Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit against Department of Justice Seeking FBI Interviews with Obama, Jarret, and Emanuel

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 seeking access to FBI reports of interviews – “302s” – of President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Rahm Emanuel.  The interviews were taken as part of the FBI’s criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-01888)).

In 2008, Blagojevich sought political favors in exchange for deciding who to appoint to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then-President-Elect Obama.  Among the persons Blagojevich approached were the President-elect and his intermediaries.  Obama reportedly declined to make a deal.  Blagojevich then turned to supporters of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., offering the U.S. Senate seat in return for a $1.5 million “campaign contribution.”  Blagojevich broke off negotiations with Rep. Jackson’s supporters when he learned that he was being wiretapped by federal investigators.

Over the course of two criminal trials in 2010 and 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of 18 separate offenses and, in December 2011, was sentenced to 168 months in jail.  In 2015, an appellate court overturned five of Blagojevich’s convictions and affirmed the remainder.  On August 12, 2016, Blagojevich was resentenced to the same, 68-month jail term he had received previously.

Judicial Watch had asked the FBI to produce the 302s, pursuant to FOIA, in June 2011.  The FBI confirmed the records’ existence in 2012, but denied the request, asserting that the 302s were exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(A) because Blagojevich’s criminal case was still ongoing at the time.  Judicial Watch filed suit to try to obtain the 302s in May 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Blagojevich’s convictions.  It closed that initial lawsuit while Blagojevich was being resentenced.  Judicial Watch refiled its lawsuit after Blagojevich was resentenced.

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit asks the court to order the interview reports’ release, noting:

[U]nder the circumstances it cannot be said that release of the requested records could reasonably be expected to interfere with whatever is left of Blagojevich’s criminal prosecution.  The public should not be forced to wait any longer to review the FBI 302s of President Obama, former White House Chief of Staff and now City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, or Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett while Blagojevich pursues his second, plainly futile appeal.

“The FBI interviewed Barack Obama eight years ago about the selling of his Senate seat.  The American people should finally get to see these FBI interview reports,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “The public has a right to know precisely how Obama and his senior White House advisors Emanuel and Jarrett responded to Blagojevich’s corrupt attempts sell Obama’s Senate seat.”

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Top Ten Felons, Fugitives, and Shady Characters in Obama’s Life

Breitbart

Now that the increasingly erratic and desperately sleazy Obama campaign has decided to cavalierly throw around the word “felony” when it comes to pushing a campaign of lies surroundingMitt Romney and Bain Capital, this seems like a good time to jump in the wayback machine for a look at the actual convicted felons, criminals, and dubious characters who have always been associated with Barack Obama’s political life.

What? What’s that? You don’t want to talk about this?

Objection overruled, Corrupt Media!

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Chicago newspaper: What were we thinking in electing this narcissistic empty suit?

Hot Air

Tom Elia seems a little confused by today’s editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times.  The paper scolds the electorate for trusting an empty suit with no accomplishments to a high executive office, and itself for endorsing him.  But which empty suit do they mean?  If we remove the name, can you tell?

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Rahm Traded Favors with Blago:

NBC Chicago

President Barack Obama‘s chief of staff, then a congressman in Illinois, apparently attempted to trade favors with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich while he was in office, according to newly disclosed e-mails obtained by The Associated Press.

Emanuel agreed to sign a letter to the Chicago Tribune supporting Blagojevich in the face of a scathing editorial by the newspaper that ridiculed the governor for self-promotion. Within hours, Emanuel’s own staff asked for a favor of its own: The release of a delayed $2 million grant to a school in his district.

The 2006 discussion occured with Blagojevich’s top aide, Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk, and doesn’t appear to cross legal lines;  Emanuel couldn’t speed up the distribution of the funds. But it offers a peek at ties between two high-profile Illinois politicians — one now the president’s right-hand man, the other facing years in prison if convicted of political corruption.

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Illinois Spends $55 Mil To Insure Illegal Immigrants

Judicial Watch

A universal children’s health insurance program created by Illinois’ corrupt former governor is covering mostly illegal immigrants and costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars amid a perplexing $13 billion state budget deficit.

About 75% of the children enrolled in the All Kids Health Care program (also known as KidCare) are illegal aliens and the annual cost of covering them is nearly $55 million, according to a state audit of the 5-year-old insurance program. The findings, issued recently by the Illinois State Auditor General, are detailed in a 14-page report that’s been largely ignored by the mainstream media.

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Obama’s credibility crisis

Washington Examiner

Hard on the heels of that shocking Pew Research Center survey finding that four out of five Americans don’t trust government comes a blitz of new revelations about the Obama administration that amount to a full-fledged credibility crisis. The latest disclosures are especially damaging because they concern President Obama’s possible misrepresentation of his relationships with former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and convicted felon Tony Rezko, his administration’s misleading statements about Obamacare costs, and questions about improper manipulation of government-owned General Motors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Blagojevich revelations were no less serious for being accidental. Blagojevich’s defense attorneys filed a federal court motion to subpoena Obama concerning charges that the former governor tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by the chief executive. Improper formatting of the heavily redacted public version of the motion contained evidence that Obama spoke to Blagojevich about the Senate appointment a week before telling White House reporters that he had not done so. The document also revealed that federal prosecutors are withholding from Blagojevich’s attorneys documents describing what Obama told investigators about conversations with Rezko on the appointment or his financial ties to the Chicago developer who was one of his key fundraisers.

On Obamacare, the president and his appointees said repeatedly over the last year that it would reduce government health care spending. Yet now comes Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services secretary, confessing that “We don’t know how much it’s going to cost.” Why is Sebelius only now saying this when her own department just made public a report obviously months in preparation that projected government health care costs overall will go up, not down? That same HHS report also said Obamacare’s Medicare cuts could put 15 percent of all hospitals out of business, making treatment harder to get and more expensive, especially for seniors.

Finally, General Motors claimed in national advertisements this week that it repaid its Troubled Asset Relief Program loans, plus interest, five years early. But the TARP inspector general said GM used other TARP funds to repay its original TARP loans, so the ads were fundamentally dishonest. Recall here that White House adviser Carol Browner told GM and other automakers to “write nothing down” about their dealings last year with administration officials on fuel economy standards. So it seems entirely appropriate to ask if GM’s repayment claims were “suggested” by somebody in the Obama White House. That would be the same White House that is also now suspected of improperly influencing the SEC to file fraud charges against Goldman Sachs just as Congress debates Obama’s financial reform proposal. As the Obama administration will learn, plummeting public trust eats away at the fundamental credibility of government and undermines its ability to carry out even its most basic duties.

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