Judicial Watch: Supreme Court Moves to Overturn Conviction of Veteran Fined and Jailed for Digging Ponds on his Rural Montana Property

SCOTUS overturned decision upholding Robertson’s conviction and remanded the case so that the indictment could be dismissed and the lien cancelled

 

Judicial Watch

 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Supreme Court of the United States has overturned a lower court decision affirming the conviction of Joseph Robertson, a 78-year-old veteran now deceased who was sentenced to prison for digging ditches on his rural Montana property to protect the area surrounding his home from wildfires. Judicial Watch had filed an amicus curiae brief jointly with the Allied Educational Foundation supporting Robertson and urging Supreme Court review and reversal of the lower court decision. Robertson served 18 months in prison and died while serving probation. He was also fined $130,000, a liability inherited by his estate.

https://blogs-images.forbes.com/stephenricher/files/2012/10/Supreme-Court.jpg

Image via forbes.com

 

The Supreme Court also remanded Robertson’s conviction to the lower court so the indictment can be dismissed and the lien can be cancelled.

Judicial Watch and the AEF had asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that upheld Robertson’s conviction, because that decision “affirmed illegal agency actions in prosecuting Joseph Robertson based on a misreading of federal law. The Court should take this opportunity to correct the confusion in overbroad interpretations of the Clear Water Act, which have led to unjust prosecutions and federal intrusions into both state authority and individual liberty.”

The brief was filed in the case of Robertson v. United States, Case No. 18-609, 587 U.S. __ (2019). This was an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision in United States v. Robertson, 875 F.3d 1281, 1285 (9th Cir. 2017).

Judicial Watch asserted in its filing that the ditches Robertson dug “sat on what a federal agency defines as wetlands and were situated on or near a small downhill water flow of about three garden hoses in volume.  Mr. Robertson was not engaged in manufacturing or any other industrial activity which would release chemicals or waste into the water, but under the federal Clean Water Act even turning the soil with a shovel can be considered to be releasing a ‘pollutant’ into water.”

In their brief, JW and the AEF suggest that the issue is larger than Robertson’s personal plight, that it also involves the separation of powers among Congress, the Executive Branch and the Supreme Court.

Judicial Watch and AEF also note that the Supreme Court itself has introduced confusion into the issue of “adjacent wetlands,” “point source,” and “navigable waters.

Also, matters like those involving Robertson properly belong with the state, not the federal government.

The brief argues that the Congress has been all too willing to forego its Constitutional duty and defer to federal agencies.

[It was not foreseen that] the judiciary could eventually aid and abet the complete sacrificing of power by one of those two branches, effectively leaving a one-branch government where the founders intended three. When the Court goes too far in reading statutes as broadly assigning sweeping interpretative power to agencies, this allows Congress to give up power altogether and to stop the necessary work of revising and repealing statutes. Congress has proven itself either willing to give up those powers or unable to stop itself from doing so, preferring to ask the executive branch to reinterpret or reimagine statutes in ever more creative ways while sparing members of Congress the pain of accountability for national policy. The Court should not countenance this upending of the constitutional order.

“The Supreme Court has granted a victory against an overreaching government bureaucracy,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The government should not be allowed to regulate every drop of water in America, and the Supreme Court was right to brush back the radical bureaucrats. Mr. Robertson, a veteran, died before he was vindicated but his fight has protected the constitutional freedoms of other Americans.”

The Allied Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education.  In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation has engaged in a number of projects, which include, but are not limited to, educational and health conferences domestically and abroad. AEF has partnered frequently with Judicial Watch to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life.

Worse than Watergate

https://kidskonnect.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/watergate-scandal.jpg

Image via kidskonnect.com

 

American Thinker

By John Leonard

For most of my lifetime, “Watergate” has been used as the measuring stick for political corruption. What exactly was the Watergate scandal?

On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for burglarizing the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D. C. It was never alleged that President Richard M. Nixon knew about the burglary prior to the attempt, but that he tried to use the power of the presidency to obstruct justice in order to protect members of his administration and his reelection committee from facing criminal charges. Ultimately, Nixon was forced to resign in order to avoid congressional impeachment and a trial in the Senate.

The great irony is that Nixon was going to crush McGovern in the general election without any illegal help. Nothing that could have been stolen from the Democrats could have helped the Republican Party win any bigger in 1972 — Nixon claimed 520 electoral votes and carried 49 states. The break-in was stupid and unnecessary.

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Barr Confirms Multiple Intel Agencies Implicated In Anti-Trump Spy Operation

 

‘I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,’ Barr said.

 

The Federalist

By

“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Attorney General William Barr told a Senate committee on Wednesday morning. Barr’s comments came in the context of potential Justice Department reviews of the Trump-Russia investigation and how it began in 2016.

While it is important that the top law enforcement in the United States publicly acknowledged that the Obama administration and its intelligence agencies surveilled its domestic political opponents during the heat of a presidential election, it is what he said next that was most startling: that the CIA and other federal agencies in addition to the FBI may have been involved. “I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,” he said.

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Julian Assange ARRESTED and dragged out of Ecuadorian Embassy in handcuffs by cops.

The Sun

Ellie Cambridge

 

JULIAN Assange has been arrested by British police today after spending seven years hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The WikiLeaks founder, 47, was taken into custody after failing to surrender to the court in 2012 – and has spent 2,487 days holed up in the West London embassy.

(Excerpt) Read more at thesun.co.uk

Judicial Watch Uncovers ‘Cover-Up’ Discussions in Latest Production of Clinton Email Documents

Intelligence IG Details ‘Hundreds’ of Classified Emails and Suggests Entire ‘Collection’ Could Be Classified

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it uncovered 422 pages of FBI documents showing evidence of “cover-up” discussions related to the Clinton email system within Platte River Networks, one of the vendors who managed the Clinton email system. The documents also show Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Charles McCullough forwarding “concerns” about classified information in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The new documents uncovered by Judicial Watch also contain Clinton’s 2009 classified information Non-Disclosure Agreement bearing her signature.

An October 2016 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02046)) forced the release of the new FBI documents.  Judicial Watch lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to comply with a July 7, 2016, FOIA request seeking:

  • All FD-302 forms prepared pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure.
  • All records of communications between any agent, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding, concerning, or related to the aforementioned investigation. This request includes, but is not limited to, any related communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Department of Justice, the Executive Office of the President, the Democratic National Committee, and/or the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
  • All records related to the meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016.

FBI notes of an interview with an unidentified Platte River Networks official in February 2016 (almost a year after the Clinton email network was first revealed) show that Platte River “gave someone access to live HRC archive mailbox at some point.” The same notes show that an email from December 11, 2014, exists that reads “Hillary cover up operation work ticket archive cleanup.” The interviewee said that the “cover up operation” email “probably related to change to 60 day [sic] email retention policy/backup.” The subject indicated that he didn’t “recall the prior policy.” The notes also indicated, “[Redacted] advised [redacted] not to answer questions related to conv [conversation] w/DK [David Kendall] document 49 – based on 5th amendment.”

The subject said that “everyone @ PRN has access to client portal.”

A December 11, 2014, Platte River Networks email between redacted parties says: “Its [sic] all part of the Hillary coverup operation <smile> I’ll have to tell you about it at the party”

An August 2015 email from Platte River Networks says: “So does this mean we don’t have offsite backups currently? That could be a problem if someone hacks this thing and jacks it up. We will have to be able to produce a copy of it somehow, or we’re in some deep shit. Also, what ever [sic] came from the guys at Datto about the old backups? Do they have anyway [sic] of getting those back after we were told to cut it to 30 days?”

In March 2015, Platte River Networks specifically discusses security of the email server.

[Redacted] is going to send over a list of recommendations for us to apply for additional security against hackers. He did say we should probably remove all Clinton files, folders, info off our servers etc. on an independent drive.

Handwritten notes that appear to be from Platte River Networks in February 2016 mention questions concerning the Clinton email system and state of back-ups

The documents show Platte River Networks’ use of BleachBit on the Clinton server. The BleachBit program was downloaded from a vendor called SourceForge at 11:42am on March 31, 2015, according to a computer event log, and over the next half hour, was used to delete the files on Hillary’s server.

The documents also contain emails and handwritten notes written in June and July 2015 from the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General discussing “concerns” over classified information. A redacted sender writes to State Department Official Margaret “Peggy” Grafeld that “inadvertent release of State Department’s equities when this collection is released in its entirety — the potential damage to the foreign relations of the United States could be significant. ICIG McCullough forwards the concern, saying: “Need you plugged in on this.”

From: [Redacted]

Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 2:46 PM

To: Grafeld, Margaret P [Peggy]

Subject: Concerns about the HRC Review …

While working with this inspector, I have personally reviewed hundreds of documents in the HRC collection. I can now say, without reservation, that there are literally hundreds of classified emails in this collection; maybe more. For example, there are comments by Department staff in emails relating to the Wikileaks unauthorized disclosures; many of the emails relating to this actually confirm the information in the disclosures. This material is the subject of FOIA litigation, and the emails will now have to be found, reviewed and upgraded. Under the EO 13526, it would be in in our right to classify the entire HRC collection at the Secret level because of the “mosaic effect.” While there may be IC equities in the collection, I am very concerned about the inadvertent release of State Department’s equities when this collection is released in its entirety — the potential damage to the foreign relations of the United States could be significant.

***

From: Chuck Mccullough [sic]

Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 11:16 AM

To: [Redacted]

Subject: FW: SBU FW: Concerns about the HRC Review …

[Redacted]

Need you plugged in on this. Need to coordinate w/ State’s WB person.

In an August 2015 classified memo prepared by the FBI Counterintelligence Division regarding the findings of the ICIG with respect to Hillary’s email server, the FBI noted that the ICIG had found that in a sampling of only 40 of Hillary’s 30,000 emails, four classified emails were found. A subsequent letter sent by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) to ODNI Clapper regarding this sample of Clinton’s emails noted that they were all classified at the secret level.

In an August 2015 internal FBI memo, the FBI notes that Hillary Clinton had signed a June 28, 2011, official correspondence advising all State Department employees that, “due to ‘recent targeting of personal e-mail accounts by online adversaries,’ State employees should ‘avoid conducting official Department business from (their) personal e-mail accounts.” The same FBI memo noted that Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy had sent a memo to all senior State Department officials on August 28, 2014, in which Kennedy included excerpts from the Foreign Affairs Manual that said that “classified information must be sent via classified e-mail channels only…”

The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch also show infighting between State Department Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy and the ICIG over the processing of the potentially compromised Clinton email communications.

A June 15, 2015, memo for the record prepared by the ICIG regarding the State Department’s review of Hillary Clinton’s emails indicates among other things that the retired foreign service officers that State was using to review Hillary’s emails were not “not optimal.”

Evaluation of other agencies’ equities is not optimal. State Department is currently relying on retired senior Foreign Service Officers to review for other agencies’ equities in FOIA cases. For example, a review of the first set of 296 emails received from former-Secretary Clinton and released on the State Department FOIA website identified material that should have been referred to IC FOIA officials for review prior to release. Recommend State Department FOIA Office request staff support from IC FOIA offices to assist in the identification of intelligence community equities. [Emphasis in original]

***

According to State FOIA personnel, during the State Department Legal Office’s review, four of the Bl [national security] exemptions were removed and· changed to “B5” FOIA exemptions (Privileged Communications). Recommend State Department FOIA Office seek classification expertise from the interagency to act as a final arbiter if there is a question regarding potentially classified materials. [Emphasis in original]

It is unclear if the Department of Justice is reviewing the emails before FOIA release. Former-Secretary Clinton’s emails are the subject of numerous FOIA requests and multiple FOIA lawsuits. It may be prudent to integrate the Department of Justice into the FOIA process review to ensure the redactions can withstand potential legal challenges. If not already being done, recommend the State Department FOIA Office incorporate the Department of Justice into the FOIA process to ensure the legal sufficiency review of the FOIA exemptions and redactions.  [Emphasis in original]

An August 4, 2015, interview by the FBI of State Department IG Steven Linick mentions an incident on “May 13, 2011 2:28 am Huma – Phil Rein potential hack.”

On October 15, 2012, Clinton’s IT technician Bryan Pagliano, sent to Bill Clinton’s aide Justin Cooper a bill indicating that on July 28-29, 2012, Pagliano had to address the issue of “Mailbox Corruption” of Hillary Clinton’s email server, spending a total of 5.5 hours on the problem. Other invoices show that he had to “fix corruption in justin’s [Cooper’s] mailbox; ” have a “conference call with security team;” “Blocked spamer [sic] smtp address for Viagra message;” “virus investigation and cleanup;” “clean up virus from bb [BlackBerry] profile;” and multiple “brute force attacks” against Hillary Clinton’s server, requiring him to “reset password.” The documents show that Pagliano was paid $40,337.86 over four years by the Clinton Executive Service Corp.

In a 2016 deposition in a separate Judicial Watch lawsuit, Pagliano repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions regarding IT support he provided to the Clinton email system.

An August 2015 letter from the United States Secret Service to the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI, addressing a request regarding preservation of records in connection with Clinton’s email system. The letter also cites Judicial Watch’s litigation concerning preservation of her email server records. The Secret Service writes that its searches “did not reveal any responsive documents … [n]otwithstanding, the Secret Service will send out a preservation request for the Agency records listed in your correspondence …”

A July 2015 letter from the National Archives requests information from the State Department regarding “the training, procedures and other controls” employed by the State Department to ensure key record management directives were implemented regarding “the management of email and other electronic records of senior agency officials.” Also, the Archives requests “that the Department contact the representatives of former Secretary Clinton to secure the native electronic versions with associated metadata” of the 55,000 hard copies of emails provided to the State Department.

November 2012 classified emails from Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top foreign policy adviser, discuss a “Report of arrests – possible Benghazi connection” with her.

A request for travel dated November 2015 shows that the FBI dispatched special agents to Spain and Bahrain to conduct interviews in the “Midyear Exam” regarding a “sensitive investigative matter.”

Other released materials include letters from Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall throughout the production. On June 24, 2015, Kendall writes to the State Department Inspector General that the State Department is in possession of “all Secretary Clinton’s work-related … emails:” He continues that, as Hillary’s personal counsel, “We continue to retain a preservation copy of the .pst file containing the electronic copies of those e-mails, on a thumb drive that is stored in a secured safe at the offices of Williams and Connolly …”

I note at the outset that the Department of State is in possession of all of Secretary Clinton’s work-related and potentially work-related e-mails. Specifically, in response to an October 2014 letter request from the Department of State, Secretary Clinton’s counsel identified all work-related or potentially work-related e-mail in her possession, custody, or control. In total, 30,490 e-mails, all of which were from her @clintonemail.com account, were identified and provided in hard copy to the Department of State in _December 2014. A3 her personal counsel, we continue to retain a preservation copy of the .pst file containing the electronic copies of those e-mails, on a thumb drive that is stored in a secured safe at the offices of Williams & Connolly LLP, 725 12th Street NW, Washington DC 20005. The only two persons authorized to access that thumb drive are me and my law partner, Katherine Turner.

“Judicial Watch uncovered new ‘cover-up’ records on the illicit Clinton email system that further demonstrate the sham nature of the FBI/DOJ ‘investigation’ of her,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These shocking new documents show that various Obama agencies were protecting Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her misconduct. It is well past time for the DOJ to stop shielding Hillary Clinton and hold her fully accountable to the rule of law.”

In a different lawsuit Judicial Watch previously released 186 pages of records from the DOJ that include emails documenting an evident cover-up of a chart of potential violations of law by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And, in a separate lawsuit, Judicial Watch uncovered 215 pages of records from the DOJ revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues.

Judicial Watch has previously released numerous instances of classified information distributed through Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email system. For example, see here, here and here.

And, Judicial Watch is currently conducting depositions of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides.

Deep State Conspirators Shared Unmasked Targets With Foreign Intelligence Services

Ace of Spades blog

Ace

Remember the US intelligence trick? They can’t spy on US citizens without a warrant sufficient to clear the probable cause evidentiary hurdle. But if they tell foreign intelligence services to do the spying and slip the results back to the US intelligence community, they get their spying done by proxy, avoiding a judge’s scrutiny and any intersection with the US Constitution at all.

I think that that sort of thing maybe can be used on occasion. When there’s something very serious to investigate.

But here? No one has been charged with any kind of espionage or conspiracy with Russia after two and half, maybe three years of foreign intelligence service wiretaps, US wiretaps, undercover agent infiltration, grand jury investigations, etc.

Was this really the sort of situation where you resort to the anti-constitutional back door to get your spy on?

Well, it is — if you’re determined to win an election for your successor and the intelligence community supports you in that, and no one minds that they are devolving the United States of America into the grubbiest, most venal third world junta.

“A secret memo granted broad rights to the FBI to share information gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with foreign officials. Two-way exchange of information with foreign officials could allow the politicized targeting of Americans, since foreign nations aren’t obligated to uphold the U.S. Constitution. The efforts by the Justice Department to gather information on Trump aides repeatedly involved figures associated with foreign agencies.

Foreign allies strongly opposed President Donald Trump declassifying information illuminating the investigation into Russian collusion.”

Gee, I wonder why our foreign allies oppose this move so much.

Well, their names can be blacked out and recorded as “FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICES 1 and 2” as we do when we mask other actors we don’t wish to embarrass.

But the story of how the Obama Administration weaponized the intelligence community to rig an election must be told.

Monica Crowley argues in favor of a theory many of us believe — that the intelligence community, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Rice, etc. have been attacking Trump as viciously as possible because they know that they themselves might be facing actual criminal proceedings, and they want to make the record as dirty as possible so that non prosecutor would press such a case involving accusations and counter-accusations.

“The best defense, the saying goes, is a good offense. The key orchestrators of the Big Trump-Russia Collusion Lie seem to have hewed tightly to that tactical advice.

Over the past two years, one of their biggest “tells” has been their hyper-aggressive and gratuitous attacks on the president. Given that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found no collusion or obstruction of justice, their constant broadsides now look, in retrospect, like calculated pre-emptive strikes to deflect attention and culpability away from themselves.

By accusing Mr. Trump of what they themselves were guilty of, they created a masterful distraction through projection.

We now know that former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, are hip-deep in the conspiracy. Both wrote supposed “tell-all” books and carpet-bombed the media with interviews in which they regularly flung criminal accusations against the president. Whenever asked about their own roles, they reverted to denouncing Mr. Trump.

With Mr. Mueller’s findings, Mr. Comey’s and Mr. McCabe’s media benders look increasingly suspicious.

As do those of their comrades in the Obama national security apparatus, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his partner in possible crime, former CIA Director John Brennan, who, apart from former President Barack Obama himself, may be the biggest player of them all.” —

Julie Kelly at AmGreat also has her eye on John Brennan.

— “It was clear that Gowdy, who left office this year, already suspected Brennan largely had relied on the infamous Steele dossier as the primary source for his claims about Russian election activity. Gowdy asked Brennan directly whether the CIA had relied on the dossier.

“No,” Brennan answered. “It wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not in any way used as a basis for the intelligence community’s assessment that was done. Uh, it was, it was not.”

[T]he report was always thin gruel to fortify such a damning accusation; the substance of the document runs about 12 pages with plenty of white space, irrelevant images and a graph of the social media footprint of news outlets such as Russia Today and CNN….

Did Brennan Lie to Congress?

Now, there are questions about Brennan’s truthfulness in that testimony. On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted that “a high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report . . . Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.”

It’s a widely held belief — which can’t yet be proven, because the FBI and DOJ won’t tell us anything about what they did to get the FISA wiretap authorization — that the First FISA application, which was denied by the court, relied almost entirely on the dossier.

Having had that “corpus of intelligence” rejected as bullshit, they then attempted to phony up a case against George Papadopolous and Carter Page and get a FISA warrant based mostly on bullshit about them — while still referencing the dossier.

Again, we can’t prove this, but it is interesting that the FBI and DOJ are so stridently opposed to telling the people who pay their salaries what did happen here.

Finally, Devon Nunes says he might refer up to two dozen people for possible criminal charges, largely owing to lying to Congress and investigators — a criminal law which has previously only applied to Republicans or Republican-associates, but which it’s time to begin imposing on Democrats and Obama officials.

“Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., appeared to raise exceptions for the number of people who could be the subject of a criminal referral he plans to submit to the Justice Department in the coming days that focuses on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. …

“The American people need to have confidence in the FBI and the Department of Justice. We are working on the referrals,” Nunes said. “There’s going to be many of them. There are going to probably at least be a dozen if not two dozen individuals, and as we continue to get more information and build these and build them out, we want to make sure that everything is finished before we turn them in.”

Affirming commentary by host Sean Hannity about preventing future underhanded tactics to undermine President Trump, Nunes said, “There are people who definitely lied and misled Congress, OK? If they don’t go to prison, we are going to have a two-tier Justice Department, justice system in this country and it is not going to be good for the American people.”