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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.

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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

NEW: Ashli Babbitt Shooting Emails Released!

New Documents Reveal the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Submitted a Request to Cremate Ashli Babbitt Two Days after Gaining Custody of Her Body
Millions of Tax Dollars to Make University of Pittsburgh ‘One-Stop Fetal Tissue Shop’
Border Crisis: Judicial Watch Sues Biden Administration for Information on Aliens Charged with Crimes after Entering U.S.
Judicial Watch Sues for Records of Diplomats Subjected to Anal COVID Tests by China

New Documents Reveal the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Submitted a Request to Cremate Ashli Babbitt Two Days after Gaining Custody of Her Body

Judicial Watch just received the first public documents about the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt. 

We obtained 1160 pages of documents from Washington, DC’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) that document new details of the investigation of the homicide of the Air Force veteran and San Diego native. These new documents reveal that OCME submitted a request for permission to cremate Babbitt only two days after taking custody of her body and that, due to the “high profile nature” of Babbitt’s case, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz requested that a secure electronic file with limited access be created for Babbitt’s records.

Additionally, Babbitt’s fingerprints were emailed to a person supposedly working for the DC government, which resulted in Microsoft “undeliverable” messages written in Chinese characters being returned.

Babbitt was shot and killed by an unidentified law enforcement officer as she attempted to climb through a broken interior window in the Capitol Building, located outside the Speaker’s Lobby off the House Floor during the January 6 disturbance. She was unarmed. At the time of the shooting, several officers reportedly can be seen in videos, standing in the crowd of protestors in which Babbitt was present.

We obtained the records in our lawsuit concerning two FOIA requests we submitted on April 8, 2021 to the Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for records related to Babbitt’s death (Judicial Watch v. The District of Columbia (No. 2021 CA 001710 B)).

The newly obtained records reveal:

  • On January 8, 2021, at 7:13 p.m., an application to cremate the body of Babbitt is labeled “completed successfully.” Copies of the permit are sent to OCME officials Kimberli Hall and SaVern Fripp, as well as Melinda Smith, Jennifer Love, Lisa Tabron, Jeanette Belle, and Perlieshia Gales. 
  • In a January 6, 2021, email sent at 9:48 p.m. from OCME official Denise Lyles to medical examiner Francisco Diaz, the subject line is, “Case #21-00106 ID Confirmed.” [Case 21-00106 was Ashli Babbitt’s file number.] 
  • On January 6, 2021, at 9:43 p.m., Lyles emails OCME official Dr. Jennifer Love an attachment with the message, “I am updating the information we received from IAD [Internal Affairs Division] re the confirmed ID for OCME Case #21-00106 [Ashli Babbitt’s case]. These are the prints that returned from the FBI, that the detectives from IAD provided. I dropped them in the e-case file. Their names are noted below.” 

Lyles appears to have forwarded the file after having received it at 9:33 p.m. on January 6 from someone (whose name is redacted) within the Prince George’s County, MD, Police Criminal Investigation Division, assigned to the “Homicide Unit – FBI/Cross Border Task Force.” The file had been sent to that person at 9:30 p.m. on January 6 from someone with the email address [email protected]. 

  • On January 6, 2021, at 7:42 p.m., OCME official Jamie Spann emailed a scanned file called “21-00106 FBI Submission Form” to Grant Greenwalt, Manager of the Crime Scenes Sciences unit of the DC Department of Forensic Sciences, as well as someone with the email address [email protected], and copying medical examiners Francisco Diaz and Jennifer Love, asking, “Please run the attached prints.” This document contained Ashli Babbitt’s fingerprints.

Greenwalt forwards the request to David Chumbley, an officer of the DC Police Department. Chumbley forwards the prints from his iPhone at 8:06 p.m. on January 6 to someone identified as Jamese Kororma within the DC government. The email sent to “Jamese Kororma” resulted in multiple Microsoft “undeliverable” messages being returned, written in what appear to be Chinese characters. 

  • On January 7, 2021, Forensics photographer Matthew Brown emailed OCME colleagues regarding Babbitt’s case with “High” importance,” stating, “Due to the high-profile nature of case 21-00106, Dr. Diaz has requested limited access to this case. Please create a secure folder on the photo server for case 21-00106 and provide access only to the following OCME staff: Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Diaz, Anna Francis, Matthew Brown.” 

Brown adds, “Currently there are no images or folders on the photo server for this case. The images are being held on the OCME archiving server until a secure folder is created.” 

Michael Coleman, OCME’s Chief Information Officer, responded two hours later, “The requested directory has been created with the stipulated access granted. Please let me know if any additional adjustments are required.” 

Brown replies, “Thank you Mike. The case photos are now available on the server.” 

Responding separately to Coleman, OCME Records Manager Anna Francis says, “I have restricted the e-case file as well. For work purposes, the following groups have access, please let me know if permissions should be limited further: 1. Anna Francis; 2. MLI Investigations; 3. Medical Examiners; 4. Michael Coleman; 5. Roger Mitchell; 6. QC-n-RecMgmt; 7. Investigators.” 

  • In a January 14, 2021, email from Deputy Chief Toxicologist Stephen Raso to OCME colleague Samantha Tolliver with the subject “Capital Riot Cases,” Raso states, “See attached prelim results.” 
  • In a February 2, 2021, email from OCME official Andrea Pugh to medical examiner Dr. Francisco Diaz, Pugh indicated that the preliminary toxicology report on Babbitt was completed. 
  • On January 13, 2021, Dr. Francisco Diaz emailed Chief Medical Examiner/Deputy Mayor Roger Mitchell with the note, “21-00106: COD-Gunshot wound to left anterior shoulder. MOD-Homicide.” Note: COD is “Cause of Death” and MOD means “Manner of Death.”
  • The OCME did not release the cause and manner of Babbitt’s death until April 7, 2021: 

Ashli Babbitt, 35 years old:

Cause of Death – Gunshot wound to the left anterior shoulder

Manner of Death – Homicide

  • In a January 8, 2021, email, Lead Forensic Investigator Rebecca Wood tells OCME officials, “I spoke with the family for the above case and her legal last name is ‘Babbitt.’ CMS has been updated to reflect this change, please update the death certificate as well.” 
  • In a January 8, 2021, email sent at 3:45 p.m., OCME official Denise Lyles messages her OCME colleagues with the subject “Capitol Incident Cases,” and notes “FYI, all the cases from the Capitol Incident all Identifications have been confirmed,” adding, “Ashli Elizabeth Pamatian aka A. Babbitt – partner/husband notified.” 
  • The records include identification records for “Ashli Elizabeth Pamatian,” including a copy of an FBI fingerprint submission card, a State Department visa check record “for identification purposes,” and a separate FBI fingerprint submission card that indicated that the “Official Taking Fingerprints” in the Babbitt case was “E. Betts.” 

Additionally, Babbitt’s body was listed as “Unidentified female” and “WF.” 

The DC government form included in the records states: “The District of Columbia Office of Chief Medical Examiner has recovered human remains and is requesting AFIS fingerprint database searches for identification purposes,” and the “transaction type” on the form indicates “Unidentified Deceased (DEU Transaction). 

The comments section notes, “Please attempt to identify this unidentified female who was discovered deceased on 01/06/2021 in Washington, DC.” The form asks for the response to be faxed to OCME. official Jennifer Love. An X-ray log sheet indicates that three “LODOX” images of Babbitt’s body were taken by a technician with the initials RK. 

  • In an email on January 18, 2021, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz sends an attachment with Babbitt’s case file number to OCME officials Kristina Giese and Kimberly Golden stating, “Please review this homicide.” 
  • In an email on March 1, 2021, OCME official Cheryle Adams messaged colleagues Beverly Fields and Dr. Francisco Diaz (copying Mayor’s office spokeswoman Olivia Dedner), advising them that she was providing an updated spreadsheet of reporters seeking information on the people who died at “the January 6, 2021, Insurrection at the Capitol.” 

There is intense public interest in the shooting of Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol on January 6. The continued secrecy and delayed release of information about the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt are suspicious and smacks of politics. The Metropolitan Police Department has not yet produced documents about the shooting of Ms. Babbitt. 

This document release is part of Judicial Watch’s independent investigation into the January 6 disturbance.

In March, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the District of Columbia for documents about the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Pressure from this lawsuit helped lead to the disclosure that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes.

We also filed lawsuits for U.S. Capitol Police emails and video related to the riot and for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s communications with the Pentagon in the days after the January 6 incident.

That Americans still have no information about who killed Ashli Babbitt or any police report about her death is a scandal of epic proportions.

Millions of Tax Dollars to Make University of Pittsburgh ‘One-Stop Fetal Tissue Shop’

The abortion industry is big business, and your tax dollars are supporting it. This is a gross affront to any system of values that purports to respect human life.

For example, nearly $3 million in federal funds were spent on the University of Pittsburgh’s quest to become a “Tissue Hub” for human fetal tissue ranging from 6 to 42 weeks gestation. To put this in perspective, a typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.

We learned this after we and The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) received 252 pages of documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

We represent CMP in a Freedom of Information lawsuit against HHS, which was filed after the agency failed to respond to an April 28, 2020, FOIA request seeking, among other things, the grant applications for a University of Pittsburgh “tissue hub and collection site.” (Center for Medical Progress v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00642)).

The documents reveal the following:

  • The aims of the project listed in the original 2015 proposal were to “develop a pipeline to the acquisition, quality control and distribution of human genitourinary [urinary and genital organs and functions] samples obtained throughout development (6-42 weeks gestation). … [and] generate an ongoing resource to distribute fresh developmental human genitourinary samples from various stages (6-42 weeks) to the GUDMAP [GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project] Atlas projects.” 
  • In the proposal, Pitt notes that it has been “collecting fetal tissue for over 10 years … include[ing] liver, heart, gonads, legs, brain, genitourinary tissues including kidneys, ureters and bladders.”
  • Pitt noted in 2015 “we have disbursed over 300 fresh samples collected from 77 cases. The collections can be significantly ramped up as material could have been accrued from as many as 725 cases last year.”
  • The Health Sciences Tissue Bank at Pitt is “embedded within the Department of Pathology … thus providing rapid access to very high quality tissue and biological specimens.”
  • Pitt boasts it has a number of internal connections as well as a “strong working relationship with UPMC [University of Pittsburgh Medical Center] and the Department of Pathology” as well as three “laboratories in the flagship UPMC hospitals.” This includes a lab boasting a “ButcherBoy band saw for sectioning bone,” and a “frozen section room has digital video feed to and from the operating rooms. This also allows for instantaneous discussions with the surgeons as well [as] immediate ‘show and tell’ for them.” The proposal ironically also boasts about the laboratories at the “Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.”
  • Later in the proposal, Pitt states that it records the “warm ischemic time on our samples and take steps to keep it at a minimum to ensure the highest quality biological specimens.” [The “warm ischemic time” refers to the amount of time an organ remains at body temperature after blood supply has been cut off.  Warm ischemic time differs from cold ischemic time which refers to amount of time the organ is chilled. Pitt’s statement suggests the time between the abortion and collection is minimal.]
  • The Pitt scientists note “All fetal tissue is collected through a collaborative process including Family Planning, Obstetrics and Pathology.” And that, “the numbers of consents and collections has been steadily increasing… and we are in an excellent position to expand our services to include the needs of the GUDMAP Atlas projects.”
  • Pitt anticipated “being able to harvest and distribute quality tissue and cells … [and] do not anticipate any major problems related to the acquisition and distribution of the tissues.”
  • Pitt’s target goal “is to have available a minimum of 5 cases (tissues and if possible other biologicals) per week of gestational age for ages 6-42 weeks.”
  • Pitt’s proposal also included a racial target for harvesting human fetal parts. Of its planned aborted “subjects” Pitt desired 50% to be minority fetuses. The proposal suggests that the “subjects” be diverse because Pittsburgh is diverse, the U.S. Census Bureau shows the city of Pittsburgh is close to 70% white.
  • Pitt’s proposal requested more than $3.2 million over a five-year period. The documents show NIH has funded at least $2.7 million so far for Pitt’s human fetal tissue harvesting and hub.

You can learn more from The Center for Medical Progress’ press release available here.

These latest documents show taxpayer money is being used to turn the University of Pittsburgh is a one-stop human fetal tissue shop – from procuring the tissue from elective abortions, “subdividing” the human remains, to distributing and shipping the harvested tissue.

In March 2021, a federal court ordered HHS to release additional information about its purchases of organs harvested from aborted human fetuses. The court also found “there is reason to question” whether the transactions violate federal law barring the sale of fetal organs. 

In May 2021, we uncovered records from the FDA showing the agency spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to buy human fetal tissue from California-based Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). The tissue was used in creating “humanized mice” to test “biologic drug products.” The records show the agency ordered shipments to be “fresh; shipped on wet ice.”

In June 2020, we released records showing the FDA between 2012 and 2018 entered into eight contracts worth $96,370 with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to acquire “fresh and never frozen” tissue from 1st and 2nd trimester aborted fetuses for use in creating humanized mice for ongoing research. In February 2020, we made public additional humanized mice records.

All these records constitute a catalog of horrors that should shock the conscience. Our grim work exposing these outrages will continue. It is a moral imperative. 

Border Crisis: Judicial Watch Sues Biden Administration for Information on Aliens Charged with Crimes after Entering U.S.

President Biden’s lawless opening of our southern border is almost certainly allowing all manner of dangerous people into our country, and he’s covering it up.

In 2018, the Trump administration initiated the Migrant Protection Protocols program; it went into effect in early 2019. Under the program, also referred to as “Remain in Mexico,” asylum-seekers and other aliens who arrived at the Southwest Border were required to remain in Mexico while U.S. officials processed their immigration claims. The Biden administration suspended the program on January 21, 2021, then terminated it on June 1, 2021. 

On March 18, 2021, we filed a FOIA request with the Biden Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for information on asylum-seekers and other aliens participating in MPP who have been charged with crimes after entering the United States. Our request is simple:

Records reflecting the number of enrollees in the Migrant Protection Program who have been charged with crimes after entering the United States under MPP; the nature of the charges; the disposition of the charges; and demographic data of those enrollees charged, such as age, sex, country of origin, etc.

After CBP and ICE failed to respond, we sued on July 16 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:21-cv-01927)).

After Biden suspended Trump’s security measure, DHS opened the gates further. DHS announced that beginning on February 19:

DHS will begin processing people who had been forced to “remain in Mexico” under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Approximately 25,000 individuals in MPP continue to have active cases.

The DHS announcement also said that individuals enrolled in the MPP program who are eligible to enter the United States while their cases are processed would be allowed to enter the U.S. through designated ports of entry at designated times:

We will provide instructions in the coming days for how individuals with active MPP cases may remotely register for in-processing. We will continue to enforce U.S. immigration law and border security measures throughout this process.

In mid-April, Texas, Missouri and Louisiana sued the Biden DHS and immigration agencies for ending MPP and demanded the program be reinstated. When the Texas/Missouri lawsuit was filed, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said:

President Biden could immediately remedy the influx of crime pouring across our border by reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols. Dangerous criminals are taking advantage of the lapse in law enforcement and it’s resulting in human trafficking, smuggling, a plethora of violent crimes, and a massive, unprecedented burden on state and federal programs for which taxpayers must foot the bill.

According to the Louisiana complaint, the Biden administration exceeded its authority by rescinding MPP:

Federal law requires Defendants to take custody of many criminal aliens, including those with final orders of removal, those convicted of drug offenses, and those convicted of crimes of moral turpitude. By refusing to take these criminal aliens into custody, Defendants [the Biden administration immigration agencies] have disregarded non-discretionary legal duties.

In May, it was reported “More than 61,000 immigrants who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border have been released into the United States since President Joe Biden took office, according to federal data.”  Prior to the suspension of MPP, these individuals would have been returned to Mexico to wait while their applications for entry were adjudicated.

The Biden administration should come clean about crimes committed by aliens as a result of its reckless decision to end the Migration Protection Protocols, a commonsense measure put in place by the Trump administration to try to control the border.

In other actions provoked by the Biden administration border crisis, in June we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for COVID-19 technical guidance provided to the Office of Refugee Resettlement relating to illegal aliens released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. I noted at the time, “The Biden administration secrecy on its border crisis includes stonewalling on the issue of COVID-19 and illegal immigration and controversial refugee resettlement programs.”

On April 30, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against HHS for records about assaults on and abuse of unaccompanied alien children in its custody after it was disclosed that multiple facilities where children are being held are unsafe. We are concerned that the surge of migrants seeking to take advantage of the Biden administration’s lax immigration policies has resulted in the foreseeable abuse of children, as overwhelmed federal authorities are ill-equipped to handle the huge number of children crossing the border.

Let me be clear: the Biden administration is engaged in what fairly be called the largest human trafficking operation in world history. And you can be sure that Judicial Watch will do what we can to uncover the truth about this unprecedented assault on our nation’s sovereignty and safety. 

Judicial Watch Sues for Records of Diplomats Subjected to Anal COVID Tests by China

The gall of the Chinese Communists in abusing our diplomats is matched only by the weak response by the Biden State Department.

In February2021, it was reported that U.S. diplomats were subjected to anal swab testing for COVID-19 by the Chinese government. At the time, the State Department told The Hill that, 

Chinese officials who forced American diplomats to undergo an anal swab for COVID-19 testing did so “in error,” the State Department told The Hill on Thursday, as Beijing denies it conducted the tests at all….

A State spokesperson responded to a request for comment from The Hill by saying that the department “never agreed” to such tests and had protested directly to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs following complaints from staff.

To learn more about this outrage, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request for:

All records about US diplomatic personnel in or seeking to enter China being subjected to anal swab tests for the COVID-19 virus, including all complaints and communications regarding such testing. This request does not seek any personal identifying information of US diplomatic personnel that may have been subjected to such testing. 

Per usual, our request wasn’t answered as the law required, which is why Judicial Watch just filed a FOIA lawsuit against the State Department for the documents. Again, we simply want non-identifying records of U.S. diplomatic personnel being subjected to invasive COVID-19 “anal swab” tests by the Chinese government (Judicial Watch v U.S. Dept of State (No. 1:21-cv-02111)).

Our diplomatic personnel was abused in a reprehensible way by the Chinese government, and the Biden administration seems to have done little in response – except to cover it up.

Until next week …


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