JUNE 19, 2015
Try telling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that you lost some tax documents and then magically found them again once legal pressure was applied. What do you think the end result would be for you if you tried to operate this way? Judicial Watch is succeeding in court in its effort to remind the Obama IRS that it isn’t above the law. But it’s clear to us after reviewing a seven-page court filing the IRS finally submitted in response to a court order that the tax agency is working to stonewall our efforts.
Last week, just to review, I told you how Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a Judicial Watch request to issue an order requiring the IRS to provide answers by June 12, 2015, on the status of the Lois Lerner emails the IRS had previously and falsely declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails in a June 2 court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails, which had been recovered from backup tapes. Judge Sullivan agreed that Judicial Watch deserved answers and issued the court order on June 4, 2015.
So, late last Friday President Obama’s recalcitrant IRS agency finally complied with Judge Sullivan’s June 4 order requiring the agency to provide answers to Judicial Watch. Contrary to previous agency claims that the emails were lost and unrecoverable, the IRS finally admits that it has as many as 6,400 new Lerner emails but won’t promise to turn them over to us just yet. Even though the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) already identified and removed emails that are duplicates, the IRS is in “the process of conducting further manual deduplication of the 6,400” emails, rather than reviewing them in response to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act requests that are more than two years old now.
Our lawyers went back to the court right away and blew the whistle on this continued obstruction. On Monday (June 15), our attorneys filed another response with the court. We said the IRS should stop stonewalling and turn over the records it says it now has:
Judicial Watch respectfully requests that the Court order the IRS to start producing any non-exempt, responsive emails contained within the 6,400 emails immediately and disclose whether they are all or a subset of the recovered emails from the 1,268 backup tapes.
And we highlighted that the Obama IRS has no response to our well-founded accusations that it lied to Judicial Watch, the court, and to Congress. In addition to withholding key information about Lerner’s “lost and found” emails, the Obama IRS:
does not refute in its seven-page Response that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) was able to locate the Lois Lerner backup tapes within one day of its investigation or that the IRS never requested the backup tapes from its technicians before declaring that the emails were lost forever.
Yesterday evening, Judge Sullivan indicated that he was not satisfied with the IRS’ non-response to his court order. He ordered a comprehensive report from the IRS by June 29:
The IRS shall file a supplemental report, setting forth any new information regarding: (1) TIGTA’s recovery of emails from the backup tapes; (2) TIGTA’s production of emails to the IRS; (3) the IRS’s review of emails and production to the plaintiff; and (4) the status of the TIGTA investigation.
And he also ordered the IRS into his court for a hearing on July 1 to discuss the notices.
We are pleased that the court is demanding answers. Our attorneys battling the IRS in several federal courts are doing more than Congress, the media, or the Justice Department to hold the Obama IRS to account for its outrageous conduct and lies. Barack Obama and his corrupt allies in Washington may think using the IRS to harass, audit, and intimidate Obama’s opposition so he can steal an election is no big deal. Judicial Watch is happy to remind the Obama gang, which is still running and abusing the power of the IRS, the rule of law still applies to them.
The Obama IRS isn’t the only agency on the radar of Judicial Watch and, again, Judge Sullivan….
Revelations that Hillary Clinton used a secret email account to conduct official business while serving as secretary of state has led to more decisive action today by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. Judge Sullivan issued a decision to reopen a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records about Huma Abedin, the former deputy chief of staff, to Hillary Clinton.
This is actually the second Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit that has been reopened because of Hillary Clinton’s hidden email records. Judicial Watch is aware of no prior instances of closed FOIA cases being reopened by federal courts.
Judge Sullivan ruled that the “changed circumstances” of the discovery that Hillary Clinton and members of her State Department staff used secret email accounts to conduct government business warranted “reopening” the lawsuit.
In asking Judge Sullivan to reopen the lawsuit, Judicial Watch cited a federal court rule (Rule 60(b)(3)) that allows a party to reopen a case due to “fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party”:
The State Department had an obligation under the Federal Records Act to properly preserve, maintain, and make available for retrieval records of its official functions. In fact, it is the obligation of the head of every federal agency to do so. Secretary Clinton plainly violated her own legal obligations. Doing so was misconduct.
The State Department originally agreed with Judicial Watch’s request but later changed its mind and asked the Court to reopen the lawsuit because of “newly discovered evidence.” In today’s ruling, Judge Sullivan simply reopened the case, rather than “spilling ink” on whether Hillary Clinton and the State Department committed fraud, misrepresentation or misconduct.
Huma Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico reported that, since June 2012, she had been double-dipping, working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation. As JW’s chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison documents:
Teneo serves as a kind of private-enterprise satellite to Clinton Inc. Doug Band, Mr. Clinton’s right-hand man for many years, is a Teneo founder. Huma Abedin, Mrs. Clinton’s right-hand woman for many years, was a senior advisor to Teneo at the same time she held a top position as part of Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle at the State Department. Bill Clinton was both a paid adviser to Teneo and a client. Secretary of State Clinton’s former Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, is a Teneo co-founder and CEO.
It was on March 2, 2015, that The New York Times reported then-Secretary Clinton used at least one non-“state.gov” email account to conduct official government business during her entire tenure as the secretary of state. It also was reported that Clinton stored these records on a non-U.S. government server at her home in Chappaqua, New York.
When the scandal came to light there were nearly 20 lawsuits and about 160 Judicial Watch FOIA requests affected by the Clinton email cover-up. In our various FOIA lawsuits, our lawyers have informed attorneys for the Obama administration that Hillary Clinton’s account and any other secret accounts used by State employees should be secured, recovered and searched.
Since the scandal broke, we filed two dozen FOIA requests on the email issue alone. By my count, we filed eight new lawsuits just to get Hillary Clinton’s hidden emails and details about how they were illegally hidden from the American people, the courts, and Congress. Our most recent lawsuit (the ninth!) is against John Kerry, Hillary Clinton’s successor as secretary of state, to try to force him to follow the law and retrieve the government email records purloined by Clinton.
It is now apparent that Hillary Clinton’s massive email cover-up is unraveling. We welcome Judge Sullivan’s decision to reopen this lawsuit. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration concealed records and lied to obstruct federal courts and Judicial Watch from finding out about the secret emails. The court battle to get to the truth about Huma Abedin’s “special government employee” (SGE) privileges at State is underway. The reopening of this case brings Judicial Watch one step closer to forcing the State Department to ensure that the government records in Hillary Clinton’s “secret” email system are properly preserved, protected and recovered as federal law requires.
Given Huma Abedin’s key role in the Clinton’s cash raising operation, and even the Benghazi scandal, this resuscitated lawsuit could not be timelier.
Establishment Washington goes through a memory wipe for favored, often leftist, politicians. Bill Clinton’s record of sexual depravity and assault is verboten. Every once in a blue moon, the Big Media will remind us that he has had some problems in this area. Vanity Fair did an expose on the issue back in 2008, though more to help Barack Obama, the then-leftist favorite.
At one time or another, Judicial Watch represented many of the female victims of Bill Clinton and his enablers – like Hillary Clinton and George Stephanopoulos. So you can imagine we don’t have much patience for the joking manner of sloughing off credible allegations of rape against Bill Clinton by Juanita Broaddrick. Or the sexual assault and abuse as described by Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey. Or the terrifying threats and intimidation recounted by Dolly Kyle and Gennifer Flowers.
So we take seriously the concerns about Bill Clinton’s trips to the Caribbean hideaway of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. One question we want answered is simple: how much are taxpayers wasting on Secret Service protection for Bill Clinton’s dubious travel? Simple question, but the Obama administration is in cover-up mode for Michelle Obama’s putative successor.
So, on June 15, 2015, we filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to obtain records of all expenses incurred to provide “security and other services” to the former playboy president. Flight logbooks show that former President Clinton took more than a dozen flights on Epstein’s private jet. That’s what was first reported by Gawker.com. On at least one of these trips, Clinton was accompanied by four Secret Service agents.
The logbooks also show Clinton flew alongside a woman who prosecutors believe procured underage girls to service Epstein and others. We filed the FOIA lawsuit after DHS failed to comply with a January 15, 2015, FOIA request to the U.S. Secret Service, seeking the following:
Any and all records reflecting expenses incurred to provide security and/or other services to former President Bill Clinton and any companions for trips to the Caribbean island owned by Jeffrey Epstein known as Little St. James from 2001 to the present date.
The scandal involving Epstein’s Boeing 727, dubbed the “Lolita Express,” and his private Caribbean island of Little Saint James first came to light in December 2014, when Virginia Roberts – now a married, 31-year-old mother of three – filed an affidavit in a Florida federal court charging that at age 15 she was procured by socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to satisfy the sexual needs of Epstein and his friends. Flight logs show that Clinton shared Epstein’s plane with Maxwell and Sarah Kellen, Epstein’s former assistant, on at least 11 flights in 2002 and 2003.
New York Magazine reported that, in 2002, Clinton recruited Epstein to make his plane available for a week-long anti-poverty and anti-AIDS tour of Africa with Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker, billionaire Ron Burkle and Clinton confidant Gayle Smith (who now serves on Barack Obama’s National Security Council). The logs from that trip show that Maxwell Kellen and a woman named Chauntae Davis joined the entourage for five days. Davis is a soft-core pornography movie actress, who appeared in Epstein’s address book under an entry for “massages.” Clinton allegedly severed his connections with Epstein once allegations over the millionaire sex offender’s illegal behavior surfaced and he was arrested back in 2005.
Just to show you the kind of company Bill Clinton is keeping these days, Epstein is registered as a “Tier 1” sex offender with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Justice. He served 13 months in jail after signing a plea agreement with the U.S. government in 2008. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is said to have identified about 40 potential victims of the former investment banker. Is Bill Clinton innocent of anything inappropriate or illegal? Read closely this New York Post story and judge for yourself. Here’s a snippet:
According to Virginia Roberts, who claims to have been one of Epstein’s many teenage sex slaves, Clinton also visited Epstein’s private Caribbean retreat, known as “Orgy Island.”
“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’” Roberts said in 2011. The former president, she added, was accompanied by four young girls during his stay — two of whom were among Epstein’s regular sex partners. “And [Jeffrey] laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor.’ He never told me what favors they were.”
Beginning with his misuse of state troopers when he was Arkansas governor, Bill Clinton has a long record of abusing his taxpayer-funded security details to facilitate and cover-up his illicit sexual activities. (By the way, if you think the Secret Service would never allow its officers to be used this way, you should track our website more closely. For instance, click here for our Corruption Chronicles report on new documents we released about an obscene abuse of Secret Service resources to help out a “friend”/administrative assistant of the former Secret Service director.)
If there is nothing to hide in the Epstein scandal, then why is the Obama administration breaking federal transparency law rather than giving us information about his travels? That we’ve now had to go to federal court to try to get this Secret Service information speaks volumes.
Until next week…