Judicial Watch Sues for Secret FBI Chart of Potential Violations of Law by Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch

 

Also suing for Comey’s Talking Points On Clinton Email Decision

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking draft copies of FBI charts containing information on potential “statutory violations” committed by Hillary Clinton in the former secretary of State’s use of a non-secure, non-government email server to conduct government business.

Judicial Watch is also suing for draft copies of talking points prepared by the FBI for its officials to use following then-Director James Comey’s July 2016 press conference during which he recommended against prosecuting Clinton for mishandling classified information.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 3, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00800)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  1. All final and draft copies of talking points prepared by the FBI for its Executive Assistant Directors (EADs) relating to the “Mid-Year Exam” investigation (“MYE Talking Points) following the July 5, 2016 James Comey press conference in which he indicated he would not recommend prosecuting Hillary Clinton.
  2. All final draft copies of a one-page version of the aforementioned MYE Talking Points created for FBI Special Agents-in-Charge (SACs).
  3. All final and draft copies of charts of the “statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Hillary Clinton’s server], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute.”

Judicial Watch recently uncovered DOJ records in a related lawsuit showing that three days after then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference announcing that he would not recommend a prosecution of Clinton. On July 8, 2016,  the Special Counsel to the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of the National Security Branch, whose name is redacted, wrote to Strzok and others that he was producing a “chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Clinton’s server], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute…”

Neither these talking points nor the chart of potential violations committed by Clinton and her associates have been released.

“Judicial Watch will continue pressing for the secret FBI chart of potential Hillary Clinton crimes,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The FBI should focus on this Clinton ‘matter’ now that it is unencumbered by the corrupt  partisanship of Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, etc.”

Judicial Watch Uncovers More Classified Emails in Hillary Clinton’s Unsecure Email System

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch today announced it received 756 pages of newly uncovered emails that were among the materials former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to delete or destroy, several of which were classified and were transmitted over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system.

Hillary Clinton repeatedly stated that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in another Judicial Watch case, she declared under penalty of perjury in 2015 that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”

In 2017, the FBI uncovered 72,000 pages of documents Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose. Until the court intervened and established a new deadline, the State Department had been slow-walking the release of those documents at a rate that would have required Judicial Watch and the American people to wait until at least 2020 to see all the releasable Clinton material. The production of documents in this case is now concluded with the FBI being only able to recover or find approximately 5,000 of the 33,000 government emails Hillary Clinton took and tried to destroy.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in response to a 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 and received by former Secretary of State Hillary 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.

This final batch of Clinton emails includes five new classified emails and communications with controversial figures Lanny Davis and Sidney Blumenthal.

On April 27, 2011, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent classified information discussing Palestinian issues to Clinton’s personal unsecure email account.

On May 19, 2011, Blair again sent classified information to Clinton’s personal unsecure email account discussing a “speech.”

A classified email exchange between Blair and Clinton took place from January 16, 2009 (while George W. Bush was still president) and January 24, 2009. The subject line is “Re: Gaza.” Blair on January 16, 2009, relayed information he learned from Middle East leaders and noted that he wanted to get something “resolved before Tuesday” (when Obama would be sworn in as president). Clinton responded to Blair on January 19, 2009, writing “Tony – We are finally moving and I am looking forward to talking w you as soon as I’m confirmed, tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. Your emails are very helpful so pls continue to use this address,” hr15@att.blackberry.net. Blair followed up by saying “It would be great if we could talk before any announcements are made.”

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane sent Clinton classified information, apparently during early 2009. The subject line of the email is redacted, but the text appears to show a discussion on information about Iraq.

In September 2, 2010, email exchange marked classified, longtime Clinton confidante Lanny Davis tells Secretary Clinton that he could serve as a private channel for her to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he had a “private and highly trusted communication line, unofficial and personal, to PM N[etanyahu].” Davis goes on to say “[N]o one on the planet (other than your wonderful husband) can get this done as well as you.…” Secretary Clinton responds with classified information, saying “I will reach out to you directly and hope you will continue to do the same w me. The most important issue now is [Redacted B1].”

In a September 18, 2010, email, Davis emails Clinton to tell her that “As soon as I wrote last email, I reverted to my old role as your crisis manager and worrier about you, read the word ‘optics’ I suddenly felt – oops. I am registered under FARA for one or more foreign governments or businesses. I don’t think it would look right. I want to avoid any even slight chance of misperception.” Clinton replies, “Thx for looking out for me, my friend. I’ll tell Cheryl to stand down.” Davis replied, “100% off-the-record.”

An email with the subject line “Clinton-Ivanishvili Meeting” shows a meeting with pro-Putin, Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who was reportedly involved in a Russia-rigged election for president of the Republic of Georgia. On May 29, 2012, longtime Clinton political operative Craig T. Smith emailed Cheryl Mills, asking if a meeting between Secretary Clinton and Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili was “happening,” saying: “Would be a good thing if it can work out.” Mills tells Smith she’ll revert and forwards the email to Jake Sullivan, Human Abedin and Lona Valmoro, asking them if they were setting up the meeting, noting that it involved “meeting with the opposition” and asking what she could tell Smith. Valmoro responds that the meeting with Ivanishvili was “on the schedule.”

An undated email from former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott to Clinton discusses that “VP” Joe Biden was “thinking seriously about a Biden-Putin Commission.”

The documents reveal that Clinton had been assigned an official government email address with which she could have conducted government business, clintonhr@state.gov. She also reportedly had additional government addresses at her disposal: SMSGS@state.gov and SSHRC@state.gov, neither of which were configured to send or receive emails.

The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch also include an email to Tamera Luzzatto, former chief of staff during Clinton’s tenure as U.S. Senator for New York. Clinton talks about getting “a secure computer set up soon.”

Tamera–this is my new address, but, pls know, I cannot check it during the day unless I leave my office. I hope to have a secure computer set up soon to be able to get email during the workday. Much love, H.

On October 29, 2009, a Clinton Foundation employee and close Clinton adviser Sid Blumenthal forwarded a proposal for a commercial contract related to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from retired CIA officer-turned-contractor Gary Berntsen, to Clinton (copying Cheryl Mills), saying that Berntsen had been “unable to break through the bureaucracy with it.” Mills then forwarded the email to Jake Sullivan. Blumenthal noted that “Cody [Shearer] and I are following up.” Blumenthal and Shearer were both implicated in the creation of the Obama administration’s anti-Trump Russia “collusion” counterintelligence operation by providing “reports” relating to Trump-Russia collusion to the U.S. Government.

On January 29, 2009, Blumenthal emailed Secretary Clinton a memo he titled “Good Cop, Bad Cop”, where Blumenthal informs Clinton that his sources tell him that an “attack” on the appointment by Obama of former Sen. George Mitchell as Special Envoy to the Middle East was “coordinated by Jewish institutional leaders and carefully scripted.” Also cited is Mitchell’s “Arab descent” as making him “politically vulnerable.” Blumenthal told Clinton that any conversations she had with Netanyahu “flows directly and instantly back to top (U.S.) Jewish leadership.” Further on in his memo, Blumenthal says that Netanyahu and “Jewish leadership” should “be expected to use political means, including outsourcing personal attacks” to counter Obama administration moves and said Netanyahu was “deeply connected to political networks in the U.S. – media, Jewish groups, Republican leaders, and right-wing Christian” organizations. To provide a “heat shield” from Netanyahu’s attacks, Blumenthal advises Clinton that Obama should hire a “bad cop” who is “organically tied to the President” and a “political appointee, Jewish, considered a true friend of Israel…” Clinton responded by saying, “Thanks for these. And I will call you in the next few days.”

In an October 20, 2012, email exchange between top State Department and Clinton Foundation officials discussing arrangements for Bill and Hillary’s trip to Haiti. That trip focused on the opening of the Caracol Industrial Park, funded by a $300 million+ grant from USAID. The Caracol Park came to be seen as a hugely wasteful disaster, that was supposed to create 65,000 jobs for Haitians but as of January 2015 only produced 4,500.

On January 25, 2009, Chelsea Clinton’s high school friend Nicole Davison (now Nicole Davison Fox), made a hiring recommendation to Secretary Clinton for the State Department. Clinton forwarded Davison’s recommendation on to Cheryl Mills, telling Mills to “follow up” on the “wonderful recommendation.” Mills replied, “K.”

Maggie Williams, campaign manager of Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential bid, forwarded to Clinton a note sent to her by then-managing partner of the Gallup Organization, which said that “Gallup Polls suggest Obama’s plan to expedite withdrawal from Iraq could help improve some residents’ opinion [referring to Iraqis’ opinion of US leadership.]” Williams proposed to Secretary Clinton sending a group of high-level State Department officials to Gallup “for a presentation”, including Jack Lew, Jim Steinberg, Cheryl Mills and Lissa Muscatine. Williams would later suggest adding Jake Sullivan and Anne-Marie Slaughter to the Gallup presentation.

On February 18, 2009, chairman of telecom company Centurylink, Bill Owens, emailed Clinton (copying Abedin) asking if he could get a meeting with the secretary during her upcoming trip to China. Abedin responded, saying that she was talking to Owens’ assistant to “arrange for the two of you to visit for a few minutes” during Clinton’s trip. Owens had been appointed Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. After retiring from the Navy in 1996, he became chairman of defense contractor SAIC.

In a January 3, 2011-March 1, 2011, email thread, Susanne Helmsley, a staffer at the World Economic Forum (ie, Davos) emailed leftist Christian writer-activist Jim Wallis to inform him that former British PM Gordon Brown would not be invited to the upcoming Davos meeting, because “our policy (and this makes Davos distinctive) is to only invite people who are still in power.” She also noted that the “theme” of the upcoming Davos meeting would be “Shared Norms for the New Reality”, noting that “the discussions of values will be a major element in Davos, since norms are only sustainable if built on values.” Wallis mentions his prior partnership with Bangladeshi banker Mohammad Yunus, who would be charged the next year with tax fraud and embezzling from the bank he’d founded, Grameen Bank.

On five occasions Clinton’s secretary, Lauren Jiloty, sent Clinton’s sensitive daily itinerary to her on her unsecure email account.

On January 29, 2009, State Department official Ashley Yehl received a Judicial Watch press release from Associated Press reporter Matt Lee about a lawsuit Judicial Watch filed on behalf of State Department official David Rodearmel challenging Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State. Yehl forwarded the email on to several other State people, who in turn forwarded it on to State’s Legal Office and official James Thessin. Thessin sent it along to Cheryl Mills who sent it on to Secretary Clinton, assuring Clinton that the Department of Justice would defend her against the Judicial Watch lawsuit.

“We continue to uncover classified information mishandled by Hillary Clinton in emails that she tried to hide or destroy. This is further evidence of the urgency for the DOJ to finally undertake a complete and legitimate criminal investigation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Attorney General Barr should immediately order a new investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal.”

 

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Judicial Watch Files Ethics Complaint Over Rep. Adam Schiff’s Contacts with Glenn Simpson and Michael Cohen

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed an official complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics about Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) controversial communications and contacts with two congressional witnesses: Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS and Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer.

The complaint asks that Rep. Schiff, who is the new chairman of the House Intelligence Community, be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he met with Simpson in Aspen, Colorado, in July 2018 and that he and his staff coordinated with Michael Cohen on Cohen’s recent testimony to congressional committees. Cohen’s testimony is alleged to be false in several important respects.

Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint on April 13, 2018, against Rep. Schiff and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) for improperly confirming classified information in violation of House rules but the Committee has yet to take any public action on the complaint.

“Rep. Schiff has an ethics problem. His and his staff’s irregular communications with anti-Trump witnesses reflect poorly on the credibility of the House and its committees’ investigations,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It has long been apparent that Rep. Schiff can’t be trusted to lead the Intelligence Committee, so we hope that Democrats on the Ethics Committee stop protecting Mr. Schiff and take action.”

The latest Judicial Watch ethics complaint is reprinted below:

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as our official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concerning the activities of Rep. Adam Schiff. Rep. Schiff appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses. Clauses 1 and 2 provide:

1.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

Rep. Adam Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm Fusion GPS. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Rep. Schiff and Glenn Simpson at the July 2018 Aspen Security Forum. As noted in The Hill newspaper:

At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Fusion GPS is the political opposition research firm involved in procuring “unverified” information claiming the Trump presidential campaign had “colluded” with Russia, among other things. That Fusion GPS-supplied information was the basis upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Mr. Simpson’s leadership of Fusion GPS and his centrality to events resulted in his having to testify before congressional committees or their staffs. Specifically, Mr. Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Rep. Schiff was the ranking Democratic member, on October 16, 2018 – approximately three (3) months after the Aspen Security Forum.

We note that following revelations in 2017 that Rep. Devin Nunes had informed President Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies had been engaging in “incidental collection” of his campaign’s communications, Rep. Schiff demanded that Rep. Nunes, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from any investigations involving alleged Trump collusion with Russia. Indeed, Rep. Schiff wrote the following on twitter:

This is not a recommendation I make lightly … But in much the same way that the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred with Rep. Schiff’s call for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself.

The July 2018 contacts between Rep. Schiff and Mr. Simpson create, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. As a result of Rep. Schiff’s previously undisclosed, private discussions with Mr. Simpson, the public’s confidence in Mr. Schiff’s ability to objectively and impartially carry out his duties as Committee Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been gravely damaged.

Further, Rep. Schiff’s contacts with Mr. Michael Cohen should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts. Journalists have reported:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter – as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

The sources said the sessions covered a slew of topics addressed during the public hearing before the oversight committee – including the National Enquirer ‘s “Catch and Kill” policy, American Media CEO David Pecker and the alleged undervaluing of President Trump’s assets.

Again, Rep. Schiff’ s conduct creates the appearance of unethical collusion and synchronization of efforts that calls into question whether Cohen’s testimony was a legitimate congressional hearing or well-rehearsed political theatre.

During Mr. Cohen’s congressional testimony, he was questioned by Rep. Mike Turner concerning the number, nature and subject of his [Cohen’s] contacts with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep Jim Jordan pressed Cohen on the subject in subsequent questioning. Cohen hesitantly acknowledged that he had spoken with Schiff “about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing.”

A pattern of conduct on the part of Rep. Schiff in these matters would exponentially increase the gravity of the prejudice and harm to the public’s confidence in the institution of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Schiff’s conduct and contacts with witnesses must be treated with the same gravity that Reps. Schiff and Pelosi accorded Rep. Nunes’s actions. Rep. Nunes recused himself for a time from certain oversight responsibilities with respect to the Russia-Trump investigations.

In the least, Rep. Schiff and his staff communications with Glenn Simpson and Michael Cohen, undermine the “credibility of the House” and its committee proceedings, especially given Mr. Cohen’s subsequent alleged false testimony.

We call upon the OCE to investigate Rep. Schiff and his previously undisclosed, inappropriate contact with key witnesses in congressional investigation over which that Member holds significant sway.

Thank you for your attention.

Acknowledgment: I acknowledge that Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code applies to the information provided above.

Judicial Watch Sues for ‘Coup’ Documents

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Top DOJ Officials considered asking Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment in order to remove President Trump and discussed recording meetings with him

 

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 for all records of communication of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the Office of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or the Office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussing the 25th Amendment or presidential fitness. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks all recordings made by any official in the Office of the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General of meetings in the Executive Office of the President or Vice President.

The suit was filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests dated September 21, 2018 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00388)). The lawsuit seeks all written and audio/visual records of any FBI/DOJ discussions regarding the 25th Amendment and plans to secretly record President Trump in the Oval Office.

On February 14, 2019, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe stated in an interview with CBS that “there were conversations about the possibility of removing Trump under the 25th Amendment and confirming that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had offered to wear a wire around the president.”

After President Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly top DOJ officials discussed whether to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

President Trump recently tweeted: “The biggest abuse of power and corruption scandal in our history, and it’s much worse than we thought. Andrew McCabe (FBI) admitted to plotting a coup (government overthrow) when he was serving in the FBI, before he was fired for lying & leaking.”

It was reported in September 2018 that Deputy Attorney General, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested that he secretly record President Trump in the White House in an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment and have President Trump removed. Judicial Watch’s immediate follow-up FOIA requests were ignored.

“It is no surprise that we are facing an immense cover-up of senior FBI and DOJ leadership discussions to pursue a seditious coup against President Trump,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This effort to overthrow President Trump is a fundamental threat to our constitutional republic so Judicial Watch will do everything it can in the courts to expose everything possible about this lawlessness.”

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Federal Court Orders Discovery on Clinton Email, Benghazi Scandal: Top Obama-Clinton Officials, Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes to Respond to Judicial Watch Questions Under Oath

Seven Other Top State Department/Clinton Aides Must also Respond to Judicial Watch Queries

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap — will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:

  • Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
  • whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
  • whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.

Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.

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Federal Court Orders Discovery on Clinton Email, Benghazi Scandal: Top Obama-Clinton Officials, Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes to Respond to Judicial Watch Questions Under Oath

Seven Other Top State Department/Clinton Aides Must also Respond to Judicial Watch Queries

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap — will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:

  • Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
  • whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
  • whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.

Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.

Judge Lamberth ordered written responses under oath to Judicial Watch’s questions from Obama administration senior officials Rice, Rhodes and Sullivan, and former FBI official Priestap. Rice and Rhodes will answer interrogatories under oath on the Benghazi scandal. Rejecting the State and Justice Department objections to discovery on the infamous Benghazi talking points, Judge Lamberth reiterated:

Yet Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case: information about the points’ development and content, as well as their discussion and dissemination before and after Rice’s appearances could reveal unsearched, relevant records; State’s role in the points’ content and development could shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters or on State’s reluctance to search her emails.

Judicial Watch also may serve interrogatories on Monica Hanley, a former staff member in the State Department’s Office of the Secretary, and on Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant.

According to Lamberth’s order, regarding whether Clinton’s private email use while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA, Judicial Watch may depose:

  1. Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security.… Boswell’s March 2009 memo to Mills … discusses security risks Clinton’s Blackberry use posed more generally. And Boswell personally discussed the memo with Clinton. So, he plainly has relevant information about that conversation and about his general knowledge of Clinton’s email use. Judicial Watch may depose Boswell.
  2. Justin Cooper. the Clinton Foundation employee who created the clintonemail.com server. In its proposal, Judicial Watch noted Cooper’s prior congressional testimony “appears to contradict portions of the testimony provided by Huma Abedin in the case before Judge Sullivan.” … Cooper repeatedly told Congress that Abedin helped set-up the Clintons’ private server, e.g., Examining Preservation of State Department Federal Records: [before a Congressional hearing] Abedin testified under oath she did not know about the server until six years later.… Judicial Watch may depose Cooper.
  3. Clarence Finney, the former deputy director of State’s Executive Secretariat staff…. [T]his case’s questions hinge on what specific State employees knew and when they knew it. As the principal advisor and records management expert responsible for controlling Clinton’s official correspondence and records, Finney’s knowledge is particularly relevant. And especially given the concerns about government misconduct that prompted this discovery, Judicial Watch’s ability to take his direct testimony and ask follow-up questions is critical.

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Judicial Watch seeks to go beyond cursory, second-hand testimony and directly ask Finney what he knew about Clinton’s email use. This includes asking about emails suggesting he knew about her private email use in 2014, and emails he received concerning a December 2012 FOIA request from Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) regarding senior officials’ personal email use-topics State’s 30(b)(6) deposition in Judge Sullivan’s case never addressed. Judicial Watch may depose Finney.

4. Heather Samuelson. the former State Department senior advisor who helped facilitate State’s receipt of Hillary Clinton’s emails.… [T]his case turns on what specific government employees knew and when they knew it. Judicial Watch must be able to take their direct testimony and ask them follow-up questions. Judicial Watch may depose Samuelson.

5. Jacob Sullivan. Secretary Clinton’s former senior advisor and deputy Chief of Staff. The government does not oppose Sullivan’s deposition.

Regarding whether the State Department’s settlement attempts that began in late 2014 amounted to “bad faith,” Judicial Watch was granted depositions from the State Department under Rule 30(b)(6); Finney; John Hackett, the former deputy director of State’s Office of Information Programs & Services; Gene Smilansky, an attorney-advisor within State’s Office of the Legal Advisor; Samuelson; and others.

Judicial Watch was also granted interrogatories on whether the State Department adequately searched for responsive records, as well as several document requests.

“In a major victory for accountability, Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Today, Judicial Watch issued document requests and other discovery to the State Department about the Clinton email scandal. Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.”

The court-ordered discovery is the latest development in Judicial Watch’s July 2014 FOIA lawsuit filed after the U.S. Department of State failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • 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.

The Judicial Watch discovery plan was in response to a December 6, 2018, ruling by Judge Lamberth.

Incredibly, Justice Department attorneys admit in a filing opposing Judicial Watch’s limited discovery that “Counsel for State contacted the counsel of some third parties that Plaintiff originally included in its draft discovery proposal to obtain their client’s position on being deposed.” This collusion occurred despite criticism from the Court that the DOJ engaged in “chicanery” to cover up misconduct and that career employees in the State and Justice Departments may have “colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.”

Judicial Watch countered that “[t]he government’s proposal, which is really nothing more than an opposition to [Judicial Watch’s] plan, demonstrates that it continues to reject any impropriety on its part and that it seeks to block any meaningful inquiry into its ‘outrageous misconduct.’”

This Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015.

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Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton to Testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) –Judicial Watch announced that President Tom Fitton will provide testimony on December 13 before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations during a hearing titled “Oversight of Nonprofit Organizations: A Case Study on the Clinton Foundation.” The committee is chaired by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

Date:               Thursday, December 13, 2018

Time:               2:00 p.m. ET

Location:        2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC, 20515

In August 2016, a related Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit broke open the Clinton Foundation pay to play and has since uncovered many other instances of seeming pay-to-play and favoritism for the Clinton Foundation at the Clinton State Department. Judicial Watch’s ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play politics that involves multiple FOIA lawsuits seeking government documents from Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system, as well as records related to the intersection of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Judicial Watch recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records of communications involving any investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) into the Clinton Foundation.

Judicial Watch FOIA litigation also uncovered a massive conflict of interest issue in Bill Clinton’s speeches and business concerns during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure on Secretary of State.

On December 6 a federal judge opened further discovery in the Judicial Watch lawsuit that led to the first public disclosure of the Clinton email scandal.