MARCH 24, 2017
Lawlessness was the modus operandi of the Obama administration. If it felt a law stood in the way of its intentions, it ignored the law. Seems the Obama intelligence agencies learned this lesson well. In the critical matter of Hillary Clinton’s illegal email practices, the Director of National Intelligence simply ignored a directive requiring a damage assessment and a report.
So we have filed suit against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of State to require them to conduct, as required by law, an assessment and prepare a report on how and whether Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email practices as U.S. secretary of state damaged national security.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, cites the requirement in Intelligence Community Directive (“ICD”) 732, issued on June 27, 2014, that a damage assessment be conducted whenever there is “an actual or suspected unauthorized disclosure or compromise of classified national intelligence that may cause damage to U.S. national security” ICD 732(D)(2) (Judicial Watch v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence et al. (No. 1:17-cv-00508)).
The suit specifically refers to FBI Director James Comey’s devastating statement on July 5, 2016, concerning Clinton’s use of an unsecure email account while conducting official State Department business:
From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 emails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification.
Despite the FBI findings and the requirements of Intelligence Community Directive 732, however, the suit argues that: “On or about September 14, 2016, ODNI announced that no Intelligence Community-wide damage assessment into Secretary Clinton’s email practices would be conducted and that no individual Intelligence Community member would conduct such an assessment.”
In addition to the ODNI and the State Department, the suit names Michael Dempsey in his official capacity as acting director of national intelligence, William Evanina in his official capacity as national counterintelligence executive, and Rex W. Tillerson in his official capacity as U.S. secretary of state.
Judicial Watch has made repeated requests for information concerning any intelligence investigation of Clinton’s email practices:
- On September 16, 2016, Judicial Watch sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to ODNI seeking access to records about the decision not to conduct the required assessment.
- When ODNI failed to respond to the request within the time required by FOIA, Judicial Watchfiled suit. As of the date of this complaint, ODNI still has not produced any responsive records.
- On January 10, 2017, Judicial Watchsent a letter to then-Director Clapper, National Counterintelligence Executive Evanina, and then-Secretary John Kerry formally requesting that “the damage assessment required by ICD 732 be commenced without further delay.”
We have received no response to our January request for a damage assessment, and we’re not aware of any report or announcement indicating that the assessment and resulting report required by ICD 732 has been conducted or prepared. Judicial Watch is therefore asking the court to:
[O]rder Defendants to conduct the required damage assessment and prepare a report in accordance with ICD 732 …
The Obama administration conspired with Hillary Clinton regarding her emails, so it is no surprise that Obama officials wouldn’t want to hold her to account for her mishandling of classified materials. This new JW lawsuit is an opportunity for the Trump administration to get back to basics on the Clinton email scandal and find out what damage was done to our national security as a result of her illicit email practices.
President Obama wasn’t content to take over the health care and finance industries – his administration and his allies in Congress also nationalized the student loan industry. And sure enough, big government corruption followed.
To get the truth about this potentially expensive scandal for taxpayers, your JW sued the U.S. Department of Education seeking records relating to then-Obama administration’s “coding error” that resulted in masking that most borrowers are failing to pay down their federally-subsidized student loans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Education (No. 1:17-cv-00501)).
The Obama administration’s Obamacare legislation also included provisions that resulted in the federal takeover of the student loan industry, which radically increased taxpayer subsidies of higher education loans.
The Obama Education Department acknowledged in early January that the coding error resulted in wildly inaccurate College Scorecard repayment rates. The significance is substantial, according to The Wall Street Journal:
The department played down the mistake, but the new average three-year repayment rate has declined by 20 percentage points to 46%. This is huge. It means that fewer than half of undergraduate borrowers at the average college are paying down their debt.
Last month the Government Accountability Office (GAO) projected that loan forgiveness for borrowers enrolled in the plans could cost upward of $108 billion. GAO rapped the department for underestimating the costs due to “insufficient quality controls” and “unreasonable assumptions.” It’s possible the putative “coding error” is connected to this ill-management.
As the Journal notes, “The other scandal is that the Obama Administration used the inflated Scorecard repayment data as a pretext to single out for-profit colleges for punitive regulation.”
Judicial Watch filed today’s lawsuit after the department failed to respond to a January 29, 2017, FOIA request for:
- Any records concerning the coding error in the calculation of repayment rate data contained in the College Scorecard, as disclosed on January 13, 2017. . . . Requested records include, but are not limited to, records identifying causes of the coding error and steps taken to correct the error, communications within [the Education Department] regarding the error, communications with third parties concerning the error, and records relating to the public announcement of the error.
The government-run student loan racket is a disaster for taxpayers and has been abused to target for-profit competitors of liberal-controlled “public” universities.
The Trump administration should quickly respond to our FOIA lawsuit about this scandal. The Trump administration has an opportunity to drain the swamp in higher education by exposing the truth about their expensive taxpayer subsidies.
I urge you to tune in as we host a March 30 presentation by U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He will speak on the topic of “Government Oversight Challenges.”
That will be Thursday, March 30 at 2 p.m. You will be able watch the Rep. Chaffetz’s live presentation here.
Until next week,