Weekly Update: JW Sues on Behalf of Pentagon Whistleblower over Spygate Figure and Clinton Crony
Judicial Watch in Court for Fusion GPS Records
Judicial Watch Sues on behalf of Pentagon Official Who Blew the Whistle on Spygate Figure and Clinton Crony
Deep State Pushes Housing Welfare with Help of Key Trump Official
The Russian Collusion Peter Strzok and James Comey Ignored
We were in court this week before U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton regarding communications of the Office of the Attorney General with Nellie Ohr, the wife of former Senior DOJ Official Bruce Ohr, who was critical to the creation of the Clinton/DNC dossier.
The subject of the hearing was the lawsuit we filed on March 1 this year after the Department of Justice failed to respond to our December 12, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-00491)). We are seeking:
All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats, between DOJ officials in the Attorney General’s Office and Fusion GPS employee or contractor Nellie Ohr.
Judge Walton shares our frustration with a bureaucracy trying to keep its secrets.
Judge Walton had previously criticized the Justice Department, saying:
I think if it’s been almost, since December when the initial request was made more should have been done by now. And it seems to me if you have someone who’s going to come into office and they say they’re going to be a disrupter, that they should appreciate there’s going to be a lot of FOIA requests and therefore, should gear up to deal with those requests. So I’m not real sympathetic to the position that you have limited staff and therefore, you can’t comply with these requests. So I think you’re going to have to get some more people.
I mean FOIA is considered to be very important. I keep getting from the government, from various agencies we can’t do this, we can’t do that because we don’t have the resources. I’m not real sympathetic to that. FOIA is important. Open government is important, and government has to comply with FOIA in order to make it an open government.
In December 2017, Bruce Ohr was removed from his position as U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General after it was revealed that he conducted undisclosed meetings with anti-Trump dossier author (British spy) Christopher Steel and Glenn Simpson, principal of Fusion GPS. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes on February 2 noted that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI.
In a related case, we released FBI records showing that Steele was cut off as a “Confidential Human Source” after he disclosed his relationship with the FBI to a third party. The documents show at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016 and that he was admonished for unknown reasons in February 2016.
Recently, Republican lawmakers indicated that Bruce Ohr is becoming more central to their investigation. And, emails and memos show that Bruce Ohr continued to receive information from Steele in 2017 after the FBI had terminated its relationship with Steele in 2016 for leaking to the media.
On August 14, the DOJ wrote us a letter claiming that searches were conducted up through December 2017, and no responsive records were located. The DOJ also claims that it has experienced “technical issues which may have affected the searches.”
While at this time we have no indication that records responsive to your request will be located, we cannot provide you with a final response to your request until the technical issues are resolved. [Office of Information Policy] has been working closely with our electronic search support team to resolve these issues and to re-run searches as appropriate to ensure that no records were missed in the original searches. We anticipate issuing an additional response to you in one month.
So, the DOJ explained to the court during the hearing that this “glitch” would delay for a time any final response to Judicial Watch about this scandal. (Color me suspicious about this “glitch,” which we will we continue to investigate.) In the meantime, we await Ohr/Fusion GPS documents that are due to us today in another Judicial Watch lawsuit.
As you can see in this brief video, your Judicial Watch is on top of the Ohr-Clinton-Fusion GPS targeting of President Trump!
Judicial Watch Sues on behalf of Pentagon Official Who Blew the Whistle on Spygate Figure and Clinton Crony
John Brennan, the disgraced former CIA director, has made security clearances an issue, so let’s go with that. Let’s have a look at how Deep State officials stripped a security clearance from someone for raising questions about government corruption.
We just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of former Pentagon analyst and White House National Security Council (NSC) senior director Adam S. Lovinger, whose security clearance was pulled after he raised concerns regarding lucrative government contracts awarded to Stefan Halper (Adam S. Lovinger v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:18-cv-01914)). Halper has subsequently been identified as being used an informant used by the Obama administration against President Trump’s campaign.
Mr. Lovinger also raised questions about Long Term Strategy Group, a consulting firm owned by Chelsea Clinton’s friend Jacqueline Newmyer Deal.
The Washington Times reported on the contracts in question: “According to USASpending.gov, Mr. Halper was paid $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016, for a contract that ran until this March.” Also, “a string of contracts totaling $11 million [was granted] to D.C. consulting firm Long Term Strategy Group. It is headed by Jacqueline Newmyer Deal, a self-described ‘best friend’ of Chelsea Clinton.”
Lovinger filed his complaint in the fall of 2016. In May 2017, Lovinger’s security clearance was initially suspended by Barbara Westgate, the Director of Washington Headquarters Services and an Obama appointee. A few months later, the Pentagon’s Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF) “issued an unfavorable clearance determination and Mr. Lovinger’s clearance was revoked,” a Defense Department spokesman informed The Washington Times. The CAF is part of the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) and reports directly to Westgate.
In September 2017, Lovinger filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint against the CAF, which determines security clearance eligibility of non-intelligence personnel, Westgate and James H. Baker, the DOD’s Director of Net Assessment, who recommended the contract awards to Halper and Long Term Strategy Group.
In December 2017, Lovinger filed a Privacy Act request seeking:
Any and all emails or similar electronic messaging transmissions referencing the word “Lovinger;” whether in the title or body of said communications(s); between May 1, 2017 and present; to, from, or copied to the following individuals:
Mr. Edward Fish, Director DoD CAF
Mr. Daniel Purtill, Deputy Director DoD CAF
Mr. Ronald Freels, Adjudications Directorate Chief.
In March 2018, the DOD responded, treating his request as both a Privacy Act and a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request and admitting it found 75 pages of responsive documents but was withholding them all in their entirety. Lovinger was informed that Fish, against whom the whistleblower complaint had been filed, had also been the official who determined the documents should be withheld.
In April 2018, Lovinger appealed the DOD’s determination. Over four months later, the appeal has not been addressed. Washington Headquarters Services has refused repeated requests to recuse itself from further involvement in this case despite an apparent conflict of interest. Under existing DOD policy, WHS officials reporting to Westgate will be the final arbiter of Lovinger’s case, which cannot be appealed to the courts.
Also, the DOD has yet to comply with Lovinger’s Privacy Act Request.
Before his work on the NSC, Lovinger was a strategic affairs analyst in the Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon, where he specialized in issues related to U.S.-India relations, the Persian Gulf, and sub-Saharan Africa. He also is an attorney and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and McCort School of Public Policy.
Lovinger was targeted because he blew the whistle on Stefan Halper and a Clinton crony getting suspicious Defense contracts. It is disturbing that the Defense Department may now be implicated in Spygate targeting of President Trump.
Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports exposes how the Left runs our government, sometimes with the help of Trump appointees:
Citing a shortage of affordable housing in “higher opportunity neighborhoods,” the Trump administration is strong-arming private landlords nationwide into renting to low-income tenants that get government vouchers. This week the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a special Landlord Taskforce to coerce more property owners to accept the taxpayer-funded subsidies (Housing Choice Voucher—HCV) issued to millions of poor people around the country. HUD Secretary Ben Carson created the special task force after studies conducted by leftist entities found that most landlords don’t accept the government vouchers, especially in nicer neighborhoods.
One of the studies was conducted by the Urban Institute, which is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) along with a roster of other leftist supporters. It measured the prevalence and extent of voucher-related discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities and differences between low and high-poverty neighborhoods. “Voucher holders who want to find housing in an opportunity area—perhaps close to high-quality schools, jobs, and transportation— face even more rejection,” the study reads. “We learned that even if landlords said they accepted vouchers, they may treat voucher holders differently during apartment showings—standing them up at higher rates than control testers.” Researchers also determined that landlords were more likely to deny government voucher recipients in low poverty areas compared with high poverty areas. The Urban Institute suggests that the government create legal protections for voucher holders and recruit landlords to participate in the program, particularly in low poverty neighborhoods.
The other study, conducted by the Poverty and Inequality Research Lab at John Hopkins University, examined the role landlords play in shaping the residential experience of low and moderate income renters. It focused on Baltimore, Maryland, Dallas, Texas and Cleveland, Ohio and found that recipients of government housing vouchers encounter tremendous discrimination in the private sector because landlords associate significant stigma with the program. “In theory, the HCV program has the potential to help families move to lower poverty neighborhoods and to access higher quality schools, but it has fallen short of this ideal in part because of a lack of landlords in low-poverty neighborhoods who will accept voucher tenants,” the study reads. Researchers claim that, unlike dozens of studies that examine economic, cultural and institutional mechanisms that trap poor families in low-quality housing and high-poverty neighborhoods, they focused on the role of landlords. The Poverty and Inequality Lab researchers suggest the government expand the pool of voucher landlords.
Trump’s HUD secretary is following the orders of these leftist groups. “These studies tell us that we have a lot of work to do to engage more landlords, so our Housing Choice Voucher Program can offer real choice to the families we serve,” Carson said in an agency statement announcing the new task force. “We will be traveling the country to hear directly from landlords about how we can make this critical program more user friendly.” To push more private landlords to take the vouchers, HUD will conduct listening forums around the country to figure out ways to expand the program, specifically in “higher opportunity neighborhoods where landlord participation is lowest.” The landlord engagement campaign will kick of on September 20 in Washington, D.C. before heading to Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Oregon, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. “After completing these landlord forums, the Landlord Task Force will provide policy recommendations to the Secretary on programmatic changes to increase landlord participation in the HCV Program,” according to the agency press release.
Even after the Trump administration took over, HUD has continued funding many of Barack Obama’s wasteful, socialist programs. Among them is a multi-million-dollar experiment that aims to transform slums into desirable middle-class neighborhoods. Earlier this year, the initiative, known as Choice Neighborhoods, got a $5 million infusion from the Trump administration. Before that Trump’s HUD gave dozens of leftist groups that purport to fight housing discrimination $37 million. The biggest chunk—$999,962—went to NFHA, which had just attacked the president for terminating an Obama program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—DACA) that protects hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
In our Judicial Watch Weekly Update video last week I related an amazing story I want to share with you here:
In 2016 we hired someone to investigate whether the Clinton emails were on the Dark Web, basically a publicly available part of the Internet that you normally don’t access. And we went to the FBI with information suggesting that the Russians had compromised her server.
The vendor we hired found a document that looked to be classified – it wasn’t marked classified but it looked pretty sensitive – and it looked as though it came from Clinton’s server. It was partly in Russian. It had to do with terrorism. The indications were, therefore, that that document had been hacked from her server.
We went to the FBI. We met with them for four hours. The meeting was initially set up through Peter Strzok. Now Strzok wasn’t at the meeting, interestingly, even though he set up the meeting. He sent two of his underlings.
And the FBI never did anything with that information. It happened just a few weeks before James Comey’s email press conference, where he said Hillary shouldn’t be prosecuted. Given the volume of information we shared with the FBI, we knew they hadn’t fairly evaluated it before Comey’s press conference. So we had alerted the FBI to a potential breach of Hillary’s servers by, it looks like, Russian interests in 2016, and they never did anything with it.
It’s just one more demonstration that Obama’s FBI was determined to whitewash Hillary Clinton’s blatantly illegal “private” email system. As your Judicial Watch does the heavy lifting, the DOJ is AWOL. When will the Sessions Justice Department take action on the Clinton email scandals?
Until next week …