NOVEMBER 28, 2014
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. In lieu of our traditional Weekly Update, I want to personally thank you for your strong support of our efforts to fight corruption in Washington, DC, and across the country. My colleagues and I are grateful for your help in making Judicial Watch the leading government watchdog in Washington.
As you well know, we are the midst of a constitutional crisis in Washington, the likes of which we have not seen in generations, and our work now is more important than ever. Under President Obama the federal government is out of control, metastasizing at an exponential rate and encroaching into more aspects of our lives, while ignoring the rule of law in favor of political opportunism and executive hegemony.
Obama’s Lawless Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
- This process was accelerated last week when President Obama announced his own unilateral amnesty program for at least five million illegal aliens, which is based on no legal authority. We also learned that earlier this month the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will review all deportation cases and start a nationwide “training program” to assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes. To accomplish this, the agency says it will focus on removing only those who committed serious crimes or pose a national security risk. Immigration agents will be instructed to close deportations that “fall outside” these department “priorities,” which means a large class of illegal aliens will be granted de facto amnesty. As JW reported to you in October, as of April 26 of this year, the Obama DHS has already released 165,900 convicted criminal aliens throughout the United States. Among those released by criminal aliens convicted of violent crimes including homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault.
- As best as I can tell, any illegal alien present here before last year will not be deported by this administration – and only if they committed the most heinous of crimes (and that is no guarantee of deportation either!). Of course, JW has argued that this amnesty has been the practice of this administration for years. Obama’s immigration coup last week simply lifted the veil and is leading to the lawless codification of his lawless amnesty that is already here. Judicial Watch is the leader in investigations and lawsuits that get at Obama’s lawlessness on immigration but also the similarly damaging lawless sanctuary state and local policies that use your tax dollars to help illegal aliens (and protect them from the rule of law). Our record of success speaks for itself. You can trust to develop effective legal and investigative strategies that are smart, do more than Congress, and help protect our nation from this assault on our self-government, taxpayers, and our sovereignty. The immigration crisis is an existential threat to our nation’s security, and your Judicial Watch is at the ramparts on your behalf.
The IRS Assault upon Political Freedom
- Judicial Watch has launched an aggressive investigation of the IRS abuse scandal. Led by former IRS head Lois Lerner, the nation’s tax collecting agency targeted conservative organizations with abusive audits, released confidential tax records, and stonewalled nonprofit applications from groups deemed to be associated with the Tea Party. Thanks to our key lawsuit to get the truth about this scandal, we have forced out from the IRS many DC-shaking finds that demonstrate how deep and wide this scandal goes. Again, your JW obtained documents that left Congress and much of the other media in the dust. Earlier this month we announced that the IRS admitted that it declined to search any of the agency’s standard computer systems for “missing” emails of Lerner and other top IRS officials. This admission can be found in an IRS legal brief opposing a Judicial Watch request that a federal judge allow discovery into how “lost and/or destroyed” IRS records relating to the targeting of conservative groups be retrieved. You can track our historic IRS record here.
The Benghazi Cover-Up
- Judicial Watch continues to lead in investigating the Benghazi terrorist attacks, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. (See JW’s Benghazi special report here for details.) A Judicial Watch lawsuit blew the lid off of this scandal by showing White House orchestration of the knowingly false narrative that the Benghazi attack was due to an Internet video and spontaneous protests. The documents were obtained through federal court order obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. As a direct result of our find, the House of Representatives finally appointed a Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Certainly, The four heroes murdered that day – Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty – deserve the honor of full transparency and accountability from the government that failed them. And no congressional investigation will keep JW from pursuing the truth independently. Judicial Watch, for instance, filed the filing of three new FOIA lawsuits, including one to get to the bottom of Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi. We suspect our independent watchdog efforts will provide key leads for yet another congressional inquiry. Judicial Watch has now filed 40 FOIA requests, a Mandatory Declassification Review, and seven lawsuits against the Obama administration relating to the Benghazi terrorist attack. Exclusive disclosures by Judicial Watch include photos of the Benghazi compound attack aftermath; various records about security contracts and gaps in Benghazi; documents related to administration’s efforts to lie to Congress and the American people about the attack; and emails detailing specific reports that the State Department was receiving as the attack was taking place (including a State Department email detailing intelligence that Ambassador Stevens may have been alive at a Benghazi hospital). Judicial Watch also produced an exclusive investigative news story questioning the handling of the Benghazi investigation by outgoing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rodgers (R-MI).
The Fast and Furious Cover-Up
- We made big news on the latest in the growing Operation Fast and Furious scandal implicating President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ). On November 18, 2014, Judicial Watch obtained a massive production of documents in response to a June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and our subsequent FOIA lawsuit. All told, over 10,000 documents, which include about 42,000 pages, were disclosed to Judicial Watch. They are now available at this link. Fast and Furious was a joint Justice Department-Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun running operation that the administration perpetrated expecting it would bolster gun control proposals in the U.S. The idea was to allow guns to find their way into the arms of Mexican drug cartel members who would use them in criminal operations. Some of the weapons used in Fast and Furious have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of innocent Mexicans. We have also obtained information through a lawsuit filed against the City of Phoenix, Arizona, that confirmed that an AK 47 rifle used in July 29, 2013, gang-style assault on an apartment building that resulted in the wounding of two people was part of the Fast and Furious program. One of the most revealing bits of information here concerns an explosive email from a top DOJ official to a White House official. It reveals the lengths to which the administration went in order to target and silence then-CBS investigative journalist (and JW client) Sharyl Attkisson. As with the IRS and Benghazi cover-ups, Judicial Watch forced the release of Fast and Furious information that Congress was simply unable to get. There is little doubt that our Fast and Furious breakthroughs led to the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder.
The Battle against ObamaCare
- After taking in the videos American Commitment has posted of M.I.T. economics professor Jonathan Gruber spilling the beans on ObamaCare, it’s clear that we were way ahead of the curve in exposing the deceit and deception underpinning the law. The “lack of transparency” surrounding ObamaCare have been key to its implementation and enforcement. We have sued the Obama Administration at least 11 times to get basic information about the federal health care law and alert JW supporters to the duplicity of the Obama administration.
- In October, we filed a taxpayer lawsuit against the Washington D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority aimed at preventing congressional figures from participating in the exchange. Under D.C. law, only those small businesses that have 50 or fewer employees can participate in the Small Business Exchange. Guess how many people are employed by Congress? And, guess how many employees Congress claims to have? Congress employs upwards of 20,000 people. But the applications we obtained from the local District of Columbia government through a Freedom of Information request are shockers: the House and Senate falsely claim to have less than 50 employees each. Incredibly, the applications also falsely state that the House and Senate are “local/state governments.” As it stands now, there are at least 12,359 members of Congress, congressional staffers, their spouses and dependents who now purchase their insurance through the D.C. Small Business Exchange. To put this in perspective, there are only a little over 14,000 participants in total on this D.C. Obamacare Exchange. So, practically speaking, this “Small Business Exchange” is nothing but a front for Congress to obtain insurance for Obamacare outside the law.
- Judicial Watch also filed a landmark lawsuit on behalf Kawa Orthodontics, LLP that challenges the president’s unconstitutional decision to ignore the law to suit his personal, political interests. This is a pivotal case in terms of reining in the Obama administration’s flagrant disdain for the separation of powers and the rule of law. President Obama shouldn’t be able to use his “pen” to rewrite the law as if were a one-man Congress. This lawsuit is the most serious legal challenge to President Obama’s and his administration’s abuses of power. The House of Representatives finally filed a suit last week on this issue but, once again, Congress is following our lead on this important issue.
The Integrity of the Ballot Box
- Our Election Integrity Project continues to expose serious transgressions at the ballot box that create opportunities for voter fraud. Our simple but nationally-important goal is to prevent voter fraud so legitimate voters are not disenfranchised. This year alone, Judicial Watch successfully resolved lawsuits in Ohio and Indiana built around a provision of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) that requires state officials to maintain clean voter rolls. We have also released data that shows 11 states plus Washington D.C. have out-of-date voter rolls in various counties where the number of registered voters exceeds the voting age population. We are pressing ahead as we consider potential NVRA litigation in Colorado, Iowa and the District of Colombia. And we are also investigating the voter rolls in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Judicial Watch is also defending voter ID and other election integrity laws in the courts through amicus briefs or other participation in cases in North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Arizona.
- On Election Day, we sent a team of lawyers and volunteers to New Hampshire where operated as observers. This team included Robert Popper, a seasoned attorney and former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Voting Section, and attorneys Chris Fedeli and Lauren Burke. The volunteers were local Judicial Watch members who patriotically contributed their time to assist with this effort.
JW continues to push forward aggressively on a number of other Obama scandals, including attacks on the Second Amendment, the Obama administration’s war on the First Amendment, stronger ethics enforcement for members of both political parties in Congress, and many more. In fact, with the Obama administration, it seems like a scandal a day!
These are trying times for our nation, but how reassuring it is to see that the legal system can be used effectively by a citizens’ group like Judicial Watch to hold accountable the corrupt politicians and other public officials that are doing so much damage to the rule of law.
Our exposes on Obama’s mad scheme to bring Ebola-infected foreigners, on how the Clinton gang ran the State Department as a shakedown operation, and our exclusive (and, frankly, lives-saving) reporting on the terrorist threat on the border all put the mainstream media to shame.
It is no exaggeration to say that Judicial Watch is doing the work of Congress, the media, and the Justice Department. And we are up to the job.
Judicial Watch is uniquely positioned to do the hard work of confronting the abuse and corruption of Obama’s Washington. JW is committed to policing our government and protecting our constitutional system. Will you please join our cause?
Your tax-deductible gift today is urgently needed to help us carry out our investigations, lawsuits and public education initiatives, and to be ready to take on new battles as they arise. No amount is too small, and I will be grateful for anything you can give. Your contribution is your best vehicle to bring this corrupt city to heel.
Frankly, this Thanksgiving, even as I thank God for the bountiful gifts he has bestowed upon our nation, I am deeply concerned about our future. The federal government is off the rails and out of control. And we have never before had a president who shows such utter disdain for our Constitution. Judicial Watch is often the first line and last of defense for Americans who want to find out the truth and stop corruption in DC — and to stand against Obama’s lawlessness as Congress and a lapdog media are AWOL in these foundational battles.
You can’t rely on Congress, and you can’t rely on the “government media.” But you can rely on Judicial Watch — your independent watchdog in Washington.
Thank you again for your support.
Please accept my sincerest wishes, on behalf of both my family and all my committed Judicial Watch colleagues, to you and your family for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday, as you gather together to “raise the song of harvest home.”