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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Biden Corruption Update

Breaking: Special Counsel for Hunter Biden Not What it Seems!
Hearing Set in Judicial Watch Lawsuit Seeking Videos and Emails from January 6 Protest at Capitol
Judicial Watch Sues National Archives for Records of Its Role in Trump Records Dispute
Mexican Cartels Get Ammo, Guns, Money from U.S.

 

Breaking: Special Counsel for Hunter Biden Not What it Seems!

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel to investigate Biden family finances.

Garland folded, stopped ignoring DOJ regulations, and finally appointed a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden and (indirectly) President Joe Biden for their corrupt family business dealings.

But appointing U.S. Attorney Weiss as special counsel, a man who tried to unethically slide Hunter’s corrupt plea deal past a federal judge, is a sick joke. In fact, Mr. Weiss should be under investigation for his dishonest statements to Congress and his compromised, sweetheart plea deal for Hunter Biden.

Given the powerful and unrefuted testimony before Congress by senior IRS investigators that the criminal investigation of Hunter was obstructed by the Justice Department (when Weiss was nominally running the investigation) in order to protect Joe Biden, Weiss is the last person who should be special counsel.

Congress should speed up and escalate its investigations of Biden corruption, as the Justice Department is ethically broken.

In the meantime, Judicial Watch will continue its leadership role in investigating and exposing the worsening Biden corruption crisis through numerous FOIA and other federal and state legal actions.

 

Hearing Set in Judicial Watch Lawsuit Seeking Videos and Emails from January 6 Protest at Capitol

A congressional coverup is ongoing concerning January 6, but our lawsuit to undo it is proceeding apace.

A federal court in Washington, DC, set a hearing in our lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police seeking videos and emails concerning the protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 (Judicial Watch v. United States Capitol Police (No. 1:21-cv-00401)).

The hearing will be held before U.S District Court Judge Ana C. Reyes on August 15 at 1:00 pm ET.

We filed our lawsuit under the common law right of access to public records in February 2021 after the US Capitol Police refused to provide any records in response to a January 21, 2021, request seeking:

  • Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021, through January 10, 2021.
  • Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021through January 10, 2021.
  • All video footage from within the Capitol between 12 pm and 9 pm on January 6, 2021.

Through its police department, Congress argues that the videos and emails are not public records, there is no public interest in their release, and that “sovereign immunity” prevents citizens from suing for their release.

In opposing the broad assertion of secrecy, we detail Supreme Court and other precedents that uphold the public’s right to know what “their government is up to:”

In ‘the courts of this country’ – including the federal courts – the common law bestows upon the public a right of access to public records and documents” … “the Supreme Court was unequivocal in stating that there is a federal common law right of access ‘to inspect and copy public records and documents.’” … “[T]he general rule is that all three branches of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, are subject to the common law right.” The right of access is “a precious common law right. . . that predates the Constitution itself.’

The Court of Appeals for this circuit has recognized that “openness in government has always been thought crucial to ensuring that the people remain in control of their government….

“Neither our elected nor our appointed representatives may abridge the free flow of information simply to protect their own activities from public scrutiny. An official policy of secrecy must be supported by some legitimate justification that serves the interest of the public office.”

The U.S. Capitol Police continues to hide these key January 6 videos and emails from the American people. It is particularly frustrating that the new House Republican leadership has allowed the Capitol Police to continue to defend this secrecy, which was first pushed under the Pelosi Congress in federal court.

 

Judicial Watch Sues National Archives for Records of Its Role in Trump Records Dispute

The National Archives is hiding, in absolute violation of federal FOIA law, the full truth about its selective, abusive targeting of President Trump.

We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for records of the Archives’ role in President Trump’s White House records controversy; whether it offered Trump a secure storage location other than the National Archives; and if the Archives consulted with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding the classification or declassification procedures of any of the alleged classified documents found at Trump’s Florida residence (Judicial Watch v. National Archives and Records Administration (No. 1:23-cv-02267)).

We sued after the National Archives failed to substantively respond to a June 15, 2023, FOIA request for:

Policies, procedures, regulations, or other documents outlining NARA procedures assisting a U.S. President during transition from office. Records from January 1, 2009, to present.

Coordination with the Department of Defense to assist with inventory, packing or transport of any records from the White House, from November 1, 2020, to December 1, 2021.

Advice and assistance regarding “records” provided by NARA to former President Trump, his transition team, record custodians or representatives from May 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021.

NARA employees assisting former President Trump and/or his representatives inventorying, reviewing, packing, or moving boxes at the White House from November 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021.

Request for assistance from former President Trump or his representatives to assist with packing, inventorying, reviewing, or storing records from November 1, 2020, to February 1, 2022.

NARA offering or providing a secure storage location other than the National Archives for records potentially being retained by former President Trump or his representatives from November 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021.

NARA inserting placeholder pages in any of the 15 boxes obtained from former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, FL, from November 1, 2020, to December 1, 2022.

Consultations with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (“ODNI”) concerning classification or declassification procedures of any of the alleged classified documents found in the 15 boxes recovered from former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, FL, from January 21, 2021, to present.

In an April 2 letter to Michael Turner (R-OH), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Trump attorney Timothy B. Parlatore said the Archives “unfortunately has become overtly political and declined to provide archival assistance to President Trump’s transition team.”

We are in the forefront of the court battles for transparency regarding Biden administration’s targeting of former President Trump.

In June 2023, we obtained DOJ records that showed top officials of the National Security Division discussing the political implications of Trump allowing CNN to use closed-circuit TV (CCTV) footage of the raid on his Mar-a-Lago home. The documents confirmed that the Justice Department had asked that Mar-a-Lago CCTV be turned off before the raid.

A separate Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration resulted in the release of records about the unprecedented document dispute between the Archives and President Trump. Click here or here to review the records.

In August 2022, we successfully sued to unseal the search warrant affidavit used to justify the unprecedented raid on the home of former President Trump.

In September 2022, we filed lawsuits against the DOJ for its records and the FBI’s records about the Mar-a-Lago raid search warrant application and approval, as well as communications about the warrant between the FBI, Executive Office of the President and the Secret Service.

In October 2022, we sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all communications of the U.S. Secret Service internally and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding the raid on Trump’s home and for any video or audio recordings made during the raid.

In November 2022, we sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all communications between the Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding the search warrant that precipitated the raid on former Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago.

As you can see, Judicial Watch will not slow down one bit on exposing the unprecedented upending of the rule of law by the Biden administration in its targeting of Trump and other innocents.

 

Mexican Cartels Get Ammo, Guns, Money from U.S.

We often report on the invasive trafficking of people, drugs and guns into the United States from Mexico, but here’s a twist: Transnational criminal organizations smuggle firearms from the United States into Mexico. And our government does very little to thwart this reverse flow. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the details.

While Mexican drug cartels seize unprecedented control of the southwest border, the frontline Homeland Security agency charged with safeguarding the U.S. fails to regularly conduct outbound inspections that could disrupt the Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO). The checks for traffic departing the country at ports of entry (POE) would be detrimental to the illicit operations because they prevent illegal exportation of currency, firearms, explosives, ammunition, and narcotics. Nevertheless, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not consistently inspect outbound traffic, according to a federal audit that reveals there is no structural outbound inspection with oversight from the agency’s Office of Field Operations (OFO).

“TCOs require a steady supply of firearms and ammunition to assert control over the territory where they operate, eliminate rival criminal organizations, and resist government operations,” says the report, released this month by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General. “Further, bulk cash smuggling remains a favored means for TCOs to repatriate their illicit funds from or move funds into the United States to support their criminal operations. TCO networks on the Southwest border smuggle narcotics into the United States, while illegally exporting currency from drug proceeds and firearms into Mexico.” Operations are not limited to the Mexican border, the DHS watchdog writes, confirming that TCO networks also use the northern border to smuggle high-potency drugs and currency both into and out of the United States.

Federal law authorizes CBP to seize illegally transported firearms, ammunition, explosives, narcotics, and currency out of the United States. Statistics provided in the report show that it is an effective way to disrupt TCO operations. For instance, between 2018 and 2022, agents seized $58 million in illegal currency and 2,306 firearms. It demonstrates the value of outbound inspections to CBP’s mission, which is to protect the American people, safeguard our borders and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity. However, agency policies do not require outbound inspections though officers at some land border crossings perform them on personal vehicles and pedestrians departing the U.S. In most locations CBP officers are not conducting outbound inspections, the DHS watchdog found, determining that the agency is “missing opportunities to stop currency, firearm, explosives, ammunition, and narcotics from reaching TCOs that perpetrate cross-border violence.”

CBP is responsible for 167 land crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border, which stretches nearly 2,000 miles and Canada, the world’s longest international border with 5,525 miles. Investigators from the DHS IG’s office visited 108 of them during their probe. “We found the frequency of outbound inspections, inspection techniques, technology, and infrastructure in outbound inspection areas varied significantly between the two borders and among land border crossings,” they write in their report. “These inconsistencies occurred because there is no structured outbound inspection program with oversight from OFO headquarters.” Additionally, the agency does not have performance metrics to measure the impact of widespread outbound inspections or a comprehensive outbound inspection policy.

The report comes just weeks after congressional testimony from federal sources in counterterrorism, intelligence and drug enforcement exposed how the Biden administration’s reckless open border policies have greatly facilitated the business model of TCOs. Mexican drug cartels have seized unprecedented control of the nation’s southwest border, the congressional hearing determined. Days earlier at a separate and equally alarmingcongressional hearing, another group of law enforcement sources confirmed that Mexican TCOs are successfully smuggling mass quantities of deadly illicit fentanyl past Border Patrol agents and CBP officers into the U.S. Federal authorities can hardly afford to miss opportunities, such as conducting outbound inspections, that can disrupt cartel operations.

Until next week,


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