Weekly Update: New Border Terror Threat?
I’ve often observed that, when it comes to public policy, the Obama Justice Department has been a locus of evil. And therefore it was concerning to see that the man who ran that Obama agency for years, the disgraced Eric Holder, has gotten himself a new, government-related gig. On January 4 liberal California legislative leaders announced that they are using tax dollars to hire former Attorney General Eric Holder and his law firm to assist them in anticipated federal challenges to several state policies such as climate change and immigration. Leftists controlling the Democratic Party are especially concerned that a new Trump administration might actually start enforcing the rule of law against California’s dangerous and unlawful sanctuary policies. Evidently, Eric Holder will waste taxpayer funds defending this lawlessness.
In a statement, Kevin de Leon, California Senate President Pro Tempore said, “With the upcoming change in administrations, we expect that there will be extraordinary challenges for California in the uncertain times ahead.” The California Attorney General, who represents the State’s interest in court, already has a budget of $190 million.
In response, we have filed a records request with the California Legislature Joint Rules Committee seeking to examine legislative records regarding the state’s employment of former Obama U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.:
All contracts between the California Legislature and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. or Covington and Burling.
All communications between the California Legislature and former U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. or Covington and Burling about the Legislature’s retention of Holder and/or Covington and Burling.
Holder was one of Obama’s longest-serving and most controversial Cabinet members.
On June 28, 2012, he became the first U.S. Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress on both civil and criminal grounds. The contempt charge came in connection with Holder’s refusal to turn over documents about his agency’s lies on Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration’s gun-walking scandal. JW exposed numerous outrages associated with this scandal.
Under Holder the Justice Department dismissed its voting rights case against the New Black Panther Party. The Justice Department originally filed its lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party following an incident that took place outside of a Philadelphia polling station on November 4, 2008. According to multiple witnesses, members of the New Black Panthers blocked access to polling stations, harassed voters and hurled racial epithets. A video of the incident, showing a member of the New Black Panther Party brandishing a police-style baton weapon, was widely distributed on the Internet. JW exposed a number of Obama DOJ lies regarding the Black Panthers, which a federal judge validated in (Judicial Watch v. United States Department of Justice (No. 1:10-cv-851)).
In 2013, the Obama Justice Department was caught spying on The Associated Press by collecting months’ worth of phone records of reporters and editors. Fox News’ James Rosen was among those targeted by Holder’s Justice Department.
Thanks in part to JW’s success in exposing his corruption, Holder was forced to resign from the Justice Department in 2015 and rejoin his old law firm of Covington & Burling.
Our records request is designed to expose how California state legislators are wasting tax dollars to take care of another corrupt politician – Eric Holder – with the intention of deliberately resisting the rule of law on immigration and other matters. His record at the Clinton and Obama Justice Departments demonstrates a willingness to bend the law in order to protect his political patrons.
President-elect Trump has to handle some pressing personal ethics issues as he takes on the presidency. As I wrote in the New York Times on the topic:
Given the potential for conflicts, it makes sense for the American people to demand assurances that the public interest won’t be harmed by the continued operation of Trump Inc. So, what to do?
First, let’s not pretend that the Trump children will not be conflicted in running the company for their father. That is why Mr. Trump should formalize his complete separation from his company and stop working on any aspect of his business. He should draw no pay. And, difficult as it may be, he should vow not to discuss any aspect of the Trump business empire with his children — or any other Trump executive.
Mr. Trump and those at the company’s helm should commit to full transparency by making public any contracts with any federal agency, foreign government or foreign corporation. Our nation’s enemies, and some of our friends, will seek to either curry favor with or damage America through the Trump businesses. By providing full transparency, Mr. Trump and his family can show that they take seriously that, as Mr. Trump has tweeted, it is “visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.”
It would be in the company’s best interest to set up an internal watchdog to help develop procedures that could help avoid conflicts
The Constitution’s Emoluments Clause bars the president from earning any compensation from a foreign government. Mr. Trump ought to consider a partial disinvestment from his company by either selling outright or rejecting the proceeds of any stakes with foreign government partners.
He should refuse any third party contributions to his personal foundation.
Above all, the Trump administration should be completely transparent on any government dealings with the Trump empire.
Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer announced his plans to handle these issues this week and he seems to have followed much of JW’s advice. His interest in the Trump Organization will be put in a trust and his company will be run by his two oldest sons. The company will hire an ethics officer to help police its dealings for any conflicts. And Mr. Trump’s business will forswear new foreign deals while turning over any “profits” from ongoing foreign deals to the U.S Treasury (to try to avoid the emoluments issue).
They are critics of the Trump ethics plan, and some of the questions about the transparency and enforcement of his promises are fair. But we think his plan is the right start.
While there is no off-the-shelf ethics plan for a matter as complex and unprecedented as this, Mr. Trump seems to be on the right track. As we said in the New York Times op-ed, it would be unfair to insist that Mr. Trump destroy his business to become president. This ethics plan follows many of Judicial Watch’s recommendations and reasonably addresses pressing concerns about separating Mr. Trump’s private business from the public’s business.
True to our independent, nonpartisan mission, we plan to police Mr. Trump on the ethics issue. We can see from the Hillary Clinton pay-to-play Clinton Foundation debacle what happens when politicians mix their government business with their private interests. We hope Mr. Trump understands this, but we’ll be watching just to make sure!
Over the years we have educated America on a dire threat as a result of our open southern border. It consists of the deadly drug cartels, of course, but also Islamic terrorists who find common ground with the narcotics traffickers. This week our Corruption Chronicles blog tells of an imminent threat from this unholy alliance that is tied to the inauguration of Donald Trump:
A deadly shootout at the construction site of the new American consulate occurred this week in a Mexican border town where Islamic terrorists and drug cartels plan to launch attacks against the U.S. during the period surrounding the presidential inauguration, high-level government sources tell Judicial Watch.
An unknown number of gunmen fired multiple rounds adjacent to the new U.S. consulate compound in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a crime-infested city in the state of Tamaulipas that lies directly across from Laredo, Texas.
The Mexican military responded to the attack, law enforcement sources on both sides of the border confirm, insisting that their identities be kept confidential for security reasons, and at least three soldiers were either killed or critically wounded in the ambush.
A local newspaper in Tamaulipas reported that 13 people died during a shootout in Nuevo Laredo, referring to the deceased as heavily armed “delinquents” with an arsenal that includes 12 automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, grenade, loads of ammunition and drugs in three vehicles, one of them armored. The deceased have not been identified and Mexican authorities will continue to investigate, the article states, attributing the information to a press release issued by Mexico’s Defense Secretary.
Judicial Watch’s law enforcement and intelligence sources say the barrage outside what’s soon to be the new U.S. consulate is connected to a broad operation between Islamic terrorists and Mexican drug cartels to send President-elect Donald Trump a message by engaging in attacks at border ports.
“Cartels usually don’t work with jihadists for fear of having the border shut down,” a veteran federal law enforcement official told Judicial Watch. “But Trump is causing so much disruption in Mexico that they are partnering to send a message as to who is in control. This is as outrageous as a small group of guys crashing planes into U.S. buildings.” Another official who has worked in the region for years said “Trump is causing a huge amount of fear in Mexico throughout all sectors; private, government, business, criminal, police….”
Nuevo Laredo is among the border towns that the terrorists and narcotraffickers plan to launch attacks in, according to intelligence gathered by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Mexico. Others include Matamoros, Reynosa and Ciudad Juárez. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported that ISIS is operating a camp just west of Ciudad Juárez, around eight miles from El Paso. Sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and Mexican Federal Police inspector revealed that, during a joint operation, they discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation in El Paso that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.
Just last week Judicial Watch reported that a Jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border. Confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources said that, as part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border. An internal Mexican law enforcement report obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that Islamic terrorists have “people along the border, principally in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.” Cartel informants tell law enforcement contacts that “they are only waiting for the order and the times to carry out a simultaneous attack in the different ports of entry or cities of the United States of America.”
The area where this week’s shootout originated is a 5.6-acre parcel just south of downtown Nuevo Laredo on Paseo Colon. The State Department predicts that by September the new U.S. consulate compound, which broke ground in mid-2015 and will cost $155 million, should be completed. It will have multiple buildings, including an office structure, U.S. Marine Security Guard residence, support annex and other facilities for the consulate community. The primary function of consulates is helping and protecting Americans abroad.
Unfortunately, given the Obama Administration’s criminal laxity with anything to do with border safety, the term “Wild West” is a reality. And because the press isn’t interested, most Americans aren’t aware of the threat.
Let’s pray law enforcement is paying attention to our clarion calls on this issue and nothing terrible happens. We will monitor the serious situation and will alert you on any major new developments.