Judicial Watch • Congress Follows Judicial Watch’s Lead

Congress Follows Judicial Watch’s Lead

Congress Follows Judicial Watch’s Lead

JULY 01, 2011

July 1, 2011

From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:

Congress Urges Review of Kagan Obamacare Role in Response to JW Disclosures

Back in May I told you that JW had uncovered explosive documents from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) indicating Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was heavily involved in crafting a defense for Obamacare while she served as Solicitor General. The documents appear to contradict Kagan’s contention that she was merely an uninvolved bystander. Well, now Congress has joined the effort to get to the truth in the matter, calling for a full investigation.

According to today’s The Washington Times:

Forty-nine Republican members of Congress have asked the House Judiciary Committee to “promptly investigate” Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s role in preparing a legal defense for President Obama’s health care law when she served as solicitor general.

In a letter to committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, and the panel’s ranking Democrat, John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the lawmakers said that “contradictory to her 2010 confirmation testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” recently released Justice Department documents show that Justice Kagan “actively participated with her Obama administration colleagues in formulating a defense” for the law.

Here’s a copy of the letter that was issued from the congressional office of Rep. John Fleming, who is also a physician, by the way. The letter states: “This revelation raises serious questions about Justice Kagan’s ability to exercise objectivity in any case relevant to [Obamacare] that comes before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Of course, the “Justice Department documents” referenced in the Washington Times report and in a release issued by Rep. Fleming’s office announcing the letter were disclosed through Judicial Watch. We are very glad to have played a role in helping to focus congressional attention on this crucial issue.

How crucial?

In one of the new emails, Kagan’s Deputy Solicitor General urged her to attend a healthcare litigation meeting, calling the legal fight over Obamacare, “litigation of singular importance.”

(Judicial Watch’s lawsuit has been consolidated with a similar FOIA lawsuit that had been first filed against the DOJ by the Media Research Center. The lawsuits are now both before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The documents were first produced in the Media Research litigation.)

The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately settle the issue regarding whether or not Obama’s socialist healthcare overhaul will be the law of the land. Everyone knows it. And if Elena Kagan is forced to recuse herself from hearing the case that will be one fewer dependably liberal vote on the Supreme Court for Obamacare.

Since I covered our document discovery in May, I won’t re-publish all of the document excerpts we discovered. For a complete review, please click here.

This action by 49 members of Congress is further testament to the importance of Judicial Watch’s work and is a prime example of your Judicial Watch’s leading watchdog role. When it comes to uncovering the truth and holding our Washington public officials (on the courts and in elected office) accountable to the rule of law, it often wouldn’t get done but for Judicial Watch.

More Political Decision-Making at Justice?

Did the Obama Justice Department refuse to prosecute a radical Muslim with alleged terrorist ties for political reasons? That question is at the center of a new Judicial Watch investigation.

Last week we filed a lawsuit against the DOJ for failing to respond to our request for public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The documents relate to a decision by the DOJ not to prosecute the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its co-founder Omar Ahmad, who has been linked by federal investigators to the terrorist group Hamas.

Importantly, the decision not to prosecute reportedly was made over the objections of special agents of the FBI and prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, Texas.

On May 9, 2011, we sent a FOIA request to the DOJ’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) and here’s what we’re after:

  • “The March 31, 2010 memorandum entitled ‘Declination of Prosecution of Omar Ahmad’ from Attorney General David Kris to Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler.”
  • “Any and all communications, contacts, or correspondence between the Office of the Attorney General (AG), the Office of Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Office of the Associate Attorney General (Assoc. AG) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or any CAIR groups concerning, regarding, or relating to the prosecution or declination of prosecution of Omar Ahmad.”
  • “Any all communications, contacts, or correspondence between the Office of the AG, the Office of the DAG, or the Office of the Assoc. AG and the U.S. Congress concerning, regarding, or relating to the prosecution or declination of prosecution of Omar Ahmad”
  • “Any and all communications, contacts, or correspondence between the office of the AG, the office of the DAG, or the office of the Assoc. AG and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas concerning, regarding, or relating to the prosecution or declination of prosecution of Omar Ahmad.”

On May 9, 2011, Judicial Watch also filed a similar request with the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) seeking access to contacts and correspondence between the NSD and CAIR, Congress, and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas regarding the decision not to prosecute. (The time frame for these requests is January 20, 2009 to May 1, 2011.)

Both DOJ divisions have acknowledged receipt of Judicial Watch’s request and were required to respond by June 14 and June 13, 2011, respectively. However, to date, both have failed to produce responsive documents or indicate when a response is forthcoming.

And who is Omar Ahmad?

Ahmad served as senior executive on the Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization of U.S.-based Hamas support groups. Moreover, according to sworn testimony by an FBI agent during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which was convicted in 2008 of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, Ahmad moderated a conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October 1993, during which participants discussed ways to support Hamas.

A ruling by U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis in the Holy Land Foundation lawsuit referenced the specific purpose of the Philadelphia meeting:

The Philadelphia conference essentially laid out the path that the Palestine Committee would take to accomplish its goal of supporting Hamas in the future. Wiretaps from the Philadelphia conference reflect that Ahmad participated…in a number of meetings related to the goals, strategies, and American perception of the Muslim Brotherhood. Topics discussed included redefining the perception of the suborganizations due to their work for the Palestinian cause, and the legal hurdles…faced when raising funds for Hamas and other Palestinian causes or when taking orders from overseas leaders.

Judge Solis also declined an attempt by CAIR to remove the organization’s designation as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation lawsuit, ruling that the government “has produced ample evidence to establish the associations” of CAIR with Hamas.

The American people have a right to know why the Obama DOJ decided against prosecuting a terrorist-connected Muslim extremist over the objections of federal investigators

The case against Ahmad and CAIR is substantial and it certainly appears they were let off the hook in order to appease radical Muslims. Given the politicization of the DOJ under Eric Holder, should we expect anything different?

The Obama DOJ is ignoring illegal immigration laws to curry favor with the illegal immigration lobby. The Obama DOJ dropped its substantial voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers to curry favor with the NAACP and its constituents. The Obama DOJ announced it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act to curry favor with the gay lobby (as Politico recently pointed out). All are considered key voter demographics for the Obama campaign in 2012.

So why not ignore the connections of a terrorist sympathizer if it’ll earn support from Muslim voters (and appease our enemies abroad, such as the Muslim Brotherhood)?

Regarding our fight for documents, the pattern of this DOJ is to stonewall even the most basic requests for information under the law. The cover-up and secrecy in this administration is, frankly, like nothing we’ve ever seen.

For more information on CAIR and other Islamic terrorist-front groups, click here to read a Judicial Watch special report entitled Muslim Charities: Moderate Non-Profits or Elaborate Deceptions? You’ll see that Ahmad is referenced, along with CAIR.

Pajamas Media Sues Pentagon for Details on Travel to “Climate Change Conference”

It’s a simple request. OSM Media (Or Pajamas Media/PJM, as it is commonly known) just wants to know how much money the United States Air Force spent to transport United States government officials, congressional elected officials, staff, families and guests to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009.

So why has the Obama administration failed to release the documents now, more than one year after they were first requested? That’s what we’d like to know. And so last week we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of PJM against the Department of Defense (DOD) seeking records (and an explanation).

Our client is asking the court to order the Air Force to conduct a search for “any and all responsive records;” set a specific date that Pajamas Media is to receive the requested documents; and provide OSM Media with a Vaughn index describing the records that are being withheld under claims of exemption.

Now, here’s a bit of the back-story. (For a full review, click here to read a report on PJM. It is a perfect example of what JW goes through on a daily basis as the Obama administration stonewalls our every request for information.)

On December 23, 2009, Pajamas Media sent a FOIA request to the Air Force. On June 28, 2010, the Air Force notified PJM that part of their FOIA request had been forwarded to the Office of the Secretary. Nearly one year later, on May 17, 2011, the Office of the Secretary produced four pages of almost entirely redacted material and informed Pajamas Media that it referred the withheld material to the U.S. Secret Service.

That’s fifteen months and four blacked-out pages.

Obviously, the Air Force has failed to adequately respond to this request. The Air Force has also failed to demonstrate that the withheld material is legally exempt from production or even say whether or when it will produce or identify the requested records.

Here’s Pajamas Media CEO Roger Simon’s response to this obfuscation: “What happened to the transparency that candidate Obama promised? It has taken almost a year for this administration to turn over a flight manifest and then that document was heavily redacted. The Obama administration has proven itself to be one of the most secretive administrations in history.”

Indeed, the Obama administration consistently refuses to release any documents that are potentially incriminating — or embarrassing. And perhaps that is why these documents are being held so tightly.

No wonder PJM can’t get anything out of the administration about that disastrous conference. The December 2009 United Nations “climate change” conference in Copenhagen was a complete embarrassment for global warming activists and their associates in Washington. The Conference not only failed to enact worldwide “climate” action, but the airlift of President Obama and other government officials must have resulted in huge, wasteful costs for the American people.


In closing, I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy Fourth of July. As we head into the long weekend and celebrate America’s Independence Day this Monday, I hope you will consider making a special online donation to Judicial Watch to help us continue our fight for the freedoms we all enjoy.

If you visit our offices here in DC, one of the first things you’d see is a quote from George Washington, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.” We are in a very tenuous moment in our nation’s history, with the Obama administration presiding over the massive expansion of government power while flouting the rule of law. I’m sure that you share my belief that Judicial Watch’s work honors the vision of our Founding Fathers for a limited, accountable government. There are few in this city who take greater pains to bring the truth to light than your Judicial Watch!

Until next week…



Tom Fitton
President


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