Skip to content

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

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

Because no one
is above the law!

Donate

Tom Fitton's Weekly Update

Congress Abuses President Trump

Cohen’s Testimony against Trump Was Plainly Unethical
Illegal Aliens Arrested in Workplace Raid Sue Over ‘Rights’
Canada’s Shameful Highway of Tears
702,000 Overstay Visa Nearly 20 Years after Terrorists Did It on 9/11

Cohen’s Testimony against Trump Was Plainly Unethical

If you watched the Democrat’s little circus this week in front of the House Oversight Committee, you may have been alternately angered and amused. The Cohen hearing was an echo of the Kavanaugh hearings. It was a blatant misuse of that hallowed room in the Capitol. Here’s what I wrote for Fox News:

Congress and the corrupt Washington Establishment set a new low for abuse of power Wednesday with the testimony of Michael Cohen before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

As President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Cohen can’t ethically testify to Congress about his interactions with Trump. Cohen knows this. Congress knows this. Special Counsel Robert Mueller knows this.

That the committee hearing took place anyway shows the lawless depth to the partisan Deep State abuse targeting President Trump.

Shameful.

Cohen’s testimony is not credible. He has a demonstrated record of not only lying to Congress, but of violating his ethical duties as a lawyer.

Cohen’s testimony did more than abuse Trump’s rights. Congress benefitted from this abuse and arguably obtained confidential documents belonging to President Trump in violation of its own rules, the president’s rights and the law.

Sure enough, the Democratic-controlled hearing was set up through Clinton, Inc., consigliore Lanny Davis, who is representing Cohen for free.

Judicial Watch uncovered Hillary Clinton emails showing Davis to be her biggest fan.

For example, on October 20, 2010, lawyer Davis wrote Hillary Clinton an email saying: “Thank you H for who you are and what you do,” followed in the exchange by another with “PS. I swear you look younger and better every time I see you, Good night dear Hillary. Lanny.”

So as we witness Cohen – with encouragement from Democrats – trampling over the rights of President Trump, remember this abuse would never have happened without the involvement of Team Clinton.

The Clinton team and Democratic National Committee directly colluded with the Obama Justice Department and FBI to target Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

This led to illicit spying on Trump and his team, an attempted coup by pro-Clinton Deep Staters, and the related appointment of a special counsel to try the further the aim of overthrowing President Trump.

And now the coup effort continues through hearings featuring Cohen this week set up in collusion with Hillary Clinton’s closest associates.

Why would Democrats, who cheered for Cohen to be indicted just a few months ago, now give him a platform to speak to the nation?

The answer is simple: They’re still not over Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

Michael Cohen is a criminal and Michael Cohen is a political prop. Michael Cohen is the furthest thing from a victim.

At the hearing Wednesday we witnessed history. Unfortunately for the reputation of the House, it is the type of history that will live in infamy.

We have a federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pending for Michael Cohen’s alleged influence peddling and fraud related to his attempts to cash in on his relationship with President Trump. Also, we recently sent an official complaint to the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) calling for investigations into leaks of information about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The complaint asks for an investigation of leaks to BuzzFeed suggesting that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

Neither the abuses of power in an effort to end the Trump presidency, nor Judicial Watch’s relentless legal efforts to expose these abuses to the light of day will end soon.

 

Illegal Aliens Arrested in Workplace Raid Sue Over ‘Rights’

It’s hard for people who obey and respect the law to keep their heads from exploding in the face of affronts to common sense and the rule of law. Our Corruption Chronicles blog explains the latest abuse of our system:

Represented by an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations on a catalogue of “hate groups,” seven illegal immigrants detained in a workplace raid are suing the federal agents that arrested them, claiming that they were racially profiled for being Latino. In a federal court complaint filed this week by their pro bono attorneys at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the illegal aliens assert that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents violated their Constitutional rights against illegal seizures and to equal protection under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The raid occurred last spring at a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in a small rural town called Bean Station in east Tennessee. Agents from ICE and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raided the facility as part of a lengthy investigation into the owner’s multi-million-dollar tax evasion and fraud scheme. About 100 illegal aliens were arrested, most of them from Guatemala and Mexico and some had been previously deported from the U.S. more than once. At least 54 people were deported immediately, some were released and others faced federal or state charges, according to a local news report following the seize.

The owner of the business, James Brantley, eventually pled guilty to multiple federal crimes, including tax fraud, wire fraud, and employment of unauthorized illegal aliens. The feds say he avoided paying nearly $1.3 million in taxes by hiring at least 150 illegal aliens and paying them off the books in cash. The scheme began in 1988 and continued through 2018 when he got busted. Brantley had reported to the IRS that he had only 44 wage-earning employees, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). To avoid Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax obligations, unemployment insurance premiums, unemployment tax and workers’ compensation insurance premiums he paid illegal immigrants in cash at a rate of $8-$10 per hour.

The feds said it was a criminal investigation from day one, not simply an immigration enforcement action as many open borders activists alleged. “Tax fraud is an outrage to hard-working Americans directly harmed when criminals cheat their obligation to society by failing to pay their fair share, and the employment of illegal workers also poses a serious threat to public safety as the use of fraudulent identity documents exposes Americans to potential identity theft and other financial harm,” said the special agent from ICE Homeland Security Investigations who led the probe.

Leftist groups went ballistic, asserting that illegal immigrants were victims whose “rights” were violated by the federal government. Outraged, the SPLC called it the largest workplace immigration raid since the George W. Bush administration. “What happened on April 5, 2018 was law enforcement overreach, plain and simple,” said the group’s senior supervising attorney Meredith Stewart. “We, as a nation, have a shared set of ideals, rooted in the Bill of Rights: We have a right to be free of racial profiling and unlawful arrests. If we are not willing to uphold those ideals for everyone in this country, then we are all at risk of losing our rights.” In the complaint, SPLC attorneys write that the federal officers conspired to plan and execute the forceful and prolonged seizure of the meatpacking plant’s Latino workforce solely on the basis of their actual or apparent race or ethnicity.

The defendants are nine ICE agents who are accused of using “brutal and excessive force without any provocation.” They cursed, shoved and punched workers, according to the SPLC complaint. A Tennessee group that’s helping in the case says the lawsuit addresses the brutality the workers faced at the hands of agents. The nonprofit, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), claims the workplace raid was an “unconscionable abuse of power” with “human costs.” The SPLC, an Obama-tied leftist group that helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative organization, has the lead in the case. A few years ago a gunman received a 25-year prison sentence for carrying out the politically-motivated shooting of the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters after admitting that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC “hate map.” Prosecutors called it an act of terrorism and recommended a 45-year sentence.

Cheap labor explains why there is so much resistance to protecting our border.

 

Canada’s Shameful Highway of Tears

Judicial Watch hit a nerve with our investigation of the scandalous rate of murders and assaults inflicted upon Native American and Alaska Native women. Micah Morrison, our investigative reporter, covers it in his Investigative Bulletin.

In January, Judicial Watch published a short report, “The Murders in Indian Country,” outlining the shocking rate of murders and assaults inflicted on Native American and Alaska Native women. While accurate information is scarce, surveys suggest that the women are murdered at a rate ten times the national average. The response to the Judicial Watch report was tremendous. The story bounced around social media for weeks and prompted a stream of emails.

We noted that Congress had dropped the ball last year, allowing “Savanna’s Act” to die in the House of Representatives. The bill had strong bipartisan support and would have forged new ties between law-enforcement agencies and improved data collection related to crimes against Native Americans and Alaska Natives. The bill was named for 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Graywind, brutally murdered in North Dakota in 2017.

Now, Savanna’s Act is back, reintroduced in the Senate by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. There is an “epidemic of murdered and missing Native women and girls,” the senators said in a joint press release.

Specifically, they noted, Savanna’s Act “aims to bridge the gap of the limited data on the number of missing Native women by directing the U.S. Department of Justice to formulate new guidelines for the reporting of violent crimes against indigenous people. The bill improves tribal access to certain federal crime information databases by mandating that the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Interior consult with Indian tribes on how to further improve these databases and access to them. It also requires certain federal agencies to solicit recommendations from tribes on enhancing the safety of Native women.”

The bill mandates “the creation of standardized guidelines for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans, in consultations with tribes, which will include guidance on inter-jurisdictional cooperation among tribes and federal, state, and local law enforcement.” It requires “statistics on missing and murdered Native women, and recommendations on how to improve data collection, to be included in an annual report to Congress.”

Many of the responses to the Judicial Watch story came from Canada. “My daughter is Ojibway and I am scared to death for her safety,” a reader wrote. “Teenage girls are most likely to go missing. The public must know the facts on the staggering number of missing or dead Native youth.” This mother urged us to “look into the numbers in Canada, especially out west.”

Canada? That was news to us. So we took a look. Our readers in Canada were right. It’s a disgrace and a scandal.

Many killings and disappearances in Canada center around Highway 16, the so-called “Highway of Tears,” a 450-mile stretch of desolate roadway in British Columbia. “Dozens of Canadian women and girls, most of them indigenous, have disappeared or been murdered near Highway 16,” reports The New York Times, “a remote ribbon of asphalt that bisects British Columbia and snakes past thick forests, logging towns and impoverished Indian reserves on its way to the Pacific Ocean.”

As in the U.S., there is no clear accounting of the missing and dead. A special unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police connected 18 cases to the Highway of Tears, the Times reported. But community activists “believe the total is closer to 50.” A detailed chart posted on Wikipedia puts the count at over 70. The numbers controversy extends to the entire country, where estimates of missing and dead women of indigenous descent range from 1,200 to more than 4,000.

The Highway of Tears is a symbol of the evil fortune fallen to indigenous women in North America in the 21st century. It also has become “a political scandal in British Columbia,” the Times noted. A national inquiry was launched in 2017, but it appears to be going nowhere. Meanwhile, the disappearances and deaths continue. In August, 18-year-old Jessica Patrick went missing in Smithers, British Columbia—a bucolic mountain town along the Highway of Tears. In September, her body was found in the forest. Exactly a year earlier, the national inquiry commission had been in Smithers for three days of hearings, seeking answers and hearing pain.

 

702,000 Overstay Visa Nearly 20 Years after Terrorists Did It on 9/11

The widespread failure to enforce our immigration laws is a dire threat to the public safety. Consider this from our Corruption Chronicles blog.

Nearly two decades after Islamic terrorists exploited the U.S. government’s inept system for tracking visa overstays, more than 700,000 foreigners with expired visas remain at large in the country. The latest government figures show 702,000 overstays in 2017. The disturbing stats come just weeks after a Portuguese man with an expired visa got charged with the gruesome kidnap and murder of a young woman whose body was found bound in a suitcase on a Connecticut street.

At least four of the September 11 hijackers were in the United States with expired visas and all these years later the government still hasn’t found a way to track visa over stayers. A few years ago, Judicial Watch obtained Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures showing that 527,127 foreigners with expired visas remained in the country. Thousands are from terrorist nations like Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria. Here’s the breakdown as per the DHS stats provided four years ago: 1,435 from Pakistan, 681 from Iraq, 564 from Iran, 440 from Syria, 219 from Yemen, 219 from Afghanistan and 56 from Libya.

After the 9/11 attacks Congress created a system to track the entry and exit of foreign nationals by using electronically scanned fingerprints and photographs. Five years and $1 billion later, the system, U.S. Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT), still had serious flaws. Two years after that boondoggle was exposed the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), published a report that said nearly half of the nation’s illegal aliens entered the U.S. legally and overstayed their visas undetected. In the years that followed the government did little to improve what has developed into a dire national security disaster. In 2011 yet another federal audit confirmed that the U.S. had lost track of millions who overstayed their visas and two years later the crisis intensified when DHS lost track of 266 dangerous foreigners with expired visas. The government determined that they “could pose a national security or public safety concerns,” according to the director of Homeland Security and Justice at the GAO.

Now, nearly 20 years after the worst terrorist attack on American soil, the government still cannot close this critical security loophole. The latest figures, released this month by the GAO, reveal that about 52.7 million nonimmigrant admissions to the U.S. through air or sea ports of entry were supposed to depart in fiscal year 2017. DHS reported 702,000 overstays, according to congressional investigators. Part of the problem is that DHS relies on third-party departure data. This includes commercial carrier passenger manifests. In other words, the government is depending on airlines and cruise ships to help it enforce visa violations. This occurs through a system that supposedly provides biographic data, including name and passport number. This next line may sound like a joke, but it comes right out of the GAO report: “Carriers are subject to fines for missing or inaccurate data.” In the document DHS confirms that “identifying overstays is important for national security, public safety, and immigration enforcement.”

Years ago the GAO estimated that nearly half of the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants actually entered the U.S. legally but overstayed their visa. Some represent huge national security threats. For instance, a Jordanian who tried to blow up a Texas high rise overstayed his visa undetected by federal authorities. The Jordanian (Hosam Maher Husein Smadi), who vowed jihad against Americans and tried to blow up a Dallas skyscraper, remained undetected in the U.S after his tourist visa expired.

The Portuguese man charged with the recent murder of a 24-year-old woman was supposed to leave the U.S. in 2017. Authorities had no clue he never left until he committed an atrocious crime. The woman he murdered, Valerie Reyes, was reported missing in late January. A week later her body was found bound at the hands and feet in a suitcase off a road in Greenwich, an upscale town of about 61,000. It’s worth noting that the entire state of Connecticut is an illegal immigrant sanctuary. Back in 2013 the state enacted a measure prohibiting local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities by, among other things, ignoring federal detainers for illegal aliens arrested after committing certain crimes.

It’s one thing for our inept government to find imaginative ways to waste our money, but failing to execute its security duties is a new low.

Until next week …

 

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton