Deep State Update: An Unparalleled Scandal
We were the beneficiaries of excellent insight on the Deep State this week in a special Judicial Watch panel presentation.
Joining me were Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who serves on the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Vince Coglianese, host of “Mornings on the Mall” at WMAL Radio and editorial director of the Daily Caller; Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, vice president for strategic coordination and operations for the London Center for Policy Research; and our own attorney Michael Bekesha.
You can watch the whole discussion here.
The Deep State is clearly out of control. Back when we uncovered the Clinton email scandal, Judicial Watch fought tooth and nail with the State Department, the Justice Department and the FBI for documents. Little did we know that, even as they were protecting Hillary Clinton, these agencies were also targeting her political opponent, Donald Trump. And, since then, we’ve uncovered a scandal unparalleled in American history in terms of abuse by government officials, offices, and agencies for political purposes.
The Obama administration used the Justice Department, the FBI, and other agencies to spy on its political opposition; and worked with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, to launder suspect intelligence from foreign nationals and use that as a pretext to spy on Donald Trump and his associates.
It’s an incredible story, one that begins with the Obama White House and continues in the Deep State today.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer spoke first and brought to our attention the fact that Robert Mueller’s investigation is diverting resources from genuine needs.
According to my sources, in 2016 and in 2017, 71 percent of the foreign counterintelligence budget of the FBI was diverted from looking at threats, looking at foreign counterintelligence, to focus only on Clinton and Trump – to absolve Clinton and to convict Trump.
Now, what do you call it when an official element of the U.S. government diverts money – appropriated funds for purposes of defending the American people — and turns it against domestic targets? That is the Deep State. That’s what we are talking about here. This is not fiction. It’s not tinfoil hat stuff.
Vince Coglianese provided some historical context that reminded us that the Deep State has not just suddenly appeared.
Richard Nixon was controlled by his own government – the people around him, who were spying on him, and the people who worked for him.
Henry Kissinger constantly had his briefcase rifled through. The attorney general of the United States was spied on by the protective detail that was assigned to him by the FBI director. They were keeping copious notes on conversations between him and his wife and sending them back. That seems pretty bad. That does not seem like the America that any average citizen is going to be voting for, yet that’s what we have in our history.
Rep. Jim Jordan reminded us of something we heard not long ago, and he put it in startling context.
Remember back during the transition Sen. Chuck Schumer on one of the Sunday shows said that when President-elect Trump expressed concerned about the leaks he had to be careful. Remember, Schumer said, the intelligence community has six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.
When I heard that statement, I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” That is not how it works in the United States of America. It’s not unelected people getting back at folks who stood in front of the voters, name on the ballot, and were elected by we the people. So that to me is probably my biggest concern about some of these things we’re seeing from the swamp.
Michael Bekesha made it clear that the Deep State is fighting to cover its tracks.
Three years after we learned about Hillary Clinton’s private email server, we still don’t have all of her emails. It’s almost two years since the FBI investigation ended. We still don’t have all of her emails, and we don’t have all the files related to the investigation. We keep fighting in court. The government keeps slow walking. They keep obstructing. And so all we have are the leaks from the Deep State, and that’s a problem. The American public doesn’t know what to believe because we don’t have the full picture.
I encourage you to take the time to watch the full presentation.
When it came the attempt to destroy Donald Trump, it was all hands on deck for the Obama administration, particularly for the leadership of the FBI and State Department. We are being stonewalled on key documents that could break open this scandal, which is why we are now in federal court to get the truth.
We have joined the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) in filing a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against U.S. Department of Justice for memoranda written by fired FBI Director James Comey about conversations with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and Senator John McCain (Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00967)).
Together we also sued the U.S. Department of State for records of communications between former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and his associates at Orbis Business Intelligence (Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00968)).
The DCNF and we separately filed FOIA requests, but we have combined our efforts in these two lawsuits.
- In a May 22, 2017 FOIA seeking information from the FBI, Judicial Watch requested all records written or ordered written by Comey “summarizing his conversations with any of the following individuals: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and Senator John McCain.”
- On February 16, 2018, DCNF submitted a FOIA request to the FBI seeking “records that identify and describe all meetings between former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama.”
Comey chose to write memos after each of his meetings with President Trump. He testified that he did not do this with Presidents Bush or Obama. By Comey’s own admission, he met with President Obama about both the Clinton and Russia investigations.
We also want State Department documents about Christopher Steele, one of the key figures in the Clinton campaign-Democratic National Committee Dossier targeting President Trump.
- Seeking information from the State Department, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on January 19, 2018. The FOIA language was modified in April 2018 and seeks all records “related to the provision of documents to British national Christopher Steele and/or his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, or the receipt of documents from Steele or his firm.”
- In a January 23, 2018, FOIA request to the State Department, DCNF sought “records created in 2016 by Jonathan M. Winer relating to research compiled by Christopher Steele.” Additionally, on February 10, 2018, DCNF submitted a FOIA request seeking Steele records from January 2014 – February 10, 2018.
Steele is the former British spy and author of the sensationalized, unverified dossier that triggered the drawn-out investigation against President Trump and his campaign. The Senate Judiciary Committee referred Steele to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation. Jonathan Winer, a former Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary, was implicated in working with Steele and Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to create the anti-Trump dossiers.
On June 16, 2017, we filed a FOIA lawsuit for “FBI Director James Comey’s February 14, 2017 memorandum … memorializing an Oval Office conversation he had with the President on that date regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.”
On September 7, 2017, we filed a related FOIA lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation for “all unclassified memoranda authored by former FBI Director James Comey that contemporaneously memorialized his discussions with President Donald Trump and his aides.”
Both cases have been consolidated in Cable News Network, Inc., v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-01167) and are on appeal. The DOJ and FBI argued in this litigation that Comey’s leaks of the memos were unauthorized and compared the disclosures to Wikileaks.
In filing the new joint FOIA lawsuits with us, Neil Patel, DCNF co-founder and president, said, “We are seeking information about whether the FBI and State Department were misused by the Obama administration to target President Trump. The information we have requested is fully in line with the terms of the Freedom of Information statute, and we are thankful that Judicial Watch is helping us force the release of these basic facts.”
This week saw Judicial Watch disclose more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds.
We released 281 pages of newly uncovered emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the U.S. Department of State sent and received over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system. The emails, dated 2010 through 2013, contain classified information and detail collusion between the Clinton State Department and the Clinton Foundation.
Ten emails containing classified information are redacted “in the interest of national defense or foreign policy,” including confidential sources, and concern Israel and the Middle East. Most of the emails include exchanges with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The emails show that Hillary Clinton conducted classified and sensitive negotiations about the Israel-Arab conflict on her unsecure, non-governmental server.
- A document labeled “plan” was completely redacted as classified.
- A November 2012 email chain discusses the “Mid East” and includes then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, Blair as “aclb” and Clinton.
- Another November 2012 email chain discusses the “Mid East” and includes Sullivan, Clinton’s office manager Claire Coleman, Blair and Clinton.
- A November 2012 email chain fully redacted is titled “Mid East Peace” and includes Blair, Clinton, Obama’s Special Envoy to the Middle East David Hale as “firstname.lastname@example.org,” Sullivan and Blair’s Chief of Staff and former Downing Street aide Catherine Rimmer.
- In an April 2011 email exchange between Blair, Clinton and Sullivan concerning “Israel,” Blair says he “had another long session with BB [Netanyahu].”
- A May 2011 exchange concerns “Israel” and includes Blair, Clinton and Sullivan.
- A May 2011 email concerns “Palestinians” and includes Blair, Clinton and Sullivan. Blair says, “I’ve also sent you a paper.”
- A June 2011 email regarding “Israel” includes Blair, Sullivan and Clinton. Blair says, “Saw Israeli PM. Put the concept of a Q statement. He was receptive. Palestinians interested too. I know there are discussions also you guys are having. And the French initiative….”
- In a July 2011 email – with several national security redactions – written by Blair to Clinton and Sullivan, Blair says, “I saw BB….. Molcho [chief negotiator in the Israeli negotiating team with the Palestinians] will speak to David Hale. I can see Cameron and Sarkozy with David…. I saw Egyptians….”
- A September 2010 email exchange is titled “Info for you,” and includes Sullivan, Blair and Clinton. Blair writes that he just spent three hours with Netanyahu, and Sullivan, using his Sprint BlackBerry, he writes “We have pitched this to [redacted].”
These new classified and other emails appear to be among those that Clinton had attempted to delete or had otherwise failed to disclose. The documents are part of the November 2017 accelerated schedule of production ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg. The State Department must now complete processing the remaining documents by September 28, 2018. There were 72,000 pages recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. The State Department’s original production rate would have put the completion date into 2020.
The newly obtained documents came in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, after the State Department failed to respond to a March 4, 2015, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:
All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.
Many of the emails involve Abedin, who joined the State Department as deputy chief of staff in 2009. From June 2012 to February 2013, she was granted status as a “special government employee,” allowing her to work as a consultant to clients like Teneo and served as a paid consultant to the Clinton Foundation.
Several of the emails demonstrate the commingling of Clinton State Department and Clinton family foundation business.
In a November 2010 email with subject line, “How do I get through to Bill Clinton,” Rafael Anchia, a lawyer with Haynes Boone, asks Clinton campaign official Ed Meier if he could get to the “gatekeepers” to get Bill Clinton to give a speech in Spain, noting that “a large bank is willing to pay for it.”
Meier forwarded the email to former State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who forwarded it to former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. Abedin sent it to Bill Clinton’s scheduler at the Clinton Foundation, Terry Krinvic, who provided Clinton’s contact information, to which Sullivan responded, “Awesome.”
In September 2011, Abedin sent Sullivan an email concerning the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) with “Potential questions for Closing Plenary conversation between Secretary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton” in which Abedin included some “proposed questions” to put to Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Four days later, Sullivan forwards a revised list of questions (completely redacted as interagency deliberative process) to Abedin and Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, saying, “Here are my proposed questions.”
In a September 2010 email containing subject line, “President Banda’s MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] with Clinton Global Initiative,” U.S. Ambassador Jeanine Jackson writes to Clinton Development Initiative official Walker Morris, (CCd to Clinton Foundation official Amitabh Desai) discussing State Department spending in the country of Malawi. In the email, Jackson says, “We will be anxious to collaborate once you have an idea of the MOU’s intent.” Morris responds that “we are very excited about CDI’s [Clinton Development Initiative] future work in Malawi and certainly see great opportunity to collaborate.”
The Clinton Foundation work in Malawi involved Clinton Foundation-owned “for-profit agribusinesses, including Tukula Farming Company, which operates 7200 acres of commercial farms” in the impoverished country.
Other emails show that Bill Clinton appears to conduct State Department and Clinton Foundation business simultaneously.
In a September 2012 email with subject line “Burma,” Desai briefs Jake Sullivan on Bill Clinton’s discussions in Burma. Desai reports, in part: “WJC mentioned work of CF [Clinton Foundation] and offered to help in any way. TS [Than Shwe, president of Burma] said he already had asked HRC about WJC foundation and wanted to invite WJC foundation to work in myanmar in collaboration with gov agencies and other ngos … TS invited WJC to open offices in Rangoon and Mandelay.” That same day, Abedin writes Desai (cc’s Mills, Sullivan, Fuchs and three other persons whose email address are redacted) with subject line “Re: He had v good meeting with Libya and Burma:” “hrc looking forward to hearing about Burma. We meet at 545. I believe you have downloaded to jake?”
In a September 2012 email with subject line “Columbia / President Santos,” Desai and Toiv discuss a request by Colombian president, Manuel Santos, that Bill Clinton say some positive words about Santos’ initiative reaching out to the FARC terrorist group. Santos provided the Clinton Foundation with suggested language. Toiv said that she would “check” and also mentioned that she was working on a “visa issue.”
According to a report in the New York Post, the Santos request came not long after Clinton “jetted in for a Pacific Rubiales golf tournament at the Bogota Country Club … Accompanied by Giustra, he played a few holes with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.” The event reportedly raised one million dollars for the Clinton Foundation.
It is shameful that Hillary Clinton attempted to delete or hide classified information and that Obama appointees James Comey and Loretta Lynch refused to prosecute her.
It is clear that the Clintons were using the State Department to run an extensive influence-peddling scheme. Americans should be concerned that, while untold resources are devoted to the abusive Mueller special counsel investigation of President Trump, this Justice Department seems uninterested in prosecuting the Clintons.
We have a new lawsuit investigating an important issue that is easily overlooked in the Russia collusion debate.
We have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State seeking all records regarding the Obama State Department facilitation of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s attendance at the convention (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00844)). Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia after reports emerged of his conversing with Kislyak on this and one other occasion.
We sued in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the DOJ failed to respond to a November 21, 2017, FOIA request seeking:
- All records regarding Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s attendance at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. Such records include, but are not limited to, communications between the State Department and the Russian Embassy regarding arrangements for Kislyak’s attendance, such as an invitation to attend, and records of the Diplomatic Security Service relating to Kislyak’s travel to and attendance.
The Obama-era State Department funded and made arrangements for foreign ambassadors to attend the RNC convention. Sessions was a Trump campaign adviser when he reportedly met with Kislyak at the convention.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has sought details into the Sessions-Kislyak conversations, Reuters reported on March 29, 2018.
Kislyak has reportedly suggested that he also attended the 2016 Democratic National Convention, but an official from the DNC said “the group could not release the list of attendees due to security concerns, but could find no indication Kislyak attended. No one remembered seeing him there.”
We are trying to determine the Obama administration’s role in getting the Russian ambassador to the RNC convention. The Deep State would have it appear that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to have the Russia ambassador visit the RNC convention, when the fact seems to be that the Obama State Department was behind his attendance.
Attorney General Sessions’ communications with the Russia Ambassador have been the subject of controversial unmasking and illegal leaks, so this new federal lawsuit may provide essential information.
Until next week…