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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

President Trump Vindicated

Vindication for President Trump
What Was the FBI Telling and Paying Anti-Trump Dossier Author Steele?
Judicial Watch Sues for Collusion Docs Between Obama FBI and Clinton-DNC Lawyers
Good News for all Land Owners from the Supreme Court
Digging Into John Kerry’s ‘Shadow Diplomacy’ Over Iran Nuclear Deal
Happy Easter!

Vindication for President Trump

President Trump has been vindicated. The Mueller investigation failed to find any evidence to support the big lie that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government and failed miserably to prove any obstruction.

We’re pleased that Attorney General Barr saw through the 448-page smear of President Trump by highlighting the simple conclusion that there is no collusion and no obstruction.  Neither Mueller, the Obama FBI, DOJ, CIA, State Department, nor the Deep State ever had a good-faith basis to pursue President Trump on Russia collusion. Russia collusion wasn’t just a hoax, it was criminal abuse, which is why Judicial Watch has fought and will continue to fight for Russiagate documents in federal court.

The targeting of President Trump served to protect Hillary Clinton and her enablers/co-conspirators in Obama administration from prosecution. Attorney General Barr can begin restoring the credibility of the Justice Department by finally initiating a thorough investigation of the Clinton email and related pay-to-play scandals and the abuses behind the targeting of President Trump.

We have long called for the shutdown of the Mueller special counsel operation and have pursued dozens of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits in connection with the illicit targeting and other abuses of President Trump. Judicial Watch FOIA litigation exposed, for example:

  • The Dossier-based Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications targeting President Trump
  • Eleven FBI payments to Christopher Steele
  • FBI firing of Steele
  • Extensive DOJ (Ohr) collusion w/Steele, Simpson, Fusion GPS
  • No court hearings by defrauded FISA courts before warrants were issued
  • Anti-Trump bias by Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann

You can be sure your Judicial Watch will continue to “investigate the investigators”! We already have over 40 FOIA lawsuits on Obama/Clinton/Deep State effort to illegally spy on and overthrow President Trump. This assault on our Republic is the worst corruption scandal in American history and Judicial Watch is on it – no matter what Congress or the Justice Department does.

What Was the FBI Telling and Paying Anti-Trump Dossier Author Steele?

Judicial Watch is the leader in exposing the Deep State coup targeting President Trump.

We just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communications and payments between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and his private firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.

We sued after the FBI failed to respond to our September 27, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00572)) for some basic documents:

All records of communications between any official, employee, or representative of the FBI and Mr. Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer and the owner of the private firm Orbis Business Intelligence.

  1. All records related to the proposed, planned, or actual payment of any funds to Mr. Steele and/or Orbis Business Intelligence
  2. All records produced in preparation for, during, or pursuant to any meetings or telephonic conversations between any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Christopher Steele and/or any employee or representative of Orbis Business Intelligence
  3. All records produced in preparation for, during, or pursuant to any meetings or telephonic conversations between any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Christopher Steele and/or any employee or representative of Orbis Business Intelligence

The time frame for this request is March 9, 2017, to September 27, 2018.

Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr testified to Congress that “at some point during 2017, Chris Steele did speak with somebody from the FBI, but I don’t know who.”

This is our latest FOIA lawsuit in an extensive investigation into the Clinton-funded, anti-Trump dossier and its use to obtain FISA warrants in order to spy on the Trump campaign.

In a case seeking Steele payment information between January 1, 2016, and March 8, 2017, we previously released FBI records showing that Steele was cut off as a “Confidential Human Source” in November 2016 after he disclosed his relationship to the FBI to a third party. The documents show that there were at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016. (President Trump just tweeted this key disclosure by Judicial Watch!)

Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, reportedly paid $168,000 in 2016 to Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence.

In a related case, we recently released 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the DOJ revealing Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI.

How and why did the FBI pay Christopher Steele, who was already being funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC through Fusion GPS? That we had to sue for this basic information shows the FBI may have something more to hide.

Judicial Watch Sues for Collusion Docs Between Obama FBI and Clinton-DNC Lawyers

Let’s talk about collusion – between the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee’s top lawyer and the top lawyer for the Obama FBI.

We just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for communications between former FBI General Counsel James Baker and Michael Sussmann, a Perkins Coie law partner and former DOJ attorney.

While at Perkins Coie, Sussman represented the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the time Perkins Coie secretly paid for the development of the anti-Trump dossier the DOJ used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.

We sued because the FBI failed to respond to a FOIA request dated October 5, 2018 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00573)) for:

  1. Any and all records of communication between former FBI General Counsel James Baker and former Department of Justice attorney and current Perkins Coie Partner Michael Sussman.
  2. Any and all records created in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to any meeting between Mr. Baker and Mr. Sussman.
  3. Any and all calendars, agendas, or similar records, either in paper or electronic format, documenting the schedule and activities of Mr. Baker.

The time frame for this request is between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

Perkins Coie is responsible for retaining the opposition research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC to dig into President Trump’s background.

Fusion GPS paid British ex-spy Christopher Steele to compile the anti-Trump dossier memos, which were shared with the FBI in the summer of 2016. As described above, we uncovered documents revealing that during this same period of time the FBI also paid Steele on at least 11 occasions in 2016 as a confidential informant and later continued to receive information from Steele during 2017 through a Justice Department official even after it had fired Steele in November 2016 for leaking his relationship with the FBI to the media.

Confirmation of the DNC’s/Clinton campaign’s funding of the dossier, labeled by former FBI Director James Comey as “salacious and unverified,” was first revealed in a memo from then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Baker told lawmakers in two 2018 interviews that Sussmann is the Perkins Coie attorney with whom he met in September 2016, a month before the FISA warrant was approved to spy on the Trump campaign, and that Sussmann gave him “documents and a thumb drive related to Russian interference in the election, hacking and possible Trump connections.”

Our lawsuit aims to fully expose the scandalous collusion between the Obama FBI and the Clinton-DNC political operation to target Hillary Clinton’s political opponent, Donald J. Trump. The corrupted FBI owes Americans total transparency on this scandal.

In a related FOIA lawsuit filed against the DOJ in December 2018, we sued for records of all meetings in 2016 between Baker and the Perkins Coie law firm. The lawsuit cites a specific media report that Baker met with Perkins Coie lawyers to discuss allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. The meeting reportedly took place weeks before the 2016 election and before the FBI secured a controversial FISA spy warrant targeting then-candidate Trump’s campaign.

We previously obtained heavily redacted copies of FISA warrants used by the Obama-era DOJ to spy on the Trump campaign, which seem to confirm that the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC were behind the “intelligence” used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team. One of the FISA warrant renewals was granted in June 2017 and did not expire until September 2017, some eight months after President Trump assumed office.

For sure there was collusion to influence the 2016 election. We are uncovering it.

Good News for all Land Owners from the Supreme Court

I am pleased to tell you that the Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision affirming the conviction of Joseph Robertson, a 78-year-old veteran, now deceased, who was sentenced to prison for digging ditches on his rural Montana property to protect the area surrounding his home from wildfires.

We had filed an amicus curiae brief jointly with the Allied Educational Foundation supporting Robertson and urging Supreme Court review and reversal of the lower court decision. Robertson served 18 months in prison and died while serving probation. He was also fined $130,000, a liability inherited by his estate.

The Supreme Court also remanded Robertson’s conviction to the lower court so the indictment can be dismissed and the lien can be cancelled.

Judicial Watch and the AEF had asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that upheld Robertson’s conviction, because that decision “affirmed illegal agency actions in prosecuting Joseph Robertson based on a misreading of federal law. The Court should take this opportunity to correct the confusion in overbroad interpretations of the Clear Water Act, which have led to unjust prosecutions and federal intrusions into both state authority and individual liberty.”

(The brief was filed in the case of Robertson v. United States, Case No. 18-609, 587 U.S. __ (2019). This was an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision in United States v. Robertson, 875 F.3d 1281, 1285 (9th Cir. 2017).)

We asserted in our brief that the ditches Robertson dug “sat on what a federal agency defines as wetlands and were situated on or near a small downhill water flow of about three garden hoses in volume. Mr. Robertson was not engaged in manufacturing or any other industrial activity which would release chemicals or waste into the water, but under the federal Clean Water Act even turning the soil with a shovel can be considered to be releasing a ‘pollutant’ into water.”

We suggest that the issue is larger than Robertson’s personal plight: It also involves the separation of powers among Congress, the Executive Branch and the Supreme Court.

We also note that the Supreme Court itself has introduced confusion into the issue of “adjacent wetlands,” “point source,” and “navigable waters.” Also, legal matters like those involving Robertson properly belong with the state, not the federal government.

Our brief argues that the Congress has been all too willing to forego its constitutional duty and defer to federal agencies.

[It was not foreseen that] the judiciary could eventually aid and abet the complete sacrificing of power by one of those two branches, effectively leaving a one-branch government where the founders intended three. When the Court goes too far in reading statutes as broadly assigning sweeping interpretative power to agencies, this allows Congress to give up power altogether and to stop the necessary work of revising and repealing statutes. Congress has proven itself either willing to give up those powers or unable to stop itself from doing so, preferring to ask the executive branch to reinterpret or reimagine statutes in ever more creative ways while sparing members of Congress the pain of accountability for national policy. The Court should not countenance this upending of the constitutional order.

The Supreme Court has granted a victory against an overreaching government bureaucracy. The government should not be allowed to regulate every drop of water in America, and the Supreme Court was right to brush back the radical bureaucrats promoting this Big Government expansion. Mr. Robertson, a veteran, died before he was vindicated but his fight has protected the constitutional freedoms of other Americans.

Digging Into John Kerry’s ‘Shadow Diplomacy’ Over Iran Nuclear Deal

John Kerry acts as if he still is Secretary of State.  And Judicial Watch is trying to expose the full truth about his efforts to undermine our foreign policy.

That’s why we filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for records of communications between former Secretary of State John Kerry and State Department officials regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

That Obama/Kerry scheme was known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as JCPOA). We’re also seeking records regarding meetings between Kerry and Iranian officials to discuss the JCPOA.” (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State(No. 1:19-cv-00777)).

On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which had been negotiated by Kerry in 2015 on behalf of the Obama State Department. In the months preceding the U.S. withdrawal, Kerry reportedly had been on a “stealthy yet aggressive mission” of shadow diplomacy in an attempt to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry reportedly held meetings and spoke with major players, foreign and domestic, involved in the Iran nuclear agreement who opposed the U.S. withdrawal.

We sued after the State Department failed to respond to a May 7, 2018, FOIA request for:

All records of communications, including but not limited to emails (whether on .gov or email accounts), text message or instant chat, between former Secretary of State John Kerry and official of the State Department regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as the JCPOA or “Iran nuclear deal”) and/or meetings between Kerry and Iranian officials to discuss the JCPOA.

During his personal campaign to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, Kerry is said to have met with Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the United Nations in New York in late April 2018, their second meeting in two months, to discuss ways of preventing the deal limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program from falling apart. Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo termed Kerry’s meeting with “the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror” “unseemly and unprecedented” and “beyond inappropriate.”

Kerry also met in April 2018 with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, separately had meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, both in Paris and New York, and spoke on the phone with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Additionally, Kerry was reported to have quietly lobbied members of Congress, including then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and placed dozens of phone calls just before the U.S. withdrawal.

John Kerry wasn’t elected president, so he should avoid colluding with Iran and other foreign governments to undermine U.S. foreign policy. Our lawsuit is meant to discover not only what Kerry was up to but also to unearth who inside the Deep State Trump ‘resistance’ were coordinating with Kerry’s clandestine efforts to undermine the President Trump’s Iran policy.

In another Iran-related FOIA lawsuit, on May 19, 2017, we filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of the Treasury (No.1:17-cv-00864)) against the State and Treasury Departments regarding the Obama administration’s January 2016 transfer of $400 million in foreign currency to Iran, a cash payment delivered the same weekend five American hostages were released. The Obama administration insisted at the time the cash payment was not ransom for the hostages, but several Republican lawmakers said it was too coincidental to be true. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly said, “Paying Iran behind our backs, incentivizing further kidnappings of Americans while providing funds for terrorism, is as ignorant as it is wrong.”

The State Department, just two weeks after an August 4 press conference in which President Barack Obama said the payment was not a “ransom,” confirmed that the U.S. handed over the cash only after Iran released the hostages. The $400 million was the first installment of a $1.7 billion cash settlement the Obama administration paid Iran to resolve an arms deal signed before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which toppled the pro-U.S. regime in Tehran.

Few documents were produced to us in this case, and all were fully redacted. You’d think the State Department would know by now that we don’t easily give up our efforts for truth and accountability.

Happy Easter!

Christians around the world are celebrating the resurrection of the Christ this week. There are no more powerful symbols of hope than the cross and the empty tomb. From me and mine, I wish you and yours all the Joy of Easter! Happily, Passover coincides with Easter this year – so, Happy Passover, as well!


Until next week …