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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Supreme Court VICTORIES

YouTube Censored Our Election Security Video at the Request of California Officials
Home Run for Cleaner Elections at the Supreme Court
Supreme Court Ruling Protects Donor IRS Information Privacy
Podunk Charges by Corrupt Politicians Target Trump
Happy Independence Day!

YouTube Censored Our Election Security Video at the Request of California Officials

Making a mockery of the First Amendment has reached a new height in – where else? – California, where employees of the state conspired with employees of Google to strangle the free flow of information. And they targeted us.

The office of the Secretary of State of California directly emailed Google employees to remove a Judicial Watch video on election integrity. The video titled, “**ELECTION INTEGRITY CRISIS** Dirty Voter Rolls, Ballot Harvesting & Mail-in-Voting Risks!” was removed within three days.

The censored Judicial Watch video featured me discussing vote-by-mail and our lawsuit settlement that resulted in Los Angeles County agreeing to remove up to 1.6 million inactive voters from its voting rolls.

We learned of this state/big tech conspiracy in 165 pages of new documents disgorged from the office of the Secretary of State.

The documents also reveal an email exchange wherein Sam Mahood, Press Secretary of the Secretary of State’s office, reaches out to Kevin Kane, of the Public Policy Department at Twitter, to have a tweet removed after Twitter had found it to have not been in violation of their terms of service, and a Google form filled out by the consulting firm that was advising both California and the Biden Campaign which flagged two tweets that criticized the California election.

In an email exchange beginning on September 24, 2020, Social Media Coordinator Akilah Jones of the California Secretary of State’s office contacts [email protected] and copies four Google employees with the subject line, “REPORT VIDEO: **ELECTION INTEGRITY CRISIS** Dirty Voter Rolls, Ballot Harvesting & Mail-in-Voting Risks!”

Jones’ email falsely characterizes Judicial Watch video in her email:

Hi YouTube Reporting Team,

I am reporting the following video because it misleads community members about elections or other civic processes and misrepresents the safety and security of mail-in ballots.

Thank you for your time and attention on this matter.

All the best, Akilah.

The next day, on September 25, 2020, Andrea Holtermann, a Google employee, replies to Jones:

Hi Akilah,

Thanks for reaching out.  We will look into this and get back to you as soon as we can.

Best,

On September 27, 2020, Google/YouTube confirms it censored the video:

Hi Akilah,

Circling back on this. Thank you for raising this content to our attention, this has been removed from the platform for violating our policies. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are any other questions or concerns you may have.

Best,

In an email exchange beginning on January 15, 2020, Sam Mahood, press secretary for the California Secretary of State’s office, forwards an email to Twitter Public Policy Department’s Kevin Kane asking that he review a tweet that Twitter support had determined to not be in violation of their terms of service. Mahood copies Deputy Secretary of State Paula Valle and Chief Counsel Steve Reyes on the email.

Kane agrees to a January 31 meeting with Reyes and Valle.

In an email dated November 13, 2020, Zeke Sandoval of SKDK (the consulting firm that advised both the California Secretary of State’s office and the Biden campaign) emails the Secretary of State’s office and their colleagues, flagging two popular tweets that criticized the California election process. The first from @DC_Draino states:

Audit every California ballot Election fraud is rampant nationwide and we all know California is one of the culprits Do it to protect the integrity of that state’s elections

The second from @WatchTheBreaks states:

Just did some research on California voting and unless I’m missing something, there isn’t a place I can see HOW my ballot was counted. I think that inability for me to check my Votes in the system (not just IF it was counted) is a big flaw, regardless of which side you are on.

Both accounts were later removed from Twitter

These new documents show the California Secretary of State directly conspired with Google to censor me and Judicial Watch in violation of our First Amendment rights. This government censorship, also in conspiracy with the Biden campaign, is smoking gun evidence of election interference.

In April, this Judicial Watch FOIA request first uncovered documents showing the Office of the Secretary of State of California pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube)) to censor us and other posts about the 2020 election. “@DC Draino,” Rogan O’Handley, recently filed a lawsuit against Twitter based on these Judicial Watch disclosures.

In May, we separately uncovered records that show Office of the Secretary of State of Iowa pressured social media companies (Twitter and Facebook) to censor posts about the 2020 election. Included in these records were emails from Iowa state officials to representatives of Big Tech pressuring these companies to remove our posts. The emails show how the state agency successfully pressured Facebook to censor our post about Iowa’s management of its voter rolls.

Home Run for Cleaner Elections at the Supreme Court

This week the Supreme Court upheld Arizona provisions restricting ballot harvesting and “out of precinct” voting Mark Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona, et al. v. Democratic National Committee, et al (Nos. 19-1257 & 1258).

This decision is a home run for cleaner elections. It reaffirms that states may take action to prevent election fraud without waiting for it to occur within their own borders. This new decision rightly rejects the race baiting of the leftist partisans who pretend that neutral provisions to combat voter fraud (such as voter ID and bans on ballot harvesting) are presumptively racist.

The decision also destroys the foundation of the Biden administration’s recent attack on Georgia’s election reform laws. States can be confident that they can go full speed ahead to strengthen elections and protect voting rights with security measures such as voter ID and other sensible steps to make it harder to steal elections.

In the decision, Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, squarely addressed the issues facing Arizona and other states:

A State indisputably has a compelling interest in preserving the integrity of its election process.” Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U. S. 1, 4 (2006) (per curiam). Limiting the classes of persons who may handle early ballots to those less likely to have ulterior motives deters potential fraud and improves voter confidence. That was the view of the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker. The Carter-Baker Commission noted that “[a]bsentee balloting is vulnerable to abuse in several ways: . . . Citizens who vote at home, at nursing homes, at the workplace, or in church are more susceptible to pressure, overt and subtle, or to intimidation.

The Commission warned that “[v]ote buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail,” and it recommended that “States therefore should reduce the risks of fraud and abuse in absentee voting by prohibiting ‘third-party’ organizations, candidates, and political party activists from handling absentee ballots.” Ibid. The Commission ultimately recommended that States limit the classes of persons who may handle absentee ballots to “the voter, an acknowledged family member, the U. S. Postal Service or other legitimate shipper, or election officials.” Id., at 47. HB 2023 is even more permissive in that it also authorizes ballot-handling by a voter’s household member and caregiver.  Restrictions on ballot collection are also common in other States.

And it should go without saying that a State may take action to prevent election fraud without waiting for it to occur and be detected within its own borders. Section 2’s command that the political processes remain equally open surely does not demand that “a State’s political system sustain some level of damage before the legislature [can] take corrective action.” Munro v. So-socialist Workers Party, 479 U. S. 189, 195 (1986). Fraud is a real risk that accompanies mail-in voting even if Arizona had the good fortune to avoid it. Election fraud has had serious consequences in other States. For example, the North Carolina Board of Elections invalidated the results of a 2018 race for a seat in the House of Representatives for evidence of fraudulent mail-in ballots. The Arizona Legislature was not obligated to wait for something similar to happen closer to home.

This had to go all the way to the Supreme Court, but it really is just common sense.

Recall that in January we joined with Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) to file an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief in this case.

As we pointed out in our filing, those challenging Arizona’s clean election laws “utterly failed” to show that the challenged voting procedure caused minorities to have less opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.

The Left is furious and despairing over this turn of events as the ruling is a significant impediment to their Critical Race Theory/partisan attacks on election security. In the meantime, your Judicial Watch will continue to battle in the courts and the public square to preserve and protect our elections.

Supreme Court Ruling Protects Donor IRS Information Privacy

The Supreme Court this week brushed back the latest attempt by leftist politicians, this time in California, to abuse IRS information to collect information on and intimidate donors to charitable organizations. The Supreme Court agreed with us and other non-profits from both the left and right that California’s donor disclosure mandate chills the First Amendment activities of groups and their donors.

The ruling came in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta (No. 19-251)), in which we filed a brief arguing against the state’s move.

Confidential IRS taxpayer information has been notoriously abused for political purposes over the years. The Obama administration was caught misusing donor information by Judicial Watch and just earlier this month a leftist news organization somehow gained access to the confidential IRS information of untold thousands of American taxpayers. This Supreme Court victory for the First Amendment could not come at a better time.

We joined with Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) to file an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief in this case, which originated when Americans for Prosperity challenged the State of California’s rule requiring non-profits, when renewing their registration with the state annually, to include the tax Form 990 Schedule B, which discloses certain major donors. This rule was initiated by the state’s attorney general’s office in California and was vigorously enforced for the first time by then-California State Attorney General Kamala Harris.

The Judicial Watch/AEF brief asked the high court to reverse the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the California law, and to affirm the lower court’s ruling, which held that the law violates the First Amendment. Our brief argued that the Ninth Circuit’s decision to uphold California’s donor disclosure requirement could have adverse effects for all issue-oriented, educational nonprofit organizations:

The decision is not only wrong … it would also chill the free exercise of millions of Californians’ protected First Amendment rights.… It clearly affects individuals’ willingness to donate. Indeed, recent widely publicized reports show that threats, harassment, or reprisals have occurred from either government officials or private parties.

We also argued that Supreme Court precedent (NAACP v. Alabama (1958)) highlights how the “right of association” is “almost as inalienable in its nature as the right of personal liberty. No legislator can attack it without impairing the foundations of society.”

Regarding the “chilling effect” the California law would impose on free speech and free association, Judicial Watch and AEF point out the “notorious” IRS scandal under the Obama administration, in which the agency targeted conservative organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status:

What followed was an extremely troubling episode in which public officials used government resources to silence [political opponents].… The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) audited the unit responsible for processing applications by organizations seeking tax-exempt status … [and found] that there had been a deliberate, systematic targeting of conservative groups.

***

These instances of targeting and harassing conservative donors and non-profits are nationally famous. Donors are certainly aware of these events …

Specifically, the brief noted, “in Judicial Watch’s experience, any law or regulation that requires additional disclosure of donor data—especially to a state government that has publicly demonstrated animosity to conservative viewpoints—has the real potential to chill speech …”

This is decision is a key victory for the First Amendment and, importantly, you and other patriots who are facing harassment, intimidation, and worse from state actors seeking to oppress their political opposition.

Podunk Charges by Corrupt Politicians Target Trump

Manhattan DA Cy Vance, Jr., indicted President Trump’s organization and Allen Weiselberg on tax evasion charges as local and state officials in New York continue their years-long targeting of President Trump.

The petty charges against President Trump’s company and employee arise from political animus against Trump by Democratic New York politicians. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, James Comey, Robert Mueller – and now Cy Vance and Letitia James – all abused power to target, harass and violate the civil rights of President Trump. These new charges are another affront to the rule of law and an obvious attempt to hamper any potential challenge by Trump to Joe Biden.

Judicial Watch has been second to none in exposing, and often thwarting, the government abuses targeting President Trump and other innocent Americans. You can see the job is not done – and will never be done as long President Trump and other Americans are perceived at threats to the designs of the corrupted establishment class currently controlling much of our justice system.

Happy Independence Day!

America is under attack by a rising communist revolutionary movement. They are attacking our republican system of government, which included defaming our nation by attacking its founding.

As I’ve previously noted, we must always educate ourselves about the glorious revolution for liberty behind our nation’s founding. The Left is the enemy of history and memory and hates our nation’s founding principles. To that end, to celebrate Independence Day, below is the Declaration of Independence in full. Please share it far and wide:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Have a safe and wonderful Independence Day and God Bless the United States of America!

Until next week …


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