Judicial Watch Sues for Documents on Obama DOJ Effort to Shut Down Clinton Foundation Investigation
NOVEMBER 30, 2018
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records of communications involving any investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) into the Clinton Foundation (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02536).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a May 4, 2018, FOIA request for:
All records of communication, including but not limited to e-mails (whether sent or received on .gov or non-.gov e-mail accounts), text messages, or instant chats, sent between officials in the offices of the FBI Director, Deputy Director and General Counsel on the one hand, and officials in the offices of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and or Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General on the other hand, regarding the closure or possible closure of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
The timeframe of the request was given as between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.
A Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the illicit Clinton email system in 2015.
In August 2016, a related Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit broke open the story and began making conflict of interest documents public, showing that in April 2009 controversial Clinton Foundation official Doug Band pushed for a job for an associate. In the email Band tells Hillary Clinton’s former aides at the State Department Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin that it is “important to take care of [Redacted]. Band is reassured by Abedin that “Personnel has been sending him options.” Band was co-founder of Teneo Strategy with Bill Clinton and a top official of the Clinton Foundation, including its Clinton Global Initiative.
Included in that document production was a 2009 email in which Band, directs Abedin and Mills to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in touch with the State Department’s “substance person” on Lebanon. Band notes that Chagoury is “key guy there [Lebanon] and to us,” and insists that Abedin call Amb. Jeffrey Feltman to connect him to Chagoury.
In January 2016, the FBI reportedly began investigating the Clinton Foundation, as it expanded from the email probe. In October 2016, FBI agents were told they did not have “enough evidence to move forward” with their investigation of the Foundation.
Earlier this year, a DOJ Inspector General report detailed evidence that the Obama DOJ sought to shut down the FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation:
McCabe [fired former deputy director of the FBI] told the OIG that on August 12, 2016, he received a telephone call from PADAG [Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, likely Matthew Axelrod] regarding the FBI’s handling of the CF [Clinton Foundation] Investigation (the “PADAG call”). McCabe said that PADAG expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the CF Investigation during the presidential campaign. According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking “are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” McCabe told us that the conversation was “very dramatic” and he never had a similar confrontation like the PADAG call with a high-level Department official in his entire FBI career.
Reportedly, senior DOJ officials refused FBI requests to issue subpoenas on Clinton Foundation issues in 2016.
In October 18, 2018, Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee announced the release of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabes’ disciplinary file, which “reminds us how the Obama Justice Department sought to shut down the Clinton Foundation investigation during the 2016 presidential election.” [Emphasis added]
“The record shows the Obama Justice Department suppressed a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It’s time for the DOJ to stop shielding the Clintons and produce records on this miscarriage of justice.”
This is part of Judicial Watch’s ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play politics that involves multiple FOIA lawsuits seeking government documents from Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system, as well as records related to the intersection of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.