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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Because no one
is above the law!


Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Obama Speaks to “The Race”

July 29, 2011

From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:

Another Democratic Congressman Resigns Over Sex Scandal

Another week, another congressional sex scandal. This time the alleged perpetrator is Congressman David Wu (D-OR). According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., announced Tuesday he would resign from Congress, following allegations of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl.

The resignation announcement came in the wake of a report last week that the teenage daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor called the congressman’s office earlier this year to accuse him of an unwanted sexual encounter over Thanksgiving.

Wu, 56, acknowledged the incident to his aides but said it was consensual, the Portland Oregonian reported.

On Monday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called for a formal ethics investigation. By Tuesday, Wu, a seven-term member of Congress, said he would resign his post, which he called “the greatest privilege of my life.”

“I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations,” Wu said in a statement. “The well-being of my children must come before anything else.”

You ever notice how politicians who are caught in the act always worry about “taking care of their family” after the fact? This is the go-to statement for all politicians who engage in sexual misconduct (or crime in general). Pity Wu showed such little regard for his family when he allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl. (To say nothing of his utter lack of regard for the alleged victim herself.)

Now Wu claims he did nothing illegal. He says the sexual activity was consensual. (Another go-to line for politicians who believe this somehow makes their behavior excusable or understandable.) But the young girl involved obviously has a different view. She reportedly left a voicemail at Wu’s office accusing him of “improper and aggressive behavior” during their encounter.

And this is not simply a case of “he-said, she-said” because there is another “she” to consider when contemplating Wu’s credibility – his former girlfriend and fellow Stanford student who accused Wu of attempted rape in the 1970s. Yes, the incident occurred decades ago, but when you read accounts of what allegedly took place, there are some disturbing similarities between the incidents.

According to an October 2004 report in the Oregonian, following the alleged assault that took place at Stanford:

Wu had scratches on his face and neck, and his T-shirt was stretched out of shape…Earlier, someone had interrupted a scuffle in the woman’s dorm room. A Stanford professor said the woman told him the next day that Wu had angrily attacked her. An assistant dean who counseled the woman for two months said that the woman called it attempted rape and that Wu used a pillow to muffle her screams.

Wu told police that what happened was consensual. He said, “We just, I was with my girlfriend, and we just got a little carried away,” Niemeyer remembered. After that, he said, Wu “clammed up.”

Do you see between the lines? References to aggression and violence. Wu admitting to inappropriate behavior but claiming the incident was “consensual.”

Wu never faced any charges because his ex-girlfriend refused to file them. Records regarding the incident have been “purged or are confidential.” Nonetheless, Wu, who admitted to “inexcusable behavior,” claims he was disciplined by Stanford and worked with a counselor after the incident.

In the article, which came out during the 2004 election season, Wu is quoted as saying, “This single event changed my life and the person I have become.”

These most recent events certainly cast doubt on that statement.

It is important to note that, while Wu did officially resign, this was not his first choice. Wu’s camp first told the press that Wu would not resign, but that he would not seek reelection. While some in Congress urged Wu’s resignation, the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Rep. John Larson (D-CT), would only say that resignation was an “option” for Wu.

This permissive attitude is one reason why politicians think they can remain in office after getting caught in sex scandals. Or perhaps why they think they can get away with it in the first place.

You may recall Rep. Weiner (D-NY) was dragged out of Congress kicking and screaming not too long ago, after he was caught sending unsolicited, lewd photographs of himself via the Internet to women, some of whom may have been underage. And Judicial Watch recently sued Alcee Hastings (D-FL) on behalf of congressional employee Winsome Packer for “unwelcome sexual advances” and “unwelcome touching.” The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating. Hastings still denies the charges despite the compelling details we have presented in a federal lawsuit.

It’s been called Pelosi’s “horndog problem.” Wu had been behaving oddly for some time and the leadership of both parties had ignored his bizarre behavior, which included sending creepy photos of himself dressed up in a tiger costume to congressional staff. (As I pointed out last month, these sexual shenanigans by out-of-control congressmen are the unfortunate legacy of Bill Clinton.)

These sex scandals in Congress are a serious matter. The only way to address it is through full accountability and zero tolerance.

Obama Courts Radical La Raza Group

A few weeks ago I told you that the Obama administration has nearly tripled the amount of taxpayer funds given to the radical Mexican separatist group the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Not coincidentally, this increased generosity commenced after Obama tapped one of NCLR’s former top officials (Cecilia Munoz) to serve as his Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Well, following on that story, President Obama delivered a high-profile speech to NCLR this week, letting the radicals know he plans on giving more to them than just cash. Now, to be fair, this organization has for a long time had friends in high places in both political parties and enough pull to secure speeches from such political heavyweights as Governor Rick Perry (R-TX).

The Chicago Sun-Times has the full transcript of Obama’s speech. However, I thought I would share with you a few of the key excerpts and headlines:

  1. Obama noted the influence of the NCLR within his administration.

    It is good to be back with NCLR. It is good to see all of you. Right off the bat, I should thank you because I have poached quite a few of your alumni to work in my administration.

  2. Obama promised to complete his mission to pass the Dream Act, another of his “stealth amnesty” initiatives that would provide permanent residency to illegal alien high school graduates as long as they go to college or join the military:

    I promised you I would work tirelessly to fix our broken immigration system and make the DREAM Act a reality. And two months ago…I went down to the border of El Paso to reiterate…my vision for an immigration system that holds true to our values and our heritage, and meets our economic and security needs. And I argued this wasn’t just the moral thing to do, it was an economic imperative.

  3. Obama stated that he is very tempted to “bypass Congress and change the laws on [his] own”:

    Now, I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause. I share your concerns and I understand them. And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. And believe me, right now dealing with Congress…

    [The audience began to chant: “Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!”]

    Believe me, believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting.

    [Actually, Obama is being modest here. As I’ve pointed out previously, Obama has already bypassed Congress and enacted stealth amnesty by shutting down deportation proceedings against illegal aliens, including violent criminals. Read more here.]

  4. Obama made a campaign appeal for himself and for Democrats:

    But here’s the only thing you should know. The Democrats and your President are with you. Don’t get confused about that. Remember who it is that we need to move in order to actually change the laws. [This is a smart political ploy says political strategist Douglas Schoen in an opinion column published on]

Obama closed, as politicians often do in speeches of this nature, by recounting the contributions of immigrants to our country: “This country has always been made stronger by our immigrants. That [sic] what makes America special. We attract talented, dynamic, optimistic people who are continually refreshing our economy and our spirit.”

No one would dispute the wonderful contributions of immigrants who come here legally for a better life. But here’s the thing. Obama is talking to the wrong group. The National Council of La Raza (The Race) is not a collection of “dynamic, optimistic people” who have an interest in “refreshing” the American spirit!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, but it bears repeating, the NCLR is a radical racialist group — too many members have absolutely no respect for the United States, most especially not for our immigration laws! (This was evident when the NCLR crowd urged Obama to violate the Constitution during his speech and unilaterally grant amnesty.)

Moreover, this is the same organization that supports “radical Chicano” groups that seek to conquer the American Southwest by force or by ballot box and return it to Mexico. (Here’s our special report that makes this point.)

Do these seem like the type of immigrants who want to seek the American dream?

No matter the reason why Obama is pushing his illegal immigration strategy – whether it’s a deep-seated belief or a ploy to attract the Hispanic vote – his polices are downright dangerous and flagrantly unconstitutional. Judicial Watch will continue to oppose them at every turn.

Government’s Justification for Bailouts Not Good Enough, Says GAO

This month the General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on the financial crisis and came to the same conclusion as Judicial Watch: The government has failed to provide a rationale for its unprecedented intrusion into the private sector through the massive bailout scheme initiated in 2008. And more transparency is needed to get to the truth.

When questioned about their rationale for the bailouts (by Judicial Watch, the GAO and others), government officials simply repeat their standard line: There were “unusual and exigent circumstances” that warranted extreme measures.

Those extreme measures included the Federal Reserve authorizing credit to “troubled” private financial institutions. (Not since the Great Depression had the Fed authorized a loan to a non-banking entity.) If such measures were not taken, we were told, the institutions would collapse, thereby spreading a “contagion” throughout the global financial system.

This thin explanation is simply not good enough said the GAO. You can read the full report here. In my view, here are two key takeaways (as reported by CNBC):

  1. In explaining the basis for these exceptional credit extensions, Federal Reserve Board officials cited the continuing strains in financial markets and concerns about the possible failures of these dealers at the time. However, the Federal Reserve Board could not provide documentation explaining why these extensions were provided specifically to affiliates of these four primary dealers.
  2. …without more complete documentation, how assistance to these broker-dealer subsidiaries satisfied the statutory requirements for using this authority remains unclear. Moreover, without more complete public disclosure of the basis for these actions, these decisions may not be subject to an appropriate level of transparency and accountability.

On this subject of transparency, Judicial Watch has launched a comprehensive investigation of the government’s rationale for the bailouts on behalf of our client and former Federal Reserve employee Vern McKinley. We have a number of lawsuits related to the bailouts of Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and others working their way through the system. And, in fact, on July 18, we filed a “Petition for Rehearing En Banc,” with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in our lawsuit over the Bear Stearns bailout (McKinley v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Case No. 10-5353).

Like the GAO, with this FOIA lawsuit Judicial Watch simply wants to know the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s justification for authorizing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to provide “temporary emergency financing” to Bear Stearns through JP Morgan. (JW did learn from Treasury documents we unearthed that Bear Stearns was considered “worthless” at the time the Federal Reserve Bank of New York handed JP Morgan $30 billion to take over the company.)

The government is stonewalling our request, saying that information related to this question is protected under the “deliberative process privilege” of FOIA law (Exemption 5). As you might imagine, documents supposedly relating to the “deliberative process” can be most the most illuminating about government decision-making and whether it is on the up-and-up.

Unfortunately, an appellate court panel bought the government’s argument.

On June 3, 2011, the panel ruled that if a government agency simply makes the claim that information can be withheld under Exemption 5 the courts must assume that releasing the information will harm the agency’s decision making process – even if no proof of harm is put before the court.

Judicial Watch is now requesting that the appellate court hear the matter en banc (or in full, rather than merely a three-judge panel). Here’s a squib from our brief.

By substantially lowering the government’s burden of demonstrating that material may be withheld under the deliberative process privilege, the panel created a sweeping exemption that is in direct conflict with decades of decisions holding that material may be withheld under the deliberative process privilege only if a government agency demonstrates that disclosure of the withheld material would harm the agency’s decision-making process. [Emphasis added.]

Really this boils down to a very simple issue. We believe the American taxpayers deserve to know how and why the government committed trillions of dollars of their money to prop up failing financial institutions. But the government says it’s none of our business. (Just like the Obama administration says their debt ceiling “crisis” plans are none of our business either.) Unfortunately, if allowed to stand, the panel’s ruling could severely undermine FOIA law.

The government’s position on these bailout documents is offensive and corrupt. And we’re glad the GAO has called attention to that with its report.

Until next week…

Tom Fitton

Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation’s public life. To make a tax-deductible contribution in support of our efforts, click here.

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