Skip to content

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Because no one
is above the law!

Donate

Tom Fitton's Weekly Update

Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Seth Rich Records

Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Seth Rich Records
How the NIH Bought Fetal Parts for ‘Humanized Mice’ Testing
Rod Rosenstein’s Cozy Communications with Obama Officials and Media


Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Seth Rich Records

I know many Americans remain concerned about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

We know that the Seth Rich controversy came up in Peter Strzok-Lisa Page emails we just uncovered. In a heavily redacted August 10, 2016, email exchange, Strzok sends Page a forwarded message from unidentified agents from the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) discussing Rich.

A public affairs official whose name was redacted opens the WFO email chain, writing:

Various news outlets are reporting today that Julian Assange suggested during a recent overseas interview that DNC Staffer, Seth Rich was a Wikileaks source, and may have been killed because he leaked the DNC e-mails to his organization, and that Wikileak’s was offering $20,000 for information regarding Rich’s death last month. Based on this news, we anticipate additional press coverage on this matter. I hear that you are in class today; however, when you have a moment, can you please give me a call to discuss what involvement the Bureau has in the investigation.

An unidentified WFO agent responds: “I’m aware of this reporting from earlier this week but not any specific involvement in any related case.”

An unidentified WFO agent subsequently writes deputy assistant director in the bureau’s Counterintelligence Division Jonathan Moffa and Strzok: “Just FYSA. I squashed this with [redacted]”.

Strzok then forwards the email chain to Page.

Now, seeking the full truth, we have filed a FOIA lawsuit against the FBI for all records related to Rich, who was the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Voter Expansion Data Director.

Rich, 27, was murdered on July 10, 2016, according to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. The DC police reported that Rich was killed at approximately 4:19 a.m. in the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW, Washington, DC.

No one has been charged in connection with Rich’s death. The DC police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

We filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI failed to respond to our July 26, 2019, FOIA request seeking all records related to Rich and his murder (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:20-cv-00385)).

There is significant public interest in the Seth Rich murder, and the FBI’s game-playing on document production in this case is inexcusable.


How the NIH Bought Fetal Parts for ‘Humanized Mice’ Testing

As a result of a Judicial Watch lawsuit, we received 676 pages of records from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showing that the agency paid thousands of dollars to a California-based firm to purchase organs from aborted human fetuses to create “humanized mice” for HIV research.

In March 2019 we filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services for all contracts and related documentation between the FDA and Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)).

The records show that NIH paid at least $18,100 between December 2016 and August 2018 to Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) for livers and thymuses from second trimester aborted fetuses. They include at least 26 such purchases from ABR by Dr. Kim Hasenkrug, senior investigator at the NIH lab in Hamilton, Montana.

Purchase orders associated with the transactions state: “These tissues, liver and thymus, are required [by] Ron Messer for ongoing studies of HIV in the Hasenkrug Lab. Our mice will be ready for reconstitution soon.”

Beginning with a December 21, 2016, payment to ABR and running through April 2018, the records show that a fetal liver and thymus set costs $680, and payment was due upon receipt. On May 23, 2018, the cost increased to $750.

The records also include “Tissue Acquisition Invoices” and sales receipts issued by ABR. Payment was made by credit card.

ABR has been the subject of criminal referrals from House and Senate committees investigating whether Planned Parenthood or any other entity was illegally profiting from the handling of fetal tissue from aborted babies.

Federal law regulates the purchase and acceptance of human fetal tissue for research purposes.  It is unlawful to knowingly transfer fetal tissue for profit. According to the records, agency officials concluded in March 2018 that: “Federal regulations for the protection of human subjects do not apply to above named activity.”

The records include a November 2009 “Request for Review of Research Activity Involving Human Subjects” with the protocol title “Study of HIV infection and vaccine protection in mice reconstituted with a human immune system” that describes the development of a “cohort” of humanized mice using human fetal tissue:

Recent reports have demonstrated that immunodeficient mice reconstituted with 17-19 week old human fetal tissue develop a human immune system and are susceptible to HIV infection and disease. The goal of this project proposal is to create such humanized mice to study the role of immune cell subsets and virus-neutralizing antibodies in vaccine protection. The experiments will entail the development of a cohort of mice all reconstituted with the same human cells so as to be histocompatible. This will require transplantation of the mice with 1 mm3 pieces of fetal thymus as well as reconstitution with stem cells isolated from cord blood and liver. Once the humanized mice have been established, some will be vaccinated to prime distinct subsets of immune cells. Immune cell subsets from vaccinated mice will be adoptively transferred into naive mice, which will then be infected with HIV to test the antiviral activity of the immune cells. The goal of these experiments is to establish correlates of immunity against HIV.

In an “Overview” provided by Advanced Bioscience Resources, the firm describes itself as a “non-profit corporate foundation” which is “devoted to providing services in connection with the procurement of human organs and tissues for medical and scientific research.”

In Hasenkrug’s November 2009 “Request for Review of Research Activity Involving Human Subjects,” he is asked: “Where are the subjects of this research activity located?” Hasenkrug answers: “The material for this research is obtained from natural or induced abortions from females in California.” Another question is: “Has the research activity that you are proposing in this form been approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) elsewhere?” Hasenkrug answers: “No IRB review of the research activity … has taken place.”

The records include a November 2009 email from the deputy director of the Office of Human Subject Research (OHSR) in Bethesda, MD, to Hasenkrug at the NIH lab, approving his research project and instructing him: “Provide documentation that you will not seek the identity of the subjects who have provided the samples you will receive as well as documentation from ABR that under no circumstances will the identity or link to the identifiers of the subjects be released to you.” The signature block concluding the email includes the phrase: “The NIH is committed to maintaining the highest stands for the protection of human subjects.”

The Advanced Bioscience Resources’ “Tissue Acquisition Invoices” are a catalog of horrors. I’ve detailed them below for you:

On December 21, 2016, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by credit card on January 10, 2017. The “justification” states: “These tissues, liver and thymus, are required [by] Ron Messer for ongoing studies of HIV in Hasenkrug Lab. Our mice will be ready for reconstitution soon.”

On January 25, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in February 2017.

On February 8, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on February 15, 2017.

On March 9, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on March 24, 2017.

On March 30, 2017, ABR provided a second trimester thymus and liver to Hasenkrug’s lab at no charge due to a “delivery delay.” The parts were needed by March 17, 2017 and NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was to have been charged $680 but the parts weren’t delivered until April 19, 2017.

On April 20, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in May 2017.

On May 17, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on May 19, 2017.

On June 28, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were received on May 30, 2017.

On July 5, 2017, a redacted NIH employee placed an order for a second trimester liver and thymus on behalf of Ron Messer. NIH redacted the price from the email, citing confidential commercial information. However, the $680 price is included in the purchase order. The tissues were delivered on August 21, 2017.

On August 10, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in September 2017.

On August 24, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in September 2017.

On September 21, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in October 2017.

On October 5, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on October 24, 2017.

On October 26, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in November 2017.

On December 13, 2017, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by credit card on December 22, 2017.

On January 3, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on January 11, 2018.

On January25, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on January 30, 2018.

On February 7, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on February 16, 2018.

On March 1, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on March 16, 2018.

April 4, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $680 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on April 18, 2018.

On May 23, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $750 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card in June 2018.

On May 31, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $750 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa card on June 26, 2018.

On June 27, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $750 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by credit card and delivered on July 10, 2018.

On August 15, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $750 for a second trimester thymus and liver, which were paid for by Visa and delivered on August 23, 2018.

On August 10, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs ordered a second trimester liver and thymus and paid $750 by credit card. They were to be delivered on September 10, 2018.

On September 6, 2018, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Labs was billed $750 for a second trimester liver and thymus, which was paid for by Visa on September 14, 2018.

These records detailing the federal government’s purchases of organs of aborted fetuses are the most disturbing I’ve ever seen in all my time at Judicial Watch. Every responsible official in government – from President Trump to HHS Secretary Azar – should investigate and stop the trafficking of organs of aborted unborn human beings for taxpayer-funded Frankenstein-type experimentation.


Rod Rosenstein’s Cozy Communications with Obama Officials and Media

Emails were flying at the DOJ in the days surrounding Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel to go after President Trump.

We have received 382 pages of documents showing former Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s communications with former Obama officials, including Eric Holder, and information sharing with the media in the days immediately surrounding the inception of the Mueller investigation.

We obtained these documents in response to a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawsuit we filed against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records of communications of Rosenstein between May 8 and May 17, 2017 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00481)).

Here’s some of what we found.

On May 15, 2017, Public Affairs Specialist Marsha Murphy sends Rosenstein an email with the subject line “Eric Holder just called for you.” The message says: “Please call him.”

On May 16, 2017, U.S. Attorney John Huber wrote to Rosenstein: “Rod, We’re proud of you.” Later that year, Huber was chosen by then-Attorney General Sessions to head up the Clinton Foundation investigation.

(On May 17, 2017, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller special counsel.)

The documents reveal that Rosenstein had communications with Washington Post reporter Sari Horwitz that included multiple off-the-record calls, information sharing, and smoothing over arguments with the DOJ press office.

In an email exchange on May 12, 2017, with the subject line “Off the record” Horwitz complains to Rosenstein about then-DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores yelling at her and the Washington Post’s national security editor and calling a story of theirs “bullshit.” Rosenstein replies, “I will talk to Sarah.” Horwitz adds that she is “around all night if [Rosenstein wants] to talk off the record.”

In an email exchange between May 13-16, 2017, Horwitz requests that they speak off the record again. Rosenstein replied by sending her a link to a story about him in The Baltimore Sun.

On May 18, 2017, Horwitz emails Rosenstein with the subject line, “Urgent” to ask him about President Trump being the focus of an FBI investigation: “The Washington Post has been told by very good sources that President Trump is now a focus of the FBI investigation Can I please talk to you as soon as possible on deep background?”

On May 15, 2017, Rosenstein received an email from Katherine Davis, likely the 60 Minutes producer. In it, she states: “I hope you’re handling all of this craziness this week. Am sure you are. Much to discuss. FBI finalists. And whether you are considering recusing (hoping not but lmk) Lmk when I can come and visit. Next week? You know where to reach me in the meantime.”

In the days surrounding the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Rosenstein received calls from multiple emails of support from former senior Obama administration officials.

On May 12, 2017, Rosenstein received an email from former Obama Special Counsel Jonathan Su: Hi Rod: I know there’s a lot going on right now, but I wanted to send you a note of support. If there’ s anything I can do to be of help, please let me know. Hope you hang in there.”

On May 13, 2017, he received a similar supportive email from former Obama White House Deputy Associate Counsel Mike Leotta with the subject line “Thinking of you and your family.” The message says: “I hope you’re hanging in there, [redacted] despite all the press attention, attacks, and contradictory claims.”

On May 14, 2017, Rosenstein emailed Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Senior D.C. District Court Judge John D. Bates’ cell phone number, three days before the appointment of Robert Mueller.

On May 16, 2017, Rosenstein received a supportive email from former Obama Deputy Attorney General, James Cole: “You have the right approach. I always found that if you concentrated on doing your job (protecting the constitution) your reputation takes care of itself.”

On May 16, 2017, the day before Mueller was appointed, scheduling emails indicate that Rosenstein spoke with both Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI).

The day after the special counsel appointment, on May 18, 2017, Judge Bates sent an email to Rosenstein with the subject line “Great move” and the message “Well done.”

On May 20, 2017, Rosenstein requests a phone call with Obama’s former Principal Deputy Solicitor General, Neal Katyal, who was also Al Gore’s co-counsel in Bush v. Gore and recently published the book, Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump.

These astonishing emails show that Rod Rosenstein had many Obama/Clinton and media friends supporting him around the time he infamously appointed Robert Mueller.

And these records are the latest in Judicial Watch’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Rosenstein.

In October 2019, we released Rosenstein’s communications from this lawsuit that included a one-line email Mueller stating: “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions”, as well as “off the record” emails with major media outlets around the date of Mueller’s appointment.

In September 2019, through a separate lawsuit, we released records from the Department of Justice showing officials’ efforts in responding to media inquiries about DOJ/FBI talks allegedly invoking the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump from office and Rosenstein offering to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with the president.

Later that month, we uncovered a two-page memo, dated May 16, 2017, by then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe detailing how Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire into the Oval Office “to collect additional evidence on the president’s true intentions.” McCabe wrote that Rosenstein said he thought it was possible because “he was not searched when he entered the White House.”

Rosenstein was better than some at covering his tracks, but his career has been swallowed in the sinkhole enveloping all those who crafted the conspiracy to unseat the President.

Until next week …