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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

Black Panther Scandal “Roars Back to Life”

September 24, 2010

From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:

Judicial Watch Exposes Obama Gang’s Black Panther Misinformation — Scandal “Roars Back to Life”

Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that politics had anything to do with its Justice Department’s (DOJ) decision to abandon its lawsuit against the Black Panthers, a “civil rights” group that brandished weapons, blocked a polling station and hurled racial insults at voters on Election Day 2008. In fact, at least one Justice Department official swore to it under oath.

But according to evidence uncovered by Judicial Watch this week, this is yet another Obama administration falsehood.

On September 21, we released a draft Vaughn index prepared by the DOJ that shows that the two top political appointees at the DOJ were involved in the decision to dismiss the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense (NBPP).

The index, which we acquired pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, describes documents the government is withholding from the public. Among those documents are internal DOJ emails regarding the Black Panther case between the highest political appointees inside the DOJ, including former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden and the Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, the second and third ranking officials at the DOJ.

Here’s one example: A May 10, 2009, email from Associate Attorney General Perrelli to Deputy Associate Attorney General and former Democratic election lawyer Sam Hirsch. “Where are we on the Black Panther case?” Perrelli asks in the subject header. The email also includes Deputy Attorney General Ogden’s “current thoughts on the case.”

Does this sound like Perrelli and Ogden were on the outside looking in at the Black Panther decision? Not a chance. But wait, there’s more.

Another email, from former Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King, dated May 12, 2009, was distributed to Attorney General Eric Holder through Odgen and Perrelli. Entitled, “Weekly Report for the Week ending May 8, 2009,” the email “Identifies matters deemed significant and highlights issues for the senior offices, including an update on a planned course of action in the NBPP (New Black Panther Party) litigation.”

Now, as I mentioned, the evidence uncovered by Judicial Watch directly contradicts the sworn testimony of a top Obama White House official.

Attorney General Thomas Perez testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010. The Commission, an independent, bipartisan unit of the federal government charged with investigating and reporting on civil rights issues, initiated a probe of the DOJ’s decision to drop its lawsuit. During the hearing, Perez was asked directly regarding the involvement of political leaders in the decision to dismiss the Black Panther case. And here’s the exchange:

COMMISSIONER KIRSANOW: Was there any political leadership involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case any further than it was?

ASST. ATTY. GEN. PEREZ: No. The decisions were made by Loretta King in consultation with Steve Rosenbaum, who is the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

Perez also suggested that the dispute was merely “a case of career people disagreeing with career people.”

Well now we know this is false. And we have the evidence to prove it.

Overall, the index describes 122 documents (totaling at least 611 pages) that the Obama DOJ is withholding from the public in their entirety. A federal court hearing in the matter is scheduled on October 5, 2010, in Washington, DC, before U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton. We plan to ask the Court to require the Obama DOJ to release these (and other) secret documents about this scandal and its cover-up.

But we’re not stopping there.

In a separate but related matter, Judicial Watch also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit this week against the DOJ to obtain records related to meetings between Perrelli and White House officials regarding the Black Panther decision.

Here’s what we’re after: “Any and all records of Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli concerning meetings with the White House on the Justice Department’s voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. The time frame for this request is from January 20, 2009, to June 15, 2009.”

On March 26, 2010, the DOJ informed Judicial Watch that it had conducted a search for documents, and found “no records responsive to [JW’s] request.”

But we found this extremely difficult to believe. After all, a number of press outlets have reported at least nine meetings between Perrelli and White House officials between March 25 and May 27, 2009, regarding the Black Panther case. So we got tired of the run-around and sued.

Why should anyone believe the DOJ’s story regarding Perrelli’s meetings? We now know DOJ officials falsely stated that no political appointees were involved in the Black Panther decision. We know the DOJ continues to withhold hundreds of pages of records that could shed light on this scandal. And we know multiple press reports came to the same conclusion: Perrelli met with the White House specifically on the Black Panther matter. And the DOJ cannot find a single record related to these meetings?

Our good work has garnered tremendous attention, including coverage in The Washington Examiner, Investors Business Daily, and The Washington Times (The Times editorial is entitled, “Black Panther case roars back to life.”) I’m also scheduled to appear on Fox News this weekend. (I’ll send you details in a separate email.)

We’ve done three news releases on this issue alone this week so developments are breaking fast. For instance, I just returned from attending a hearing of U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during which there was much explosive discussion and testimony regarding not only our work but generally corrupt policies at the Obama/Holder DOJ. I’ll have more for you on that next week.

Stay tuned…

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Nabbed in Double Scandal

The trial of scandal-ridden former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich came to an unjust conclusion weeks ago, as Blago was largely let off the hook for his crimes. But as the government plans its second attempt to prosecute the case, news continues to break regarding Blagojevich’s scheme to sell President Obama’s then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he is “deeply sorry” for having “disappointed some supporters” regarding his relationship with a female “social acquaintance.”

But the congressman vowed to stay in office in the wake of a Chicago Sun-Times report that a major political fund-raiser has told federal authorities that Jackson directed him to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment for Jackson to the U.S. Senate, to succeed President Obama.

As you may recall, Jackson’s connections to the Blagojevich scandal landed him on Judicial Watch’s list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2009. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported back then, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named “Senate Candidate A” in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama’s seat. And three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich.

So Jackson is partially correct when he says (as he did this week) that these allegations are “not new.” But what is new, however, is that Jackson Jr.’s fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, has come forward to personally tell investigators that Jackson Jr. asked him to offer not $1.5 million, but a whopping $6 million in campaign cash to Blagojevich to secure the Senate seat!

And here’s something else new that emerged this week. Apparently Jackson asked Nayak to “pay to fly a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro — described as a ‘social acquaintance’ of the Democratic congressman — to Chicago to visit him.” Nayak reportedly did so twice.

We all know what “social acquaintance” means under these circumstances. Jackson Jr. says this is a “private and personal matter between me and my wife.” But not if it involved public funds, an issue that remains unsettled.

So too is Jackson Jr.’s political future. The Chicago congressman was rumored to be in the crowded field of candidates running for Mayor of Chicago, a possibility that seems more remote in light of recent developments.

Now that Jackson Jr.’s political stock is dropping through the basement floor, the press is chattering about the possibility of Chicago native and current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House and throwing his hat into the ring to serve as Chicago’s next mayor.

But here’s the thing. Emanuel also has a Blagojevich problem.

As I’ve told you previously, the government cut short its Blagojevich prosecution to avoid implicating White House officials at the highest levels, including Emanuel. According to Judicial Watch blogger Irene Garcia, who did some excellent reporting from the trial, Blagojevich repeatedly ferried messages to President Obama through Emanuel. For example, Blagojevich’s former Chief of Staff John Harris testified that Blagojevich asked him to call Emanuel to see if the president was “still in agreement” that the Senate seat should go to…

…You guessed it, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Only in Chicago.

JW Sues Labor for Docs Related to Federal Program to Get Illegals “Fair Pay”

In the last few weeks I’ve told you about the various ways the Obama administration is trying to bypass Congress and the will of the American people to enact stealth amnesty — to effectively bestow citizenship on individuals who broke our laws and continue to live and work in the shadows.

Well, now I’d like to tell you about a federal program that helps aliens to earn “fair pay” while they’re still saddled with their “illegal” status.

It’s called the “We Can Help” program and it is designed to help “vulnerable and underpaid” illegal alien workers obtain fair wages “regardless of immigration status.” The campaign, launched by the Labor Department under the auspices of the Wage and Hour Division in April 2010, encourages illegal aliens to contact the government for assistance in earning fair wages from employers.

Judicial Watch initiated an investigation of this program in July by filing a FOIA request with Labor. After the agency stonewalled, we filed a lawsuit. Here’s what we’re after:

Any and all records of complaints by undocumented workers under the Wage and Hour Division’s “We Can Help” Program. The time frame for this request is April 1, 2010 until July 9, 2010.

Any and all records of the policies and procedures of the Wage and Hour Division’s “We Can Help” program concerning, regarding, or relating to complaints received from an undocumented worker. The time frame for this request is April 1, 2010 until July 9, 2010.

According to a Department of Labor press release announcing “We Can Help:”

The campaign…underscores that wage and hour laws apply to all workers in the United States, regardless of immigration status.

The release also indicates that 250 new field investigators had been added to the government payroll to target employers who deny workers their “rightful wage.”

Here I must pause. How can someone be entitled to a “rightful wage,” when they have no legal “right” to work in the country? My understanding is that the law requires that labor and wage protections apply to all residents, legal or illegal. But one might question the emphasis of the ideologues at Labor. Is the suggestion that illegal aliens aren’t making enough money in illegal work the most pressing enforcement issue for the U.S. Department of Labor?

In a public service announcement promoting the campaign, available in both English and Spanish, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says, “Remember, every worker in America has a right to be paid fairly whether documented or not.” (You can check it out for yourself here.) She then encourages workers to contact the government’s new toll free hotline for a “confidential” consultation. The government also has a website dedicated to the “We Can Help Program” as well and has recruited celebrity spokespersons such as actor Jimmy Smits to help promote the campaign. (Click here and scroll down to see Mr. Smits’ public service announcement.)

Now the fact that Hilda Solis is behind all of this does not come as a shock. She has long-time ties to the radical organization The National Council of La Raza (also known as the National Council of “The Race”). In fact, she even has photos of her speech before the organization in 2009 on the Department of Labor website. (You’ll have to sit through quite a bit of the slide show to see the photo, but it’s there.)

The National Council of La Raza presents itself as a “mainstream organization,” but is nothing of the sort. The organization openly lobbies for open borders and illegal alien amnesty. And as Judicial Watch noted in this special report, “The National Council of The Race” also funds a number of Mexican anti-American charter schools that serve as a training ground for the Mexican reconquista movement, which seeks to conquer the American Southwest — by force or by ballot box — and return it to Mexico.

I encourage you to click here to read the report and see the kinds of people connected to our Secretary of Labor.

This “We Can Help” campaign demonstrates just how backward the Obama administration is when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration. On the one hand the Obama White House attacks the State of Arizona for passing a law to enforce federal immigration law. And on the other the administration uses taxpayer funds to help and encourage illegal aliens to continue violating the law.

No wonder the Obama Labor Department is stonewalling the release of any documents that could shed light on this scandalous waste of taxpayer resources. Rest assured we’ll keep after it in court.

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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