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Judicial Watch • Weekly Update: THE Smoking Gun

Weekly Update: THE Smoking Gun

Weekly Update: THE Smoking Gun

JUNE 09, 2017

New Hillary Clinton Email Confirms She Used Blackberry Against Security Advice
Why Did Trump Administration Suspend Sanctuary City Reports?
Veterans Affairs Sued For Info on Homeless Vets Plan

 

New Hillary Clinton Email Confirms She Used Blackberry Against Security Advice

What did the Russians know, and when did they know it? A question for today and President Trump? Actually we should be asking this about the years when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The illicit system she cobbled together to send and receive emails was essentially transparent to the Russians and, for that matter, anyone else with a smidgen of technical expertise.

As the latest example of this, we have submitted new evidence to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan showing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly used an unsecure BlackBerry device despite being warned by “security hawks” against doing so.

We obtained the email record in a response to a court order from our May 5, 2015, lawsuit against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) after it failed to respond to our March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”

The new document brings the known total to date to at least 433 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

The email was sent to Susan Kennedy, presumably former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff. Kennedy wrote Clinton on March 7 2009: “Just in case you are still allowed to carry your blackberry, your friends are watching with great pride.” Clinton responded on March 8, 2009:

Against the advice of the security hawks, I still do carry my berry but am prohibited from using it in my office, where I spend most of my time when I’m not on a plane or in a “no coverage” country.

The email, uncovered by Judicial Watch and written by Clinton, demonstrates that she reviewed or was at least informed about a March 6, 2009, Information Memo from Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell to Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills in which he wrote that he “cannot stress too strongly, however, that any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving email, and exploiting calendars.” [Emphasis added]

In a recent court filing pertaining to the pending motion to compel Clinton to answer interrogatory questions she refused to answer under oath, Judicial Watch argues that interrogatory 14 is particularly important:

Interrogatory 14 seeks to uncover why Secretary Clinton continued using a personal BlackBerry to conduct State Department business after being advised of the risks in doing so. This interrogatory is pertinent because Secretary Clinton’s personal BlackBerry was an integral part of the operation of the clintonemail.com system, a subject squarely within the scope of discovery. It was how she accessed her email. Without her personal BlackBerry, there likely would have been no clintonemail.com system because the Secretary did not use a desktop or laptop and a State Department BlackBerry would have linked to an official “state.gov” email account.

We submitted the questions to her under a court order on August 19, 2016, in a separate lawsuit.

Mrs. Clinton seemingly ignored the advice of “security hawks” and violated numerous laws related to the handling of classified material and government documents. The State Department sat on this document for 18 months. It is a smoking gun that shows why she must held accountable under criminal and civil law.

Clinton refused outright to answer questions about the creation of her email system; her decision to use the system despite warnings from State Department officials; and the basis for her claim that the State Department had “90-95%” of her emails.

In her responses sent to Judicial Watch and the court on October 13, 2016, Clinton refused to answer three questions and responded that she “does not recall” 20 times concerning her non-government clintonemail.com email system. She preceded her responses by eight “general objections” and two “objections to definitions.” The words “object” or “objection” appear 84 times throughout the 23-page document submitted to the court and Judicial Watch.

The Clinton responses to interrogatives were received in the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which was first filed in September 2013 seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system.

You can find the full history of this case here.

(For our instant response to the outrageous Comey testimony, click here and here.)

Why Did Trump Administration Suspend Sanctuary City Reports?

As part of its strategy to get control of our borders, the Trump Administration instituted regular reports on the disposition of illegal aliens who have committed crimes. Now, after only three were issued, it has abruptly suspended those reports.

We want to know the real reason.

So we have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for all records concerning the suspension of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:17-cv-01008)).

We filed the suit after Homeland Security failed to respond to our April 13, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

  1. All complaints received by ICE concerning the [Declined Detainer Outcome Report];
  2. All records concerning the suspension of the weekly publication of the [Declined Detainer Outcome Report]; and
  3. All records identifying the reporting methodologies used to create the [Declined Detainer Outcome Report].

The Declined Detainer Outcome Reports highlighted state and local governments, often referred to as sanctuary cities, that did not comply with ICE’s detainer program.

ICE places detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges and for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States, so that ICE can take custody of the alien when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.

According to CNN, the Trump administration suspended publication of the Declined Detainer Outcome Reports on April 11, 2017, after only three weeks and three total reports due to “complaints.” The Hill further reported that according to ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez, the Declined Detainer Outcome Reports were halted in order to “analyze and refine [the organization’s] reporting methodologies.”

Sanctuary cities are violating federal law and putting public at risk. It’s that simple. Citizens and immigrants alike deserve to know why this useful report exposing sanctuary city lawlessness was discontinued.

In April, Judicial Watch obtained 204 illegal alien Detainer Requests denied to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by the Travis County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office. The illegal aliens protected by the Sheriff’s Office were charged or convicted of 31 acts of violence, 14 thefts or burglaries, and three acts or threats of terrorism. Forty-four of the denied requests were for inmates originally detained by Homeland Security and temporarily transferred to Travis County (home to the state capital in Austin) for disposition of state or local charges.

Let’s hope that the department’s stated reason is correct and that it hasn’t yielded to political pressure from immigration advocates. We believe these reports throw a needed light on the widespread law breaking regarding illegal aliens.

Veterans Affairs Sued For Info on Homeless Vets Plan

This story should get your blood pressure up. It illustrates two things: how poorly we treat our veterans and how our bureaucrats at every level can’t muster a sense of urgency about a matter that should be of interest on both sides of the aisle. Well, we’re going to find out what’s going on.

We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit here in DC against the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) seeking information on an agreement to turn a VA campus in Los Angeles into permanent housing for homeless veterans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (No. 1:17-cv-00994)).

We went to court after the VA failed to respond to our simple April FOIA request concerning the Veterans’ Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS):

  • All records of communications between VAGLAHS and the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation known as “Vets Advocacy, Inc.” relating to implementation of the “Principles for a Partnership and Framework for Settlement” entered by and between the U.S. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs and representatives of the plaintiffs in Valentini v. McDonald, Case No. 2:11-cv-04846-SJO-MRW (C.D. Calif.) on or about January 28, 2015.
  • All records relating to Vets Advocacy, Inc.’s work regarding VAGLAHS or homeless veterans, including but not limited to any actions, activities, or advocacy, by Vets Advocacy, Inc. to (i) improve or revitalize the VAGLAHS campus; (ii) address homelessness in Los Angeles’ veterans community; or (iii) improve the well-being of veterans generally.
  • All records concerning work performed by Vets Advocacy, Inc. consultant Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D.

The property at issue was deeded to the federal government in 1888 for the specific purpose of caring for disabled veterans. It includes a veterans’ home, but, over time, it also came to include facilities for entirely unrelated uses such as a stadium for UCLA’s baseball team, an athletic complex for a nearby private prep school, a golf course, laundry facilities for a nearby Marriott hotel, storage and maintenance facilities for 20th Century Fox Television’s production sets, the Brentwood Theatre, soccer practice and match fields for a private girls’ soccer club, dog park, and a farmer’s market.

Veterans sued the VA to restore the 388-acre site to its proper use, and some of the non-veteran related uses have been terminated. In October 2015, former VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald and attorneys representing homeless veterans reached a settlement, vowing that the campus would be dedicated to serving and housing veterans in need, particularly those who were female, aging or disabled. A new organization, Vets Advocacy Inc., was established to administer the plan.

On May 29, 2017, The Los Angeles Times reported:

It’s understandable that this project will take years to complete — that’s calculated into the master plan. It is a colossal undertaking to remake a 388-acre campus. The VA did not even receive the necessary congressional authority to enter into leases with developers and service providers until September.

The problem is, there really is no new development yet. And now the VA says the first phase of 480 units will take four years to install, not 2½.

[T]he VA didn’t hire consultants to implement the master plan and conduct a lengthy environmental study until almost a year after the plan was adopted. The study is expected to take two years. Until it’s done, construction can’t begin on the 150 units planned for MacArthur Field.

We’ve had since 1888 to figure out something constructive to do with this property for veterans. The inadequate answer so far has been a dog park and a soccer field. Shouldn’t our finest and bravest be treated better?

Until next week…