Judicial Watch Sues Justice and State Departments for Uranium One Records

Clinton operations receive tens of millions of dollars of contributions from Uranium One/Russia Interests

 

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 and the U.S. Department of State for all records of communications relating to Uranium One (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00722)). The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 29.

Judicial Watch sued the agencies after they failed to respond to two December 22, 2017, FOIA requests. Judicial Watch asked the Justice Department for:

  • All records regarding, the company Uranium One (otherwise known as Uranium One, Inc. or SXR Uranium One, Inc.), including records of communication sent to and from officials in the offices of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, and the National Security Division from January 20, 2009 through December 31, 2013.

The State Department was asked to produce:

  • Any records relating to the company Uranium One (otherwise known as Uranium One, Inc. or SXR Uranium One, Inc.), including records of communication sent to and from officials in the Office of the Secretary of State, Office of the Legal Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Office of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Office of International Security and Nonproliferation, and the Office of Political-Military Affairs from January 20, 2009 through December 31, 2013.

This lawsuit is part of Judicial Watch’s continuing investigation of the highly controversial 2010 Uranium One deal. At the time, a Russia state-owned nuclear firm, Rosatom, sought to buy Uranium One, a Canadian mining company. Because Uranium One held licenses for 20 percent of America’s uranium production capacity, the sale had to be approved by the nine members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who assented to the transaction. Uranium One interests contributed more than $140 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In January 2008, Judicial Watch revealed that Bill Clinton had helped Vancouver mining mogul Frank Giustra secure tens of millions of dollars’ worth of uranium. Guistra built a company that became part of Uranium One. The Clinton Foundation later received a $31.3 million donation, as well as a future pledge of $100 million. In July 2014, Judicial Watch released more than 200 Clinton conflict-of interest documents, including a record of a speech in Moscow in June 2010 sponsored by the investment bank Renaissance Capital by Bill Clinton addressing the theme of “Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Going Global.” The document notes that “Renaissance Capital is an investment bank focused on the emerging markets of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and sub-Saharan Africa.” Renaissance Capital has also been linked to Russia efforts to gain control of Uranium One.

“It is simply remarkable that Judicial Watch had to sue the State and Justice Departments in federal court for basic information about the shady Uranium One deal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It seems Judicial Watch has done more to investigate the Clinton-Russia connections than the Justice Department, even as DOJ resources are spent on supporting Mueller’s massive investigation into the fanciful Clinton Dossier-inspired Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. We hope the Uranium One cover-up ends thanks to these lawsuits.”

According to a 2013 New York Times report, the Clinton Foundation hid many of the beneficiaries of the Uranium One deal approved by CFIUS and Mrs. Clinton:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.

Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank [Renaissance Capital] with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

Prior to the Uranium One deal, the FBI reportedly “had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.”

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

***

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rob Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe …”

Judicial Watch Sues for Soros Documents – Files FOIA Lawsuits Against State Department and USAID for Records about Funding and Political Activities of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations in Romania and Colombia

Judicial Watch now has four FOIA lawsuits relating to the Obama administration’s funding for Soros’ Open Society Foundations operations 

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records relating to their funding of the political activities of the Soros Open Society Foundations of Romania (Judicial Watch v. U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:18-cv-00667)) and the Soros Open Society Foundations of Colombia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00668)).

The Soros Open Society Foundations of Romania lawsuit was filed after State and USAID failed to substantively respond to an October 16, 2017, FOIA request seeking among other records:

  • All records relating to any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its personnel and/or any OSFR subsidiary or affiliate.
  • All assessments, evaluations, reports or similar records relating to the work of Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations.

The Soros Open Society Foundations of Colombia lawsuit was filed after State failed to respond to an October 23, 2017, FOIA request seeking among other records:

  • All records regarding any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Colombia and/or any OSF subsidiaries/affiliates, and/or OSF personnel operating in Colombia, as well as the following entities: Fundacion Ideas para la Paz; La Silla Vacia; DeJusticia; Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris; Paz y Reconciliacion; Global Drug Policy Program; and news portal Las Dos Orillas.
  • All records of communication, whether by e-mails, text messages, or instant chats, between any officials, employees or representatives of the State Department in Colombia, including Ambassador Kevin Whitaker and any officials, employees or representatives of the Open Society Foundation, its subsidiaries/affiliates, and/or those entities identified in the first bullet.

As in other parts of the world, a number of Soros-funded entities and projects in Romania are also funded by the United States Government. The Romanian Center for Independent Journalism, which is supported by the Open Society Institute in New York, recently received $17,000 from the State Department.

In February 2017, Laura Silber of Open Society Foundations reportedly condemned “illiberal governments” in the Balkans, such as Macedonia, Albania and Romania, for working against the Soros NGOs. In Romania, in March 2017, the leader of the governing party reportedly charged that the Soros foundations “that he has funded since 1990 have financed evil.”

Soros’ NGOs in Colombia are reportedly receiving millions from USAID:

Verdad Abierta, a web-based portal created by Teresa Ronderos, director of the Open Society Program on Independent Journalism, boasts on its website that it receives support from USAID. Abierta has helped rewrite Colombia’s history, elevating terrorists to the same level as the legitimate police and military forces, and rebranding decades of massacres, kidnappings, child soldiering, and drug trafficking by a criminal syndicate as simply “50 years of armed conflict.”

Fundacion Ideas para la Paz, once led by peace negotiator Sergio Jaramillo, now a member of the oversight “junta,” is funded by the Open Society Foundations and has received more than $200,000 in U.S. tax dollars.

The left-wing news portal La Silla Vacia, another Open Society initiative, also boasts of being a USAID grantee. Its columnist, Rodrigo Uprimny, whose NGO DeJusticia also partners with USAID and Open Society, is considered one of the architects of the peace deal.

Former National Liberation Army terrorist Leon Valencia—Open Society collaborator and grantee—has received at least $1,000,000 in USAID funding through his NGOs Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris and Paz y Reconciliacion, and left-wing news portal Las Dos Orillas, which he co-founded.

In 2016, Soros’ Open Society Foundations gave more than $3.3 million to organizations operating in Colombia. Several of those organizations have also been financially supported by the United States government, having received more than $5 million from the Department of State, USAID, and the Inter-American Foundation (a federal agency) in recent years. One of the Soros-funded entities, an LGBT advocacy organization, was also selected by the Inter-American Foundation as a partner organization in its Colombia peace project initiative.

“It is time for Americans to be allowed to see State Department documentation regarding the public funding of Soros’ Open Society Foundations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The billionaire George Soros needs zero assistance from taxpayers to promote his far-left agenda abroad.”

Judicial Watch now has three FOIA lawsuits relating to the Obama administration’s funding for Soros’ operations. Judicial Watch is pursuing information about Soros’ activities in Macedonia and Albania, as well. The former Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski reportedly called for a “de-Sorosization” of society. In February 2017, Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia in collusion with George Soros.

In a March 2017, letter to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, six U.S. Senators (Sens. Lee (R-UT), Inhofe (R-OK), Tillis (R-NC), Cruz (R-TX), Perdue (R-GA) and Cassidy (R-LA)) called on the secretary to investigate the relations between USAID and the Soros Foundations and how U.S. tax dollars are being used by the State Department and the USAID to support left-of-center political groups who seek to impose left-leaning policies in countries such as Macedonia and Albania.

Judicial Watch Sues for Text Messages of FBI’s Strzok and Page

JUDICIAL WATCH

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for text messages and other records of FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)).

Judicial Watch filed suit after the Justice Department failed to respond to a December 4, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strozk and FBI attorney Lisa Page;
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strozk;
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.

The time frame for the requested records is February 1, 2015 to the present.

The text messages are of public interest because Strzok and Page were key investigators in the Clinton email and Trump Russia collusion investigations. Strzok was reportedly removed from the Mueller investigative team in August and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and a FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and with whom Strzok was carrying on an extramarital affair, exchanged pro-Clinton and anti-Trump text messages.

Strzok reportedly oversaw the FBI’s interviews of former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn; changed former FBI Director James Comey’s language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her illicit email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless;” played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton; and is suspected of being responsible for using the unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s campaign.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, revealed in a letter dated January 20 that the FBI claimed it is unable to preserve text messages for a five-month period between December 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, due to “misconfiguration issues” with FBI-issued phones used by Strzok and Page. The missing messages span dates between the presidential transition and the launch of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, where both Strzok and Page were employed.

The Strzok-Page text messages are potentially responsive to several pending Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuits, but the FBI has yet to produce any of the records, explain the missing records to the courts, or otherwise be forthcoming about these newly disclosed materials.

“I don’t believe for one minute that the Strzok-Page texts are really missing,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The IRS told us that Lois Lerner’s emails were ‘missing,’ and we forced them to admit they existed and deliver them to us. The State Department hid the Clinton emails but our FOIA lawsuits famously blew open that cover-up. We fully intend to get the ‘missing’ Strzok and Page documents. And it is shameful the FBI and DOJ have been playing shell games with these smoking gun text messages. Frankly, FBI Director Wray needs to stop the stonewalling”

Terrorist Front Group Outraged School Cancelled Muslim Speaker after Parents Complained

It’s ironic that the Islamic terrorist front group that bullied U.S. law enforcement agencies into purging counterterrorism training materials is outraged that a public school disinvited a Muslim speaker after parents complained. The bruhaha occurred at Northeast Middle School in Bristol, Connecticut. A Muslim woman named Annam Choudhry was scheduled to speak this week in a social studies class, according to an article in the local paper. Choudhry is the founder of a group called YURSA and she was planning to “dispel misconceptions” about the Islamic faith for the seventh-grade students.

Parents received a letter earlier this month announcing that on November 22 Choudhry would discuss misconceptions about her religion and her experiences as a female Muslim. Posted on social media, the letter describes Choudhry as “a young Muslim woman who was born and raised in New York City who now resides in Connecticut.” It continues: “She started YUSRA, an organization for the empowerment of Muslim women. Their mission is to train Muslim women to inform others about the Islamic faith and to dispel misconceptions that are prevalent in today’s society. This presentation will enrich our curriculum on world history.” Parents and other residents of the suburb, which is located about 20 miles southwest of Hartford, expressed fury.

The controversy led the Bristol Board of Education to cancel Choudhry’s engagement, claiming the teacher who scheduled it received threats, though Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould said there is no “specific threat that required police investigation at this point.” Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu told the local paper she supports the superintendent’s decision to cancel the presentation for the safety of students and staff. Cries of discrimination and censorship soon followed. Calling it a “disturbing example” free speech suppression, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) claims it has documented many protests over the teaching of Islam in schools.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which reportedly raises money for Hamas, blasted the school district for cancelling the Muslim presentation, asserting that it “emboldens individuals and organizations in Bristol who are Islamophobic” and does a disservice to Bristol students and the community as a whole. Farhan Memon, the chairman of the group’s Connecticut chapter, said it is vital that school children are exposed to Islam at a time when the civil liberties of Muslim Americans are under attack by policies like “Trump’s Muslim Bans.” Memon also said he is “concerned that Bristol Public Schools would seemingly bow to public pressure in this manner.”

Ironically, the nation’s law enforcement agencies bowed to pressure from CAIR to alter counterterrorism training materials deemed by the group to discriminate against Muslim. Under Barack Obama, CAIR wielded tremendous power and managed to coerce law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal level to revamp counterterrorism training materials. This includes getting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to purge anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined by CAIR to be “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal and obtained the FBI records three years ago.

Based on troves of government documents, Judicial Watch subsequently published a special, in-depth report on the scandal. CAIR is not specifically named but the records show that an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) determined the federal training material was offensive to Muslims. CAIR also got police departments in Illinois to eliminate anti-terrorism training materials and instructors deemed anti-Muslim. As an example, CAIR asserted that an instructor for the Lombard, Illinois police force wrote an article years earlier that included disparaging comments about the Prophet Muhammad. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands. Earlier this year CAIR ordered the Air Force to sever ties with an instructor it considers to be anti-Muslim.

Keep in mind that CAIR is a terrorist front group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities. Judicial Watch also tried to find out if CAIR got the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overhaul its anti-terrorism training but the spy agency said it could “neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records” involving meetings or communications with the Muslim rights group. The CIA asserted that the information is classified intelligence protected from disclosure. The response goes on to cite the statutes-such as the CIA Act of 1949 and National Security Act of 1947-that allow the agency to hide even the most benign information from the American public. It’s likely that the CIA met with CAIR during the Obama years-or at least had communication with the extremist group-and doesn’t want the public to know about it.

New Clinton Classified Emails Discovered

Advisor Sid Blumenthal Writes: ‘Serious Trouble for Libyan Rebels’

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch today released 109 pages of new Hillary Clinton emails from her tenure as secretary of state. The documents include two email exchanges classified confidential and a 2011 exchange with Sid Blumenthal about “serious trouble for the Libyan rebels.”

The newly-produced emails were part of 72,000 pages of documents the FBI recovered last year in its investigation into Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system. The records include emails Hillary Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose.

Two heavily redacted emails marked Classified Confidential included a November 2011 exchange under the Subject: “Egyptian MFA on Hamas-PLO talks,” and a June 28, 2011 email from Clinton to Abedin in which Clinton writes “I have now promised the Kuwaiti PM 3 times that I will deliver an address at the Oxford Islamic Center. Pls be sure that’s on the list for next Fall/next year.”

On March 9, 2011, Sid Blumenthal emailed Clinton about the situation in Libya, with the subject line “H: serious trouble for Libyan rebels. Sid” The email discusses urging leaders of the National Libyan Council (NLC) “to consider hiring private troops (mercenaries) to support, organize, and train the rebel forces in Libya.” Blumenthal adds that “a small number of private troops could turn the battle against Qaddafi’s forces, particularly if they are equipped with sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.” Clinton asks former aide Huma Abedin to “print for me w/o any identifiers”.

The Washington Times reported Libyan officials were deeply concerned in 2011 that Clinton was responsible for weapons being funneled to NATO-backed rebels in Libya with ties to al Qaeda.

On October 6, 2009, Clinton’s then-Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills emailsI am purposefully on gmail” to Abedin and Maggie Williams, former campaign manager for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. [Emphasis added] Mills was responding to an October 4, 2009, email from Clinton, most of which was redacted.

On January 6, 2012, Clinton can be seen “expediting” a citizenship request so the requestor can get a government job in policy or law enforcement:

I am told by Citizenship and Immigration (CIS) caseworkers that it may be at least another 8 months before they get to me, making the total time more than a year (they advertise 6 months total turnaround time).

Would you consider helping me by reaching out to DHS Secretary Napolitano or CIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas who reports to her on my behalf? The ask is to simply consider moving up my applications for review ASAP. My application is complete, straight forward and I have nothing to hide.”

Clinton responds: “I’m copying Huma [Abedin] and asking her to see if we can help expedite this for you because we want you to be a citizen as soon as possible! I’ve got my fingers crossed.  Happy New Year–H”

On August 4, 2009, Terrence Duffy, a donor to the Clinton Foundation and executive chairman of the derivatives giant CME Group, asks Clinton for her assistance in setting up meetings with Asian leaders.

I am planning a trip to Asia for October 3-10. While there, I will be traveling to Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore and I was wondering if there is any way you could help set up a meeting or 2 with some elected officials in any of those regions. Once again, you’re doing an amazing job and all of America is very fortunate to have you as our Secretary of State.”

Clinton responds: “Terry–I’m emailing from Capetown [sic], one of my favorite cities in the world. I’m copying your email to Huma so she can follow up w you regarding your Asia trip. Hope you’re well. All the best, H”

Judicial Watch previously reported that Duffy had also asked Clinton in September to arrange “government appointments” for his October trip. Duffy gave $4,600 to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign; in November 2013 CME Group paid Hillary Clinton a $225,000 speaking fee and has donated between $5,001 and 10,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

In November 2016, the State Department was ordered to produce no less than 500 pages of records a month to Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in May 2015 after the State Department failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)). The lawsuit seeks:

  • 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.

Under the current pace of production, the Clinton emails and other records won’t fully be available for possible release until at least 2020.

“These new Clinton emails add to the pile of evidence demonstrating the need for a serious criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton and her associates,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is shameful that this State Department is releasing these Clinton emails so slowly. I trust President Trump agrees the State Department and Justice Department need to follow the rule of law and stop covering for Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.”

These emails are also available on the State Department’s website.

Judicial Watch Sues Justice Department for Communications about Former FBI Director Comey’s Controversial Senate Testimony

Did Mueller Coordinate with Comey On Anti-Trump Testimony

 

JUDICIAL WATCH

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records of communications relating to former FBI Director James Comey’s controversial testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-02316)).

Judicial Watch sued after the Justice Department failed to respond to an August 14, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

All records of communications between the Department of Justice and former FBI Director James Comey prior to and regarding Comey’s testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017.

Fox News reported: “A source close to James Comey tells Fox News the former FBI director’s Senate testimony has been ‘closely coordinated’ with Robert Mueller, whom the Justice Department appointed as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.”

On June 8, 2017, Comey gave testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in which he admitted: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter [for The New York Times]. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

In his testimony Comey detailed multiple conversations with President Trump. Comey confirmed he told President Trump three times that he was not a target of investigation and testified about President Trump’s firing of him.

On May 16, 2017, The New York Times reported that it received a leaked memorandum from former Director Comey detailing a conversation between President Trump and Comey regarding the FBI’s investigation of potential Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.

Judicial Watch is pursuing numerous additional FOIA lawsuits (see here, here, here, and here) relating to former Director Comey’s memoranda and FBI exit records.

Judicial Watch also sent Acting FBI Director Andrew G. McCabe a warning letter concerning the FBI’s legal responsibility under the Federal Records Act (FRA) to recover records, including memos Comey subsequently leaked to the media, unlawfully removed from the Bureau by former Director James Comey.

“Mr. Comey may have violated the law in leaking these memos to the media,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It would be a scandal if Comey coordinated his Senate testimony with Mr. Mueller’s special counsel office. That we have had to sue in federal court speaks volumes.”

###

Grieving Father Sues Secretaries of Defense and Army to Award Purple Heart to Sgt. Joshua A. Berry for Injuries He Sustained in 2009 Terrorist Attack at Fort Hood, Texas

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced it filed a lawsuit on behalf of Howard M. Berry, the father of the late U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua A. Berry, against the Secretaries of Defense and Army to award the Purple Heart to Sgt. Berry for injuries sustained in the 2009 international terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas (Howard M. Berry v. Ryan D. McCarthy, Acting Secretary of the Army and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense (No. 1:17-cv-02112)).

Judicial Watch points out:

Following the Fort Hood attack, the Secretary of Defense declined to recognize the mass shooting as an international terrorist attack against the United States. Instead, the attack was characterized as “workplace violence.” As a result, active duty service members injured in the attack were ineligible for the Purple Heart, among other awards and benefits.

In response, Congress enacted legislation in 2014 mandating that service members killed or wounded in an attack targeting members of the armed forces and carried out by an individual in communication with and inspired or motivated by a foreign terrorist organization be eligible for the Purple Heart….

The new lawsuit describes how Sgt. Berry was injured during the Ft. Hood terrorist attack:

On November 5, 2009, U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan (“Hasan”) opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing thirteen people and injuring more than 30 service members and civilians. Sgt. Berry was among the service members injured in the attack. Sgt. Berry was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, at Fort Hood. He had deployed to Afghanistan for approximately a year in June 2008 and was at Fort Hood as part of a transition program following his return from deployment. He was one of the last soldiers awaiting redeployment to Fort Knox at the time of the attack.

The briefing room in Building 42004 had a set of metal double doors leading to the outside. In witness statements given to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command (“CID”) and in a separate statement given to a Texas Ranger, Sgt. Berry estimated that Hasan fired 30-40 rounds outside Building 42004. Sgt. Berry told those around him to get down on the floor and stay away from the doors and windows. When Sgt. Berry heard gunshots hit the metal doors near him, he leaped over a desk to take cover and, in so doing, dislocated his left shoulder. He then heard Hasan trying to kick in the doors. According to a witness statement from another individual, Hasan fired three rounds at the briefing room doors.

Investigative photographs and sketches of the SRP center show the layout of buildings and the location of shell casings from the shots fired by Hasan. The photographs and sketches show a number of shell casings around the metal doors of the briefing room where Sgt. Berry was located during the shooting.

Following the attack, Sgt. Berry was admitted to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009, where his dislocated shoulder was surgically repaired.

The attending physician who admitted Sgt. Berry found that Sgt. Berry’s injury occurred during the mass shooting at the SRP center.

Sgt. Berry’s commander found the injury to have been incurred in the line of duty and documented that Sgt. Berry was a casualty of the mass shooting at the SRP center.

On November 6, 2009, Sgt. Berry was entered into the U.S. Army casualty reporting system with a diagnosis of shoulder dislocation as a result of the mass shooting at the SRP center.

A photograph of Sgt. Berry meeting with President Barack Obama at a November 10, 2009 memorial service at Fort Hood, included herewith as Exhibit A, shows Sgt. Berry’s left

arm in a sling.

By memorandum dated December 7, 2009, the Fort Hood Installation Adjutant General confirmed that Sgt. Berry’s shoulder dislocation occurred in the line of duty.

CID, the Texas Rangers, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a joint investigation of the shooting and subsequently found probable cause to believe Hasan committed the offense of attempted murder when he fired at Sgt. Berry.

On May 2, 2011, a Physical Evaluation Board found Sgt. Berry unfit for continued military service due to post-traumatic stress disorder, the shoulder injury received in the Fort Hood shooting, and degenerative arthritis of the spine. It recommended a combined disability rating of 80%.

On May 31, 2011, Sgt. Berry was released from active duty and placed on the temporary disability retired list.

On February 13, 2013, Sgt. Berry committed suicide. He was 36 years old. Sgt. Berry is survived by Plaintiff and a now 7-year old daughter.

At his August 2013 court martial, Hasan admitted to being influenced by Anwar Awlaki, chief propagandist for the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist group.

On February 6, 2015, the Secretary of the Army announced that the Fort Hood attack met the criteria for awards of the Purple Heart. In its review of the mass shooting, the Army found sufficient evidence to conclude Hasan “was in communication with the foreign terrorist organization before the attack,” and that his radicalization and subsequent acts could be considered to have been “inspired or motivated by the foreign terrorist organization.”

The U.S. Army Decorations Board denied Mr. Berry’s application, for a posthumous award of the Purple Heart to his son. In April 2015, the Army awarded the Purple Heart to 47 servicemembers injured in the Fort Hood attack. Sgt. Berry was not among them.

On April 17, 2016, a three-member panel of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records recommended that all Army records concerning Sgt. Berry be corrected by awarding Sgt. Berry the Purple Heart. The panel found “[t]here is no question that [Sgt. Berry]’s injury met the basic medical criteria for award of the [Purple Heart].”

In the lawsuit, Judicial Watch asks the court to declare the Secretary of the Army’s October 28, 2016, decision to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with the law; to declare that the denial of Berry’s application was unsupported by evidence; and to prevent the Army from continuing to deny Sgt. Berry a Purple Heart.

“Sgt. Berry deserves the Purple Heart and the bureaucracy should stop obstructing his just cause,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Frankly, we can’t imagine that President Trump, President Obama or Secretary Mattis would disagree that Sgt. Berry should be posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained during the Ft. Hood attack.”