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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.

Because no one
is above the law!


Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Biden Scandal Update

Obama Official Notes Russians Trolling Joe Biden on Son Hunter
We’re Investigating a University’s Attempt to Cancel a Professor
States, Cities Play Games with Post 911 Driver’s License Law
San Francisco State University to Host Terrorists

Obama Official Notes Russians Trolling Joe Biden on Son Hunter

Americans weren’t generally aware of Joe and Hunter Biden’s shenanigans in Ukraine, but Obama’s State Department certainly was, as was Ukraine, its pro-Russian newspaper sardonically referring to the soon to be then-Vice President Joe Biden showing up to protect his son’s business in Ukraine.

We learned this from three pages of State Department records. They include a January 17, 2017, email from George Kent, the Obama administration’s deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of Ukraine policy, which was copied to then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, highlighting Russia-linked media “trolling” Joe Biden over “his son’s business.”

We obtained the records in response to our FOIA lawsuit filed in January 2020 seeking records of communications from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv mentioning Burisma (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:20-cv-00229)). (The records had been separately released to Citizens United.)

An email was sent four days prior to the inauguration of President Donald Trump to a redacted recipient and CCd to Yovanovitch with the subject line “medvedchuk-linked vesti trolls Biden.” Kent writes: “Burisma – gift that keeps on giving. (With medvedchuk affiliated Vesti pushing the troll like storyline on visit day)”

Medvedchuk refers to Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian politician, lawyer, business oligarch, and People’s Deputy of Ukraine. He’s considered a Putin ally. Vesti is the pro-Russian newspaper in Ukraine.

Hunter Biden, son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, served on the board of directors for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings despite having no previous experience in the energy industry.

Kent includes a “Review of Ukrainian Printed Press” that includes the Ukrainian newspaper Vesti, which described Biden’s visit to Ukraine, saying: “Will J. Biden arrive to secure his son’s business? According to experts, J. Biden, as the unofficial curator of ‘the Ukrainian question’, will give P. Poroshenko recommendations about working with the new US administration. Another aspect is the protection of his own business interests.”
On January 17, 2017, Biden was on his sixth visit in seven years to Ukraine. When Biden visited Ukraine in 2015, he threatened to withhold $1 billion if the country’s top prosecutor was not dismissed. Hunter Biden was under investigation by the later-fired prosecutor general.

Kent and Yovanovitch were both star witnesses for Democrats in the Trump impeachment hearings. Kent testified he warned the Obama administration about Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma: “My concern was that there was the possibility of a perception of a conflict of interest.” Kent answered the questions of Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL):

CASTOR: OK, but you know Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma’s board of directors. At some point you testified in your deposition that you expressed some concern to the Vice President’s Office. Is that correct
KENT: That is correct.
CASTOR: And what did they do about that concern that you expressed?
KENT: I have no idea. I reported my concern to the Office of the Vice President.

In April 2014, Hunter Biden joined the board of the Ukrainian gas company. He served on the board until early 2019. Burisma, which was under investigation by the Ukrainian government, stated at the time of his hiring that Biden would be “in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”

This email shows the Obama State Department had a longstanding concern about then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s Burisma involvement – and how the Russians were using Biden’s conflicts of interest to undermine U.S. policy.

We’re Investigating a University’s Attempt to Cancel a Professor

Our institutions of “higher learning” have become cesspits of leftist madness. Students and professors are the immediate victims, but in the end we all are.

We have joined with Legal Insurrection Foundation to file a Florida public records request for communications at the University of Central Florida (UCF) related to Professor Charles Negy, who was attacked by campus leftists and the university administration after he raised questions about systemic racism.

In August, Legal Insurrection wrotethat, “After Negy questioned claims of ‘systemic racism’ and asserted ‘black privilege is real,’ [referring to affirmative action, etc.] there has been a university-wide pile-on, with Negy alleging UCF is soliciting complaints against him and conducting an abusive investigation in an effort to justify firing him.”

The UCF student senate passed a resolutionasking for Negy’s termination, and there were protests on campusand at Negy’s home.

UCF President Alexander Cartwright participated in a campus protest and also took to social media, tweeting, “we do not tolerate hate speech and must be unequivocally anti-racist in our words, actions and online behavior. Whenever we find discrimination in our community, we will take decisive action to stamp it out.” Michael Johnson, the interim provost, told The New York Timesthat Negy’s views are “vile.”

Negy reportedly“has worked at UCF since 1998 and earned tenure in 2001, a status that can make it harder to fire him.”

The public records request asks for records mentioning Negy, Cartwright, and other university officials, as well as communications with governmental and professional academic organizations regarding Negy.

“The scourge of cancel culture won’t be cured in a matter of days, weeks, or even months. But sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we are committed to shining a light on the Negy case and other cases as well,” said William Jacobson, president, Legal Insurrection Foundation.

I’ll add that freedom of speech is under attack at the very institutions that should be encouraging it. Intellectual discourse on college campuses has now been replaced by angry mobs trying to silence and end the careers of professors who dissent from left-wing ideology.

States, Cities Play Games with Post 911 Driver’s License Law

Following the example of the Obama administration, states and cities – notably Washington DC — have not taken seriously a 2005 law designed to protect against terrorists using driver’s licenses to attack us. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the details:

It took nearly two decades after the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil for every state to finally comply with a federal law requiring minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards. The measure, known as the REAL ID Act,was passed by Congress after 9/11 to establish a more secure national system less prone to fraud after several of the hijackers exploited loopholes to obtain dozens of driver’s licenses from various states. The cards allowed them to take flight lessons and board planes to carry out the 2001 attacks. At the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission,Congress passed the law in 2005 and states originally had until 2011 to comply, though the Obama administration tried to drastically weaken the legislation. Obama Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano granted a 20-month extension on the deadline as she worked behind the scenes to undermine the Real ID Act, asserting that it violates civil liberties and privacy.

The measure’s crucial verification process requires states to certify the authenticity of every driver’s license applicant by requiring that documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, be submitted to get the card are legitimate and that the applicant is in the United States legally. It also calls for a newly created federal database to link all licensing information that must be checked before states issue new cards. This will establish a much-needed standardized national driver’s license system less vulnerable to fraud and will prevent terrorists from abusing it as did September 11 hijackers. Once the law is fully enforced, federal agencies will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses or ID cards from noncompliant states for official purposes, including boarding an aircraft, accessing a federal facility, and entering a nuclear power plant.

Of interesting note is that about a dozen states—including Arkansas, California, Maine, and Oregon—offer gender-neutral licenses and ID cards in violation of the REAL ID Act. So does Washington, D.C.’s famously corrupt local government. Nevertheless, Title IIof the act specifically states that “features on each driver’s license and identification card issued to a person by the State” must include: The person’s full legal name; the person’s date of birth; the person’s gender; the person’s driver’s license or identification card number; a digital photograph of the person; the person’s address of principle residence; the person’s signature; physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes; a common machine-readable technology with defined minimum data elements.

It is not clear how the feds will handle the gender-neutral licenses, which in most cases include choices such as “non-binary” and “undesignated.” In D.C., depending on what option is chosen, an “X” appears on the card in the place of an “M” for male or “F” for female. Some states—including Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming—resisted complying with the REAL ID Act altogether and vowed to pass bills ordering officials to ignore the measure. Other states, such as California, implemented legislation to give special driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants who will not meet the security standards under the federal law. Thankfully, the Trump administration cemented a deadline for all states to comply with the crucial anti-terrorism law enacted a decade and a half ago to protect the nation from another attack. Incredibly, some federal lawmakers are still trying to buy more time. Among them is Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy, who wrote a letter to the president earlier this year claiming that “Real America needs a REAL ID extension”to avoid disrupting “the lives or livelihoods of hardworking citizens.”

This month the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delivered the good news; all 50 states are finally in full compliance with the REAL ID Act, with most states becoming compliant in the last four years under pressure from the Trump administration. “To date, the 50 states have issued more than 105 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, representing 38 percent of all driver’s licenses and identification card holders,” according to the announcement issued by DHS. In less than a year full enforcement of REAL ID will take effect at all federally regulated airports, federal facilities and nuclear power plants, the bulletin further states. That means federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting licenses and ID cards that do not meet the law’s standards. It only took 15 years after Congress passed the legislation and nearly two decades since Islamic terrorists attacked the nation.

San Francisco State University to Host Terrorists

I really don’t know how parents and their children decide on a university today, given the anti-American leftist ideologues that control too many college campuses. Even terrorists are raised up by the campus radicals. Our Corruption Chroniclesblog detailsthe latest outrage.

A webinar event billed as “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled” is scheduled for September 23, 2020. San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and Professor Tomomi Kinukawa are hosting the open classroom Internet event described as: “a historic roundtable conversation with Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader Leila Khaled, followed by Q&A discussion with students, activists, and scholars at 12:30-2:30 pm PST (3:30-5:30 pm New York, and 10:30pm-12:30 am in Palestine and Jordan).”

While Leila Khaled is not a specially designated terrorist, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a designated organization – and Khaled is a member of the terrorist organization’s politburo. Because it is an online event, there are no issues related to her admissibility to the U.S. Khaled has spoken in Europe several times (including at an EU conference in Brussels in 2017), but was denied entry to Italy the same year.

In 2018, the co-chair of the Portland Democratic Socialists of America featured a famous photo of Khaled holding an AK-47 during the hijacking of TWA 840 on her Twitter banner and tweeted that, “Khaled never harmed a single human being.” She has recently tweeted support of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Portland riots.

The event is also scheduled to feature South African politician Ronnie Kasrils. He was the country’s Minister of Intelligence, an executive committee member of the African National Congress, and a member of the Central Committee of South Africa’s Communist Party. He was previously an advisor to Hamas.

Another speaker at the event, Sekou Odinga, is a Black Panthers revolutionary who was convicted of six counts of attempted murder of a police officer and RICO charges related to his role in breaking a fellow Panther (who had been convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper) out of prison. He was paroled in 2014.

Former Weather Underground and SDS member Laura Whitehorn is also scheduled to participate. She was convicted for her role in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Senate and sentenced to 20 years.

Event moderator Rahab Abdulhadi is a Professor and Director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas/Race and Resistance initiative at SFSU. She has an extremely long history of Palestinian/anti-Jewish activism, including establishing ties between SFSUand Hamas-affiliated universities. In 2014, she led a university-funded delegationof academics to the Middle East that met with Khaled and Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of an organization that supports Hamas.

Co-sponsors of the event include the Marxist Workers World Party and leading BDS organization Al-Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, which has called for the elimination of Israel and earlier this year had its GoFundMe account terminatedon account of its anti-Semitic views.

SFSU President Lynn Mahoney seems to be a run-of-the-mill leftist academic. Previously, Mahoney was Provost and V.P. at California State University in Los Angeles and held various positions at CSU in Long Beach.

San Francisco State describesitself as “a public urban university with a conscience.” It can costup to $30,652 a year to attend. So tuition and tax dollars are used to promote terrorists at a public university. We will continue to investigate.

Until next week …