FEBRUARY 26, 2016
Federal Court Grants Judicial Watch Discovery on Clinton Email Issue
History Comes Full Circle as Judicial Watch Releases New Document in Whitewater Criminal Corruption Case against Hillary Clinton
Air Force Academy Celebrates Witchcraft and Voodoo While Demeaning Christianity
Your Judicial Watch has achieved another remarkable breakthrough in our tireless efforts to get to the bottom of the Clinton email scandal. Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted Judicial Watch’s motion for discovery into whether the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deliberately thwarted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for six years. The developments come in a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about Clinton’s separate email records.
Judge Sullivan initially announced his ruling from the bench during a hearing this week and, over the objections of the State Department, authorized Judicial Watch to submit a plan for “narrowly-tailored discovery.” Judge Sullivan is also considering whether to order the State Department to subpoena all the emails on the clinton.com email system.
I issued the following statement on behalf of JW in response to the ruling:
Judge Sullivan’s ruling granting Judicial Watch’s request for discovery is a major victory for the public’s right to know the truth about Hillary Clinton’s email system. The court-ordered discovery will help determine why the State Department and Mrs. Clinton, even despite receiving numerous FOIA requests, kept the record system secret for years. Our proposed discovery, which will require court approval, will include testimony of current and former officials of the State Department. While Mrs. Clinton’s testimony may not be required initially, it may happen that her testimony is necessary for the court to resolve the legal issues about her unprecedented email practices.
The full transcript of the historic court hearing can be found here. I encourage you review the transcript to see how Judge Sullivan approached the issue. Here’s a taste:
Here you have Mrs. Clinton and Abedin and their private counsel deciding, after neither Mrs. Clinton nor Ms. Abedin were government employees, what e-mails are federal records, and what e-mails are not. It just boggles the mind that the State Department allowed this circumstance to arise in the first place. It’s just very, very, very troubling. And I think that whatever opinion the Court writes, the first sentence will be: This is a very troubling case, for a host of reasons.
Rather than accept graciously the court’s ruling, Hillary Clinton instead attacked Judicial Watch this morning as “right wing.” She made the comments during a MSNBC interview. She endorsed the nasty comments of her spokesman on CNN and elsewhere in response the court ruling.
Hillary Clinton is clearly upset that Judicial Watch has once again stymied her email cover-up. We won’t be deterred by Mrs. Clinton’s attacks. (You can check our recent interview with the Wall Street Journal here for a reality check on what this all means.)
Shortly after April 15, Judicial Watch discovery will commence into the Clinton email system. This is a major achievement and I can’t say enough about all my JW colleagues who secured this court victory. And I can’t say enough about the generous financial support of our Judicial Watch members who make our work possible. Thank you!
Hillary Clinton’s current legal predicaments caused by her email misconduct may be a surprise to some Americans. But it isn’t surprising to Judicial Watch.
This week we released an unprecedented accounting of the evidence that would have been used at a criminal trial against Hillary Clinton in the Whitewater case. The April 1998 memo by the Office of Independent Counsel, titled “HRC Order of Proof,” includes the names of 121 witnesses, discussions of evidence, and aspects of grand jury testimony to be used at trial, forming a virtual road map to the sweeping criminal case against the Whitewater conspirators.
Prosecutors ultimately decided not to indict Mrs. Clinton, calculating that they could not win the complicated, largely circumstantial case against such a high-profile figure. But while the general outline of the case is known, the “Order of Proof” is definitive and highly detailed, nailing down a number of disputed issues. Among them:
- The cover-up of Clinton financial misdeeds in Arkansas began in earnest on a specific date: March 7, 1992.
- Documents from the Rose Law Firm—Mrs. Clinton’s former employer at the center of the growing scandal—were passed to a campaign aide in the firm’s “parking lot that night,” demonstrating that Mrs. Clinton and her Rose Law Firm Partners—Webster Hubbell and Vincent Foster—were early participants in the cover-up.
- There was a furious Clinton effort to locate documents and shut down witnesses.
- Media coverage of the Clintons led to renewed interest by the Resolution Trust Corp. in the corrupt bank at the center of the story, Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. Madison was “already on the list of S&Ls to be revisited,” having been the subject of earlier probes and a prior criminal case.
- Tulsa-based senior Resolution Trust Corp. investigator Jean Lewis—later the subject of a vituperative campaign of personal destruction by the Clinton side—was dispatched “by her local supervisor and someone in Washington to go to Little Rock to determine if Whitewater had caused [Madison] a loss.”
- Lewis visited Little Rock in April 1992, and drew up Criminal Referral C-0004, which was sent “directly to the Little Rock U.S. Attorney and Little Rock FBI on 9/1/92.”
- S. Attorney Paula Casey—a Clinton associate—and the Little Rock FBI office agreed to hold the criminal referral “in abeyance until after the election.” Meanwhile, the FBI and RTC investigations moved forward. Nine more RTC criminal referrals involving Madison-related schemes were drawn up.
- A Justice Department probe was underway on July 20, 1993, when search warrants were obtained in Little Rock for Whitewater-related investigations. That night in Washington, Vincent Foster, the former Rose Law Firm partner serving as both the Clintons’ personal lawyer and White House deputy counsel, committed suicide.
- Two senior Justice Department officials—David Margolis and Philip Heymann—are on the “Order of Proof” witness list. In the immediate aftermath of Foster’s death, Margolis and Heymann received White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum’s consent to search Foster’s office. Then Nussbaum “reneged.”
- Heymann—the Deputy Attorney General of the United States—was “[v]ery upset over the matter” and “[a]sked Bernie what he was trying to hide.”
- Numerous witnesses would testify they saw documents being removed from Foster’s office, including papers that resembled the Rose Law Firm billing records—under subpoena at that time and nowhere to be found.
Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, first reported on this document in the Daily Caller.
This is an important and timely document. It shows that there was significant evidence against Mrs. Clinton in Whitewater. The parallels with the email scandal—the stonewalling of document production, the ‘missing’ documents, the lies and evasions—are striking.
The new document follows on the heels of JW’s release last month of 246 pages of previously undisclosed Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) internal memos on criminal charges against Hillary Clinton in the Whitewater investigation.
Then, a few weeks ago, JW reporter Morrison provided even more details on the case, based upon a newly obtained confidential document. The document included a description of the case against Mrs. Clinton “in the legal terms of an indictment.”
This detailed memo adds considerably to our understanding of Mrs. Clinton’s unethical—and likely criminal—past. The wealth of material uncovered by Judicial Watch in recent months strongly suggests that if she weren’t First Lady at the time, she would have been successfully prosecuted in federal court. We also proved that an actual draft indictment of Mrs. Clinton is being held by the National Archives, a document the agency refuses to turn over in response to our Freedom of Information Act requests. Our battle to get that document is now in federal court, so stay tuned for more.
There’s something seriously amiss in the United States Air Force Academy. We received documents from the Air Force Academy revealing that in 2014 and 2015, the Academy used its “Chapel Tithes and Offering Fund” to pay for cadets to participate in worship services featuring witchcraft, “Faery Magick,” and voodoo. The records reveal that the Air Force Academy paid to send cadets to a Wiccan festival in Denver in May 2014 and a Denver Witches Ball in October of the same year.
The Tithes and Offering Fund, though funded by “free-will donations,” is also defined as “an instrumentality of the United States Government.” So, yes, all taxpayers have an interest in this issue.
According to a promotional brochure obtained by Judicial Watch, a group called “Spiritual Programs in Religious Education” hosted events at the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle on the Academy campus. The Academy website describes Falcon Circle as “The worship area [for]… an umbrella of traditions that includes Wicca, Paganism and Druidism.”
The Air Force Academy documents were unearthed thanks to our intrepid investigators, who filed an October 8, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:
Any and all records regarding, concerning or relating to “Earth-based” worship service events occurring at the [Air Force Academy] campus in the 2013/14 academic years, including but not limited to, programs, hand-outs, proposals, agreements, contracts, invoices, budget documents, and related materials.
The response included an invoice from a vendor called “Living Earth,” indicating that in March 28, 2014, the Academy was billed $260 for “worship-supplies-fellowship” for activities described as a “Festival.” According to a purchase request, the $260 to pay Living Earth was drawn from the Academy’s Church Tithes and Offerings Fund under the accounting class “Wiccan.”
Chapel Tithes and Offering Funds were used to pay for registration and meals for two cadets to attend the May 10-11, 2014, “Earth Centered Beltania festival.” According to the Living Earth website, the Beltania Festival is “a retreat and festival for all who follow Earth-honoring religion or spiritual path.” At the festival, attendees are encouraged to “dance with ecstasy around the maypole,” “drum with the heartbeat of Mother Earth,” and “conjure Springtime within nature and yourself.”
The documents also contained an October 24, 2014, purchase request for $120 for the Academy to send four cadets to the “23rd Annual Denver Witches Ball.” The ball was held at a masonic temple in Denver, and the four attendees were described in the purchase request as “Earth Centered/Pagan Cadets.”
The Air Force Academy documents also included an October 22, 2014, email from the DFGL [Distinctive Faith Group Leader] at the Air Force Academy to an Academy official who apparently had asked for copies of any advertisements for earth-based worship services in order to fulfill the Judicial Watch FOIA request. In the email, the Distinctive Faith Group Leader strongly argued that he/she had “not used any kind of advertising” to promote the pagan/wiccan/voodoo ceremonies in which Academy cadets participated.
Despite the group leader’s claim that the Earth-Centered Services “does NOT proselytize,” the material from the Academy FOIA office included a promotional brochure from the Spiritual Programs in Religious Education group with which the group leader acknowledged he works. According to the Spiritual Programs in Religious Education brochure, the organization encourages festival participants to engage in “Earth Centered paths,” including:
- Faery Magick
- Native American traditions
- African Orishas
- Goddess Spirituality
Compare and contrast these revelations with the Air Force Academy’s hostile approach to traditional Christianity. In 2013, the Air Force Academy made “so help me God” optional to its cadet oath. Since 2014, the Air Force has allowed airmen to omit “so help me God” from enlistment oaths. Our friends at the Family Research Council have been keeping a record of incidents of hostility to traditional religion within the armed services: “Unfortunately, pressures to impose a secular, anti-religious culture on our nation’s military services have intensified tremendously during the Obama Administration. This pressure exists across the armed services, but it has become extremely acute in the United States Air Force.”
The Air Force Academy leadership is attacking traditional Christian beliefs, but will fund witchcraft and “faery magick”? These records show the misplaced priorities in the Air Force and why traditional Christians increasingly feel unwelcome in the Air Force Academy.
This is a deeply troubling situation and your JW will keep on top of it.