Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit against Department of Justice Seeking FBI Interviews with Obama, Jarret, and Emanuel

JUDICIAL WATCH

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice seeking access to FBI reports of interviews – “302s” – of President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Rahm Emanuel.  The interviews were taken as part of the FBI’s criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-01888)).

In 2008, Blagojevich sought political favors in exchange for deciding who to appoint to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then-President-Elect Obama.  Among the persons Blagojevich approached were the President-elect and his intermediaries.  Obama reportedly declined to make a deal.  Blagojevich then turned to supporters of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., offering the U.S. Senate seat in return for a $1.5 million “campaign contribution.”  Blagojevich broke off negotiations with Rep. Jackson’s supporters when he learned that he was being wiretapped by federal investigators.

Over the course of two criminal trials in 2010 and 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of 18 separate offenses and, in December 2011, was sentenced to 168 months in jail.  In 2015, an appellate court overturned five of Blagojevich’s convictions and affirmed the remainder.  On August 12, 2016, Blagojevich was resentenced to the same, 68-month jail term he had received previously.

Judicial Watch had asked the FBI to produce the 302s, pursuant to FOIA, in June 2011.  The FBI confirmed the records’ existence in 2012, but denied the request, asserting that the 302s were exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(A) because Blagojevich’s criminal case was still ongoing at the time.  Judicial Watch filed suit to try to obtain the 302s in May 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Blagojevich’s convictions.  It closed that initial lawsuit while Blagojevich was being resentenced.  Judicial Watch refiled its lawsuit after Blagojevich was resentenced.

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit asks the court to order the interview reports’ release, noting:

[U]nder the circumstances it cannot be said that release of the requested records could reasonably be expected to interfere with whatever is left of Blagojevich’s criminal prosecution.  The public should not be forced to wait any longer to review the FBI 302s of President Obama, former White House Chief of Staff and now City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, or Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett while Blagojevich pursues his second, plainly futile appeal.

“The FBI interviewed Barack Obama eight years ago about the selling of his Senate seat.  The American people should finally get to see these FBI interview reports,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “The public has a right to know precisely how Obama and his senior White House advisors Emanuel and Jarrett responded to Blagojevich’s corrupt attempts sell Obama’s Senate seat.”

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Harry Reid’s ‘nuclear option’ clears path for Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees

Free Republic

Democrats are increasingly antsy over the lineup President-elect Donald Trump has announced for his Cabinet, but they are also powerless to do very much to stop him — thanks to their own leader, Sen. Harry Reid.

It’s unlikely Mr. Reid had a President Trump in mind when he pulled the so-called “nuclear option” trigger three years ago, changing Senate rules to eviscerate the use of a filibuster to block presidential nominees.

Set up to help President Obama’s picks overcome GOP opposition, those same rules now will clear the path for Sen. Jeff Sessions to become the new attorney general, Rep. Tom Price to head Health and Human Services and two billionaires to lead the Treasury and Commerce departments.

Liberal interest groups are pleading with Democrats to fight the nominees, even though there’s not a lot they can do without the filibuster and against a unified GOP.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com

The Right to Bear Arms is a Natural Right

The 2nd Amendment has taken heavy criticism almost from its inception. It is no hyperbole to consider it the most controversial passage in all of United States law. Due to an apparent (though imagined) increase in gun crime in recent years, many are calling for repealing the Amendment and instituting tougher restrictions on firearms acquisition, ownership, transportation, and use.

Without addressing the relative effectiveness of such legal actions in reducing violent crime or the practicality of overturning 1/10th of the bill of rights, this article will show that a repeal of the 2nd Amendment will have no legal or moral impact upon the right of private citizens to own, carry, and use firearms for the purpose of self-defense.

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No to McCaul – We Can’t Afford Another Willfully Blind DHS Secretary

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Yesterday, Barack Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security delivered what should be the “kiss of death” to the ambitions of a prospective successor, Rep. Michael McCaul.  Jeh Johnson is, after all, the poster-child of official willful blindness towards Islamic supremacism. A Trump administration must not perpetuate such malfeasance.

Secretary Johnson thinks so highly of the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee because McCaul has repeatedly supported Team Obama’s Islamist-dictated and -enabling “Countering Violent Extremism” program.  The Congressman even inscribed a photograph he took with leaders of the Council on American Islamic Relations, extolling them as “moderate Muslims” and “our secret weapon.”  In fact, CAIR is Hamas.

Candidate Donald Trump promised to counter the anti-constitutional Sharia ideology aggressively promoted by Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR. That will require like-minded subordinates, not those willfully blind like Jeh Johnson and Michael McCaul.

A Republic If You Can Keep It!

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Family Security Matters

by AMBASSADOR HENRY F. COOPER

 

Anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall immediately after the U.S. Constitution was signed to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. According to Constitution signer James McHenry, a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,

“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Indeed, we are a republic, not a democracy as many would claim these days. Our Founders were steeped in World History and understood that, as Plato wrote in his Republic, tyranny can arise from democracyDr. Kuehnelt-Leddihn, a European scholar, linguist, world traveler, and lecturer, wrote in 1988 about “Democracy’s Road to Tyranny.” Click here for his description of three “organic” pathways for this unwelcome evolution to occur. It is worth a few minutes of your time to read.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is often memorably quoted as saying, “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Click here for a Snopes report that a more accurate quote (from February 5, 1976 – a year after Mrs. Thatcher won the leadership of the opposition Conservative Party and three years before she became Prime Minister) is:

“I would much prefer to bring them [the Labor Party] down as soon as possible. I think they’ve made the biggest financial mess that any government’s ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalize everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalization, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.” 

Prime Minister Thatcher’s approach to governing changed Great Britain for the better and she became Ronald Reagan’s most trusted partner in his “revolution” that reversed these same tendencies in 1980 and brought us the “Morning in American” about which I wrote in my last message.  (Click here.)

The United States is approaching that “tipping point” that Maggie Thatcher warned Britain about – and which our founders sought to avoid by how they structured the Constitution to give the States authorities to hedge against too much power being centralized in the Federal Government. And recent trends have created more recipients of government programs and resource requirements that threaten to exceed the ability of the American taxpayer to support, especially given our past growing jobless claims with no true improvement is sight, at least before last week’s election.

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Fake News Sites Continue False Claim about the Iran Nuke Deal

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Accuracy in Media

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The mainstream media and President Obama have made a considerable issue out of the dissemination of fake news leading up to the election, even going so far as to hint that Donald Trump’s victory might have been owed in part to the work of the fakers. On cue, The Washington Post recently published a story citing anonymous sources that claimed the fake news was the product of Russian propaganda. Yet Fortune magazine concluded that the Post’s “analysis was fairly weak,” and “Much of [the evidence] seems flimsy at best.” That didn’t stop the Post from blaming Russian propaganda, based on biased evidence and anonymous sources.

As AIM’s Cliff Kincaid recently explained, Facebook and Google are looking to create an algorithm that eliminates fake news on their websites. To do so is to risk disproportionate discrimination against information from outside the mainstream, including conservative and left-wing blogs, points out The Hill. “Critics also charge that the ‘fake news’ trope obscures the fact that the mainstream media have their own problem with false or misleading stories,” writes Cathy Young in The Hill. Kincaid also cites something called the First Draft Coalition, a sort of Ministry of Truth comprised of media organizations that we are supposed to trust to produce content free of fake news.

In fact, many of these so-called reputable news organizations are responsible for what is perhaps the fake news story of the decade. The story involves one of President Obama’s major foreign policy legacies, the Iran nuclear “deal.”

For about a year now, we have been pointing out that the Iranian nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran, is in fact, not a deal at all. There is an English language version, which the American public has seen (except for the side deals that were kept hidden from Congress and the American public). Also, there is an Iranian version passed in their Majlis, or parliament, which is considerably different.

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Will Obama Turn Loose an Unrepentant Terrorist?

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Among Barack Obama’s most toxic legacies is his campaign to shrink America’s prison population by turning loose many thousands of convicted felons.  Watch for his already record-setting numbers of prisoners granted clemency, pardons or commuted sentences to grow even larger in the remaining weeks of this presidency.

Surely though, even a Commander-in-Chief capable of such reckless disregard for public safety would not release one of the nation’s most notorious, murderous and unrepentant terrorists?  Unfortunately, it appears Mr. Obama is actively considering doing just that, by commuting the sentence of Oscar Lopez Rivera, a leader of the Puerto Rican terror group known as the FALN.

Fortunately, dozens of family members of Lopez Rivera’s victims and retired law enforcement personnel involved with his case wrote the President yesterday, strongly recommending against unleashing this dangerous criminal on our people.  They speak for all of us.