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Tom Fitton's Weekly Update

New Docs Shed Light on Ukraine Scandal

White House Visitor Logs Detail Meetings of the CIA’s Eric Ciaramella
It’s Time to Designate Mexican Cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Sheriff Frees Illegal After Child Sex Crimes, Says Immigration Not His Duty
Veterans Day – Why We Fight

White House Visitor Logs Detail Meetings of the CIA’s Eric Ciaramella

We have conducted an in-depth analysis of Obama-era White House visitor logs, and we have learned a good deal about the people who controversial CIA employee Eric Ciaramella met with while assigned to the White House.

Ciaramella reportedly was detailed to the Obama White House in 2015 and returned to the CIA during the Trump administration in 2017.

Real Clear Investigations named Ciaramella as possibly being the whistleblower whose complaint sparked impeachment proceedings against President Trump. As reported by the Examiner, Fox News’ legal analyst Gregg Jarrett indicated that a key takeaway was the “reported direct relationship” Ciaramella had with former President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and national security adviser Susan Rice, as well as the “Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”

The visitor logs also reveal Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election, who coordinated with Ukrainians to investigate President Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, visited the White House 27 times.

The White House visitor logs revealed the following individuals met with Eric Ciaramella while he was detailed to the Obama White House:

  • Daria Kaleniuk: Co-founder and executive director of the Soros-funded Anticorruption Action Center (AntAC) in Ukraine. She visited on December 9, 2015

The Hill reported that in April 2016, during the U.S. presidential race, the U.S. Embassy under Obama in Kiev, “took the rare step of trying to press the Ukrainian government to back off its investigation of both the U.S. aid and (AntAC).”

  • Gina Lentine: Now a senior program officer at Freedom House, she was formerly the Eurasia program coordinator at Soros funded Open Society Foundations. She visited on March 16, 2016.
  • Rachel Goldbrenner: Now an NYU law professor, she was at that time an advisor to then-Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. She visited on both January 15, 2016 and August 8, 2016.
  • Orly Keiner: A foreign affairs officer at the State Department who is a Russia specialist. She is also the wife of State Department Legal Advisor James P. Bair. She visited on both March 4, 2016 and June 20, 2015.
  • Nazar Kholodnitzky: The lead anti-corruption prosecutor in Ukraine. He visited on January 19, 2016.

On March 7, 2019, The Associated Press reported that the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch called for him to be fired.

  • Michael Kimmage: Professor of History at Catholic University of America, at the time was with the State Department’s policy planning staff where he specialized in Russia and Ukraine issues. He is a fellow at the German Marshall Fund. He was also one of the signatories to the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group Statement of Principles. He visited on October 26, 2015.
  • James Melville: Then-recently confirmed as Obama’s Ambassador to Estonia, visited on September 9, 2015.

On June 29, 2018, Foreign Policy reported that Melville resigned in protest of Trump.

  • Victoria Nuland: who at the time was assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs met with Ciaramella on June 17, 2016.

(Judicial Watch has previously uncovered documents revealing Nuland had an extensive involvement with the Clinton-funded dossier. Judicial Watch also released documents revealing that Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department’s “urgent” gathering of classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Trump taking office.)

  • Artem Sytnyk: the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau director visited on January 19, 2016.

On October 7, 2019, the Daily Wire reported leaked tapes show Sytnyk confirming that the Ukrainians helped the Clinton campaign.

The White House visitor logs revealed the following individuals met with Alexandra Chalupa, then a DNC contractor:

  • Charles Kupchan: From 2014 to 2017, Kupchan served as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) in the Barack Obama administration. That meeting was on November 9, 2015.
  • Alexandra Sopko: who at the time was a special assistant and policy advisor to the director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which was run by Valerie Jarrett. Also listed for that meeting is Alexa Kissinger, a special assistant to Jarrett. That meeting was on June 2, 2015.
  • Asher Mayerson: who at the time was a policy advisor to the Office of Public Engagement under Jarrett had five visits with Chalupa including December 18, 2015, January 11, 2016, February 22, 2016, May 13, 2016, and June 14, 2016. Mayerson was previously an intern at the Center for American Progress. After leaving the Obama administration, he went to work for the City of Chicago Treasurer’s office.

Mayerson met with Chalupa and Amanda Stone, who was the White House deputy director of technology, on January 11, 2016.

On May 4, 2016, Chalupa emailed DNC official Luis Miranda to inform him that she had spoken to investigative journalists about Paul Manafort in Ukraine.

Spreadsheets of visitor records are grouped alphabetically by last name and available below:

A – Coi
Coig – Gra
Graz – Lau
Laug – Pad
Padd – Sor
Sorr – Zyz

Our analysis of these Obama White House visitor logs raises obvious additional questions about the Obama administration, Ukraine and the related impeachment scheme targeting President Trump. Both Mr. Ciaramella and Ms. Chalupa should be questioned about the meetings documented in these visitor logs.

It’s Time to Designate Mexican Cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations

The Mexican cartels operate largely at will in the United States. Last year the Drug Enforcement Agency declared: “Mexican transnational criminal organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel … remain the greatest criminal drug threat in the United States.”

Note the reference to the Sinoloa Cartel. The horrendous massacre of nine Americans this week, as detailed in our Corruption Chronicles blog below, occurred in Sonora state in northern Mexico, which reportedly “is being fought over by two rival gangs, … [including] ‘Los Chapos,’ which is part of the Sinaloa cartel.” [Emphasis added]

We can give our law enforcement officials additional weapons to fight these organizations if we designate them as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations.” We produced a white paper back in March explaining the rationale for this designation.

Here is our reporting on this latest carnage.

The massacre of nine Americans by a Mexican drug cartel this week creates yet another excellent opportunity for the U.S. government to finally designate the sophisticated criminal operations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). Judicial Watch has long advocated for this and earlier this year published a White Paper providing comprehensive documentation that Mexican drug cartels undoubtedly meet the U.S. government’s requirements to be designated as FTOs.

To meet the criteria for FTO designation requires that organizations be foreign, engage in terrorism or terrorist activity or possess the capability and intent to do so and pose a threat to U.S. nationals or U.S. national security. Mexican drug cartels are inherently foreign, routinely commit criminal acts within the statutory definition of terrorism and arguably represent a more immediate and ongoing threat to U.S. national security than any of the currently-designated FTOs on the State Department list. On Monday one of the illicit Mexican enterprises ambushed and murdered six children—including 8-month-old twins—and three women on a highway in the Mexican border state of Sonora. Other children, including an infant and toddler, survived with some seriously wounded.

Mexico has not identified the cartel responsible for the horrific attack, but reports indicate it was a calculated and well-planned operation typical of an organized criminal enterprise. The victims received no help from Mexican authorities, according to one of the family members quoted in the country’s largest newspaper. Julian LeBaron said that fellow family members responded to the crime scene because officials in Chihuahua and Sonora refused to help. He said he wasn’t sure if it was out of fear, or because they were cowards or in cahoots with the delinquents. In a smaller, Sonoran newspaper article, LeBaron revealed that a young girl, a cousin of his, who survived the ambush walked 14 kilometers with a gunshot wound. The outrageous anecdotes indicate Mexico can’t be relied upon to combat the cartels and the U.S. must act.

Properly designating the major Mexican Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCOs)—including Los Zetas, Juárez and Sinaloa cartels—as FTOs would enhance the federal government’s ability to combat them. An official FTO designation would enable the prosecution of those who provide material support to them, facilitate the denial of entry and deportation of TCO members and affiliates and eliminate the organizations’ access to the U.S. financial system. “FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business,” according to the State Department. For years Mexican cartels have hijacked and sabotaged buses, commercial trucks and trains, which constitute terrorist activity under U.S. law. Judicial Watch’s White Paper lists specific cases, including gasoline tankers and more than a dozen robberies daily of Ferromex trains, one of the three largest rail transport operators in the country.

Mexican TCOs have also committed hundreds of political assassinations in recent years and members of Los Zetas launched a grenade and shot small arms fire at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey. Los Zetas members also murdered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata a few years ago. Judicial Watch’s White Paper also documents Mexican cartels’ use of explosive devices and high-caliber firearms, including rocket-propelled grenades and other military weapons. In 2018 Mexican officials seized nearly 2,000 high-caliber weapons from suspected cartel associates in Mexico City and there have been approximately 150,000 organized-crime related murders in Mexico since 2006. Last year alone, there were nearly 1,200 kidnappings in Mexico, according to official figures provided in the White Paper.

Most of the crimes are financially motivated, but a significant number are executed to intimidate political, judicial, military and law enforcement officials from going after cartel members. Examples include two Mexican federal agents kidnapped and murdered by the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, the kidnapping of Veracruz congresswoman-elect Norma Rodriguez and the kidnapping of Hidalgo Mayor Genero Urbano. Under U.S. law the seizing or detaining and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the seized individual constitutes terrorist activity. The danger created by these criminal organizations is nothing new. Years ago the DEA determined that Mexican TCOs are the greatest criminal threat to the United States. After this week’s massacre President Donald Trump said the U.S. is willing to help Mexico “wage war on the drug cartels.” His administration can start by officially designating them as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Sheriff Frees Illegal After Child Sex Crimes, Says Immigration Not His Duty

Sanctuary policies are illegal and dangerous. Rather than follow the law, state and local politicians knowingly place you, your family, and the families of every American (and alien) at risk by releasing criminal illegal aliens onto the streets rather than into the custody of federal authorities. Here is the latest outrage from our Corruption Chronicles blog.

In what appears to be a growing national trend, another elected law enforcement official released an illegal immigrant with a serious criminal conviction—in this case child sex offenses—rather than turn him over to federal authorities for removal. Sanctuary policies ban local law enforcement from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers placed on illegal aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges. If the detainer is honored ICE takes custody and deports the criminal rather than release him or her back into the community. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and free serious criminal offenders, it undermines the federal government’s duty to protect public safety.

This latest case comes out of Buncombe County, North Carolina where the recently elected sheriff, a Democrat, issued a policy earlier this year refusing to cooperate with ICE when it comes to inmates at his 608-bed jail who are in the country illegally. At the time the sheriff, Quentin Miller, proclaimed that enforcing immigration laws is not part of his agency’s duties. Miller also said that “it is vital that members of our immigrant community can call the sheriff’s office without fear when they are in need of assistance from law enforcement.”

Hiding behind that popular open borders rhetoric, the sheriff recently discharged a child sex offender to keep with his county’s sanctuary policy of protecting illegal aliens, even those with atrocious criminal records. The illegal immigrant from El Salvador, Marvin Ramirez Torres, has been on ICE’s radar since 2017 when he got arrested and charged with four felony counts of statutory sex offense with a child. At the time Torres was 23 and his victim was an 11-year-old girl, according to a local newspaper report that also states Torres must register a sex offender for 30 years. The illegal alien was convicted in North Carolina Superior Court for Buncombe County and was sentenced to less than two years in prison. Last week he was freed into the community because the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office refused to honor the federal detainer.

Thankfully, ICE captured Torres a day after he left prison during a targeted enforcement operation in downtown Asheville. The agency blasted county officials in a statement released shortly after Torres was apprehended. “By releasing an illegal alien with a serious sex offense against a child, Buncombe County chose to release a serious public safety threat into the Asheville community where he was free to potentially harm others until his capture by ICE,” the statement reads. In the document, the agency’s acting director, Matt Albence, points out the obvious: “Continued decisions to refuse cooperation with ICE serve as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that these counties are a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities, and residents of Buncombe County are less safe due to these misguided sanctuary policies.” ICE’s regional field director accuses elected law enforcement officials who chose to ignore ICE detainers and arrest warrants of failing to protect their communities and placing politics above public safety.

Incredibly, it is a growing national trend among law enforcement officials that has gained enormous traction throughout North Carolina. About a month ago Judicial Watch reported that nearly 500 illegal immigrants with ICE detainers were discharged into communities throughout the Tar Heel State in less than a year. The offenders included those charged with serious crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, arson and sex offenses. A few weeks before the statewide figures were released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Judicial Watch reported that the elected sheriff in North Carolina’s largest county, Mecklenburg, released numerous violent offenders rather than turning them over to federal authorities for removal. Among them was a previously deported Honduran charged with rape and child sex offenses. Though they are charged with enforcing the law in counties located about 120 miles from each other, the sheriffs in Buncombe and Mecklenburg counties share the common bond of protecting illegal immigrants who commit the most heinous of crimes in the jurisdiction they were elected to protect. For Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden it was actually a campaign promise. Immediately after getting elected in 2018, he ended the program known as 287(g) that notifies ICE of jail inmates in the country illegally.

Veterans Day – Why We Fight

As we honor the sacrifices of our great nation’s veterans on November 11, I’d like to call your attention again to the Veterans Day speech given in 1985 by then-President Ronald Reagan, particularly this section:

And the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong. Weakness, after all, is a temptation — it tempts the pugnacious to assert themselves — but strength is a declaration that cannot be misunderstood. Strength is a condition that declares actions have consequences. Strength is a prudent warning to the belligerent that aggression need not go unanswered.

Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth; without them, we’re little more than the crust of a continent. Peace also fails when we forget to bring to the bargaining table God’s first intellectual gift to man: common sense. Common sense gives us a realistic knowledge of human beings and how they think, how they live in the world, what motivates them. Common sense tells us that man has magic in him, but also clay. Common sense can tell the difference between right and wrong. Common sense forgives error, but it always recognizes it to be error first.

We endanger the peace and confuse all issues when we obscure the truth; when we refuse to name an act for what it is; when we refuse to see the obvious and seek safety in Almighty. Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds.

I know millions of Americans have “clear eyes and brave minds” and these patriots desire the same qualities in our political and judicial leaders. It certainly reflects Judicial Watch’s modest approach to our mission.

God Bless America! 

Until next week …