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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!


Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Weekly Update: Mueller Deputy Shows His Bias

Mueller Deputy Showed Strong Support for Anti-Trump Action on Travel Ban
We Release Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting Documents Withheld by DOJ
Court Rejects Attempt to Throw Out Our Sanctuary Lawsuit


Mueller Deputy Showed Strong Support for Anti-Trump Action on Travel Ban

This week began with Judicial Watch obtaining even more irrefutable evidence that Robert Mueller’s out-of-control investigation is little more than a politically motivated witch hunt.

The evidence was in two productions (335 pages and 44 pages) of Justice Department (DOJ) documents showing unbridled support by top DOJ officials for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order.

In one email, Andrew Weissmann –  one of Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors and formerly the Obama-era chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section – applauds Yates, writing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”

We obtained the documents through a May 2017 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit we filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to a February FOIA request seeking Yates’ emails from her government account for the time period she served as acting attorney general for President Trump (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00832)).

The emails, several sent from official Justice Department email addresses, show strong support for Yates, who was fired for disobeying a direct order from the President:

  • Thomas Delahanty, then the United States Attorney for Maine, wrote: “You are my hero.”
  • Liz Aloi, a career service employee and Chief of the Justice Department’s Special Financial Investigations Unit, said Yates was “Inspirational and heroic.”
  • Emily Gray Rice, then the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire and an Obama appointee, said: “AAG Yates, thank you, as always, for making us proud. It is truly an honor to work for you.”
  • Obama appointee Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, told Yates, “Thank you for your courage and leadership. This is wonderful news.”
  • DOJ Civil Division Appellate Attorney Jeffrey Clair wrote: “Thank you AG Yates. I’ve been in civil/appellate for 30 years and have never seen an administration with such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law. The President’s order is an unconstitutional embarrassment and I applaud you for taking a principled stand against defending it.”

This is an astonishing and disturbing find. Andrew Weisman is a key prosecutor on Robert Mueller’s team. Yet, he openly praised Obama DOJ holdover Sally Yates after she lawlessly thwarted President Trump. How much more evidence do we need that the Mueller operation has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans?

You will recall that Yates was appointed by President Obama as U.S. Attorney in northern Georgia and was later confirmed as deputy attorney general. On January 20, 2017, she became acting attorney general for President Trump.

And on January 30, she ordered the Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s January 27 executive order seeking a travel ban from seven Middle Eastern countries. That same day, President Trump fired her for refusing to defend the action. But not before Weissmann, and other high-ranking DOJ officials, could heartily congratulate her for defying the direct orders of the president he is now investigating.

In a late October article describing Weissmann as Robert Mueller’s “Pit Bull,” The New York Times wrote:

He is a top lieutenant to Robert S. Mueller III on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. Significantly, Mr. Weissmann is an expert in converting defendants into collaborators — with either tactical brilliance or overzealousness, depending on one’s perspective.

Weissman, it should be noted, also oversaw the pre-dawn home raid of former Trump aide Paul Manafort in what one former federal prosecutor described as “textbook Weissmann terrorism.”

Yates granted herself the authority, which she does not have under the law, to overrule her boss, the president. That Weissmann and so many others would fawn over her open defiance of an executive order exposes their utter contempt for the Constitution and their blatant bias against Trump.

There is ample evidence to suggest that President Trump is well aware of our ongoing legal efforts to ferret out the truth about the Mueller investigation. Trump pinned this tweet about JW’s actions in the early morning hours after my “Fox & Friends” interview on December 3, 2017.


We Release Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting Documents Withheld by DOJ

The FBI used to be a proven master at exposing cover-ups. But, now, it has become a master of the cover-up, itself.

That’s what JW revealed when we released 29 pages of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents related to the June 27, 2016, tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton.

The documents show that FBI officials were more concerned about stifling leaks than the actual meeting itself. The new documents also show that the ever-vigilant former FBI Director Comey seemed to learn of the meeting from news reports.

We obtained the documents in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02046)) filed after the Justice Department failed to comply with a July 7, 2016, FOIA request seeking:

  • All FD-302 forms prepared pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure.
  • All records of communications between any agent, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding, concerning, or related to the aforementioned investigation. This request includes, but is not limited to, any related communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Department of Justice, the Executive Office of the President, the Democratic National Committee, and/or the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
  • All records related to the meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016.

These documents show FBI officials were more concerned about tracking down a whistleblower than discovering why Bill Clinton delayed his aircraft taking off in order to “maneuver” a meeting with the attorney general – who was ostensibly investigating Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. The resulting story about the Lynch-Clinton rendezvous in the Observer caused a flurry of emails about the source – rather than the substance – of the article.

In the emails obtained by JW, FBI official(s) wrote: “we need to find that guy” (the whistleblower). Also, the emails reveal that the Phoenix FBI office was contacted “in an attempt to stem any further damage.” Another FBI official, working on AG Lynch’s security detail, suggests instituting non-disclosure agreements apparently to thwart any further revelations. The names of the email authors are redacted. Significantly, there are no documents showing any concern whatsoever about the meeting itself.

The FBI originally informed us that they could not locate any records related to the tarmac meeting. However, in a related FOIA lawsuit, the Justice Department located emails in which Justice Department officials wrote that they had communicated with the FBI. As a result, a letter dated August 10, 2017, from the FBI stated, “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist. As a result, your [FOIA] request has been reopened …”

Here is the background. On June 27, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked plane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server, and only a few days before she was interviewed by Mrs. Lynch’s Justice Department and FBI. (We filed a request on June 30 that the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigate the Lynch-Clinton meeting.)

The tarmac meeting also came just days before former FBI Director James Comey held the July 5, 2016, press conference in which he announced that no charges would be filed against Mrs. Clinton. In his subsequent, May 3, 2017, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting was the “capper” among “a number of things” that had caused him to determine that Department of Justice leadership “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.”

It may be too late for that, Mr. Comey. These documents show that the FBI was more concerned about a whistleblower who told the truth about the infamous Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting than the scandalous meeting itself. The documents show the FBI worked to make sure no more details of the meeting would be revealed to the American people. No wonder the FBI didn’t turn these documents over until we caught the agency red-handed hiding them. If not for our lawsuits these documents would still be hidden today. And the cover-up would never have been exposed.

This is more confirmation of the urgent need to reopen the Clinton email scandal and criminally investigate the resulting Obama FBI/DOJ sham investigation.

The American people are following this growing scandal intently. An opinion piece I wrote for Fox News on the tarmac documents drew nearly 10,000 comments.


Court Rejects Attempt to Throw Out Our Sanctuary Lawsuit

Let history record that in the 241st year of our Republic elected officials at every level consider breaking the law to be the moral high ground.

That was confirmed yet again when we announced this week that the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, overruled San Francisco Sheriff Vicky Hennessy’s move to end our taxpayer lawsuit challenging the Sheriff’s dangerous – and, in fact, deadly – sanctuary policy. That policy, as we said in our lawsuit, thwarted the will of Congress, and allowed illegal aliens “who have committed aggravated felonies or other crimes … to remain at large.”

The lawsuit challenges restrictions on the ability of sheriff’s deputies to communicate freely with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) about inmates’ citizenship, immigration status, and release dates (Cynthia Cerletti v. Vicki Hennessy, Sheriff (No. CGC-16-556164)).

The November 21, 2017, ruling came in a December 2016 lawsuit we brought on behalf of California taxpayer Cynthia Cerletti. The lawsuit alleges Sheriff Hennessy’s restrictions on communications with ICE conflict with federal immigration law and are, therefore, invalid.

San Francisco’s sanctuary policy received national attention on July 1, 2015, when Kathryn Steinle was reportedly gunned down at one the city’s most popular tourist spots by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (formerly known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez), an illegal alien who had been released from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department despite a request from ICE that he be detained for possible deportation. On Thursday, November 30, 2017, a San Francisco jury acquitted Zarate of murder.

In its court filing opposing Sheriff Hennessy’s effort to dismiss Ms. Cerletti’s lawsuit, we argued:

Sheriff Hennessy’s refusal to share basic information about the release of deportable criminal aliens in her custody – the date, time, and place of their scheduled release – plainly frustrates Congress’ clear purpose in enacting section 1226(c). By refusing to share release information, Sheriff Hennessy allows deportable criminal aliens in her custody – aliens Congress plainly intended to be detained upon release from the custody of [law enforcement agencies] such as SFSD – to escape federal immigration officials’ grasp. Her restrictions enable aliens who have committed aggravated felonies or other crimes deemed sufficiently serious by Congress to warrant detaining them and denying them bond or conditional parole to remain at large pending removal. Not only might such persons pose a further danger to the community – which was one of Congress’ main concerns – but federal immigration officials must spend additional time and resources and assume unnecessary risk to themselves, the aliens, and others locating and apprehending them.

In rejecting the attempt to end the lawsuit, presiding Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn wrote that there is “sufficient support at this stage of the case for Ms. Cerletti’s allegation that the Sheriff’s policy prohibiting or restricting release information about suspected priority aliens stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment of Congress’ asserted purpose of enabling federal immigration officials to gain access to inmates who may have violated federal immigration laws.”  The lawsuit may now proceed to discovery.

As Kate Steinle’s death tragically demonstrates, San Francisco’s sanctuary policy is dangerous and illegal. We hope our taxpayer lawsuit can end this outrage before more lives are needlessly lost.


Until next week …