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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Hillarygate: Did Clinton Spy on Trump?

Judicial Watch Victory: North Carolina Settles Voter Roll Lawsuit after State Removes over 430,000 Inactive Names from Rolls
HILLARYGATE: Techs Allegedly Used by Clinton to Spy on Trump Worked with Defense Agency
Judicial Watch Sues CIA for Records of Contacts with Indicted Clinton Campaign Lawyer Michael Sussmann
Popper Testifies Before Florida House Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee
California on Shaky Ground in Enacting Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards

 

Judicial Watch Victory: North Carolina Settles Voter Roll Lawsuit after State Removes over 430,000 Inactive Names from Rolls

In a big win for us and voters in North Carolina, we settled our lawsuit against the state and two of its counties after they removed over 430,000 ineligible names from the voter rolls.

We filed the lawsuit against the state, Mecklenburg County and Guilford County in April 2020 (Judicial Watch v. North Carolina and North Carolina State Board of Elections, et al. (No. 3:20-cv- 211)).

In June 2019, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) had released data showing that voter registration rates in a significant proportion of North Carolina’s 100 counties were close to, at or above 100% of their age-eligible citizenry – statistics considered by the courts to be a strong indication that a jurisdiction is not taking the steps required by law to remove ineligible registrants. Our analysis also showed that at the time of the EAC report the entire State of North Carolina had a registration rate close to 100% of its age-eligible citizenry.

On December 11, 2019, we sent notice-of-violation letters to the state and its two counties, warning them that lawsuits would be filed if timely action were not taken to clean up the voter rolls.

In our April 2020 complaint, we argued that North Carolina, Mecklenburg County, and Guilford County failed to make reasonable efforts to remove ineligible voters from their registration rolls as required by the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). The lawsuit also claimed that these jurisdictions violated the NVRA by failing to make available to us public records concerning efforts to comply with the law.

On August 16, 2021, the EAC released its latest survey data from the states.

In the settlement, we told the court:

[T]he total number of inactive registrations reported by North Carolina dropped from about 1.2 million in 2019, to about 765,000 in 2021 (a 36% drop). The statewide percentage of inactive registrations dropped from 17% in 2019, which the complaint alleged to be a national outlier, to 10% in 2021, which is close to the median state inactive rate. The number of registrations removed for failure to respond to an address confirmation notice and vote in two consecutive elections has increased, from about 220,000 for the period reported in 2019, to about 590,000 for the period reported in 2021 (a 168% increase).

With respect to the two North Carolina counties, we told the court:

Data for Mecklenburg County and Guilford County also showed improvement. From 2019 to 2021, the percentage of inactive registrations reported in Mecklenburg County dropped from 15.5% to 13%, and in Guilford County from 19% to 11%. The number of registrations removed for failure to respond to an address confirmation notice and vote in two elections increased during that same period, from roughly 21,000 to 51,000 in Mecklenburg County, and from 7,000 to 33,000 in Guilford County (a 142% and 372% increase, respectively). In light of Defendants’ substantial increases in removals of ineligible voters since this suit commenced, Plaintiff has determined in good faith that this legal action should not be pursued.

In 2020, we also sued Pennsylvania, and Colorado for failing to clean their voter rolls.

This is a win for the voters of North Carolina – because clean voter rolls help pave the way to cleaner elections. After we filed our federal lawsuit, North Carolina removed hundreds of thousands of ineligible voters, people who have died or moved away.

North Carolina follows our voter roll clean-up successes in California, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. And we are right now prepping lawsuits against other states to force them to clean up their rolls.

In November 2021, we sent letters to election officials in 14 counties and five states—Arkansas, California, Illinois, New York, and Oregon—notifying them of evident violations of the NVRA. The letters detail how these states’ own reported data show that their counties removed an “absurdly low” or “impossible” number of inactive voter registrations under key provisions of the NVRA. The letters threaten federal lawsuits unless the violations are corrected in a timely fashion.

So, in short, North Carolina is just the beginning …

 

HILLARYGATE: Techs Allegedly Used by Clinton to Spy on Trump Worked with Defense Agency

We’re adding more fascinating detail to the growing pile of evidence of Deep State collusion against President Trump.

The latest: Four people mentioned in the indictment of Michael Sussmann by Special Counsel John Durham were paid for work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 2016-2021 and appeared to be interested in targeting Trump campaign adviser Steve Bannon.

We learned this in 127 pages of records of communications among the four that we received from the Georgia Institute of Technology through an October 13, 2021, Georgia Open Records Act request. The four individuals are Rodney Joffe, April Lorenzen, David Dagon, and Manos Antonakakis.

According to The New York Times:

Mr. Durham used a 27-page indictment to lay out a far more expansive tale, one in which four computer scientists who were not charged in the case ‘exploited’ their access to internet data to develop an explosive theory about cyberconnections in 2016 between Donald J. Trump’s company and a Kremlin-linked bank — a theory, he insinuated, they did not really believe.

***

The indictment’s “Originator-1” is April Lorenzen, chief data scientist at the information services firm Zetalytics. Her lawyer, Michael J. Connolly, said she has “dedicated her life to the critical work of thwarting dangerous cyberattacks on our country,” adding: “Any suggestion that she engaged in wrongdoing is unequivocally false.”

The indictment’s “Researcher-1” is another computer scientist at Georgia Tech, Manos Antonakakis. “Researcher-2” is Mr. Dagon. And “Tech Executive-1” is Mr. Joffe, who in 2013 received the F.B.I. Director’s Award for helping crack a cybercrime case, and retired this month from Neustar, another information services company.

In a court filing last week, Durham alleged this operation directly spied on Trump Tower, Trump’s home, and the Trump White House by exploiting “access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data.”

The anti-Trump operation used the “assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract.”

Here is some of what the four wrote to each other.

On November 18, 2016, a redacted email address writes on “behalf of Manos Antonakakis” to two Georgia Tech officials in an email titled “Signed DARPA Contract:”

Hey Ashley,

Please send to Michael the signed contract for their records.

Thanks,

Manos

On November 21, 2016, Ashley Williams, a Georgia Tech contracting officer, replies:

Good morning!!

Attached is a copy of the new award for your records. Please note the contract is subject to publication restrictions identified in the DD 254. I’m actively working with AFRL [likely Air Force Research Laboratory] to revise the DD 254 to clarify that fundamental research is excluded from the publication restrictions. Although we’ve signed the contract award and I have to defer project initiation until the publication restrictions are resolved by the AFRL sponsor.

Let me know if you have any questions.

On August 2, 2016, Antonakakis writes to Danielle Gambino and Keromytis, Angelos, a DARPA employee:

The subs and I, would like to have the permission to begin spending against the project from August 15th. This is the date when students needs to be hired [as graduate research assistants], so we can execute against the goals we have set in the SOW [statement of work] this year.

UNC, GT and UGA would require an acknowledgment from you (or DARPA) that we are allowed to do that. I guess, once we are done negotiating the contract we will have to have as an effective start date the August 15th. If we cannot do that, it appears that it will complicate things for all three schools, as we cannot immediately hire the students necessary that will execute against the set milestones.

Please let me know how you think we should resolve this issue.

At 2:55 p.m. Angelos replies, “I’m ok with that, but I seriously doubt the contracting officer will agree.”

At 3:16 p.m. Gambino also replies:

As usual, Angelos is correct!

Working with contracting to authorize pre-award work can take a while and typically is not allowed until closer to contract award. Although I certainly appreciate your eagerness to start working, we are at the very start of the contracting process – this is really way too early for this type of request. (The contract specialists haven’t even been assigned yet.)

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any other questions.

On January 9, 2017, a DARPA employee, Kelly McLaughlin, follows up with Antonakakis. She writes:

Manos,

DARPA put $153,138 on the Georgia Tech Transparent Computing (TC) contract back in October, 2016 to cover the costs proposed in the attached SOW. The SOW asked for 0.83 month of your academic salary, salary for one Research Engineer, David Dagon, and funds for four graduate student research assistants. Were the proposed grad student costs supposed to cover UNC grad students or Georgia Tech grad students? The SOW shows them as Georgia Tech students.

Please let me know if these funds were supposed to cover UNC. If so, the TC BFM, Laurisa Goergen, will reach out to the TC admin POC for Georgia Tech to see what, if anything, can be done at this point.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Emails indicate that Neustar employees may have visited Georgia Tech to collaborate with Antonakakis. On May 27, 2016, Atreya Mohan from Neustar writes in an email with the subject line “Introducing Peter Burke:”

Hello Manos

Just wanted to introduce you to Peter (our SVP Engg and Operations).

Peter. We contact Manos on his gmail account for consulting purposes and his Georgia Tech email address for interactions that relate with the university (example: sponsorship etc)”

Burke replies:

Hi Manos,

It was great to meet you today – it is very interesting work that you do and I see great opportunities to collaborate with you.

I would like to try to figure out a time to come and spend more time with so that you can continue my education :-)

I am guessing you are based in Atlanta?

Antonakakis writes that evening:

Hey Mohan,

Many thanks for the intro. Peter, the pleasure was all mine!

Yes, you should come and visit us. I would suggest sometime in September, when the semester starts and my students are back from their internships in the bay area. You are more than welcome to visit sooner, but it will be just me and my three postdocs. The Neustar team is always welcome to visit my lab. Anytime you, Rodney, Brian or anyone else want to visit.

Antonakakis responds to this chain again on July 14, 2016, writing:

Gentlemen,

By now all of you should be aware of the great news from DARPA. We have a 5 year long collaboration ahead of us, so I think it would make sense for the Neustar team to visit Atlanta and my lab.

How is the week of August 15 looks like for you? Mine is completely open. Perhaps, we should schedule the visit then?

The emails highlight that the ‘tech’ experts implicated in the Durham indictment were very much interested in the fake dossier used to smear President Trump.

In an email to Antonakakis on January 29, 2017, Dagon writes:

The Russians are killing spies with knowledge of the dossier materials:

http://www.inquisitr.com/3930099/former-kgb-chief-who-allegedly-helped-to-compile-golden-shower-dossier-on-donald-trump-found-dead/

Oh, and Trump purged the National Security Council (removing General Dunford) and put Steve Bannon (his PR guy) on the NSC:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/mccain-bannon-nsc-234329

My guess: The purged NSC will now say that Russia has given us great intel on ISIS, and that we should lift sanctions now that Russia is helping. (The public will have no way to judget [sic] this.)

All this to protect Trump from the dossier materials.

Antonakakis replies the same day, “What the [f*ck] is going on? Can you please explain why GOP is not doing something?”

He then writes again a few minutes later:

Some in the GOP knows what’s up (Graham, McCain), but most are all too happy to have their narrow, specific agendas advanced (e.g., removing social security, ACA/Obama-care repeal, more tax cuts for companies, etc.) They put party ahead of country, in short.

In 2018 the Senate (and maybe the House) may flip, and there will then be real investigations (but again, party will be ahead of country, as Democrats look into corruption for narrow purposes).

Now that the Russians are killing people with knowledge of the dossier, we can hope for a defector who gets to a non-US embassy in Moscow.

An August 25, 2016, email from Joffe to Antonakakis, Dagon and Lorenzen indicates a possible interest in investigating Steve Bannon. The subject line is “To be added….” Joffe writes: “They think he may have some baggage… ;-)” A link to a Washington Post opinion piece is included.

Was the Defense Department’s DARPA funding and sensitive data misused by the Clinton campaign to spy on the Trump White House?  If so, the criminal liability for those involved may be significant.

 

Judicial Watch Sues CIA for Records of Contacts with Indicted Clinton Campaign Lawyer Michael Sussmann

We’ve been quite interested in the CIA’s role in the Deep State’s efforts to take out President Trump. As you’ll recall, we sued in December to find out what the heads of the CIA and Defense Department were discussing about the president.

Now it’s being reported that the CIA was in contact with a disgraced Clinton campaign attorney. And so we filed a FOIA suit against the CIA for records of meetings and phone conversations between any CIA personnel and former Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann, who has been charged in Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation with making a false statement to a federal agent (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency (No. 1:22-cv-00412))

We sued after the CIA failed to reply to an October 26, 2021, FOIA request for:

All records regarding any meetings or telephonic conversations between any official or employee of the Central Intelligence Agency and Mr. Michael Sussmann (formerly an attorney with Perkins Coie) between January 1, 2015 and the present. This request includes, but is not limited to, all notes, transcripts, summaries, or other records created in preparation for, during, or pursuant to the meetings or conversations.

On February 11, Durham, who is investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, filed a motion that focused on potential conflicts of interest related to the representation of Sussmann, who has been charged with making a false statement to a federal agent. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty.

According to a February 15, 2022, Fox News report, a spokesperson for the individual labeled in Durham’s latest filing as “Tech Executive-1” has seemingly identified the CIA as the “second” federal government agency to which Sussmann provided an “updated set of allegations” to “establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’” tying Donald Trump to Russia.

Durham writes in the latest filing:

[O]n February 9, 2017, [Sussman] provided an updated set of allegations – including the [Alfa Bank] data and additional allegations relating to Trump – to a second agency of the U.S. government (“Agency-2”). The Government’s evidence at trial will establish that these additional allegations relied, in part, on the purported DNS traffic that Tech Executive-1 and others had assembled pertaining to Trump Tower, Donald Trump’s New York City apartment building, the EOP, and the aforementioned healthcare provider. In his meeting with Agency-2, the defendant provided data which he claimed reflected purportedly suspicious DNS lookups by these entities of internet protocol (“IP”) addresses affiliated with a Russian mobile phone provider (“Russian Phone Provider-1”). The defendant further claimed that these lookups demonstrated that Trump and/or his associates were using supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations. The Special Counsel’s Office has identified no support for these allegations.

The CIA is in cover-up mode about its communications with the lawyer implicated in a shady spy operation against President Trump. What is the CIA hiding about its role in this plot against President Trump?

 

Popper Testifies Before Florida House Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee

Senior Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper testified this week before the Florida House Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee during consideration of “PCB CRS 22-01 – Establishing the Congressional Districts of the State.”

Popper’s testimony focused on how Florida’s proposed 3rd Congressional District would be subject to legal challenge as a racial gerrymander if Florida’s state legislature approves the new map.

Popper’s testimony points out that the Supreme Court has held:

“[R]edistricting legislation that is so extremely irregular on its face that it rationally can be viewed only as an effort to segregate the races for purposes of voting, without regard for traditional districting principles and without sufficiently compelling justification” states a federal, constitutional claim under the Equal Protection Clause.

Popper notes that District 3 is vulnerable to being legally challenged:

Turning to Congressional District 3 in the proposed plan, I believe it will be vulnerable to a serious—and probably a winning—Shaw-type claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. I understand that there will be little dispute that the district was drawn with its racial characteristics as the predominant consideration. I also understand that the shape of the district will be well-explained by the effort to include African-American populations around Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Moreover, the district clearly violates traditional districting criteria. Its Popper-Polsby score is 10%, and its Reock score is 11%. These are very low compactness scores for any U.S. congressional district, and in both cases these are the lowest compactness scores in the State of Florida.

We are a national leader in voting integrity and voting rights. We have assembled a team of highly experienced voting rights attorneys who stopped discriminatory elections in Hawaii, and cleaned up voter rolls in California, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, among other achievements.

In December 2021, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12 registered Maryland voters who object to Maryland’s 2021 congressional redistricting plan on the grounds that it diminishes their rights to participate in elections for the U.S. Congress on an equal basis with other Maryland voters, in violation of the Maryland Constitution.

Robert Popper joined our legal team as a senior attorney in 2013. Popper specializes in gerrymandering cases. In 1991, with Professor Daniel Polsby, Popper wrote an article describing a mathematical way to measure the geographic compactness of congressional districts. This standard is now known as the “Polsby/Popper” criterion and is one of the most widely used tests of district compactness. In 1997, Popper brought a lawsuit that ultimately led to New York’s 12th Congressional District being enjoined as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. In 2005, Popper joined the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked for eight years. In his time at DOJ, he managed voting rights investigations, litigations, consent decrees, and settlements in dozens of states.

 

California on Shaky Ground in Enacting Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards

It seems that California didn’t rely too heavily on science in deciding that the state’s corporations needed a quota of women on their boards. As you know, we sued to stop it.

This week we released 220 pages of trial testimony by our expert witness, Jonathan Klick, Ph.D., J.D. Klick, an expert in econometrics, statistics and corporate law, testified during the 27-day trial that the studies on which California relies to prove its case are deficient and unreliable.

The trial came to a close this week and we await a decision by the Court.

Our expert’s testimony came on days 15 and 16 of the trial in California Superior Court challenging the constitutionality of California’s gender quotas for corporate boards of directors (Robin Crest et al. v. Alex Padilla (No.19STCV27561)). We filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2019 on behalf of California taxpayers Robin Crest, Earl De Vries and Judy De Vries. Closing arguments were held this week.

Our lawsuit challenges a 2018 law known as Senate Bill 826, which requires every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. The law also requires corporations to have up to three such persons on their boards by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board.

In our lawsuit, we argue that the quotas for women on corporate boards violate the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, among other provisions.

At trial, government lawyers defending the quota have alleged that gender quotas not only remedy discrimination but also improve overall corporate performance.

Our expert analysis rejects this: “the evidence offered for each of these points (underrepresentation of women on boards, discrimination as the cause of this underrepresentation, and that research shows a differential benefit of appointing women, as opposed to men, in terms of firm performance) is deficient and unreliable.”

Klick testified further in trial that:

[M]ost of the results [on corporate performance related to gender composition of boards], including the one cited in SB-826, don’t involve even regressions, much less more sophisticated designs. And likewise, as with the earlier study, the Credit Suisse study, provides no indication of statistical significance as between the differences.

During the trial, Klick was on the stand for two days and testified exhaustively about the statistical techniques and types of scientific investigations that would be required to show a causal relationship between gender quotas and increased corporate performance. During his testimony, Klick took the court through the “numerous independent studies” cited in Senate Bill 826 and an accompanying legislative report that allegedly demonstrate “publicly held companies perform better when women serve on their boards of directors.” Klick summarized for the court the deficiencies and unreliability of most studies:

[T]he general, overall statement I would like to make is the literature generically on women and boards is relatively unsophisticated. What I mean by that is the sort of natural experiments that I was talking about, which again by the late 1990s had become the standard in empirical policy analysis, empirical inference of this sort is largely absent in the literature [on women on boards of directors] as a whole.

Beyond generalizations, Klick also provided the court detailed explanations of why the numerous studies and analyses relied on by the California legislature were deficient and unreliable. He also pointed out a plethora of other studies contradicting the presuppositions behind Bill 826, which the legislature simply ignored. In addition, Klick testified that the conclusions of a comprehensive literature review he performed in 2017, before this case arose, focusing on studies that examined the relationship between gender quotas, corporate performance and the beneficial effects of quotas on women in the workplace generally:

Remember that correlation isn’t causation.

But there are things that we can do through regression techniques and through natural experiments and more sophisticated designs that gets us more confidence in determining whether or not a given correlation is causation, and we’ve had those tools for at least 20, 25 years now.

And they are the tools that modern social scientists and policy analysts, financial people use every day, and it’s a reasonably strong consensus about the value of these tools.

If we look at the literature that was used directly in support of 826, those tools largely seem absent…. seem to have been ignored, or, at least, unremarked on in the route to 826 and the advocacy for 826. On the particular results that we think we can draw from the literature … a representative picture of the literature … is that it draws no definitive conclusions.

[M]any of the studies lead to a statistically insignificant relationship between board composition and various outcomes for firms. Of the studies that don’t find a zero or statistically zero effect, there are, largely speaking, as many studies that find positive effects as find negative effects. And that’s even before we put any filters on quality of the studies and things like that.

That’s what I found for sure in my literature review that I did prior to this case.

***

I’m not the only one that’s done an academic literature review in this area. There’s been a handful of them, and they uniformly have come to the same conclusion.

Perhaps my favorite one, just because of the …  source of it is a literature review written in 2014 in the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law by Deborah Rhode and Amanda Packel…. [T]he reason this is so notable is Deborah Rhode, she’s deceased now … was at Yale, and later when she was at the Stanford Law School, she really was a founding mother of feminist legal studies and those sorts of things – but she also was a great academic and a very honest academic. And in her literature review in 2014 she said, you know, as much as people might want there to be a business case for diversity, the current literature does not support it.

***

[T]hose are just two, my literature review and Deborah Rhode’s literature review, and there are others that come to roughly the same conclusion. I think that’s probably the most fair and honest reading of this literature.

This historic trial shows a discriminatory gender quota mandate that is blatantly unlawful and unconstitutional. After weeks of taxpayer money being used to defend the law, we hope the trial court will strike down these pernicious gender quotas.

This isn’t our only action in this area.

In September 2020, we also filed a taxpayer lawsuit to prevent California from enforcing Assembly Bill 979, which requires the same corporation subject to the gender-based quota also to satisfy racial, ethnic, sexual preference and transgender status quotas by the end of the 2021 calendar year.

In January 2021, we filed a public comment with the Securities and Exchange Commission in response to a proposed rule change requiring race and gender quotas on the boards of corporations listed on the Nasdaq exchange.

Federal and state constitutional and legal prohibitions banning discrimination are under assault by the extremist Left and Judicial Watch is front and center in court and in the public square defending the rule of law against this pernicious effort.

Until next week …