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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

FOIA Under Attack by Biden DOJ!

Records Detail Federal-State Censorship Coordination in 2020 Election
Judicial Watch Asks Court to Order the Release of the Audio of President Biden’s Interview with Special Counsel Hur
Judicial Watch Sues for ATF Records on Arkansas Raid that Led to Shooting Death of Clinton National Airport Official
Judicial Watch Sues over Deletion of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from West Point Mission Statement

 

Records Detail Federal-State Censorship Coordination in 2020 Election

We received 110 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that show state election officials in the days before and after the 2020 election flagging online content deemed “misinformation.”

They sent these online posts to the Center for Internet Security (CIS), a DHS-funded nonprofit, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), and others.

The records provide more disturbing evidence of a conspiracy by federal, state, and “private” actors to censor Americans on social media during a presidential campaign

Judicial Watch obtained the records in response to our lawsuit for records of communications between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of DHS, and the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), which was created to suppress online election content (Judicial Watch Inc. vs. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:22-cv-03560 )). We filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after DHS failed to respond to an October 2022 FOIA request.

The newly obtained records include a November 4, 2020, email report from CIS “Misinformation Reports” to Brian Scully, head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Mis-, Dis-, Malinformation (MDM) branch, a division of DHS. The report originated in the Washington State secretary of state’s office and states:

I wanted to flag the following tweet: [handle redacted]. There is no evidence for the claim being made of a widespread mail-in fraud operation to benefit Democrats in swing states.

The flagged tweet reads:

A note to ALL CONSERVATIVE media people projecting Trump victories in swing states:

Yes, Republican turn out may be strong!

Yes, that’s good news.

From a mail in state veteran: The Democrats will wait to know how many votes they have to “find”, then, they will magically appear.

On November 12, 2020, Scully sends an email with subject line “Hammer and Scorecard Tweets” to individuals whose names are redacted and have a @gmail email address a @stanford.edu email address respectively. Scully introduces the “program manager for the EIP” at Stanford University and who is “a friend of Director Krebs” (former CISA DirectorChris Krebs).

The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), which was initially called the Election Misinformation Partnership, was created in the days leading up to the November 3, 2020, election. It tasked staffers with monitoring online election content 24 hours a day with a priority being “disinfo that is going viral.”

On January 19, 2021, Scully receives an email with subject line “Draft: COVID-19 What to Expect and 60-Day Plan” from an individual with a @stanford.edu email address (whose name is redacted):

[Redacted] and I wanted to pass along SIO’s [Stanford Internet Observatory] vaccine misinfo what-to-expect and 60-day plan draft whitepaper for your feedback, find it attached. Please feel free to tear it apart — it is mainly based on our experience with EIP and the vaccine misinfo we’ve seen so far.

Two days later, a redacted sender from Stanford asks Scully to give feedback on an attached document, “Virality Project Jan 19 Vaccine Weekly Briefing,” which is not included with the responsive records provided to Judicial Watch.

On November 2, 2020, a person at Facebook’s U.S. Politics and Government Outreach whose name is redacted replies to “Misinformation Reports” at CIS, and CCs Scully, someone at CISA Central, someone at CFITF (CISA’s Counter Foreign Influence Task Force) and “[email protected]” with the subject “Facebook post alleging submitting multiple ballots fraudulently.” The Facebook official states: “On it now. Thanks!” regarding review of a social media post reported by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. The Facebook post is redacted.

A November 4, 2020, email from Facebook is sent to “Misinformation Reports” at CIS, Scully, CISA Central, CFITF and “[email protected].” It states: “Received and looking into this,” regarding review of a social media post reported by a government official in Kentucky. The Facebook post is redacted.

In a separate November 4, 2020, email regarding a social media post reported by a Kentucky government official, a Facebook official writes: “Confirming that this has been closed out and the SoS has been notified. Thanks!” The Facebook post is redacted.

Your Judicial Watch will continue to expose the government’s involvement in what is an ongoing and unprecedented attack on Americans’ First Amendment rights.

 

Judicial Watch Asks Court to Order the Release of the Audio of President Biden’s Interview with Special Counsel Hur

The Biden administration wants to destroy the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to protect Joe Biden.

Judicial Watch just asked a federal court to reject the Biden Justice Department’s request to rewrite FOIA and that it ordered the release of the audio recordings of President Biden’s interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur within 14 days.

This lawsuit has already forced the Biden administration to confess that the transcripts of the audio recordings have been altered and are not accurate.

Judicial Watch filed the first FOIA lawsuit and is the lead plaintiff asking for the Biden audio recordings of his interviews in Special Counsel Hur’s criminal investigation of Biden’s theft and disclosure of classified records (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:24-cv-00700)). The lawsuit helped force the release of a redacted transcript of the Biden interview.

The Biden Justice Department, in seeking to keep the audio recordings secret, asked the court to ignore precedent and rewrite FOIA law. The Biden agency: demands that a law enforcement/executive privilege exemption be rewritten to help Joe Biden; wants to change FOIA law to protect (after 50 years of being a politician) President Joe Biden’s privacy in his voice; and seeks to potentially end FOIA with a new argument that the possible “AI” alteration of the Hur recordings is reason to keep the keep the recordings and any government record a secret from the public.

We argue that the recordings should be released “because an open question remains about whether Special Counsel Hur’s conclusion that President Biden should not be prosecuted for his mishandling of classified records [and] is supported by the evidence.”

Further, the audio would educate the public about “whether Special Counsel Hur appropriately pursued justice by recommending to the attorney general that criminal charges should not be brought against President Biden concerning his mishandling of classified materials.”  This question “is of even more import these days because another special counsel (with approval by Attorney General Garland) is currently prosecuting President Trump for allegedly engaging in similar actions.  In addition to President Trump being both President Biden’s former political opponent and the current Republican nominee in the upcoming Presidential election, President Trump is the only former president or vice president to be prosecuted for such actions.”

We also criticize the Biden Justice Department’s reliance on a case that allowed the withholding of the audio of the dying cries of the Challenger astronauts as simply “repugnant.”

On February 5, 2024, Special Counsel Robert Hur issued the “Report of the Special Counsel on the Investigation Into Unauthorized Removal, Retention, and Disclosure of Classified Documents Discovered at Locations Including the Penn Biden Center and the Delaware Private Residence of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.”

In the report, Hur called Biden a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” and declined to charge Biden with a “serious felony:”

We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him-by then a former president well into his eighties-of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.

Prior to the finalization of the report, the White House issued a letter to the Special Counsel’s office attacking the report’s “treatment of President Biden’s memory,” and added “there is ample evidence from your interview that the President did well in answering your questions …”

The White House admitted to the court that the transcript of President Joe Biden’s testimony to Special Counsel Robert Hur is not accurate and is missing “filler words (such as ‘um’ or ‘uh’)” and words that “may have been repeated when spoken (such as ‘I, I’ or ‘and, and’)” which were sometimes “only listed a single time in the transcripts.”

The Heritage Foundation and a CNN-led media coalition have recently been joined with our lawsuit.

 

Judicial Watch Sues for ATF Records on Arkansas Raid that Led to Shooting Death of Clinton National Airport Official

There was a concerning Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) raid that led to death of an American citizen back in March, and Judicial Watch immediately began investigating.

It led to our filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the ATF for records regarding the fatal shooting of Little Rock, AR, resident and Executive Director of the Clinton National Airport Bryan Malinowski (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:24-cv-01679)).

We sued on June 10, 2024, after the ATF failed to respond adequately to an April 16 FOIA request for:

  • All emails and text messages sent to and from ATF officials regarding Little Rock resident Bryan Malinowski who died in an ATF raid on March 19, 2024.
  • All records related to the raid on the home of Bryan Malinowski, including but not limited to, re-operational briefing documents, raid plans, investigative reports, memoranda, warrants and audio and video recordings.

Malinowski died following an ATF raid in March 2024. The ATF only produced heavily redacted search warrant court filings.

On April 22, 2024, Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to ATF Director Steven Dettelbach, asking for details about “the deadly pre-dawn raid conducted by ATF in Little Rock, Arkansas, while executing a search warrant on the home of Bryan Malinowski, a local airport executive.”

An affidavit, which was unsealed after Malinowski’s death and produced to us, alleged he unlawfully sold guns without a license. Malinowski’s family lawyer and former federal prosecutor, Bud Cummins, reportedly described Malinowski’s gun sales as “a hobby and protected by the Second Amendment.” In testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Cummins testified, “Malinowski never broke any laws selling the way he did, even when a handful of weapons turned up at crime scenes later.”

Video footage of the raid recently released by X and the Arkansas Times, shows that Malinowski’s wife thought that the law enforcement officers raiding their home were intruders.

The Biden ATF’s deadly raid on Bryan Malinowski’s home, in what was essentially a licensing dispute, screams out for a thorough examination. Slow walking the release of basic information about this raid suggests that the ATF has something to hide.

 

Judicial Watch Sues over Deletion of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from West Point Mission Statement

Judicial Watch just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense for records regarding the deletion of the words “Duty, Honor, Country” from the United States Military Academy at West Point’s mission statement (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:24-cv-01757)). “Duty, Honor, Country” is West Point’s motto.

We sued after the Military Academy failed to respond to a March 2024 FOIA request for:

  • All documents which form the basis upon which the decision was made to remove the phrase “Duty, Honor, Country” from the United States Military Academy Mission Statement, according to various reports (such ashttps://armedforces.press/report-west-point-to-remove-duty-honor-country-from-official-mission-statement/).
  • All emails between the following USMA officials and other email accounts ending in .mil or .gov regarding the removal of “Duty, Honor, Country” from the USMA Mission Statement: Superintendent LTG Steve Gilland, MG Lori Robinson, and BG Shane Reeves.

In a March 12, 2024, “Message from the 61st Superintendent,” Superintendent Lt. Gen. Steven Gilland announced the change, referencing the Army’s continued commitment to “Duty, Honor and Country” and then announces the new mission statement without explaining why the words themselves were deleted:

Duty, Honor, Country is foundational to the United States Military Academy’s culture and will always remain our motto. It defines who we are as an institution and as graduates of West Point. These three hallowed words are the hallmark of the cadet experience and bind the Long Gray Line together across our great history.

Our responsibility to produce leaders to fight and win our nation’s wars requires us to assess ourselves regularly. Thus, over the past year and a half, working with leaders from across West Point and external stakeholders, we reviewed our vision, mission, and strategy to serve this purpose. We believe our mission binds the Academy to the Army — the Army in which our cadets will serve. As a result of this assessment, we recommended the following mission statement to our senior Army leadership:

To build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation. [Emphasis in original]

Both the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff approved this recommendation….

Given the woke virus infecting West Point, deleting the words “Duty, Honor, Country” from its mission statement has sparked justified concern about what the Army’s rising leadership is being taught at the United States Military Academy. And the unlawful stonewalling of the release of records about the issue makes matters worse.

Our lawsuits and FOIA requests on Critical Race Theory and other leftist extremism are extensive.

In July 2023, we exposed records from the United States Air Force Academy, a component of the United States Department of Defense, which included instructional materials and emails that address topics such as Critical Race Theory, “white privilege,” and Black Lives Matter.

In March 2023, records from the U.S. Department of Defense showed the U.S. Air Force Academy has made race and gender instruction a top priority in the training of cadets.

In June 2022, we exposed Critical Race Theory (CRT) instruction at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. One training slide contained a graphic titled “MODERN-DAY SLAVERY IN THE USA.” [Emphasis in original]

 

Until next week,


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