MAY 18, 2017
Below, you will find the video/transcript for On Watch: Episode 15: Time for Extreme Transparency
It’s time for some extreme transparency.
You’ve heard President Trump talk about extreme vetting for persons seeking to the enter the US from terror hot-spots – well, we need to aggressively exercise a similar technique when it comes to government records that you are owed through the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA.
Judicial Watch files more FOIA requests and litigates more FOIA cases than any other organization in the country. Much of the Washington corruption you have heard about in the news started with investigative work by Judicial Watch. Cases like “Fast & Furious,” the political weaponization of the IRS, the effort to cover-up Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s reckless criminality concerning her outlaw email server, and many other cases.
The FOIA law allows for agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of government to make “discretionary disclosures.” In plain English, that means President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can release whatever they want – whenever they wish to do so. It’s up to them. They can exercise their discretion to release records that are of broad general and news media interest concerning important public policy issues and/or the operations of the federal government. These discretionary disclosures take nothing more than a stroke of the pen.
Ironically, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions is currently making the exact same legal arguments as the Obama administration – and using all the double-talk and excuses from the Obama era, too. The Justice Department remains in full cover-up mode for anything that would be embarrassing or illegal for the Obama administration. That’s frustrating and disappointing, but you need to remember that the rank-and-file staff attorneys at Justice Department headquarters are largely Leftists that continue to support the Obama agenda. President Trump appears to have a tough road ahead. BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Discretionary disclosures! Extreme transparency! With the stroke of a pen, President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can order the release of all government records concerning any number of important issues and lingering questions.
Here’s just a small sample of some of the cases Judicial Watch is investigating and litigating that could be released in full for the public and news media to examine:
- FBI 302s – or investigative reports of interviews of President Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett during criminal investigation of Rod Blagojevich trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
- The entire FBI’s investigative file of Secretary Clinton’s email practices.
- Records about the tarmac meeting between former President Clinton and Attorney General Lynch at the Phoenix airport.
- Draft indictments of Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared by Whitewater Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr.
- Records about the Intelligence Community’s decision not to conduct a damage assessment of Secretary Clinton’s criminal email practices.
- Records of notes, updates, or reports in the Office of the Secretary of State about Benghazi.
If you’re looking for some accountability for what’s happened in this country for the past eight years there’s a starting point. But, there’s much, much more.
It’s time for extreme transparency. Let’s get past the cover-ups and double-talk from the past eight years. Your employees owe you records and answers. President Trump can provide them with the stroke of a pen.
I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch
The official On Watch Twitter page can be found here.
Chris Farrell is Judicial Watch’s Director of Investigations. His network of inside sources and informants spans the globe. You can read his bio here.
For more information, or to set up and interview with Chris, please contact Jill Farrell at 202-646-5172, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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