Judicial Watch vs. Schiff!
Judicial Watch vs Schiff!
In 2019 Rep. Adam Schiff, Chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, secretly issued congressional subpoenas for phone records as part of his impeachment abuses President Trump.
We filed a FOIA lawsuit, Judicial Watch v. v Adam Schiff and U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (No. 1:19-03790)), requesting the subpoenas issued by the Committee on or about September 30, 2019.
A lower court ruling in our suit upheld the secrecy of the subpoenas. We of course challenged that in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A hearing was held on March 24, and this week we released a transcript of the oral arguments.
Our lawsuit sought the controversial impeachment-related subpoenas for phone records, including those of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer. (Schiff and the Committee are being represented, using your tax dollars, by the Office of General Counsel for the House of Representatives.)
The subpoenas led to the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devin Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.
Schiff and the Committee claim “sovereign immunity;” “Speech or Debate Clause” privilege; immunity from FOIA and transparency law; that the records are secret; and that Judicial Watch and the public do not need to see them. We are appealing the lower court decision, which suggested that Schiff and the House have “absolute” immunity from inquiries about the subpoenas.
Our senior attorney James Peterson argued to the three-judge panel:
This case is about shedding light on unprecedented and illegitimate congressional subpoenas. The extraordinary subpoenas at issue represent a supposedly unlimited government surveillance power and an unlimited ability by Congress to, at their whim, invade the privacy of any American.
Congressman Schiff secretly subpoenaed the phone records of a number of private citizens from telephone companies. He did not provide notice to these individuals in advance that their phone records were being sought. He did not subpoena the phone records directly from the citizens. Instead, he subpoenaed the phone companies for the records, preventing any opportunity for the private citizens to seek court review, as would happen in any other case in where the government is seeking this kind of information about any citizen.
In response to a House attorney’s argument that the materials be kept secret to protect the privacy of the targets of the subpoenas, one of the appellate judges remarked:
Well, I do think it’s, if not ironic, noteworthy that one of the interests you’ve just put forward is the invasion of privacy when the whole claim of Judicial Watch is that this Committee invaded the privacy of private citizens in the first place.
The Pelosi/Schiff House asserts it has an unlimited government surveillance power and an unlimited ability to invade the privacy of any American with zero accountability and transparency. The courts should reject Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi’s corrupt cover-up of the unconstitutional subpoenas that abused the civil rights of then-President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, journalists and other American citizens.
Judicial Watch Sues for Record About Reparations Program in Evanston, Illinois
One major agenda item for the extremist Left is “reparations” for slavery. To advance this radical agenda, the city of Evanston, Illinois pushed forward a reparations program that raises significant legal and constitutional concerns. Judicial Watch just filed an Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the city for records about its controversial, taxpayer-funded “reparations” program (Judicial Watch v. City of Evanston (No. 2021 CH 01761)).
On March 22, 2021, the Evanston City Council adopted Resolution 37-R27, authorizing the implementation of the Evanston Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program and Program Budget. The program allocated $10 million to provide $25,000 to Black/African American individuals who are either Evanston residents or direct descendants of Evanston residents to the exclusion of all other residents or direct descendants of residents.
Concerned that this program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as other state and federal laws, we opened an investigation into the program and requested information under the Illinois FOIA. Specifically, we requested:
A. Records identifying discriminatory housing policies and practices that the Restorative Housing Reparations Program seeks to remedy;
B. Records identifying the ways in which the Restorative Housing Reparations Program will remedy discriminatory housing policies and practices;
C. Records identifying all methods of remedying discriminatory housing policies and practices the Evanston City Council examined before enacting the Restorative Housing Reparations Program;
D. Records identifying all reasons why the Evanston City Council enacted the Restorative Housing Reparations Program instead of any alternative method of remedying discriminatory housing policies and practices;
E. Records relating to the development of criteria by which recipients of Restorative Housing Reparations Program funds will be selected;
F. Records identifying the ways in which providing Restorative Housing Reparations Program funds to the selected recipients will remedy discriminatory housing policies and practices; and
G. Records relating to any other discrimination of any kind, regardless of racial group, the Evanston City Council considered remedying as part of the Restorative Housing Reparations Program or any other proposed reparation programs.
After Evanston officials failed to search for and provide the requested records, we sued in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Our Illinois lawyer is Christine Svenson of Svenson Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois.
A government program that provides taxpayer money to individuals based on race plainly violates the law. The City of Evanston is unlawfully hiding records about its extremist reparations program that will spend tax dollars in a racially discriminatory manner.
Dozens Released From Gitmo Who Resumed Terrorism Remain At Large
We can only wonder what our national security bureaucrats are thinking — if they’re thinking at all — when we watch them carelessly deal with Islamist terrorists who have been captured and then let go, only to return to their chosen trade. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the latest.
Dozens of captives verified by the U.S. to reengage in terrorist activity after being released from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay are at large, a recently declassified intelligence report reveals. Recidivism among detainees freed from the compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba—also known as Gitmo or GTMO—is nothing new and has been well documented for years by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). In its latest disturbing update, ODNI discloses that the whereabouts of 69 former Gitmo detainees that the government is certain returned to terrorism is unknown.
In all, 729 detainees have been released from Gitmo since the prison opened nearly two decades ago and the ODNI says 125 have been confirmed as reengaging in terrorism, though the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) put the figure at 130. The top security facility houses the world’s most dangerous Islamic terrorists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. “Based on trends identified during the past 17 years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred,” the latest ODNI report states, reiterating language used in past reports. “Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations could pose an increased risk of reengagement.”
There has been no shortage of examples of Gitmo captives rejoining terrorist missions after the U.S. let them go. Judicial Watch has reported on it extensively after obtaining both domestic and international documents involving the matter. Examples of recidivism among freed Gitmo jihadists include dozens who have rejoined Al Qaeda in Yemen, the country where the 2009 Christmas Day airline bomber proudly trained, and several high-ranking Al Qaeda militants in Yemen involved in a sophisticated scheme to send bombs on a U.S.-bound cargo plane. A Gitmo alum named Mullah Abdul Rauf, who once led a Taliban unit, established the first Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) base in Afghanistan. Another, Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar, was arrested in France as part of a terrorist cell that operated an ISIS recruiting network. The Obama administration released Lahmar even though his Department of Defense (DOD) file says he has links to “multiple terrorist plots” and as a member of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) plotted with Al Qaeda to attack the United States Embassy in Sarajevo.
The George W. Bush administration also released quite a few Gitmo captives confirmed by the ODNI to be “directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.” Among them is a Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, repatriated under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reforms Gitmo jihadists but instead has served as a training camp for future terrorists. Years after releasing al-Rubaysh, a known Al Qaeda operative, the U.S. government put him on a global terrorist list and offered $5 million for information on his whereabouts! The State Department even classified the “senior leader” of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. “He serves as a senior advisor for AQAP operational planning and is involved in the planning of attacks,” according to a State Department announcement. “He has served as a senior AQAP sharia official since 2013, and as a senior AQAP sharia official, al-Rubaysh provides the justification for attacks conducted by AQAP. In addition, he has made public statements, including one in August 2014 where he called on Muslims to wage war against the United States.”
Just a few months ago, the DOD cleared for release an Al Qaeda operative classified as a “forever prisoner” because he was once considered too dangerous to be freed. His name is Said Salih Said Nashir and his DOD file says he has ties to 9/11 conspirator Walid Bin Attash and trained at the infamous al-Faruq camp in Afghanistan to participate in terrorist operations against U.S. forces in Karachi, Pakistan and inside the U.S. The document labels Nashir a high risk likely to pose a threat to the U.S. A few years ago the Office of Military Commission’s parole board denied the Yemen national release, determining that “continued law of war detention of the detainee remains necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States.”
Until next week,