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Judicial Watch • Weekly Update: New FBI/Clinton Scandal

Weekly Update: New FBI/Clinton Scandal

Weekly Update: New FBI/Clinton Scandal

NOVEMBER 03, 2017

New FBI/Clinton Scandal — FBI Deputy Director McCabe Delayed Recusing Himself from the Clinton Email Case
Conservatives Excluded as Leftists Got $1 Billion from Companies Sued by DOJ
Antifa Attacks Judicial Watch in Court

 

New FBI/Clinton Scandal — FBI Deputy Director McCabe Delayed Recusing Himself from the Clinton Email Case

Often overlooked amid the shenanigans of two former FBI Directors – James Comey and Robert Mueller – are questions about FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was actually acting director for a time after Comey was fired.

Consider the news we broke today. We uncovered Justice Department records showing that McCabe did not recuse himself from the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email server until Tuesday, November 1, 2016, just one week prior to the presidential election! (The Clinton email probe was codenamed “Midyear Exam.”)

While working as Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office, McCabe controlled resources supporting the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. An October 2016 internal FBI memorandum labeled “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” details talking points about McCabe’s various potential conflicts of interest, including the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s illicit server, which officially began in July 2015:

While at [Washington Field Office] did Mr. McCabe provide assistance to the Clinton investigation?

After the referral was made, FBI Headquarters asked the Washington Field Office for personnel to conduct a special investigation. McCabe was serving as [Assistant Director] and provided personnel resources. However, he was not told what the investigation was about. In February 2016 McCabe became Deputy Director and began overseeing the Clinton investigation.

The Overview also shows if asked whether McCabe played any role in his wife’s campaign, the scripted response was: “No. Then-[Assistant Director] McCabe played no role, attended no events and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind.”

In June 2017, Circa reported that social media photos showed “McCabe wearing a T-shirt supporting his wife’s campaign during a public event and then posting a photo on social media urging voters to join him in voting for his wife.” The Justice Department IG is investigating whether McCabe properly disclosed payments to his wife’s campaign on his ethics report, as well as possible Hatch Act violations.

The Overview attempts to deflect concerns regarding the timing of the announcement of Mrs. McCabe’s candidacy in mid-March 2015, fast on the heels of Clinton’s illicit server becoming public knowledge.

The news that Clinton used a private email server broke March 2, 2015. Five days later, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe met with the McCabes to recruit her for a run for the state Senate. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign. Around that time, Gov. McAuliffe would also come under criminal investigation by the FBI.

An April 29, 2015, document titled “Protocol regarding Potential Conflicts of Interest” sent from the Washington Field Office to various FBI officials – and self-approved by McCabe – indicates that he was “consulting with individuals within the Washington Field Office and [FBI headquarters]” prior to the announcement of his wife’s political campaign:

In March 2015, Dr. Jill McCabe announced her candidacy for Virginia State Senate. Dr. McCabe is the wife of Washington Field Office ADIC Andrew McCabe. Prior to Dr. McCabe’s official announcement, the [assistant director] consulted with individuals within [Washington Field Office] and [FBI headquarters] to identify limitations on his participation in her campaign and to identify areas where Dr. McCabe’s campaign may present potential conflicts of interest for the ADIC in WFO investigations and operations[Emphasis added]

While this same document advises against McCabe’s involvement in “all public corruption investigations” concerning the state of Virginia during the campaign, no restrictions are advised in his involvement in Virginia cases following the campaign or his involvement with the Clinton email investigation. Also, it advises with respect to other conflicts of interest the Washington Field Office “will assess all other matters on a case-by-case basis,” and provide a “protocol” for their examination, which would be reviewed by a subordinate of McCabe’s, the Chief Division Counsel.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a July 24, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to an October 24, 2016, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01494)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • All records of communication between FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other FBI or Department of Justice officials regarding ethical issues concerning the involvement of Andrew McCabe and/or his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, in political campaigns;
  • All records related to ethical guidance concerning political activities provided to Deputy Director McCabe by FBI and/or DOJ officials or elements.

(We have more lawsuits about McCabe on related matters, which you can read about here and here.)

The FBI is compromised. Mr. McCabe should have been nowhere near the Hillary Clinton investigations. That he saw fit to recuse himself only days before the election further demonstrates the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was a sham. No wonder it took a year and a federal lawsuit to get these records. And it is well past time for the Justice Department to reopen the Clinton email investigation.

 

Conservatives Excluded as Leftists Got $1 Billion from Companies Sued by DOJ

The Obama administration wasn’t as much a presidential administration as that term is normally used, but rather a radical leftist operation that used the government to further its revolution. It often illegally or illicitly “weaponized” the agencies under its control to advance its agenda. Among the more blatant examples is using the Justice Department to extort money from banks allied with left-wing groups. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the story.

An Obama-era scheme that forced companies sued by the government to fund leftist groups overtly excluded conservative organizations, according to internal Department of Justice (DOJ) records obtained by Judicial Watch. As part of settlements, the DOJ would often give the corporations—mainly big banks—double credit if they gave money to leftwing interest groups handpicked by the administration instead of paying the government. The new records demonstrate a collaborative effort among high-level officials in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General (OAAG) and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to ensure conservative groups did not receive any settlement cash.

The operation is known as a DOJ “slush fund” that filled the coffers of Obama-allied nonprofits such as the National Council of La Raza, Urban League and National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Earlier this year Judicial sued the DOJ for records relating to the problematic Obama administration policy of settling government lawsuits against corporate defendants by requiring that the corporations make “donations” to leftwing interest groups. Back in 2010 Judicial Watch sued the DOJ over a similar program in which the agency’s Civil Rights Division directed large sums of cash settlements in discrimination lawsuits to organization that were not officially connected to the lawsuits. Recipients were also leftist groups that aligned with Obama’s ultra-liberal agenda.

The new batch of DOJ records shed more light on how conservative nonprofits were not only banned from receiving money, but also singled out. One electronic mail from a redacted DOJ source to a pair of officials in the OAAG reads: “Concerns include: a) not allowing Citi to pick a statewide intermediary like the Pacific Legal Foundation (does conservative property-rights free legal services) …” Another email, from the same OAAG officials to the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) says: “Here are some examples of consumer relief items that we believe require the banks to do more than they would be economically motivated to do on their own in Citi…” The examples are redacted but one line reads: “Make donations to categories of entities we have specified (as opposed to what the bank might normally choose to donate to).”

A House Judiciary Committee investigation determined earlier this year that the DOJ used the mandatory donations to direct almost a billion dollars to liberal activist groups in just two years. It gets better. The congressional probe found that “activist groups which stood to gain from mandatory donation provisions were involved in placing those provisions in the settlements.”

Thankfully, Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions put an end to the madness over the summer, writing in a memo that the DOJ will no longer engage in the practice. “Effective immediately, Department attorneys may not enter into any agreement on behalf of the United States in settlement of federal claims or charges, including agreements settling civil litigation, accepting plea agreements, or deferring or declining prosecution in a criminal matter, that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.”

A new administration could reverse the directive however, so the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, introduced a bill that will ban all federal agencies from funneling money to third parties that weren’t victims in government lawsuits. The measure appears to have bipartisan support and does not affect payments to provide restitution to victims that have suffered harm. “It was obvious from the outset that mandatory donation provisions create opportunities for abuse,” Congressman Goodlatte says in a statement. “That such abuses actually occurred is now proven.”

The Obama administration also used the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a political tool to target conservatives. Judicial Watch uncovered that major scandal and sued to obtain droves of government documents that show how the agency singled out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as patriot and Tea Party in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status. The Obama IRS also illegally colluded with another government agency—the Federal Election Commission (FEC)—to crack down on conservative nonprofits during the 2012 election cycle.

Thankfully, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sees these abuses for what they are and is moving to put an end to them.

 

Antifa Attacks Judicial Watch in Court

This is a new one.  The radical and often violent Antifa movement is trying to stop a simple Judicial Watch FOIA from going forward in Berkley, California.  Our blog has the details:

A Judicial Watch record request has fueled a tense legal drama between a middle school teacher who is a national organizer for a radical leftist group and the public district that employs her. The conflict ensued a few weeks ago when Judicial Watch filed a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request with the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) to obtain information about the controversial teacher’s violent Antifa activism.

The teacher, Yvette Felarca, works at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and is a prominent figure in By Any Means Necessary ( (BAMN), an organized militant group founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League that uses raucous militant tactics to protest conservative speaking engagements. Over the summer Felarca was arrested and charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento, according to information provided by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office to a Berkeley news outlet. Felarca was captured on video calling a man a Nazi and punching him in the stomach repeatedly while shouting obscenities at him. More than a dozen people were injured in the riot, at least 10 with stab wounds, and the capitol grounds suffered thousands of dollars in property damage.

BUSD has accused Felarca of brainwashing and indoctrinating students for years and in a 2016 letter cited in a local news article the district writes that her performance “reflected unprofessional conduct and unsatisfactory performance,” both grounds for dismissal. The teacher repeatedly solicited students to participate in protests, used students to support her own personal political agenda and repeatedly used leave time to attend immigrant rights marches in Washington D.C., even though the district says it is not an allowable use for personal or sick leave. “It was evident that you and your [By Any Means Necessary] representatives were actively trying to brainwash and manipulate these young people to serve your own selfish interests in not being held accountable to the same rules that apply to everyone else,” the letter states. “As a teacher, your conduct was particularly reprehensible.” Earlier this year the district was bombarded with calls to fire the combative teacher.

Judicial Watch filed the CPRA to obtain records of communication between district administrators and King Middle School staff mentioning the words Felarca, Antifa, By All Means Necessary and BAMN as well as the teacher’s personnel file. Last week BUSD Superintendent Donald Evans reluctantly announced  that he will comply with Judicial Watch’s request for the records because he is legally required to do so. Evans writes that it’s possible Judicial Watch is conducting a “witch hunt” to intimidate and deny free speech rights, but mentions the bottom line: The law is clear that a public agency’s refusal to comply with a lawful request may result in substantial litigation costs and attorney’s fees imposed on the agency for its refusal to comply. The superintendent reminds that “courts have made clear that the motivation of the requestor seeking public records under the CPRA is not a basis to reject a request — no matter how upsetting the request may be, or how objectionable the motivation for the request may be.”

Felarca responded by suing the district to keep it from fulfilling its legal obligation to provide Judicial Watch with the records. A King Middle School staffer named Lori Nixon and a teacher, Larry Stefl, joined her in the complaint, which argues that Judicial Watch is misusing the law for political means and the district should refuse to provide the information. It also calls Judicial Watch’s record request “illegal.” Evans, BUSD and King Middle School Principal Janet Levenson are named in the complaint. “Judicial Watch and BUSD seek to put on public display the emails of teachers and staff at MLKMS, a school community that has been defending Felarca and the city of Berkeley from right-wing attack,” the teacher’s complaint states. “Defendant seeks to conduct a political witch-hunt, violating Plaintiffs’ privacy and chill their freedom of speech, freedom of association, and right to engage in protected activities and disrupts their public function as educators.”

The court document explains that “Berkeley has found itself at ground zero in the fight against Donald Trump’s policies of anti-immigrant scapegoating and tendency toward creating an authoritarian regime.” Berkeley is at the center of opposing the alt-right and neo-Nazi thugs who have repeatedly targeted the city precisely because of its principles of anti-racism, tolerance and freedom of speech, the filing says. “This case will have tremendous impact on the future course of this struggle.”

Our legal team is evaluating the legal filings as we consider our options. We will keep you updated….

 

Until next week …