Paul Pelosi Assault Records Update!
An attack on the spouse of the Speaker of the House is of considerable interest, but the San Francisco district attorney refused to provide documents and video of the police activity at the home of Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, where David Wayne DePape was arrested following an alleged assault on October 28, 2022.
Among the items District Attorney Brooke Jenkins refused to release are a recording of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call and police officers’ body camera footage. Nikki Moore, assistant district attorney, took the unusual step of providing some details about the incident response to our California Public Records Act request:
The two persons present at the Pelosi home when the SFPD arrived where [sic] Mr. Pelosi and Mr. DePape. Please see the online posted document that reflects that Mr. Pelosi was the only person in the home at the time of the attack. See https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/11/01/us/david-de-pape-motion-to-detain.html. You can obtain an official copy of this court record from the Superior Court.
In our November 2022 request to the district attorney, we noted a news report stating that news organizations had been rebuffed on similar requests and, pursuant to the California Public Records Act, we asked for, in addition to the recording and camera footage: All records of communications, including emails and text messages, between the District Attorney’s Office and the San Francisco Police Department concerning the incident. We also asked for communications with several federal agencies, including the Justice Department, the Capitol Police, and the FBI. And we asked for the identities of the persons at the Pelosi home at the time of the incident.
In declining the information we requested, Assistant DA Moore cited Section 6254 of California law, which governs records requests, and specifically subsection (f), which allows for the withholding from the public of certain “records of investigations conducted by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, the Office of Emergency Services and any state or local police agency …”
There is significant public interest in the terrible attack on Paul Pelosi and it is odd that the local authorities are withholding basic information about the incident.
In our previous work, in September, we received records from the California Highway Patrol Public Records Unit thatincluded 44 photos and five hours of audio/video footage depicting the misconduct and arrest of Paul Pelosi. The material shows that Mr. Pelosi invoked his wife’s name and shared his police charity membership during the arrest for suspected alcohol intoxication while driving.
Judicial Watch Appeal Seeks FBI January 6 Communications with Banks
We are pushing back on the attempt to curtail our investigation into the full details about the January 6 disturbance.
We want the details about what looks to be an unprecedented abuse of the financial privacy of countless innocent Americans by big banks and the FBI.
We filed an appeal challenging a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decision allowing the FBI to withhold records of communication between the FBI and several financial institutions about the reported transfer of financial transaction records of people in DC, Maryland and Virginia on January 5 and January 6, 2021 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 22-5209).
The FBI’s cover-up should be rejected, and the records made public.
Our appeal, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, comes in the FOIA lawsuit we filed after the FBI failed to respond to a February 10, 2021, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:21-cv-01216)). We are asking for:
All records of communication between the FBI and any financial institution, including but not limited to Bank of America, Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank, Discover, and/or American Express, in which the FBI sought transaction data for those financial institutions’ debit and credit card account holders who made purchases in Washington, DC, Maryland and/or Virginia on January 5, 2021, and/or January 6, 2021.
In our appellate brief, we argue:
This appeal arises from what appears to be an unprecedented abuse of the financial privacy of thousands of Americans. Substantial and compelling evidence demonstrates that the FBI sought and received records from financial institutions of anyone who used a credit card or engaged in other transactions in the Washington, D.C. area on January 5 or 6, 2021. This would include many thousands of persons living in the Washington, DC area, including possibly members of this Court.
In our appeal we point out that the lower court was mistaken when it upheld the FBI’s Glomar response (neither confirming nor denying the existence of records) because the FBI previously acknowledged the existence of the records in multiple ways. For instance, court records filed in support of a criminal case include the FBI’s statement of facts that provides the defendant’s address, which was obtained through “his Bank of America account and recent Expedia transactions.”
In another case, the FBI “confirmed that it obtained records from PNC Bank and discusses in detail the multiple ways that it used the financial data.”
Additionally, “financial records obtained from JP Morgan Chase bank corroborate [the defendant] used a credit card issued in his name to purchase gas and food enroute to Washington, DC …”
We cite two additional cases where the FBI describes in publicly available court records its use of financial records in the January 6 investigation.
[Judicial Watch] more than adequately demonstrated that the FBI may have sought and received records from financial institutions of anyone who used a credit card or engaged in other transactions in the Washington, DC area on January 5 or 6. If so, this would be an unprecedented abuse of the financial privacy of thousands of Americans. [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request to investigate this should not be blocked by a meritless Glomar response.
We are engaged in a comprehensive, independent investigation into the January 6 disturbance.
In February 2022, we filed an opposition to the U.S. Capitol Police’s (USCP) effort to shut down Judicial Watch’s federal lawsuit for January 6 videos and emails. Through its police department, Congress argues that the videos and emails are not public records, there is no public interest in their release, and that “sovereign immunity” prevents citizens from suing for their release.
And we recently sued the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Justice for records related to the housing of U.S. Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd at Joint Base Andrews after he shot and killed U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
TSA Director Accused of Unlawfully Deploying Assets to Mexican Border
The Biden administration’s open border policy is creating internal government confusion. The Air Marshal National Council accuses Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of violating federal law and overstepping their authority for assigning air marshals to assist with the illegal immigration crisis. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports:
The head of the federal agency created after 9/11 to protect the nation’s transportation system is accused of fraud, waste, and abuse of authority for unlawfully deploying assets to the Mexican border to perform duties unrelated to transportation, according to a report filed with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General. In the formal complaint to the DHS watchdog, the Air Marshal National Council, which represents thousands of Federal Air Marshals (FAM) nationwide, accuses Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske and FAM Director Tirrell Stevenson of violating federal law and overstepping their authority for assigning the highly trained aviation security specialists to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with the illegal immigration crisis. FAM operates under TSA and both function under DHS.
“The TSA personnel are being sent to El Paso TX, San Diego CA, Laredo TX, McAllen TX, Tucson AZ, and Yuma AZ,” the complaint states, adding that internal agency documents reveal the “highly skilled FAMs” are being sent to the southwest border to perform “Hospital Watch, Transportation, Law Enforcement Searches, Welfare Checks, and Entry Control.” The duties have no relation to TSA’s core mission of transportation security, the filing says, and instead the air marshals will assist migrants who have crossed the border into the United States. TSA was created after 2001 to help prevent another terrorist attack, though the agency is famous for its lapses, including a big one just days ago when a man was allowed to board a plane in Cincinnati with two box cutters. FAM is charged with protecting commercial passenger flights by deterring and countering the risk of terrorist activity. At the very least it seems like a waste to send the highly trained law enforcement agents to the border to babysit illegal immigrants.
“The statute does not give the Administrator any authority to deploy TSA or FAM employees to the southern border to perform non transportation security related matters,” the complaint to the DHS IG states. “Further, under section (g) the statute describes what the Administrators authority is if an emergency, as defined by the Secretary of Homeland Security, is declared.” The act makes clear that the legislative intent is to only allow TSA to exercise authority and deploy its assets for transportation security, the report to the DHS watchdog confirms. “To date Mr. Pekoske nor Mr. Stevenson have declared the deployments to be related to transportation security,” according to the complaint. Furthermore, the duties, “Hospital Watch, Entry Control, Law Enforcement searches, and Transportation,” could not be interpreted to have any nexus to the TSA core mission of transportation security. Additionally, the document notes that Congress has not appropriated any funds in the TSA budget for border security, making any money expended for the cause a violation of the Antideficiency Act which prohibits federal employees from obligating funds unless Congress has approved the amount and purpose of the spending.
A few weeks ago Judicial Watch obtained the DHS memorandum to the nation’s air marshal force announcing that officers would soon be sent to the southern border to help deal with “a surge in irregular migration.” The notice states that “the unprecedented volume of Noncitizen Migrants (NCMs) currently apprehended mandates immediate further action to protect the life and safety of federal personnel and noncitizens in CBP [Customs and Border Protection] custody.” It is the first acknowledgment, albeit leaked involuntarily, by the Biden administration that there is indeed a crisis along the nation’s famously porous southern border. “To support its mission, CBP is seeking federal employees from DHS Components and other federal agencies to be placed on reimbursable TDY assignments to assist in critical support functions,” the widely circulated mandate reads, adding that “LE/FAMS has been directed by DHS to support this request.” Air marshals interviewed by Judicial Watch expressed outrage that they are being pulled from their critical inflight security duties to assist with the mayhem created by the Biden administration’s failed immigration policies.
Until next week …