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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.

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

JW Supreme Court Victory

Judicial Watch Scores Supreme Court Win
Benghazi Scandal Exposed: Hillary Clinton Slept Past Staff Efforts to Set Up Intelligence Briefing
Another Email Scandal – At Department of Homeland Security

Judicial Watch Scores Supreme Court Win

How about a little good news? Your Judicial Watch, on behalf of a group of patriotic Americans, scored a major victory for the U.S. Constitution and national unity before the United States Supreme Court.  This week, we convinced the Supreme Court to issue an injunction halting a race-based “Native Hawaiian-only” election in Hawaii.  In August, Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the five Hawaiian residents and one Texas resident of Hawaiian descent who opposed the discriminatory election process (Keli’i Akina, et al. v. The State of Hawaii, et al. (No. 1:15-cv-00322)).

The Supreme Court victory is remarkable.  The JW statement issued to the press puts it all together:

“The Supreme Court today issued an injunction that put a hard stop to the race-based, separatist election in Hawaii that violated the ‘fundamental constitutional rights’ of our American citizen clients.  Today’s ruling is a historic setback to the State of Hawaii and the Obama administration, which misused public monies to push a racially discriminatory election.  President Obama and Hawaiian political leaders should be called to account for their cynical support of a race-based election that violated numerous civil rights laws and the U.S. Constitution.  Our clients are brave patriots who took a public stand on behalf of the rule of law.  The High Court agreed our clients had an indisputable right to this relief and it is wonderful to see their faith in our Constitution vindicated by today’s Supreme Court ruling.  In addition, Judicial Watch’s hundreds of thousands of supporters deserve thanks for providing the voluntary support that allowed our team of hard-working attorneys to stop this corrupt and dangerous election.  Kudos also to the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a Hawaii-based think tank, that gave invaluable assistance to our efforts.”

After we filed our lawsuit over the issue in August, we quickly asked the court for a preliminary injunction to stop the vote that had been scheduled for November 2015.  Our lawyers argued that our clients would be denied the right to vote either because of their race or their political views – in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Hawaii’s Act 195 authorizes the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC) to create a list of “Native Hawaiians” who would be eligible to elect delegates to a planned constitutional convention, which would then prepare “governance documents” for a separate Native Hawaiian entity.

The lower court denied our injunction, so we took it upstairs to the appellate court.  We filed an Urgent Motion for Injunction with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  We lost again.  Undeterred and confident in our legal arguments, the JW team immediately thereafter filed an emergency application on November 23 to the Honorable Justice Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court who oversees the Ninth Circuit.  Last Friday, shortly after Judicial Watch replied to Hawaii’s opposition, Justice Kennedy issued an order temporarily enjoining the election pending review by the entire Supreme Court.  That was a sweet victory.  But this week, the Supreme Court (voting 5-4) granted our request.  The December 2, ruling reads:

The application for injunction pending appellate review presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is granted. Respondents are enjoined from counting the ballots cast in, and certifying the winners of, the election described in the application, pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan would deny the application.

Under federal law, the Supreme Court only issues emergency injunctions when the circumstances presented are “critical and exigent” and the legal rights at issue are “indisputably clear.”  Accordingly, this Supreme Court decision sends a strong message for the lower courts.

The aborted election, which was being conducted by mail-in ballots, was to have ended in November but the voting deadline was recently extended to midnight Monday, December 21. The election was made possible by a grant by the State of Hawaii of $2.6 million in public funds.

The war isn’t over, but this is a significant success for the rule of law.  Here, it’s important to point out that the Obama administration supported the race-based election in this litigation despite the fact that the State of Hawaii limits eligible voters in the election to those who have at least one drop of Native Hawaiian blood.  Go back in history, and you will find that this “one drop of blood” rule is like other laws last seen in the racist Jim Crow era: “It also has an unfortunate resonance in American history.  See, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 5 n. 4 (1967) (discussing Virginia statute holding that ‘[e]very person in whom there is ascertainable any Negro blood shall be deemed and taken to be a colored person’).”

Imagine if this “one drop of blood” rule had resulted in a new “tribe” that had as its goal “independence” for Hawaii.  The precedent could lead to Muslims asserting sovereignty, Hispanics, Scottish-Americans – you get the picture.  This case was not only about the rights of our few clients, it was about the future of our nation.

That we were able to stop this potential calamity for our nation the day after Thanksgiving is providential.

And our legal team requires special recognition, especially as they had to work over Thanksgiving!  Robert Popper, director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project, is Judicial Watch’s lead attorney on the lawsuit and lead counsel for all plaintiffs.  Mr. Popper was formerly deputy chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.  Michael Lilly of the Honolulu law firm Ning, Lilly & Jones, a former Attorney General for Hawaii, is serving as Judicial Watch’s local counsel for the plaintiffs. H. Christopher Coates is also an attorney for the plaintiffs. Coates is an expert voting rights attorney who most recently served as Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department under President Barack Obama. William S. Consovoy and J. Michael Connolly of Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC just joined as counsel as the litigation went before the Supreme Court.

The fight isn’t over, and the litigation will continue in the lower courts.  But the corrupted election won’t take place any time soon, and I wouldn’t bet, based on this week’s extraordinary Supreme Court action, that it will ever take place.

Benghazi Scandal Exposed: Hillary Clinton Slept Past Staff Efforts to Set Up Intelligence Briefing

It feels like Benghazi all over again.  The Obama administration is pretending not to know the “motives” for the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 innocent Americans dead this week. Both Barack Obama and his appointee Attorney General Loretta Lynch suggest the motives are still a mystery, that it could be terrorism or “workplace violence.”  The Obama gang then attacks gun owners and the NRA to distract from its own massive intelligence and policy failures that resulted in the Islamist terrorist attack.  As with Benghazi, the Obama administration’s response to a terrorist attack is corruptly political and dishonest – and places more Americans at risk.

This is all the more relevant, as we have uncovered and released a new batch of emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that are connected to the Benghazi attack. Included is an email chain showing that Clinton slept late the Saturday after the Benghazi attack and missed a meeting that her staff had been trying to set up about sensitive intelligence issues, including the Presidential Daily Brief, on a day she was to make a slew of phone calls to foreign leaders.

Also included in the documents is an email from Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal, sent three days after the attack, describing then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as “contemptible on a level not seen in past contemptible political figures” and a “mixture of greedy ambition and hollowness.”

The documents contain an email passed to Clinton in the days following the Benghazi attack in which the father of alleged Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl anguishes over the “‘Crusade’ paradigm” which he says “will never be forgotten in this part of the world.”

An email from former Ambassador Joe Wilson to Clinton expresses his concern about “Christian Dominionists who seek to turn [the military] into an instrument of their religious zealotry.”

Other emails show approval of an effort to blame an Internet video on the Benghazi attack that aired on the Al Jazeera network.  (This email is worth looking at, as it succinctly demonstrates how the Obama gang wanted more to ban criticism of “Islam” than to confront its terrorist adherents.  (Is it any wonder that a neighbor of the California terrorists didn’t speak up about their unusual activity for fear of being called a racist!)

The new emails were obtained by Judicial Watch as a result of several court orders in two separate Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits (here and here) for Clinton/Benghazi material.  (The court orders are dated July 31, 2015, October 9, 2015, and October 20, 2015.) The documents have been made public only because Judicial Watch’s litigation has forced the State Department to conduct additional searches.

Let’s look at the email traffic showing that on the Saturday two days after the Benghazi terrorist attack Hillary Clinton slept past staff efforts to set up an intelligence briefing:

From: Hanley, Monica
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 09:17 AM
To: ‘[email protected]’ <[email protected]>
Cc: ‘[email protected]’ <[email protected]>
Subject: PDB

Dan will be at Whitehaven with the PDB at 9:30am this morning.

He has some sensitive items that he would like to personally show you when he arrives.


From: H [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 10:43 AM
To: Hanley, Monica R
Subject: Re: PDB

I just woke up so I missed Dan. Could he come back after I finish my calls? But I don’t have the call schedule yet so I don’t know when that would be. Do you?

From: Hanley, Monica R [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 10:51 AM
To: H
Subject: Re: PDB

A pouch with all of your call sheets and the schedule in en route to you. Here it is below as well.

Also in the pouch are a few read items, and an action memo authorizing the War Powers resolution for Tunisia that the office would like you to approve today. Ops can send a courier over to pick up the action memo later today.

12:00 UK FM Hague
12:15 Egyptian FM Amr
12:30 Israeli PM Netanyahu
1:15 French FM Fabius
1:30 Saudi FM Saud al-Faisal
2:00 Somali Former Transitional President Sharif
2:15 Libyan PM-elect Abu-Shakour
2:30 Turkish FM Davutoglu
3:00 Somali President Mohamoud (T)

-Moroccan King is still pending.

-NEW CALL: King Juan Carlos of Spain called today and offered anytime today or tomorrow. His office relayed that it is a personal call inquiring after the status of the Embassies in the Middle East. We are working on a call sheet.

Next up is a September 14, 2012, email from Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal to Clinton in which Blumenthal passes along a controversial article by his son Max and attacks then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

From: Sidney Blumenthal
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 10:48 AM
To: H
Subject: Re:

Max knows how to do this and fearless. Hope it’s useful and gets around, especially in the Middle East.

Keep speaking and clarifying. Your statements have been strong. Once through this phase, you might clarify history of US policy on Arab Spring, what has been accomplished, US interests at stake, varying relations with Libya & Egypt, etc.

Romney, of course, is contemptible, but contemptible on a level not seen in past contemptible political figures. His menace comes from his emptiness. His greed is not limited simply to mere filthy lucre. The mixture of greedy ambition and hollowness is combustible. He will do and say anything to get ahead, and while usually self-immolating he is also destructive. Behind his blandness lies boundless ignorance, ignited by consistently wretched judgment. His recent statements are of a piece with everything he has done from naming Ryan to his welfare ads, etc.

Keep speaking…




The Blumenthal email includes a link to an article by his son Max Blumenthal that suggests that American conservatives, Zionists and the Israel government were behind the Internet video that was falsely linked by Clinton and Barack Obama to the Benghazi attack.  Clinton responded with an approving, “Your Max is a Mitzvah.” Another email shows that Mrs. Clinton wanted three copies of the Max Blumenthal Benghazi video article printed out.  (Max Blumenthal is a leftist journalist known for his attacks on Israel and American foreign policy.  In January, 2015, he is quoted calling American Sniper hero Chris Kyle an “unrepentant, sadistic killer.”)

In addition to Blumenthal’s unhinged attack on Romney, the newly released documents also include an email chain forwarded to Clinton from her former State Department deputy chief of staff Jacob Sullivan in which Robert Bergdahl, the father of alleged Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, relates the death of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens to what the senior Bergdahl calls the “‘Crusade’ paradigm:”

Please convey our abiding condolences to everyone in the Foreign Service. Your service is most notable and almost invisible. Our Nation is stumbling through a very volatile world. The “Crusade” paradigm will never be forgotten in this part of the world and we force our Diplomats to carry a lot of baggage around while walking on eggshells.

Be very careful my friend!

I’m very sorry,


After receiving the email from Mr. Bergdahl, Mrs. Clinton orders a response be prepared.  That response, if it was sent, was not given to us by the State Department.

Also of interest is an email from former Ambassador Joe Wilson to Clinton concerning the Benghazi attack, in which he suggests the military is being compromised “Christian Dominionists” in the U.S. military:

From: Joe Wilson
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 10:27 AM
To: H
Subject: From Joe Wilson

Dear Hillary, …

Glen Doherty [CIA contractor killed in the Benghazi attack] was a fellow member of the Military Religious Freedom Advisory Board, which fights to ensure that our military is not further compromised by the Christian Dominionists who seek to turn it into an instrument of their religious zealotry, an army for Christ rather than for the defense of our nation. He was invaluable in helping us uncover several cases where religious indoctrination was taking place under the guise of military training….

Why would Wilson send such a vicious attack on our military to Hillary Clinton unless he thought it would be welcomed?

It is obvious why they wouldn’t want the “I just got up” email made public:  because it shows that, smack dab in the middle of the Benghazi crisis, Hillary Clinton fell behind and may not have been fully briefed as she began an intense round of phone calls to foreign leaders.

Hillary Clinton, despite knowing that terrorists were responsible for the attack, allowed her spokesman to go to the Arab world and blame an Internet film.  Hillary Clinton trafficked in fantastical conspiracy theories that suggested both American conservatives and Israel were to blame for the Benghazi attack and jihadist violence in the Muslim world.

And the crazed email from Sidney Blumenthal shows that she was taking direction on her Benghazi spin based upon attack-style presidential campaign politics.

As Judicial Watch Chief Investigator Reporter Micah Morrison detailed last month, Sidney Blumenthal advised Clinton on Libya (and may have had business interests there).  The JW report also disclosed how Hillary Clinton emailed classified information to Blumenthal in response to his lobbying for Ambassador Wilson’s efforts to secure taxpayer financing for an energy project in Africa. Hillary Clinton’s contacts with Blumenthal, who was also a highly paid employee of the Clinton Foundation, should have been subject to State Department ethics reviews for conflicts of interest, as promised by Mrs. Clinton.  For example, in January 2009, Hillary Clinton promised President Obama and United States Senate considering her confirmation that:

If confirmed as Secretary of State, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect upon this foundation, unless I first obtain a written waiver or qualify for a regulatory exemption.

These new Benghazi emails are disturbing, to say the least, and show why Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration had to be forced to disclose them.  I can tell you there is more to come, so check back here next week.

Another Email Scandal – At Department of Homeland Security

The federal agency charged with protecting America from terrorists and enforcing our immigration laws is embroiled in yet another corruption scandal.

Earlier this month, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit here in DC against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in order to obtain records related to the use by senior officials, including Secretary Jeh Johnson, of government-owned computers for “personal” email accounts.

According to press reports, Johnson and 28 other top Homeland Security officials sought and were granted waivers to use the personal email accounts for the past year, despite the practice having been banned in April 2014.  Included among those senior Homeland Security officials using the private email accounts on government-owned computers were Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit was filed on October 21, after Homeland Security failed to comply with a simple FOIA request submitted on July 21, 2014, seeking:

  • All requests (in any form) submitted by senior DHS officials for waivers to use personal Web-based email accounts on government-owned computers.
  • Copies of all waivers granted to senior DHS officials to use personal Web-based email accounts on government-owned computers.

The waivers granted to Johnson and 28 other senior staffers were in direct violation of Homeland Security’s Sensitive Systems Policy Directive 4300A, promulgated on April 30, 2014.  The directive was issued after hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management computer system.  Directive 4300A states, “The use of Internet Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or other personal email accounts is not authorized over DHS furnished equipment or network connections.”  According to, “exceptions were decided on a case-by-case basis by the chief information officer, Luke McCormack.”

Is it a coincidence that Jeh Johnson’s personal email account was recently hacked?  Coincidence or not, the hacking incident again shows the dangers of top officials possibly doing government business on unsecure email systems.

Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also received one of the email waivers.  In  another major league scandal the Obama administration is covering up – and that Congress is almost completely ignoring – Mayorkas was found by the Homeland Inspector General to have improperly intervened to help wealthy EB-5 visa applicants with ties to Democratic party figures, including Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), now-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham.  One can only imagine what Mayorkas was trying to hide through his shady email practices.

Secretary Johnson’s department has become notorious for failing to enforce and for ignoring immigration law.  Most recently, the department was stopped by the courts from granting a form of amnesty to millions without legal authority.

The Daily Caller took notice of our lawsuit and its ramifications in a November 18, 2015, report that informed readers as follows:

The ban on use of private emails followed the unprecedented hack of U.S. Office of Personnel Management files containing information on millions of current and retired federal employees.

The ban, known as Directive 4300A, provides that use of “Internet Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or other per personal email accounts is not authorized over DHS furnished equipment or network connections.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Hillary Clinton are two peas in a pod when it comes to breaking the law on the use of email. As with Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the Obama administration is in cover-up mode – refusing to provide information as required by law about the illicit email “waivers” that may have allowed Jeh Johnson and other top Homeland Security officials to conduct government business in secret while putting the nation’s security at risk.