Judicial Watch: Justice Department Discloses No FISA Court Hearings Held on Carter Page Warrants

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

 

Judicial Watch

(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.”

Federal Court Orders DOJ to Begin Searching and Producing Fusion GPS Records in Response to Judicial Watch Lawsuit

Court Criticizes DOJ’s FOIA Response 

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton instructed the Justice Department to immediately begin producing records about DOJ communications with Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr.  Nellie Ohr worked for Clinton campaign vendor Fusion GPS on the anti-Trump Dossier campaign document.

Judge Walton rejected a Justice Department request to begin producing documents six months from now and ordered the DOJ to begin producing documents immediately on a rolling basis over the next two months. Judge Walton also rejected DOJ’s efforts to restrict their search to only 2016.

Judge Walton repeatedly criticized the Justice Department during a June 14 hearing:

I think if it’s been almost, since December when the initial request was made more should have been done by now. And it seems to me if you have someone who’s going to come into office and they say they’re going to be a disrupter, that they should appreciate there’s going to be a lot of FOIA requests and therefore, should gear up to deal with those requests. So I’m not real sympathetic to the position that you have limited staff and therefore, you can’t comply with these requests. So I think you’re going to have to get some more people.

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I mean FOIA is considered to be very important. I keep getting from the government, from various agencies we can’t do this, we can’t do that because we don’t have the resources. I’m not real sympathetic to that. FOIA is important. Open government is important, and government has to comply with FOIA in order to make it an open government.

In March 2018 Judicial Watch filed the FOIA lawsuit after the Justice Department failed to respond to a December 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-00491)). The lawsuit seeks:

  • All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats, between DOJ officials in the Attorney General’s Office and Fusion GPS employee or contractor Nellie Ohr.

“We are pleased another court rejected the Justice Department’s inexcusable stonewalling on documents of intense public interest – Obama DOJ collusion with the Clinton campaign vendor Fusion GPS to target then-candidate Donald Trump,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “How extraordinary it is that this Justice Department is now under court order to stop stalling on releasing records about potential corruption in the Obama Justice Department!”

In December 2017, Bruce Ohr was removed from his position as U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General after it was revealed that he conducted undisclosed meetings with anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steel and Glenn Simpson, principal of Fusion GPS. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes on February 2 noted that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI.

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Judicial Watch Sues CIA, DOJ and Treasury for Records Related to Intelligence Leaks Regarding Investigation of General Flynn

Judicial Watch

Asks Court to Order Searches and Production of Records 

National Security Agency Refuses to Confirm or Deny Existence of Records 

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury regarding records related to the investigation of retired United States Army Lieutenant General Michel Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency et al. (No.1:17-cv-00397)).  (The National Security Agency refused to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records about communications between Gen. Flynn and Amb Kislyak.)

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agencies failed to respond to a January 25, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak between October 1, 2016 and the present.

This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all related warrants, affidavits, declarations, or similar records regarding the aforementioned investigation.

For purposes of clarification, please find enclosed a CNN report regarding the investigation, which cites information that was provided to CNN by members of the Intelligence Community.

In its complaint Judicial Watch asks the court to order the agencies to search for all records responsive to its FOIA requests and demonstrate that they employed reasonable search methods; order the agencies to produce by a specific date all non-exempt records and a Vaughn index of all withheld records; and instruct the agencies to cease withholding all non-exempt records.

On January 23, 2017, CNN reported that the government was investigating Flynn, former national security adviser to President Trump:

The calls were captured by routine US eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats, according to the intelligence and law enforcement officials. But the officials said some of the content of the conversation raised enough potential concerns that investigators are still looking into the discussions, amid a broader concern about Russian intelligence-gathering activities in the United States.

The officials all stressed that so far there has been no determination of any wrongdoing.

FBI and intelligence officials briefed members of the Obama White House team before President Barack Obama left office about the Flynn calls to the Russian ambassador, sources said.

“President Trump is on to something. The Obama-connected wiretapping and illegal leaks of classified material concerning President Trump and General Flynn are a scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch aims to get to the truth about these crimes and we hope the Trump administration stands with us in the fight for transparency.”

Judicial Watch: Second Federal Court Grants Discovery in Clinton Email Case

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Ruling Comes in FOIA Litigation over Benghazi Controversy

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted “limited discovery” to Judicial Watch into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email matter.  Lamberth ruled that “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate, even though it is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases.”

The court’s ruling comes in a July 2014 Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records related to the drafting and use of the Benghazi talking points (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).  The lawsuit seeks records specifically from Hillary Clinton and her top State Department staff:

Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency

Judge Lamberth granted Judicial Watch’s Motion for Discovery, which was filed in opposition to the State Department’s Motion for Summary Judgement.  The court ruled:

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New Documents Show Hillary Clinton Signed Off on Special Government Employment Job for Huma Abedin

JUDICIAL WATCH

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch released new State Department records today that reveal former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally signed the authorization for Huma Abedin, her then-deputy chief of staff, to become a special government employee.

The records also show that Abedin declined to provide complete information about her husband Anthony Weiner’s financial dealings.  The records were uncovered as a result of a court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Abedin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).  The records show Abedin used a clintonemail.com account to communicate about her special status.

In February 2014, the State Department assured Judicial Watch that it had searched several individual offices of the department, including the office of the executive secretary, which would have included the offices of the secretary of State and top staff. Relying upon the State Department’s misrepresentation that the agency conducted a reasonable search, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014.  Judge Emmet Sullivan reopened the lawsuit on June 19, 2015, in response to revelations about Clinton’s separate email system.

The newly uncovered documents show that Clinton personally signed the form for Abedin’s appointment as a “Special Government Employee/ senior advisor to Clinton on March 23, 2012.  The position description form details that Hillary Clinton certifies that Abedin’s “position is necessary to carry out Government functions for which I am responsible.”  The Obama State Department blacked out Clinton’s signature on the form, allegedly to protect Clinton’s privacy.

The documents also include details about Abedin’s “expert” position, which evidently also required a continued top secret clearance:

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Federal Judge Declares State Department Will “Answer For” Any Destruction of Clinton Emails

JUDICIAL WATCH

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that a federal judge warned the State Department that it will “have to answer for” any destruction of Hillary Clinton email records.  U. S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras made the statement at a July 9, 2015 status conference concerning a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for records about the State Department vetting of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s potential conflicts of interest (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00688)).  The transcript of the July 9 court hearing is available here.

At the hearing, attorney Chris Fedeli pressed Judicial Watch’s concerns about the preservation of records, especially email records that were not part of the 55,000 pages of records turned over by Mrs. Clinton to the State Department late last year.

In response, Judge Contreras said he was also “concerned” about the preservation of these records:

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Obama Issued a 2010 Directive to Facilitate the Islamist Takeover of the Middle East

Brotherhood

Independent Sentinel

Looking in the rearview mirror at Barack Obama’s Middle East policy, a clearer perspective has emerged. It shows a feckless leader who chose the Muslim Brotherhood to organize the Middle East and fight terrorism. In his mind and the collective minds of his advisers, they were the “moderates.”

A directive known as Presidential Study Directive 11 aka PSD-11 detailed his plan for the remapping of the Middle East.

Obama’s pursuit of the Muslim Brotherhood began early in his presidency. He invited the terror group to his apology speech at Al Azhar University in Cairo in June 2009. Mubarak and his cabinet did not attend Obama’s meeting because of their presence.

Under a directive he issued, Barack Obama and his sycophants in the White House, planned the decimation of the Middle East though they thought they were saving the region by organizing and supporting an Islamist takeover of at least four countries. In some cases, the administration armed the terrorist insurgents, always believing them to be moderates.

The president even chose who would lead the Middle East. He chose the Muslim Brotherhood.

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