Judicial Watch Goes to Federal Court To Battle for Key Document Used to Justify Obama Spying on Trump
We were in court this week arguing for the right of the people to know the extent of corruption in the FBI when it accused President Trump of conspiring with Russia. That fraudulent notion has long been discredited, but virtually all of those responsible have not been held to account or even exposed.
U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols ordered a hearing in our FOIA lawsuit involving the full declassification and release of the “electronic communication” (EC) that officially launched the counterintelligence investigation, termed “Crossfire Hurricane,” of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The hearing addressed our argument against the Department of Justice’s attempt to close the case and withhold a full, unredacted version of the EC. In May 2020 we obtained a redacted version of the EC, which was written entirely by former FBI official Peter Strzok.
We filed the September 2019 FOIA lawsuit after the DOJ and FBI both failed to respond to identical July 11, 2019, FOIA requests, which asked for access to a single record: “The Electronic Communication that initiated the counterintelligence investigation of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-02743))
In its effort to close the case, the Biden DOJ argues that there is not significant public interest in the full contents of the EC that initiated the counterintelligence investigation of former President Trump’s campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
We filed a motion countering that, “Disclosure of the full EC advances the public’s right to know what the government did, who was involved, and why the investigation into Trump and Russian interference was necessary.”
We cited two declarations from Kevin Brock, former assistant director of the Directorate of Intelligence and former principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) for the FBI. Brock testified that it is not standard procedure to have an EC drafted, approved, and sent to and from the exact same agent and that this is a violation of FBI oversight protocols:
In the EC document here, the “From” line indicates the EC – and authorization to begin an investigation as required under FBI policy – is from a part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. The contact listed is Peter Strzok. The EC was drafted by Peter Strzok. The EC was approved by Peter Strzok. On the face of the document produced, it appears the EC that initiated a criminal FARA investigation of unidentified members of the Trump presidential campaign was created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok. This is not usual procedure.
FBI policy prohibits an agent from initiating and approving his or her own case. Such action violates FBI oversight protocols put in place to protect the American people from an FBI agent acting unilaterally.
In fact, the EC does not identify any individual by name as a target of the investigation. It does not articulate any factors that address the elements of FARA as required by routine FBI policy and procedure and the Attorney General Guidelines and, therefore, does not contain sufficient justification for initiating an investigation into USPERs [U.S. persons].
Based upon my experience, no reasonable and experienced FBI counterintelligence squad supervisor in the field would have approved the EC at issue here – as released – which opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
The unredacted information released in the EC document here offers no legitimate predication justifying the investigation of USPERs involved in a presidential campaign or subsequent FISA intercept of a U.S. citizen
The corruption is real and we’re not going to let the DC establishment consign this shameful episode to the memory hole. We expect a court decision in a few months…
Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Director’s Emails on China and Covid Research
Our government’s medical bureaucrats seem determined to obscure their entanglement with China and coronavirus research before the pandemic struck. We’re equally determined to get to the bottom of it.
We filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for all emails of National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins related to gain of function research, hydroxychloroquine and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02302)).
We sued after the National Institutes of Health failed to respond to our June 8, 2021, FOIA request for:
All emails sent to and from Director Francis Collins related to “gain of function”, “hydroxychloroquine”, “HCQ”, and/or “Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
When challenged about whether the National Institutes of Health supported gain of function research, Collins released a statement on May 19, 2021, claiming:
Based on outbreaks of coronaviruses caused by animal to human transmissions such as in Asia in 2003 that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and in Saudi Arabia in 2012 that caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), NIH and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have for many years supported grants to learn more about viruses lurking in bats and other mammals that have the potential to spill over to humans and cause widespread disease. However, neither NIH nor NIAID have ever approved any grant that would have supported ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.
An August 26, 2021, report by the Washington Post claims the NIH has been funding gain of function research for years. Gain of function research involves experimentation that aims to increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens. According to the report:
In the United States, NIH Director Francis S. Collins and Anthony S. Fauci, director of the agency’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have led the federal funding and oversight of gain-of-function research.
Eight years ago, Collins and Fauci helped put in place high-level reviews and other safeguards in response to concerns raised by Relman [David A. Relman, a Stanford University physician and microbiologist] and aides to President Barack Obama, who were alarmed by what they saw as insufficient scrutiny of the research with ferrets. The NIH leaders and the Department of Health and Human Services pledged to subject the work to increased transparency and vetting. This included forming a review group of federal officials — known informally as a “Ferrets Committee” — to vet proposed projects for safety and worthiness.
However, Collins and Fauci in recent years have helped shape policy changes, directly and through their aides, that undercut the committee’s authority, according to federal documents, congressional testimony and interviews with dozens of present and former officials and science experts.
Since then, the experiments have continued to unfold amid secrecy, and HHS, which administers the review committee, has kept its work confidential: No agendas, meeting minutes or other records of its proceedings are public. Even the names of the federal officials assigned to serve on the committee, which has spanned the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations, are kept secret
On Sunday, March 7, 2021, Collins argued to CBS News that hydroxychloroquine was a “bust:”
“Basically it was a bust … maybe it got in the way of trying other kinds of repurposed drugs. All the enthusiasm about hydroxychloroquine was basically dependent on anecdotal reports,” Collins said. “And that did leave everybody with kind of a sour taste in their mouths … we had to get over that. I think we’re over it now.”
Bottom line: The NIH, our nation’s medical research agency, is in full cover-up mode about the COVID-19 controversies and politics. Where are the emails?
Our “big dig” into this issue is well underway with respect to Dr. Fauci.
On August 25, 2021, we made public 129 pages of records from HHS that included an “urgent for Dr. Fauci” email chain which cites ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also reported that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.
In July, we obtained records from NIAID officials in connection with the Wuhan Institute of Virology revealing significant collaborations and funding that began in 2014. The records revealed that NIAID gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself.
Also in July, we uncovered CDC records revealing that Facebook coordinated closely with the CDC to control the COVID narrative and “misinformation” and that over $3.5 million in free advertising has been given to the CDC by social media companies.
In June, we announced that we had filed FOIA lawsuits against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the State Department for information on the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Also in June, we obtained records from HHS revealing that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.
In March, we publicly released emails and other records of Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane from HHS showing that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the WHO conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020. Additionally, the emails reveal an independent journalist in China pointing out the inconsistent COVID numbers in China to NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects Lane.
In October 2020, we uncovered emails showing a WHO entity pushing for a press release, approved by Fauci, “especially” supporting China’s COVID-19 response.
You can see how Judicial Watch is again stepping up to the plate to investigate one of the biggest stories in our nation’s and the world’s history.
Judicial Watch Sues For Details Outsourcing Asylum Process in Mexico to UN, Foreign NGOs
Why is the Biden administration involving the United Nations in the destruction of our borders?
We’d like to know, so we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for details on the Biden administration’s outsourcing the U.S. asylum process in Mexico to the United Nations (UN) and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:21-cv-02303)).
We sued on August 30, 2021, after the State Department failed to respond to a May 12 FOIA request for:
All records regarding to the role of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and/or any non-profit organization in the processing of asylum seekers or other undocumented migrants in northern Mexico seeking entry into the United States. This request includes any related records of communication between any representative of the Department of State and any representative of the UNHCR and/or the IOM.
All records of communication between any representative of the Department of State (including, but not limited to, the United States Mission to the United Nations) and any representative of the United Nations or any United Nations agency related to the allocation of U.S. contributions to the UNHCR to nonprofit organizations providing assistance to asylum seekers and other undocumented migrants in northern Mexico.
In May 2021 Reuters reported that the Biden administration had initiated a “new process task[ing] a handful of non-profits working in Mexico with identifying and referring” asylum seekers and that “a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the United States requested the agency channel U.S. funds to the non-profit groups involved.”
On August 13, 2021, a federal judge ruled the Biden administration must reinstate MPP, finding that the Department of Health and Human Services was “arbitrary and capricious” in rescinding the program. On August 24, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s reinstatement order and denied the government’s request for a stay of that order.
The Biden administration funneled tax dollars through the United Nations and non-profits as part of its unlawful open borders strategy. The Biden administration should stop the stonewalling and follow the law so the American people can follow their money.
In August, we announced a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for information on asylum-seekers and other aliens participating in the Migrant Protection Protocols program (MPP) (“remain in Mexico” policy) who have been charged with crimes after entering the United States.
In other actions provoked by the Biden administration border crisis, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against HHS for COVID-19 technical guidance provided to the Office of Refugee Resettlement relating to illegal aliens released by DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in June.
On April 30, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against HHS for records about assaults on and abuse of unaccompanied alien children in its custody after it was disclosed that multiple facilities where children are being held are unsafe.
Stay tuned, as more lawsuits and documents are coming soon…
Until next week,