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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

NEW Lawsuit to Clean Dirty Voter Rolls

Fani Willis Fails to Answer Lawsuit – Judicial Watch Seeks Default Judgment
Judicial Watch Sues California to Force Clean-Up of Voting Rolls
Voicemail Shows FBI/Secret Service Coordination on Trump Raid

 

 

Fani Willis Fails to Answer Lawsuit – Judicial Watch Seeks Default Judgment

Is the Georgia DA trying to hide something or is she just incompetent?

Judicial Watch just asked the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, to declare a default judgment against District Attorney Fani Willis in our lawsuit for records of communications Willis had with Special Counsel Jack Smith and the House January 6 Committee.

Our lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County, GA, after Willis and the county denied having any records responsive to an August 2023 Georgia Open Records Act request for communications with the Special Counsel’s office and/or the January 6 Committee (Judicial Watch Inc. v. Fani Willis et al. (No. 24-CV-002805)). (Judicial Watch dismissed Fulton County from the lawsuit.)

In our motion we note that Willis was served with the lawsuit on March 11, 2024, but that she has not yet answered it:

Defendant has not filed an answer and no answer has been served upon [Judicial Watch].… Defendant’s answer was due 30 days after service, or on April 10, 2024. Pursuant to [Georgia law] the case automatically became in default when an answer was not filed by the due date. Further pursuant to that Code section, Defendant was permitted as a matter of right to open the default within 15 days of the day of default, or by April 25, 2024.

Our attorneys assert that we are now entitled to a verdict and judgment by default.

Our lawsuit details Willis’ “representation about not having records responsive to the request is likely false.” Judicial Watch refers to a December 5, 2023, letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to Willis that cites a December 2021, letter from Willis to then-House January 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson. In that letter Willis requested assistance from the committee and offered to travel to DC.

We also cite news reports and other records which “indicate that representatives of Willis’ office traveled to Washington, DC, and met with January 6 Select Committee staffers in April, May, and November 2022, as Willis proposed in her December 17, 2021 letter …”

I think this is the first time in Judicial Watch’s 30 years that a government official failed to answer an open records lawsuit in court. This further shows Ms. Willis has something to hide about her collusion with the Biden administration and Nancy Pelosi’s Congress on her unprecedented and compromised “get-Trump” prosecution.

We are assisted in the case by John Monroe of John Monroe Law in Georgia.

Judicial Watch has several FOIA lawsuits related to the prosecutorial abuse targeting Trump.

In February 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal court to allow the agency to keep secret the names of top staffers working in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office that is targeting former President Donald Trump and other Americans.

(Before his appointment to investigate and prosecute Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith previously was at the center of several controversial issues, the IRS scandal among them. In 2014, a Judicial Watch investigation revealed that top IRS officials had been in communication with Jack Smith’s then-Public Integrity Section about a plan to launch criminal investigations into conservative tax-exempt groups. Read more here.)

In January 2024, we filed a lawsuit against Fulton County, Georgia, for records regarding the hiring of Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor by District Attorney Fani Willis. Wade was hired to pursue unprecedented criminal investigations and prosecutions against former President Trump and others over the 2020 election disputes.

In October 2023, we sued the DOJ for records and communications between the Office of U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith and the Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney’s office regarding requests/receipt of federal funding/assistance in the investigation of former President Trump and his 18 codefendants in the Fulton County indictment of August 14, 2023. To date, the DOJ is refusing to confirm or deny the existence of records, claiming that to do so would interfere with enforcement proceedings. Judicial Watch’s litigation challenging this is continuing.

Through the New York Freedom of Information Law, in July 2023, we received the engagement letter showing New York County District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg paid $900 per hour for partners and $500 per hour for associates to the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm for the purpose of suing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in an effort to shut down the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight investigation into Bragg’s unprecedented indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Be sure to check back for more developments in this Fani Willis lawsuit!

 

Judicial Watch Sues California to Force Clean-Up of Voting Rolls

Judicial Watch is the national leader in ensuring the clean-up of voter registration rolls.

Your Judicial Watch just filed a historic lawsuit to force California to clean up its voter rolls. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Libertarian Party of California, asks the court to compel California to make “a reasonable effort to remove the registrations of ineligible registrants from the voter rolls” as required by federal law (Judicial Watch Inc. and the Libertarian Party of CA v. Shirley Weber et al. (No. 2:24-cv-3750)).

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to compel the defendants to comply with their voter list maintenance obligations under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

The National Voter Registration Act requires states to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove” from the official voter rolls “the names of ineligible voters” who have died or changed residence. The law requires registrations to be canceled when voters fail to respond to address confirmation notices and then fail to vote in the next two general federal elections.

In 2018, the Supreme Court confirmed that such removals are mandatory. In February 2023, Los Angeles Countyconfirmed removal of 1,207,613 ineligible voters from its rolls since the year before, under the terms of a settlement agreement in a federal lawsuit we filed in 2017. (Legal pressure from Judicial Watch ultimately led to the removal of up to four million ineligible voters from voter rolls in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, and elsewhere.)

Judicial Watch filed the latest lawsuit after uncovering a broad failure to clean up voter rolls in dozens of California counties.

The complaint details that, in correspondence with Judicial Watch, that California:

admit[ted] that 21 California counties removed five or fewer registrations pursuant to [the NVRA] …  for failing to respond to a Confirmation Notice and then failing to vote in two general federal elections … from November 2020 to November 2022. Sixteen of the 21 counties removed zero such registrations during this period. The 21 counties are: Alameda (1 such removal), Alpine (0), Calaveras (0), Imperial (0), Lake (1), Modoc (0), Placer (0), Plumas (0), San Benito (0), San Bernardino (0), San Luis Obispo (5), San Mateo (0), Santa Barbara (0), Santa Cruz (0), Shasta (0), Siskiyou (2), Solano (0), Stanislaus (0), Trinity (0), Ventura (0), and Yolo (2).

Together, these 21 counties reported a combined total of 11 removals under Section 8(d)(1)(B) during this two-year reporting period.

The complaint notes that “these 21 counties contain about 22% of the population of California.” The lawsuit alleges that, in Judicial Watch’s experience “based on years of enforcing the NVRA,” there “is no possible way any county” with such “absurdly small” removal numbers can be complying with the NVRA’s requirement “to cancel the registrations of voters who have become ineligible because of a change of residence.” The complaint points out that about 11.6% of California residents move each year, and that in the last year for which data are available (2022) “about 818,000 California residents moved out of state.”

Our lawsuit also points out that another 16 California counties could not even “tell how many registrations were removed pursuant to [the NVRA] … The 16 counties are: Del Norte, El Dorado, Inyo, Kern, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Orange, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Tulare.” These 16 counties together “contain about 28% of the population of California.”

Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections. And California’s voting rolls continue to be a mess.  Our litigation already caused the state to remove over a million outdated names from the rolls in California, but our new lawsuit shows there is more work to do.

As I noted above, Judicial Watch is a national leader in voting integrity and voting rights. As part of our work, we assembled a team of highly experienced voting rights attorneys who stopped discriminatory elections in Hawaii, and cleaned up voter rolls across the country, among other achievements.

Robert Popper, a Judicial Watch senior attorney, leads its election law program. Popper was previously in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, where he managed voting rights investigations, litigations, consent decrees, and settlements in dozens of states.

In March 2023, we filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Elections and its Executive Director, Bernadette Matthews, over their failure to clean Illinois’ voter rolls and to produce election-related records as required by federal law.

Judicial Watch in February 2024 filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Mississippi, challenging a Mississippi election law permitting absentee ballots to be received as long as five business days after Election Day.

In December 2023, we sent notice letters to election officials in the District of Columbia, California, and Illinois, notifying them of evident violations of the NVRA, based on their failure to remove inactive voters from their registration rolls. In response to Judicial Watch’s inquiries, Washington, D.C., officials admitted that they had not complied with the NVRA, promptly removed 65,544 outdated names from the voting rolls, promised to remove 37,962 more, and designated another 73,522 registrations as “inactive.”

In July 2023, we filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, supporting the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, which struck down Maine’s policy restricting the use and distribution of the state’s voter registration list (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Shenna Bellows (No. 23-1361)). According to a national studyconducted by Judicial Watch in 2020, Maine’s statewide registration rate was 101% of eligible voters.

In a separate lawsuit, in July 2023 we settled a federal election integrity lawsuit on behalf of the Illinois Conservative Union against the state of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Elections, and its director, obtaining access to the current centralized statewide list of registered voters for the state.

In April 2023, Pennsylvania settled with Judicial Watch and admitted in court filings that it removed 178,258 ineligible registrations in response to communications from Judicial Watch. The settlement commits Pennsylvania and five of its counties to public reporting of statistics regarding their ongoing voter roll clean-up efforts for the next five years.

In March 2023, Colorado agreed to settle our NVRA lawsuit alleging that Colorado failed to remove ineligible voters from its rolls. The settlement agreement requires Colorado to provide Judicial Watch with the most recent voter roll data for each Colorado county each year for six years.

We settled a federal election integrity lawsuit against New York City after the city removed 441,083 ineligible names from the voter rolls and promised to take reasonable steps going forward to clean its voter registration lists.

Kentucky also removed hundreds of thousands of old registrations after it entered into a consent decree to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.

In February 2022, we settled a voter roll clean-up lawsuit against North Carolina and two of its counties after North Carolina removed over 430,000 inactive registrations from its voter rolls.

In March 2022, a Maryland court ruled in favor of our challenge to the Democratic state legislature’s “extreme” congressional-districts gerrymander.

 

Voicemail Shows FBI/Secret Service Coordination on Trump Raid

Our Judicial Watch team received a concerning recording of a phone message left by an FBI special agent for someone at the Secret Service in the context of the raid on President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

The August 11, 2022, recording says:

Yes, hi, this is Special Agent [redacted] from FBI [unintelligible]. We met on Monday [the day of the raid]. We have a couple of specific follow-up asks of you, um, so give me a call so we can discuss that. My number is [redacted]. Again, my name is [redacted]. Thanks, bye.

The recording was uncovered in an October 2022 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for all communications of the U.S. Secret Service internally and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding the raid on President Trump’s home and for any video or audio recordings made during the raid on August 8, 2022 (Judicial Watch Inc. v. U.S Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:22-cv-03147)).

This recording is real-time evidence of the Biden administration’s whole government operation to abuse Trump by raiding his home. We will continue to piece together the details of the conspiracy to launch an unprecedented and malicious raid on the home of Biden’s chief political opponent.

Judicial Watch remains in the forefront of the court battles for transparency regarding the Biden administration’s targeting of Trump.

In March 2024, we sued the U.S. Department of Energy for records about the retroactive termination of former President Donald Trump’s security clearance and/or access to classified information.

In August 2023, we filed a lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for records of the Archives’ role in President Trump’s White House records controversy; whether it offered Trump a secure storage location other than the National Archives; and if the Archives consulted with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding the classification or declassification procedures of any of the alleged classified documents found at Trump’s Florida residence.

In June 2023, we obtained DOJ records that showed top officials of the National Security Division discussing the political implications of Trump allowing CNN to use closed-circuit TV (CCTV) footage of the raid on his Mar-a-Lago home. The documents confirmed that the Justice Department had asked that Mar-a-Lago CCTV be turned off before the raid.

A separate Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration resulted in the release of records about the unprecedented document dispute between Archives and President Trump. Click here or here to review the records.

In August 2022, we successfully sued to unseal the search warrant affidavit used to justify the unprecedented raid on the home of former President Trump.

In September 2022, we filed lawsuits against the DOJ for its records and the FBI’s records about the Mar-a-Lago raid search warrant application and approval, as well as communications about the warrant between the FBI, Executive Office of the President and the Secret Service.

 

Until next week,


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