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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

URGENT TRUMP RAID UPDATE

Judicial Watch Victory: FBI Raid Affidavit Released
Judicial Watch Sues National Archives for Hiding Records on Trump Raid
Judicial Watch Sues Over Racially Discriminatory Minneapolis Teachers’ Contract
Judicial Watch Defends Mother Sued for Requesting School COVID Documents

 


Judicial Watch Victory: FBI Raid Affidavit Released

This is a good start, but the fight isn’t over.

The Department of Justice released its highly redacted affidavit in response to our court request to unseal the warrant materials used in the unprecedented raid on the home of former President Trump

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart had granted our motion and ordered that “before noon Eastern time on Friday, August 26, 2022, the Government shall file in the public docket a version of the Affidavit containing the redactions proposed.”

In a remarkable and historic victory for transparency, we forced the release of the infamous and heavily redacted FBI raid affidavit.

Now we know why the Biden Justice Department did not want to release this material, as it exposes how there was significant evidence of President Trump’s cooperation, a major legal dispute about the legal status of the records believed to be in Trump’s possession, and that the FBI abusively raided his home anyway.

The Biden Justice Department’s dishonest redactions of the reasons for its redactions makes a mockery of the American people’s right to know the entire story about this raid on Trump’s home, which was a wild abuse of power by the Biden administration.

This legal battle for accountability is just getting started.

We have been in the forefront in the court battle for transparency regarding the abusive FBI raid. Here is the chronology of our efforts.

On August 9, we filed its motion asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to unseal as soon as possible the search warrant materials used by the FBI to raid President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida (U.S. v. Sealed Search Warrant (Case No. 9:22-mj-08332)).

On August 11, the DOJ filed a motion offering to unseal certain warrant materials.

On August 12, we filed President Trump’s public statement with the court, in which he made it clear that he would not oppose the release of documents related to the August 8, 2022, raid. Later that day, the DOJ made a partial release of the Trump raid warrant materials.

Initially, the Albany Times Union and the New York Times joined us in filing for the unsealing of the warrant by filing an amicus letter and motion respectively. Other interests later joined in the effort.

The Justice Department was ordered by Magistrate Reinhart to respond by August 15 to our Motion to Unseal the warrant and supporting materials behind the FBI raid. In its filing, the Justice Department alleged that releasing the affidavit would “cause significant and irreparable damage” to its ongoing criminal investigation.

The court also ordered the release of other documents concerning the warrant.

On August 17, we submitted our reply to the DOJ’s effort to keep under seal the affidavit used to justify the controversial raid on the home of former President Trump. We cited former President Trump’s support for the release of the affidavit.

After last week’s hearing in West Palm Beach, FL, the court issued an order that stated:

As I ruled from the bench at the conclusion of the hearing, I find that on the present record the Government has not met its burden of showing that the entire affidavit should remain sealed. It is ORDERED that by noon EST on Thursday, August 25, 2022, the Government shall file under seal its proposed redactions along with a legal memorandum setting forth the justification for the proposed redactions.

Four additional filings were made public on August 22.

Right now, our legal team is considering the next steps for any challenges to the over-redactions of the new documents. Watch this space for future updates!

 

Judicial Watch Sues National Archives for Hiding Records on Trump Raid

The Biden administration’s raid on President Trump’s home is an outrageous, reckless and unprecedented abuse of power. And the American people have an urgent right to know how the administration manufactured the records dispute used as a pretext for the raid.

So we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for records regarding its communication with the Department of Justice (DOJ) about President Trump’s presidential records (Judicial Watch v National Archives and Records Administration (No. 1:22-cv-02535).

In February 2022, the National Archives reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate former President Donald Trump’s handling of records from his presidency. This investigation eventually led to the unprecedented raid on the former president’s home.

We sued after NARA failed to respond adequately to our February 2022 FOIA request for:

  • All records regarding the referral from NARA to the Department of Justice regarding the records management procedures of former President Donald Trump (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/national-archives-asks-doj-investigate-trumps-handling-white/story?id=82781128 ). This request includes all related records of communication between any official or employee of NARA and any official or employee of the Department of Justice and/or any other branch, department, agency, or office of the federal government.
  • All records regarding the retrieval of records from President Trump or any individual or entity acting on his behalf by the National Archives and Records Administration. This request includes related records of communication between any official or employee of NARA and President Trump and/or any individual or entity acting on his behalf

The Biden administration’s unlawful secrecy on its political raid of Trump’s home speaks volumes.

 

Judicial Watch Sues over Racially Discriminatory Minneapolis Teachers’ Contract

Racial discrimination has become endemic on the Left.

For example, we just filed an important lawsuit on behalf of a Minneapolis taxpayer over a teachers’ contract that provides discriminatory job protections to certain racial minorities.

Defendants include the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Board of Education for violating the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution (Clapp v Cox et al. (No. 27-CV-22-12454)). We are assisted in the lawsuit by Daniel N. Rosen of Rosen LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The controversial contract was agreed to in March 2022 to end a 14-day teacher strike. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers ratified the contract shortly after the agreement was reached. The Minneapolis Board of Education ratified it in May of this year.

Our lawsuit states:

Among other things, the contract provides preferences, protections, and privileges for MPS teachers of certain races and ethnicities under a section entitled “ARTICLE 15. PROTECTIONS FOR EDUCATORS OF COLOR.” There is no similar provision covering educators who are not “of color.”

Under the contract, teachers of color are exempt from Defendant MPS’s seniority-based layoffs and reassignments, which means, when layoffs or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not “of color” would be laid off or reassigned. In addition, the contract mandates that Defendants reinstate teachers of color over more senior teachers who are not “of color.”

Upon information and belief, prior to the contract, teachers were laid off or reassigned in order of seniority, with the least senior teachers laid off or reassigned first, without regard to race or ethnicity. Similarly, teachers were reinstated in order of seniority, with the more senior teachers reinstated first, without regard to race or ethnicity.

***

Article 15’s preferences, protections, and privileges for certain public-school teachers on the basis of race and ethnicity violates Minnesota’s Equal Protection Guarantee, which states that “no member of this state shall be disenfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.” Minn. Const. art. 1, § 2. The Equal Protection Guarantee is analyzed under the same principles and mandate as the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Our suit asks the court to enter a judgment that will declare that all actions taken to implement the racial and ethnic preference provisions of Article 15 of the contract to be illegal. We are also asking that the court declare it illegal to use any taxpayer dollars to implement these provisions of the contract, and the defendants be prohibited from taking any actions to implement these racial and ethnic provisions.

It is incredible that in this day and age a school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers. The courts can’t move soon enough to shut down this extreme leftist attack on the bedrock constitutional principle that no one can be denied equal treatment under law on account of race.

We have been busy successfully challenging similar civil rights lawlessness across the country.

In January this year the city of Asheville, NC, in January 2022 settled our federal civil rights lawsuit after agreeing to remove all racially discriminatory provisions in a city-funded scholarship program. Additionally, the city also agreed to remove racially discriminatory eligibility provisions in a related program that provides grants to educators.

In May this year, we won a court battle against California’s gender quota law for corporate boards. The verdict came after a 28-day trial. The verdict followed a similar ruling in our favor in April finding California’s diversity mandate for corporate boards unconstitutional.)

 

Judicial Watch Defends Mother Sued for Requesting School COVID Documents

We’re pleased to announce that Judicial Watch is providing legal representation to Megan Brock, a parent being sued by Bucks County, PA, to prevent the release of documents she requested under the commonwealth’s Right-to-Know Law that are related to COVID restrictions and the re-opening of the county’s schools (County of Bucks v. Megan Brock (Nos. 2022-03083 and 2022-02979)).

The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records found in Brock’s favor and ordered Bucks County to search for and release the documents in two Right-to-Know Law requests. But Bucks County filed multiple suits against Brock to prevent the release of the documents after Brock sent a February 7, 2022, request asking for all electronic correspondence by Bucks Co. Director of Policy and Communications Eric Nagy with Board Vice Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Board Chair Bob Harvie, former Director of the Commissioners’ Office of Public Information Larry King, Chief Clerk Gail Humphrey, and Health Department Director David Damsker from 8/10/2021 to 8/28/2021, on the buckscounty.gov domain. Also, all communications about Bucks County Health Department School Guidance.

A March 8, 2022 request asks for a copy of an email sent to Acting Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKevitt on 8/23/2021 on the buckscounty.gov domain, which contained the final copy of the Bucks County COVID-19 Amended School Guidance, including all responses.

On July 18, 2022, our local counsel, J. Chadwick Schnee, filed answers to Bucks County’s lawsuits against Brock.

Parents Megan Brock and Jamie Walker led a fight to reopen the county’s schools during the pandemic, “and then to keep schools open and opening close to normal,” according to National Review. They “suspect county officials and two Democratic commissioners had a hand in updating the county’s guidance, and possibly overruling their own health director, a strong advocate for in-person leaning. They believe Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf’s administration coerced the county into adopting its more restrictive Covid policies and its one-size-fits-all approach to school reopening.”

Our client Megan Brock and other parents won’t be intimidated by Bucks County government’s abusive lawsuits designed to thwart basic information requests. We are honored to represent a concerned parent being punished through lawfare for daring to demand accountability from her local government.

Until next week …

 


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