Weekly Update: Court Victory!
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
Nearly three years ago, Judicial Watch lawsuits forced the Obama administration to disclose Hillary Clinton’s use of unauthorized electronic devices to conduct government business. Incredibly, we’re still fighting for basic information to this day – and against agencies nominally being run by appointees of President Donald Trump.
But we continue to make progress in our historic Clinton investigations. For example, we announced this week that a federal judge will personally review, in camera, redacted material from emails discussing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s request for use of iPads and iPhones during her tenure at the State Department.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly also ordered the State Department to file an affidavit addressing why it should not have to search new Clinton emails. In taking these steps, the court rejected arguments by the Tillerson State Department and its lawyers at the Sessions Justice Department.
The court will review the blacked-out information so as to better ascertain whether the government misconduct exception would require the release of the full emails. Generally speaking, the government misconduct exception prevents government agencies from withholding information that would shed light on government wrongdoing under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The September 21 court order comes in connection with an April 28, 2015, FOIA lawsuit filed after the State Department failed to respond to a March 10, 2015, request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00646)). Judicial Watch is seeking:
- All records of requests by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or her staff to the State Department Office Security Technology seeking approval for the use of an iPad or iPhone for official government business; and
- All communications within or between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Executive Secretariat, and the Office of the Secretary and the Office of Security Technology concerning, regarding, or related to the use of unauthorized electronic devices for official government business.
In March 2016, we obtained State Department documents in this case showing Cheryl Mills’ (Clinton’s then-chief of staff) efforts with the National Security Agency to address Clinton’s demands for a secure BlackBerry.
In a related case, we released an email showing that National Security Agency personnel had denied Clinton’s requests for a BlackBerry, telling Clinton staff to “shut up and color.”
If the Justice Department ever gets the proper leadership on this core corruption issue, you can see that your JW has laid a compelling pathway for a serious criminal investigation.
Hillary Clinton knowingly used an unsecure email system and risky iPads and smartphones to conduct classified and sensitive government business.
And it is frankly outrageous that Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions allow their agencies to cover up for and defend Hillary Clinton’s scandalous and potentially criminal conduct. JW will keep the battles up in court and will continue to educate Americans about the lack of action by these Trump agencies. I am hopeful we will get a breakthrough, so stay tuned for future updates.
Lest you think the debate over immigration policy is an academic exercise, we have recently gotten more details on what it costs you in dollars. Our Corruption Chronicles blog breaks it down.
Illegal immigration costs American taxpayers a mind-boggling $134.9 billion annually, according to a detailed analysis of federal, state and local programs that include education, medical, law enforcement and welfare.
Conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Washington D.C. nonprofit dedicated to studying immigration issues, the in-depth probe reveals that state and local taxpayers get stuck with an overwhelming chunk—$116 billion—of the burden. State and local expenditures for services provided to illegal aliens total $88.9 billion and federal expenditures $45.8 billion, the analysis found. For those who claim illegal immigrants contribute by paying taxes, government figures show that only $19 billion was recouped by Uncle Sam.
“A continually growing population of illegal aliens, along with the federal government’s ineffective efforts to secure our borders, present significant national security and public safety threats to the United States,” the FAIR report states. “They also have a severely negative impact on the nation’s taxpayers at the local, state, and national levels. Illegal immigration costs Americans billions of dollars each year. Illegal aliens are net consumers of taxpayer-funded services and the limited taxes paid by some segments of the illegal alien population are, in no way, significant enough to offset the growing financial burdens imposed on U.S. taxpayers by massive numbers of uninvited guests.” This defies a myth, long promoted by influential open border groups, that illegal aliens pay their fair share of taxes.
More than 12.5 million illegal immigrants and their estimated 4.2 million citizen children benefit from the U.S. government’s generosity. The biggest expenditure ($17.14 billion) on the federal level is for medical services, which include uncompensated hospital costs, Medicaid births, Medicaid fraud and Medicaid benefits for U.S.-born children (anchor babies) of illegal immigrants. The second-largest federal expenditure is law enforcement and justice ($13.15 billion), which includes incarceration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations and an alien assistance program.
The feds spend $8 billion on general government programs and $5.85 billion on welfare, which consists of free school meals, food stamps, a supplemental nutrition program known as Women Infants and Children (WIC) and temporary assistance for needy families. FAIR points out the profound impact that illegal immigration has on programs intended to provide services exclusively to low-income Americans.
For state and local governments education is by far the largest expense, an eye-popping $44.4 billion that goes mostly to K-12 public schools nationwide, though over a billion of it is spent on college tuition assistance. General public services, described as expenses associated with garbage collection, fire departments and other locally funded services total $18.5 billion for illegal aliens, the analysis found. Medical expenses came in third ($12.1 billion) for state and local governments and law enforcement ($10.8 billion) in fourth.
FAIR researchers determined that a large percentage of illegal aliens work in the underground economy and frequently avoid paying income tax, leaving law-abiding, taxpaying Americans to foot the exorbitant tab for public services. The report also breaks down expenditures by state, with the top four spenders providing illegal alien benefits being California ($23 billion), Texas ($10.9 billion), New York ($7.5 billion) and Florida ($6.3 billion).
Over the years, Judicial Watch has reported on a variety of studies and assessments involving the huge cost of supporting illegal immigrants, but this appears to be the most thorough and alarming study in recent memory. The breakdown, by category of state and federal services, offers an incredibly detailed account of a major crisis perpetuated by a famously porous southern border.
As FAIR writes in its report, it’s not just about money, though the cost of supporting illegal immigrants should outrage every legal U.S. resident and American citizen. “A continually growing population of illegal aliens, along with the federal government’s ineffective efforts to secure our borders, present significant national security and public safety threats to the United States,” FAIR writes. Judicial Watch has also extensively covered the dire national security crisis along the Mexican border, including an investigative series documenting how Islamic terrorists have joined forces with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate—and attack—the United States.
Those who are proud of their sanctuary city lawlessness should be held accountable. We are all paying for it. Follow the money.
Until next week …