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 Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Biden Corruption Update

America Needs to Know the Truth About Biden Family’s Corruption
Senator Asks IRS to Strip Conservative Group of Nonprofit Status
Ballot Harvesting Legal Battle: Judicial Watch Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Arizona’s Electoral Integrity Laws
Judicial Watch Asks Supreme Court to Require Clinton Email Testimony
Soros-Funded Group to Provide ‘Mandatory Implicit Bias Training’ for L.A. City Workers

America Needs to Know the Truth About Biden Family’s Corruption

The Biden scandals didn’t disappear when Joe Biden entered the Oval Office, as I wrote in this op-ed for The Washington Times:

A president takes office amidst charges of family corruption and shady business dealings with a country connected to interfering in the very election that put him in the White House. Sound familiar?

The false narrative that Democrats concocted to hobble the Trump administration four years ago is now the real deal with Joe Biden and his family. And unlike President Trump, who faced unprecedented institutional resistance and Deep State resistance, President Biden can likely count on the Justice Department and the media to allow him to escape meaningful scrutiny.

Judicial Watch recently started a petition at Change.org asking the Department of Justice immediately to appoint a special counsel to investigate Biden family dealings in China, Ukraine and other countries. There is substantial evidence, from documents and witness statements, that the Biden family, including President Joe Biden, may have been involved in criminal activity with foreign entities tied to Ukraine and China. In just a few days the petition has garnered nearly 200,000 signatures. 

Judicial Watch uncovered documents that show even as far back as the Obama administration Russia-linked media in Ukraine were “trolling” Joe Biden over “his son’s business.” Mr. Biden’s son Hunter has acknowledged that he is the target of an FBI criminal investigation. Any investigation should involve alleged money laundering, influence peddling and tax violations among other shady activities.

A special counsel is required because the Justice Department and its FBI are conflicted in investigating any matters that could implicate the president and/or his immediate family in criminal activity. As Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said recently, “if there were ever circumstances that create a conflict of interest and call for a special counsel, that’s here.” Justice Department regulations that were abused to appoint a special counsel to harass then-President Trump actually do fairly apply to the Biden situation. A special counsel is required by Justice regulations when:

(a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances; and

(b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.

The matter is urgent. Americans just learned that communist China was actively involved in the 2020 presidential election. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, in a letter transmitted to Congress, concluded that “based on all available sources of intelligence, with definitions consistently applied, and reached independent of political considerations or undue pressure — that the People’s Republic of China sought to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”

Chinese efforts to interfere in the 2020 election might have been better known before election days but for Deep State resistance. Intelligence Community Ombudsman Barry Zulauf found that CIA analysts were reluctant to reveal China’s malign actions because they were opposed to the Trump administration, and were “saying in effect, I don’t want our intelligence used to support those policies.” In fact, “strong efforts” were made last summer to suppress analysts who wanted to expose the full range of Chinese efforts to swing the election to Mr. Biden.

We are already seeing China indirectly benefitting from Biden policies. Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline will divert Canadian oil west to the petroleum-hungry People’s Republic. Re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement gives political cover to China’s excessively polluting dirty coal industry, in which Hunter Biden is heavily invested. Mr. Biden’s State Department on Day One removed a page on its web site that contained a comprehensive assessment of the threats China poses to the U.S. and its allies, and an emboldened Beijing slapped outrageous sanctions on outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 other former Trump officials. Does China have corrupt leverage over President Biden?

Given the years of investigations costing millions of dollars to delve into fake Russia collusion accusations against Trump world, the American people deserve to know what China was up to with Joe Biden, especially when Beijing had already shelled out millions of dollars to Biden family members — including millions in set-asides for “the big guy.” What else is on that infamous Hunter Biden laptop? The conflicted Biden Justice Department cannot be trusted to engage in any meaningful oversight on this issue. We need a special counsel now.


Senator Asks IRS to Strip Conservative Group of Nonprofit Status 

One of the scandals of the Obama administration thrown down the memory hole was the use of the IRS to target political opponents. Not surprisingly, that tactic is coming back in the administration of Obama’s underling. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the details of this renewed misuse of the IRS:

Reminiscent of the Obama Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) witch hunt of conservative groups, a U.S. Senator who sits on the committee that oversees the tax agency is pushing it to revoke a student charity’s nonprofit status. The veteran lawmaker, Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, says the conservative student organization, Turning Point USA, should lose its nonprofit rating because it held large events that could help spread COVID-19. In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig the senator describes the gatherings as “superspreader” events. He specifically mentions a Palm Beach, Florida winter gala at the Mar-a-Lago Club famously owned by former President Donald Trump.

“According to press reports and social media posts, many participants gathered and mingled indoors without wearing masks, in violation of Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 regulations,” Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, writes to the IRS chief. The powerful chamber has oversight over the IRS, among many other government agencies. “In holding these ‘superspreader’ events, Turning Point USA knowingly exposed hundreds of young people and staff working at the events to serious risk of infection,” the letter continues. The legislator asks the IRS to review whether the group, which has more than 250,000 student members, should continue to enjoy its tax-exempt nonprofit status. “Established law has long held that an organization is not eligible for tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) if a purpose of the organization is contrary to public policy or is illegal,” the letter states, reminding the IRS commissioner of a three-part test established to determine whether an organization’s activities are consistent with tax exemption under the code.

The analysis includes determining whether the purpose of the organization is charitable, if activities are not illegal and whether the activities are in furtherance to the group’s exempt purpose and are reasonably related to that purpose. “Turning Point USA’s reckless decision to host potential ‘superspreader’ events, in open violation of local COVID-19 regulations, put children and others at risk, and was clearly contrary to the public good,” the senator tells the IRS commissioner. “Tax-exempt status provides a substantial benefit to charitable organizations and reflects the federal government’s endorsement of an organization’s activities. Organizations that knowingly put in danger minors entrusted to their care should not enjoy the benefits of tax-exempt status. Accordingly, I urge the IRS to review whether it should revoke Turning Point USA’s tax-exempt status.”

Founded in 2012, Turning Point USA describes itself as a national student movement dedicated to identifying, organizing, and empowering young people to promote the principles of free markets and limited government. The group’s founder, 27-year-old Charlie Kirk, was the chairman of Students for Trump, which aimed to activate a million new college voters before the 2020 presidential election. In a press release announcing the letter to the IRS, Whitehouse refers to the group as a “right-wing nonprofit” that “promotes far-right ideas to young people around the country.” The document, posted on the senator’s official website, further states that Turning Point USA “has cultivated close ties to President Trump and the Trump family.”

The senator’s push to repeal the conservative charity’s nonprofit status brings back memories of the Obama IRS singling out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as “patriot” and “Tea Party” in their titles when applying for tax-exempt benefits. Judicial Watch launched an investigation and sued for records after an explosive Treasury Inspector General report revealed that in 2010 the IRS began using inappropriate criteria, such as lists of past and future donors, to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status. The illegal IRS reviews continued for more than 18 months, according to the report, and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” preparing for the 2012 presidential election. The IRS director at the center of the scheme, Lois Lerner, not only broke agency rules—as well as the law—to target conservative organizations she also lied to Congress to cover up the wrongdoing.

Ballot Harvesting Legal Battle: Judicial Watch Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Arizona’s Electoral Integrity Laws

The legal battles for clean and fair elections continue – and Judicial Watch is front and center advocating for election integrity. 

We joined with Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Arizona’s electoral integrity laws that prohibit out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting.

We submitted the brief in the case Mark Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona, et al. v. Democratic National Committee, et al. (Nos. 19-1257 & 1258), coming on appeal from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Initially, a Ninth Circuit panel of judges affirmed the district court ruling upholding Arizona’s election integrity laws that prohibit out-of-precinct voting and ballot harvesting, but then the full appeals court overturned the district court ruling. The Ninth Circuit held that Arizona’s prohibition on out-of-precinct voting and third-party collection and delivery of early ballots (ballot harvesting) were enacted with a discriminatory purpose and had discriminatory results, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to hear the appeal on April 27, 2020.

Our brief explains that in applying the Voting Rights Act:

[C]ourts ask whether the evidence indicates that the challenged voting procedures have caused minority voters to have less opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice. Respondents utterly failed to adduce any evidence that satisfied this … requirement of causation, i.e., that the challenged voting procedure caused minorities to have less opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.

This Supreme Court case highlights how leftist partisans would misuse civil rights laws to undermine election integrity measures, such as a ban on ballot harvesting, that are race neutral.

In 2020, we sued North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Colorado for failing to clean their voter rolls, and sued Illinois for refusing to disclose voter roll data in violation of federal law. These lawsuits are ongoing. We also have several dozen open records requests pending over the conduct of the 2020 election. 

You can learn more about our clean election efforts here.

Judicial Watch Asks Supreme Court to Require Clinton Email Testimony

The Clinton email scandal is one of the most dramatic illustrations of the two-tiered justice system here in Washington, DC. If it weren’t for Judicial Watch, the scandal would have been completely suppressed by the corrupt Justice and State Departments. 

We just asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up our challenge to an appeals court order exempting Hillary Clinton from testifying under oath about her emails. 

We argue in our petition for a writ of certiorari (“cert petition”) that the court should hear our case because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in giving Clinton unwarranted special treatment that conflicts both with Supreme Court precedent and the precedents of other courts of appeal, including its own.

This cert petition arises from our FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242), which led directly to the disclosure of Clinton’s use of a nongovernment email server to conduct government business. On March 2, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth authorized us to depose Clinton about her emails and the existence of relevant Benghazi attack documents. The court also ordered the deposition of Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other State Department officials.

Clinton and Mills filed an emergency writ of mandamus appeal to avoid testifying. On August 31, 2020, the D.C. Court of Appeals granted Clinton’s petition for mandamus relief, allowing her to avoid giving sworn testimony in our lawsuit.

As we argue in our cert petition, granting Clinton this extraordinary relief flies in the face of the D.C. Circuit’s own precedent, most recently in the Michael Flynn case, who, unlike Clinton, was denied mandamus relief.

We also argue that the appellate decision allowing Hillary Clinton to avoid testimony dramatically undermines the Freedom of Information Act:

In effect, it eliminates any discovery into the actions of agency officials or employees other than FOIA officers – walling off from any inquiry officials or employees who may be less than honest with FOIA officers or who might seek to conceal agency records from FOIA officers to prevent disclosure to the public, among other matters plainly relevant to an agency’s good faith in responding to FOIA requests.

***

It is especially important that this misapplication of longstanding precedent be corrected because the D.C. Circuit’s far-reaching decision will nullify the “citizens’ right to be informed about ‘what their government is up to’” and for all intents and purposes, it will eradicate the district courts’ role as the enforcement arm of FOIA, as Congress intended.

No court should undermine the Freedom of Information Act and the rule of law by giving Hillary Clinton special protection from having to testify about her emails. The Supreme Court should cast politics aside and affirm that Hillary Clinton is not above the law.

Soros-Funded Group to Provide ‘Mandatory Implicit Bias Training’ for L.A. City Workers

California has become a playground for radical leftists. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports their latest schemes to undermine the rule of law:

Billionaire George Soros’s radical leftism is spreading through America’s most populous county. Days after a Soros-backed prosecutor who vows to lock up fewer criminals became Los Angeles District Attorney, the city’s mayor is forcing all employees to undergo “implicit bias” training to be conducted by a group that receives funding from Soros and his Open Society Foundations (OSF). That makes L.A. County and its biggest city, the nation’s second-most populous, a stronghold of the powerful Soros machine that aims to promote the left’s agenda.

It started with Soros’s financial support for a controversial Black Lives Matter-endorsed District Attorney candidate, George Gascon, who has alienated career prosecutors throughout California with his renegade criminal justice reform initiatives. A former San Francisco District Attorney, Gascon announced upon being sworn in as L.A. County’s top prosecutor that his office will no longer pursue the death penalty, try juveniles as adults, add gangs and other enhancements to criminal complaints or seek cash bail for non-violent felonies or misdemeanors. 

It is worth noting that the L.A. County D.A. is the largest local prosecutorial office in the United States. The District Attorney in Sacramento recently blasted Gascon in a letter published by various media outlets in the state. “Your Special Directives are not just extreme but will undoubtedly wreak havoc on crime victims and their Constitutional rights,” the letter states. “Your lack of concern for their rights and safety concerns me greatly. Additionally, because crime has no boundaries, these Special Directives will have far greater impact than on Los Angeles County alone. Rather, victims across California will be negatively impacted and the safety of all Californians will be jeopardized.”

Now all the city’s 50,000 employees must participate in racial bias training conducted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University (OSU). Judicial Watch dug up information on the group and uncovered deep ties to Soros and other notorious leftists. The center is named after a former OSU president appointed by California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to a prestigious Department of Education post. In addition to its “implicit bias” trainings, the institute’s research areas include racial wealth inequality, opportunity mapping, and health equity and disparities. As you would expect, its agenda is radically progressive. Policy proposals from Kirwan Institute products include, “significantly raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy,” a Congressional committee on reparations, guaranteed employment, and “Medicare for All.”

Until this month, the institute’s executive director was Darrick Hamilton, who left to head the Institute for the Study of Race, Stratification and Political Economy at the New School in New York. He is best known for being one of the developers of the “baby bonds” proposal in which the government provides a trust fund for every newborn based on parents’ wealth. Hamilton was an advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign and a member of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force. OSU paid him $259,334.40 annually to run the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Other individuals associated with the institute include Kyle Strickland, who serves as senior legal analyst and Hasan Jeffries, an OSU professor who achieved notoriety for posting on social media that the Fraternal Order of Police has killed more black people than the white supremacist hate group Ku Klux Klan. Strickland is a Black Lives Matter supporter who is also deputy director of race and democracy at the Roosevelt Institute, which received more than $1 million from OSF in 2019 and lists Jonathan Soros as a senior fellow.

The Kirwan Institute has received an undisclosed amount of funding from OSF and the Soros conglomerate is listed as a financial supporter in its 2015-2016 Biennial Report. OSF is not specifically mentioned in the 2020 annual report. However, it notes that the institute partners with Demos, the Roosevelt Institute, the Center for Community Change, and the Economic Security Project, all of which receive extensive funding from OSF. One of the institute’s partners, PolicyLink, is a liberal research and advocacy nonprofit in Oakland that received $500,000 from OSF in 2019.

The mayor of L.A., Eric Garcetti, claims the goal of enlisting this group is to “advance racial equity across city government.” Garcetti recently issued a directive that creates a racial equity task force and appoints racial equity officers throughout city government. “Our city is in pain, and we are hungry for change,” the mayor writes in the order “The demonstrations for racial justice in recent weeks have not exposed something new — they’ve laid bare the urgent and overdue demand to end structural racism. America’s tragic history of violent and persistent discrimination casts a long shadow over the challenges Blacks and other people of color confront today in housing, employment, and the criminal justice system.” The social, economic, and political inequities have created a “shamefully disparate and stratified society,” Garcetti asserts.

Until next week …