Sunday, June 25, 2017

Department of Justice

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Comey Deleted
When will Trump start calling this guy "Shady James Comey"

Judicial Watch today announced it sent Acting FBI Director Andrew G. McCabe a warning letter concerning the FBI’s legal responsibility under the Federal Records Act (FRA) to recover records, including memos Comey subsequently leaked to the media, unlawfully removed from the Bureau by former Director James Comey. The June 14 letter from Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton states:

As you are well aware, former FBI Director James Comey gave sworn testimony last week before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Among other things, Mr. Comey confirmed that, while in office, he created various memoranda regarding his meetings with President Trump. Mr. Comey also confirmed that, after his departure from the FBI, he provided at least some of these memoranda to a third party, Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman, for the purpose of leaking them to the press. Various media outlets now have reported that Professor Richman has provided these memoranda to the FBI. It is unclear whether he still retains copies of the memoranda.

I am writing to you on behalf of Judicial Watch, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization that seeks to promote transparency, accountability, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. In furtherance of its public interest mission, Judicial Watch regularly requests access to the records of the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act and disseminates its findings to the public. In fact, on May 16, 2017, Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request seeking these specific memoranda removed from the FBI by Mr. Comey. Judicial Watch also has pending FOIA lawsuits in which the memoranda may be at issue.

These memoranda were created by Mr. Comey while serving as FBI director, were written on his FBI laptop, and concerned official government business. As such, they indisputably are records subject to the Federal Records Act. 44 U.S.C. §§ 2101-18, 2901-09, 3101-07, and 3301-14. The fact that Mr. Comey removed these memoranda from the FBI upon his departure, apparently for the purpose of subsequently leaking them to the press, confirms the FBI’s failure to retain and properly manage its records in accordance with the Federal Records Act. Even if Mr. Comey no longer has possession of these particular memoranda, as he now claims, some or all of these memoranda may still be in possession of a third party, such as Professor Richman, and must be recovered. Mr. Comey’s removal of these memoranda also suggests that other records may have been removed by Mr. Comey and may remain in his possession or in the possession of others. If so, these records must be recovered by the FBI as well.

As you may be aware, the Federal Records Act imposes a direct responsibility on you to take steps to recover any records unlawfully removed from the FBI. Specifically, upon learning of “any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency,” you must notify the Archivist of the United States. 44 U.S.C. § 3106. Upon learning that records have been unlawfully removed from the FBI, you then are required to initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records. Id.

In the event you fail to take these steps, you should be aware that Judicial Watch is authorized under the law to file a lawsuit in federal district court seeking that you be compelled to comply with the law. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Kerry, 844 F.3d 952, 955 (D.C. Cir. 2016); Armstrong v. Bush, 924 F.2d 282,296 (D.C. Cir. 1991). Please advise us no later than June 26, 2017 if you intend to take the action required under the law. If we do not hear from you by that date, we will assume that you do not intend to take any action. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

“Mr. Comey took government records and the FBI and Justice Department are obligated to get them back,” added Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “The former FBI director isn’t above the law and current leadership of the FBI should stop protecting him and take action.”

Judicial Watch is pursuing a lawsuit challenging the State Department’s failure to take any action to recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other employees unlawfully removed from the agency seeks to force State Department compliance with the Federal Records Act (FRA).  Judicial Watch argues the State Department and FBI never bothered to do a full search for Hillary Clinton’s government emails. This is one of several of Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuits seeking government records and information about the non-government email system used by Clinton.

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NSA Leaker
Try 'hacking' through the bars of your prison cell, leaker!

The Department of Justice recently announced in a statement, the charges against a government contractor who allegedly leaked classified documents to the media. The statement also reveals how they eventually caught her.

“A criminal complaint was filed in the Southern District of Georgia today charging Reality Leigh Winner, 25, a federal contractor from Augusta, Georgia, with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 793(e),” it read.

“On or about May 9, Winner printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, and unlawfully retained it,” the statement explained. “Approximately a few days later, Winner unlawfully transmitted by mail the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet.”

The media has since noted that the government only seems to have caught her after the said news outlet asked for a comment about their story, but in an apparent mistake provided the government with the original documents.

“The U.S. Government Agency examined the document shared by the News Outlet and determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space,” the complaint read.

Hence, because of the crease in the paper, officials knew they had to look for people who had printed the document and taken it out of the “secured space” physically. After discovering six individuals who had printed the document, they found that one had sent emails to the news outlet.

Winner was suspected to have leaked the highly classified document to The Intercept, which then ran a story based on the report, talking about how US intelligence authorities had monitored hundreds of hacking attempts before the 2016 presidential election.

“The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.”

Since taking over the White House, the Trump administration has been a victim of constant leaks that have become a major problem for the president and his agenda.

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Department of Justice

Reports of campaign donations are coming in and it turns out that the Department of Justice, the same people who are involved in the Clinton email investigation, are the same people who donated almost $75,000 to the presidential hopeful.

228 employees at the Department of Justice have given Hillary a total $73,437 for this campaign. Which is way up from 2008 when only 23 people supported Hillary with $15,930.

This year she has 12 people who paid the max $2,700 for an individual payment.

How is the Department of Justice supposed to look at Hillary’s email investigation objectively when it is clear they are rooting for the former Secretary?

Bernie Sanders has only had 51 donations from people working at the Department of Justice for a total of $8,900. The 51 donations to Bernie and the 228 to Hillary make up a large group of the clearly Democratic-leaning DOJ.

Compare the numbers and donations to Hillary and Bernie to what employees at the DOJ have given to Donald Trump: just two donations for a total of $381.

Considering that the Department Of Justice is going to be responsible for indicting Hillary, the fact that the employees have given Hillary almost $75,000 doesn’t seem like it is something they are going to be pushing.

Why would so many employees, who clearly support Clinton, try to push for an indictment? The opposite will happen and they will fight it tooth and nail.

The problem is, the trust in the Department of Justice is in the balance. Is the DOJ agency just Obama’s culture police or does it serve a real purpose?

The FBI has questioned Hillary’s aides, and soon Hillary will be meeting with them too. This investigation is not over, and every day we learn something new, but it will all come down the Department of Justice on whether to indict or not.

Do you think that the Democrat-filled Department of Justice will indict Hillary?

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justice department

Coinciding with the mass release of federal inmates, the Obama administration is spending $1.7 million on a “re-entry program” to ease the transition from prison and ordering public housing facilities not to reject tenants with criminal records.

The goal is to reduce barriers to public housing, employment and educational opportunities by promoting rehabilitation and reintegration for the formerly incarcerated, the feds explain in an announcement. A key component of the program is a joint venture between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help public housing residents expunge or seal their criminal records. The administration considers these “Americans who’ve paid their debt to society” and need the government’s help to “rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities.”

A criminal record severely limits a person’s ability to seek higher education, find good employment, qualify for credit and secure affordable housing, the administration states in its announcement. This creates unnecessary barriers to economic opportunity and productivity for the convicts after they leave jail and President Obama is determined to ensure those returning from prison become “productive, law-abiding citizens.” His Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, says the DOJ is “committed to giving formerly incarcerated individuals the tools they need to become productive members of society.”

For starters, the cons must find a place to live after getting released from jail so the administration has issued updated rules for taxpayer-subsidized housing essentially prohibiting the exclusion of tenants who have been arrested or criminally convicted. “…arrest records may not be the basis for denying admission, terminating assistance or evicting tenants…,” the new rules say, adding that HUD does not require the adoption or enforcement of “one-strike rules that deny admission to anyone with a criminal record or that require automatic eviction any time a household member engages in criminal activity in violation of their lease.” The message from the administration to federally-assisted housing facilities appears to be to condone criminal behavior.

This is part of Obama’s broader effort to reform the nation’s criminal justice system as a way of ending racial discrimination. Back in 2010 the president signed a measure that for the first time in decades relaxed drug-crime sentences he claimed discriminated against poor and minority offenders. This severely weakened a decades-old law enacted during the infamous crack cocaine epidemic that ravaged urban communities nationwide in the 1980s. As part of the movement the U.S. Sentencing Commission lowered maximum sentences for drug offenders and made it retroactive.

This month the administration began releasing 6,000 drug convicts it claims are “non-violent” offenders whose sentences were too long under the old guidelines. News reports have already surfaced contradicting the administration’s assessment that the newly released convicts are not violent. Among them is the leader of a multi-million dollar operation that smuggled drugs from Canada to Maine. Prosecutors refer to the 29-year-old con as a “drug kingpin” who was one of “America’s Most Wanted.”

Shortly before the administration’s mass release of drug convicts, federal prosecutors warned that drug trafficking is inherently violent and therefore the phrase “non-violent drug offenders” is a misnomer. The nation’s prosecutors also cautioned that reducing prison sentences for drug offenders will weaken their ability to bring dangerous drug traffickers to justice.

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justice-department

Watchdogs assigned to root out fraud and corruption inside federal government agencies encounter so many barriers during their investigations that they’re calling on Congress to pass legislation that will guarantee the access they’re already supposed to have.

The cry comes on the heels of a new Justice Department restriction on information that its inspector general (IG) can access during agency probes. Remember that President Obama promised to run the most transparent administration in history yet the Department of Justice (DOJ), an extension of the executive office, is limiting what its watchdog can see during what’s supposed to be an independent investigation. This goes contrary to a 1978 law requiring that inspectors general act autonomously when they conduct probes of the federal agencies they’re assigned to keep in check.

This is hardly the case. In fact, Judicial Watch has reported for years about the obstacles that inspectors general have faced as they do their job to crack down on waste, fraud and corruption in government. There are 73 IGs and, although they report to Congress, each is appointed by the president. For years current and former employees at IG offices have alleged that the watchdogs work too closely with the leaders of the agencies they investigate and that many have succumbed to political pressure, in both Republican and Democrat administrations.

In fact, a few years ago a number of IGs came under fire and faced retaliation and scrutiny after exposing wrongdoing at the agencies they were charged with investigating. This led Congress to contemplate legislation to protect the watchdogs by, among other things, requiring the president to notify Congress 30 days before firing an inspector general to guard against terminations for political reasons. As is often the case in Washington, no action was taken to solve the matter so the problem persists.

Now IGs are calling on begging Congress to do its job and help. In a letter to lawmakers this month, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, which represents the nation’s IGs, asks that legislation be passed to guarantee their independence when conducting probes at federal agencies. “Without timely and unfettered access to all necessary information, Inspectors General cannot ensure that all government programs and operations are subject to exacting and independent scrutiny,” the letter states. “Refusing, restricting, or delaying an Inspector General’s independent access may lead to incomplete, inaccurate, or significantly delayed findings and recommendations, which in turn may prevent the agency from promptly correcting serious problems and pursuing recoveries that benefit taxpayers, and deprive Congress of timely information regarding the agency’s activities. It also may impede or otherwise inhibit investigations and prosecutions related to agency programs and operations.”

The move comes after the DOJ’s legal counsel issued a ruling creating new limits on information that its watchdog can access during investigations of the agency, which has been embroiled in a number of scandals during the Obama administration. Under the new guidelines the DOJ’s IG can only obtain what may be considered “sensitive” information if DOJ officials in charge of the cases being probed give permission. In some instances permission could be granted but in others the information could be completely kept from the IG under the new rules, which were initially proposed by Obama’s first Attorney General, Eric Holder.

The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency refers to the DOJ’s new policy in its letter to Congress, writing that it “sharply curtails the authority of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice (DOJ-IG) to independently access all records necessary to carry out its oversight responsibilities.” Furthermore, the IGs point out, it “represents a serious threat to the independent authority of not only the DOJ-IG but to all Inspectors General.” These watchdogs must have access, without delay, to all information and data in an agency’s possession that is deemed necessary to conduct oversight functions, the letter states.

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obama-saudi-king

The Obama-tied leftist group that helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative organization has assembled a starter kit for Islamists to attack American women who refuse to comply with Sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism.

It’s the summer special from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations that disagree with it on social issues on a catalogue of “hate groups.” A few years ago a gunman received a 25-year prison sentence for carrying out the politically-motivated shooting of the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters after admitting that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC “hate map.” Prosecutors called it an act of terrorism and recommended a 45-year sentence.

Now the SPLC, which has conducted diversity training for the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ), is targeting female bloggers, activists and television personalities who refuse to comply with Sharia law which is rooted in the Quran. The European Court on Human rights has repeatedly ruled that Sharia is “incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy” yet politically-connected radical Muslim groups—such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—keep pushing to implement it in the United States and the movement has gained steam.

Among those resisting this effort publicly are the high-profile women being targeted by the SPLC. Some of them are colleagues or friends of Judicial Watch and now they must fear for their safety simply for practicing their rights under the U.S. Constitution. The new hate list is titled Women Against Islam/The Dirty Dozen and includes illustrations and detailed information on all the women, who are branded “the core of the anti-Muslim radical right.” The new SPLC hate brochure further targets them by claiming that they’re “a dozen of the most hardline anti-Muslim women activists in America.”

Political activist and commentator Pamela Geller is branded the “country’s most flamboyant and visible Muslim-basher” for, among other things “smearing and demonizing Muslims.” Blogger Ann Barnhardt is identified as one of the “most extreme Muslim-bashers in the United States” and radio talk-show host Laura Ingram made the list for saying that hundreds of millions of Muslims were delighted that 12 people were massacred by Islamic terrorists in the Paris headquarters of a satirical magazine. Former CIA agent Clare Lopez, who runs a Washington D.C. think-tank focusing on national security issues, made the list for saying that the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated and suborned the U.S. government to actively assist…the mission of its grand jihad.”

Others appearing on the anti-Sharia docket include television personality and former judge and prosecutor Jeanine Pirro, former chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party Cathie Adams, talk-show host Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, syndicated columnist Diana West, attorney and columnist Debbie Schlussel, blogger Cathy Hinners, ACT! for America founder Brigitte Gabriel and conservative writer and TV personality Ann Coulter. Among her biggest offenses, according to the SPLC, is proclaiming that “not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims—at least all terrorists capable of assembling a murderous plot against America.”

Incredibly, the SPLC is one of a number of leftist special interest groups that has colluded with the DOJ since Obama moved into the White House. A few years ago JW uncovered government records that show the DOJ Civil Rights and Tax divisions engaged in questionable behavior while negotiating for SPLC co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a 2012 “Diversity Training Event.” JW pursued the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to determine what influence the SPLC’s branding of hate groups has had on government agencies.

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As Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, languishes in Senate confirmation limbo, her supporters led by “Rev.” Al Sharpton have launched a “hunger strike” of sorts that will continue until she is confirmed by the Senate.

While experts disagree about how much weight Sharpton needs to loose, the do agree that he could be waiting weeks for his next Big Mac if the “Hunger Strike” is real and Republicans follow through on their threat to hold up Lynch’s confirmation until certain confirmation preconditions are met.

These preconditions include issues related to Lynch’s confirmation testimony, abortion funding language in a sex trafficking bill and President Obama’s end run around the Senate’s right to “advise and consent” on the Iran nuclear deal before it can take effect.

These are big issues that could add months to Lynch’s five month wait to become the nation’s top cop.

So says Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) who warned Wednesday that the Senate could bypass a sex trafficking bill and postpone a vote on Lynch’s nomination to free up time to review the Iran nuclear deal reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a unanimous bipartisan vote on Tuesday. Cornyn told reporters that:

“Iran is a special case. So I’m not suggesting we hold up Iran for this”…“but I am suggesting we come back to it after Iran, particularly if [Democrats] want to release Eric Holder so they can let him make a lot of money in the private sector.”

The “Rev.” Al Sharpton is having none of it. In fact, he is so serious about standing on principal that he will abstain from food on “alternate days” until Lynch is confirmed to replace Eric Holder at the Justice Department.

Dubbed “Confirm Loretta Lynch Fast,” Sharpton’s stunt means to mirror the actions of true civil rights leaders that include Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi organizers said.

Sharpton said in a statement that:

“As long as the Senate refuses to take fifteen minutes to confirm someone for Attorney General that they have already confirmed twice for U.S. Attorney,” National Action Network and its allies “will do everything in our power to draw attention to this completely unfair and unnecessary delay to vote to confirm Loretta Lynch.”

National Action Network executive director Janaye Ingram, added:

“We stand with Loretta Lynch and are so in support of this cause that we are willing to sacrifice our daily meals to impress upon the U.S. Senate that it’s time to call a vote.”

Sharpton’s “every other day” hunger strike stunt is part of a wider campaign to “pressure” Republican leaders to send Lynch’s nomination to the floor for an up or down vote – a vote stuck in limbo since her confirmation was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in February.

There are other factors in play as well.

During her confirmation hearing, Lynch raised eyebrows when she said President Obama’s Executive Amnesty for illegal aliens was constitutionally sound… did not violate the separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches of government… and that she would support it at Attorney General.

Some Senators are also holding up a vote on Lynch because President Obama has said he will veto a bill to battle the scourge of sex trafficking if it excluded funding for abortion – language similar to the Hyde Amendment the prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) repeated earlier this week that the Senate would not vote on Lynch until it resolves the abortion-funding dispute over the bill. McConnell said:

“Democrats couldn’t possibly justify voting for Hyde language in order to help doctors, as they did hours ago, but then look an abused victim in the eye and tell her she’s not worth it…” “All that’s needed now are a couple more Democrats willing to show the same level of compassion to enslaved victims they offered to doctors just a few hours ago (on an unrelated Medicare bill).”

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