an ongoing investigation, reveal the Obama Justice Department effectively skirted Congress’s budgetary authority by requiring that major financial institutions donate to a group of affordable housing nonprofits and legal advocacy organizations as part of settlement agreements resulting from predatory mortgage lending practices.

The internal DOJ documents represent the latest revelation in a two-year investigation spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The article at The Daily Caller reports that this practice has been stopped:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo banning the DOJ from entering into third party settlement agreements after substantial evidence emerged implicating the Obama DOJ in such practices.

“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said.

The more I learn about some of the actions of the Obama Administration, the more I wonder why Congress did not address some of the wrongdoings as they were going on.

The Biggest Scandal The Media Is Ignoring

The Daily Caller has been following the Democrat House IT scandal for quite some time. Other media is totally ignoring it. On August 17, Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi, were indicted. Both were information technology staffers who worked for Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other Democrat congressmen. Judicial Watch has also been following the case closely and seeking information.

Yesterday there was a discussion of the scandal among Congressional House Members where Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch appeared as a witness. I have posted the video below. It is long, but worth watching. It is currently available on YouTube.

 

There are a few points noted in the video that are significant.

  1. Imran Awan was arrested on charges of bank fraud, but that is only a small part of the story.
  2. Mr. Awan and a number of members of his family were employed by multiple Congressmen. When Mr. Awan reached the salary cap for his job, he would hire another family member. This continued, evidently with little regard to the computer skills of the hired family member.
  3. Mr. Awan at one point set up an alias account that allowed him to access Congressional servers after he was denied access. At one point after he was denied access, a significant data download occurred under his alias account. Mr. Awan claimed that the data download was his elementary school child’s homework, but the download involved thousands of pages. Most elementary school homework does not involve thousands of pages. It was also noted that the size of the data breach was such that it could not have been done over the internet—it had to be done using a thumb drive or similar piece of equipment.
  4. It is quite possible that the leakage of information regarding the Democratic National Committee came from Mr. Awan. At the time Mr. Awan was employed by Representative Wasserman-Schultz, she was chairman of Democratic National Committee.

The Daily Caller reports the following:

You would think that House Republican leaders would give the Awan mess a much bigger stage. This GOP disinterest is the biggest mystery of all. The media and Democrats in Congress created a frenzy over vague accusations that Russia interfered with last year’s presidential election. They were always short on specifics, but they did have one, the publication of Wasserman-Schultz’ emails by WikiLeaks.

Then came along the reports that the Awans had access to all of the electronic data for a score of Democrats, including members of the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees. Imran Awan is even alleged to have the password to Wasserman-Schultz’ iPad. Maybe the Wasserman-Schultz emails didn’t come from the Russians as Wikileaks has always maintained, or if they did, perhaps they were first stolen by someone else.

…There is no indication that the Ethics Committee, chaired by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), is doing anything about the Awans, even when story after story appears about their outside businesses and scams, the income from which was not reported on their disclosure forms. These reporting violations are not the Awans’ most serious transgressions, but they provide Republicans with a thread on which to start pulling and an opportunity to raise the profile of the entire affair.

They do not have to defer to investigations by the FBI, the Capitol Police or anyone else. If they were serious about the task, they could proceed on every possible front, much like the Democrats have done on the Russia allegations.

I understand that media bias may be preventing this story from being told, but shouldn’t the media have enough interest in their own self-preservation to realize that this may be a serious national security issue. The Republicans also need to understand that this is a serious issue that they also need to address. Why was oversight on the information technology people in the House of Representatives so poor that Mr. Awan was allowed to add family members at will when he reached his salary cap? It may be time to vote everyone even remotely involved in this scandal and everyone who ignored the growing scandal out of office. This is the swamp.

Is The Department Of Justice Just?

The following statement was posted at Judicial Watch yesterday:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the  Department of Justice’s decision not to bring charges against Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference.  The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems.  Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents.  Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:

  • In June 2014the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
  • In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner.  This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
  • In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admit in a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
  • In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.

Obama IRS Commissioner Koskinen was nearly impeached in September 2016 for misleading Congress on Lerner’s emails.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) clearly violated the free speech rights of American citizens because the Obama Administration wanted to silence their views. This is a serious affront to our representative republic and should not go unpunished. Attempting to use the IRS for political purposes was one of the items of impeachment drawn up against President Richard Nixon. Has the Justice Department forgotten what the law is? If so, it is time for a new Justice Department.

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.

If I Break The Law, Does Someone Have To Care In Order For Me To Be Arrested?

The Gateway Pundit posted an amazing story yesterday.

The story included the following:

 

You have got to be kidding. The FBI has denied lawyer Ty Clevenger’s request to obtain documents related to Hillary Clinton’s email probe. The reason given? A “lack of public interest.”

 

Amazing.

The story is based on a Washington Times story.

This is the basic timeline of the story:

Conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch announced that on August 8, 2017, D.C. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered the State Department “to search the state.gov e-mail accounts of Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jacob Sullivan” for emails relating to the Benghazi scandal.

This is a major victory. The truth will prevail.

Judge Mehta described Judicial Watch’s Clinton Benghazi FOIA lawsuit as “a far cry from a typical FOIA case. Secretary Clinton used a private e-mail server, located in her home, to transmit and receive work-related communications during her tenure as Secretary of State.” Further:

[I]f an e-mail did not involve any state.gov user, the message would have passed through only the Secretary’s private server and, therefore, would be beyond the immediate reach of State. Because of this circumstance, unlike the ordinary case, State could not look solely to its own records systems to adequately respond to [Judicial Watch’s] demand. [The State Department] has not, however, searched the one records system over which it has always had control and that is almost certain to contain some responsive records: the state.gov e-mail server. If Secretary Clinton sent an e-mail about Benghazi to Abedin, Mills, or Sullivan at his or her state.gov e-mail address, or if one of them sent an e-mail to Secretary Clinton using his or her state.gov account, then State’s server presumably would have captured and stored such an e-mail. Therefore, State has an obligation to search its own server for responsive records.State has offered no assurance that the three record compilations it received [from Secretary Clinton and her aides], taken together, constitute the entirety of Secretary Clinton’s e-mails during the time period relevant to Plaintiff’s FOIA Request. Absent such assurance, the court is unconvinced “beyond material doubt” that a search of the state.gov accounts of Abedin, Mills and Sullivan is “unlikely to produce any marginal return.”

President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton said about this new federal court order, “This major court ruling may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it – as we approach the attack’s fifth anniversary. It is remarkable that we had to battle both the Obama and Trump administrations to break through the State Department’s Benghazi stonewall. Why are Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions wasting taxpayer dollars protecting Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration?”

Why is the FBI protecting Hillary Clinton? Do we need a new FBI? A new Attorney General? If nothing else, the mishandling of classified information is a crime, punishable by fines, jail time, and loss of security clearances. Why hasn’t that at least been prosecuted? Obviously the swamp in Washington is deeper than anyone imagined. Someone has to have the courage to step forward and expose what is going on behind the scenes.

The Wheels Of Justice Turn Slowly

Fox News is reporting today that Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must provide the names of specific employees involved in targeting Tea Party groups. The Judge has also ruled that IRS the must provide information about which groups were targeted and why, along with a strategy to make sure such targeting doesn’t happen again. This is one of the few common sense rulings in this case. This might also be the pathway to having employees of the IRS reveal who ordered the targeting.

The article reports:

The targeting scandal drew much attention in 2013 when the IRS, headed at the time by Lois Lerner, admitted it was applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for nonprofit status.

“That was wrong,” Lerner said at the time in the press. “That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. … The IRS would like to apologize for that.”

But director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch Chris Farrell, whose organization is also involved in litigation with the IRS on this issue, told Fox News that the IRS owes litigants “real accountability.”

This is the equivalent of apologizing for robbing a bank, refusing to give back the money, and not going to jail. The apology is worth nothing.

The article concludes:

Walton ordered the IRS to search for further records, according to The Washington Times, in other agency databases for the time period spanning 2009 to March 27, 2015.

“Furthermore, to the extent that the plaintiffs have already received information produced by the government indicating that the plaintiffs were allegedly discriminated against, and that information provides a basis to believe that other such documents exist, the government must search all relevant sources to ensure that all documents responsive to the document request is identified and produced,” the judge wrote in his order.

Walton gave the IRS until Oct. 16 to finish the search.

This is a serious move toward draining the swamp.

Voter Fraud?

On Friday, The National Review posted an article about voter registration in America. It seems that there are 3.5 million more people on the election rolls than are eligible to vote.

The article reports:

Some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens. Such staggering inaccuracy is an engraved invitation to voter fraud.

The Election Integrity Project of Judicial Watch — a Washington-based legal-watchdog group — analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2015 American Community Survey and last month’s statistics from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The latter included figures provided by 38 states. According to Judicial Watch, eleven states gave the EAC insufficient or questionable information. Pennsylvania’s legitimate numbers place it just below the over-registration threshold.

Cleaning up our voter rolls would not be a major undertaking. All that is needed is to compare Census data, voter rolls, and possibly information from various states’ motor vehicle and license registries.

The article notes that research into Judicial Watch’s information showed 462 counties of the 2,500 studied showed more voters than citizens of voting age.

The article reports:

These 462 counties (18.5 percent of the 2,500 studied) exhibit this ghost-voter problem. These range from 101 percent registration in Delaware’s New Castle County to New Mexico’s Harding County, where there are 62 percent more registered voters than living, breathing adult citizens — or a 162 percent registration rate.

Washington’s Clark County is worrisome, given its 154 percent registration rate. This includes 166,811 ghost voters. Georgia’s Fulton County seems less nettlesome at 108 percent registration, except for the number of Greater Atlantans, 53,172, who compose that figure.

The article concludes:

Under federal law, the 1993 National Voter Registration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act require states to maintain accurate voter lists. Nonetheless, some state politicians ignore this law. Others go further: Governor Terry McAuliffe (D., Va.) vetoed a measure last February that would have mandated investigations of elections in which ballots cast outnumbered eligible voters.

Even more suspiciously, when GOP governor Rick Scott tried to obey these laws and update Florida’s records, including deleting 51,308 deceased voters, Obama’s Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit to stop him. Federal prosecutors claimed that Governor Scott’s statewide efforts violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act, although it applies to only five of Florida’s 67 counties. Then–attorney general Eric Holder and his team behaved as if Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders fought so valiantly in order to keep cadavers politically active.

Whether Americans consider vote fraud a Republican hoax, a Democratic tactic, or something in between, everyone should agree that it’s past time to exorcise ghost voters from the polls.

Voter identification would clear up some of these problems, but the fact remains that the voter rolls need to be cleared up. Our Representative Republic depends on the honesty of our elections.

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.”

 

About That Refugee Resettlement Program

Received in my email today from Judicial Watch:

State Dept. Redacts Big Chunks of $22.8 Mil Contract to Resettle Muslim Refugees

MAY 24, 2017

The U.S. government spends billions of dollars to “resettle” foreign nationals and transparency on how the money is spent depends on the agency involved. Judicial Watch has been investigating it for years, specifically the huge amount of taxpayer dollars that go to “voluntary agencies”, known as VOLAGs, to provide a wide range of services for the new arrivals. Throughout the ongoing probe Judicial Watch has found a striking difference on how government lawyers use an exemption, officially known as (b)(4), to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to withhold records. All the cases involve public funds being used to resettle foreigners on U.S. soil and Americans should be entitled to the records.

The (b)(4) exemption permits agencies to withhold trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential. Depending on the government agency and the mood of the taxpayer-funded lawyers handling public records requests, that information is exempt from disclosure. In these cases, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) disclosed a VOLAG contract to resettle tens of thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that entered the U.S. through Mexico under the Obama administration while the State Department withheld large portions of a one-year, $22.8 million deal to resettle refugees from Muslim countries. Most of the UACs came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and the Obama administration blamed the sudden surge on violence in the three central American nations. The agency responsible for resettling the minors and issuing contracts for the costly services is HHS.

As a result of Judicial Watch’s work HHS furnished records  with virtually nothing redacted. Disclosed were employee salaries of VOLAGs contracted by the agency to provide services for the illegal immigrant minors, the cost of laptops, big screen TVs, food, pregnancy tests, “multicultural crayons” and shower stalls for the new arrivals. The general contract was to provide “basic shelter care” for 2,400 minors for a period of four months in 2014. This cost American taxpayers an astounding $182,129,786 and the VOLAG contracted to do it was government regular called Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS). The breakdown includes charges of $104,215,608 for UACs at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and an additional $77,914,178 for UACs at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

HHS rightfully provided all sorts of details in the records, including the cost of emergency surge beds ($104,215,608) for just four months; food for the illegal alien minors and staff ($18,198,000); medical supplies such as first aid kits, latex gloves, lice shampoo and pregnancy tests ($1,120,400); recreation items such as board games, soccer balls and jump ropes ($180,000); educational items like art paper and multicultural crayons ($180,000); laptops ($200,000) and cellphones ($160,000). Hotel accommodations for the BCFS staff was $6,765,000, the records show, and the salary for a 30-member “Incident Management Team” was $2,648,800, which breaks down to $88,293 per IMT member for the four-month period. It was outrageous that the Obama administration spent nearly $200 million of taxpayer funds to provide illegal alien children with the types of extravagant high-tech equipment and lavish benefits many American families cannot even afford for their own children.

This has become a heated issue for the government which may explain why other agencies aren’t as forthcoming in providing specific figures, thus abusing the (b)(4) exemption. The State Department, for instance, redacted huge portions of records involving contracts with VOLAGs to resettle refugees from mostly Muslim countries. The files illustrate the disparate redaction treatment given by different government agencies to the same types of records. The State Department paid a VOLAG called United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) a ghastly  $22,838,173 in one year to resettle refugees that came mostly from Muslim countries. Unlike HHS, the agency redacted information related to what the USCCB charged the government for things like furniture, personnel, equipment and other costs associated with contracts to resettle refugees. Why did one government agency hand over the same types of records that another agency claims are trade secrets? Judicial Watch is challenging the State Department’s (b)(4) exemption and will provide updates as they become available.

HHS and the State Department work with nine VOLAGs to resettle refugees and the voluntary agencies have hundreds of contractors they like to call “affiliates.” It’s a huge racket that costs American taxpayers monstrous sums and Judicial Watch is working to pinpoint the exact amount. Besides BCFS and USCCB, other VOLAGs with lucrative government gigs to resettle refugees are: Church World Service, Ethiopian Community Development Council, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Rescue Committee, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services and World Relief Corporation.

###

The Search For Honest Elections

The Daily Haymaker posted a story on Saturday about voter irregularities in North Carolina. The watchdog group Judicial Watch has decided to hold the state accountable for the integrity of its elections.

The article reports:

In the wake of an audit that found ineligible voters casting votes in the state’s 2016 elections, an advocacy group called Judicial Watch is stepping forward with a pretty serious demand for state elections officials:

Dear Director Strach:

We write to bring your attention to violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) in North Carolina. From public records obtained, fifteen (15) counties in North Carolina have more total registered voters than adult citizens over the age of 18 living in that county as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey. This is strong circumstantial evidence that these North Carolina counties are not conducting reasonable voter registration record maintenance as mandated under the NVRA. […]

This letter serves as statutory notice that Judicial Watch will bring a lawsuit against your office if you do not take specific actions to correct these violations of Section 8 within 90 days. In addition, by this letter we are asking you to produce certain records to us which you are required to make available under Section 8(i) of the NVRA. We hope that litigation will not be necessary to enforce either of these claims.

The letter also notes that North Carolina is not in compliance with voter registration list maintenance requirements. In fifteen counties in the state there are more total registered voters than adult citizens over the age of eighteen. Those counties include Buncombe (registration rate 101 %), Camden (100% ), Chatham (101 % ), Cherokee ( 100% ), Clay (106% ), Dare ( 107% ), Durham ( 111 % ), Guilford ( 101 % ), Madison ( 100% ), Mecklenburg ( 108% ), New Hanover (101 %), Orange (111 %), Union (106%), Watauga (105%), and Yancey (104%). When I looked at the results of the 2016 election in those counties, they were mixed–about half voted for Donald Trump and about half voted for Hillary Clinton. Hopefully, if there was cheating, it did not impact the outcome.

Judicial Watch is a successful watchdog organization. I hope that their efforts in North Carolina will put other states on alert that they also need to clean up their voter rolls.

 

The Student Loan Problem Gets More Interesting

On March 20, 2017, Judicial Watch reported the following:

Judicial Watch announced that it today filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Education seeking records relating to then Obama administration’s “coding error” that resulted in masking that most borrowers are failing to pay down their federally-subsidized student loans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Education (No. 1:17-cv-00501)).

The Obama administration’s Obamacare legislation also included provisions that resulted in the federal takeover of the student loan industry, which radically increased taxpayer subsidies of higher education loans.

The Education Department acknowledged in early January that the coding error resulted in wildly inaccurate College Scorecard repayment rates. The significance is substantial, according to The Wall Street Journal:

The department played down the mistake, but the new average three-year repayment rate has declined by 20 percentage points to 46%. This is huge. It means that fewer than half of undergraduate borrowers at the average college are paying down their debt.

***

Last month the Government Accountability Office (GAO) projected that loan forgiveness for borrowers enrolled in the plans could cost upward of $108 billion. GAO rapped the department for underestimating the costs due to “insufficient quality controls” and “unreasonable assumptions.” It’s possible the putative “coding error” is connected to this ill-management.

As the Journal notes, “The other scandal is that the Obama Administration used the inflated Scorecard repayment data as a pretext to single out for-profit colleges for punitive regulation.”

Judicial Watch filed today’s lawsuit after the department failed to respond to a January 29, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • Any records concerning the coding error in the calculation of repayment rate data contained in the College Scorecard, as disclosed on January 13, 2017. . . . Requested records include, but are not limited to, records identifying causes of the coding error and steps taken to correct the error, communications within [the Education Department] regarding the error, communications with third parties concerning the error, and records relating to the public announcement of the error.

“The government-run student loan racket is a disaster for taxpayers and has been abused to target for-profit competitors of liberal-controlled ‘public’ universities,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Trump administration should quickly respond to our FOIA lawsuit about this scandal.  The Trump administration has an opportunity to drain the swamp in higher education by exposing the truth about their expensive taxpayer subsidies.”