JW Panel ‘Investigating the Investigators’
Watch Our Expert Panel Discussion: ‘Investigating the Investigators’
I moderated a Judicial Watch panel of experts this week to probing into the targeting of President Trump and the attacks on our Republican form of government through the illicit use of the spy agencies. The panel also discussed the corruption at the FBI, corrupt handling of the Clinton email investigation, the Obama administration’s hand in the Russia investigation hoax, the Mueller probe and other important topics.
It’s a sordid story, one we’ve fought to expose for three years.
With the collapse of the Mueller investigation, President Trump has been exonerated of the false accusations of collusion and obstruction with the Russians, the panel turned its attention to the politicization of Department of Justice and the intelligence community. This panel presentation is part of many efforts by your Judicial Watch to expose the full extent of Deep State attacks on our president and our republican form of government. Be sure to watch this special Judicial Watch video presentation, available here.
Here are a few highlights from my introduction of the panel:
• Judicial Watch has nearly 50 lawsuits to expose this most massive corruption scandal in American History.
• Without the pressure of these lawsuits, efforts to educate the American people on what has been going on would never take place otherwise.
• Congress obviously has been defanged because they’re part of the problem now. The administration is facing internal pressure not to release key information about the misconduct of the Obama administration. Frankly, there are Trump administration officials who have continued the effort to overthrow the president.
Here are highlights of what Carter Page and former Trump campaign advisor – one of the targets of Deep State crimes – had to say:
• All of the organizations on this panel, including Judicial Watch, were themselves illegally surveilled through the government’s collection of his communications with them.
• Page said what the government did against him were acts of terrorism because the statutory definition of “terrorism” is “acts that are dangerous to human life,” and he received countless death threats associated with government’s actions again him. What the government was doing to him, he contended, was really about intimidating and coercing an innocent civilian for illegal ends.
• Literally everything that was done against Page, he said, was an act in violation of the FBI’s official priorities: Protecting against terrorist attacks; protecting against foreign intelligence operations and espionage; protecting against cyber-based and high-tech crimes; combating public corruption at all levels; protecting civil rights.
Here are some highlights of what lawyer and former Justice Department official Victoria Toensing had to say:
• George Papadopoulos was pursued to his Greek Island vacation destination and was set up by a man calling himself Charles Tawil, supposedly doing business in Israel, who convinced Papadopoulos to go to Israel where he was given $10,000 in cash as part of the supposed business deal. Papadopoulos did not take the money with him back to the United States. But, when he landed at Dulles Airport in Washington, he was arrested by the FBI, put in shackles and thrown in jail but because he did not have the cash with him. The FBI “made up a crime” to charge him with.
• Why was Andrew Weissmann, then the Justice Department official in charge of the fraud section before he joined the Mueller team, briefed on the Trump Dossier when the matter was out of his portfolio?
• When then-head of the NSA, Admiral Mike Rogers, discovered all of the FISA court violations by the Obama administration since 2012, in April 2016, he cut off all access to NSA FISA material by FBI contractors. Is it then, Toensing asked, that the FBI suddenly started seeking FISA warrants on Carter Page and others directly from the FISA court?
Daily Caller News Foundation investigative reporter Chuck Ross said:
• James Comey and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch were discussing Carter Page in Spring 2016, before the FBI investigation Crossfire Hurricane kicked off.
• FBI informer Stefan Halper met with Page three weeks before the FBI investigation began.
• The Trump Dossier fueled the media narrative on Trump/Russia collusion.
Judicial Watch Director of Investigations and Research, Chris Farrell, observed:
• Attorney General Barr aptly and appropriately described what was going on by the Justice Department and FBI during the coup attempt as “spying.”
• The intelligence agencies were used in way that is “outrageously beyond the pale, like nothing else we’ve ever seen in the history of the United States Government.”
• The FBI and intelligence agencies were so far out of bounds that when what was going on is described as a coup, it is no exaggeration. It was a coup ¬– an effort to unseat the president and destabilize his administration.
• This was very sophisticated, very well thought out, not just “lawfare” in the sense of using law enforcement and the legal system, department of justice – justice and FBI, but also the intelligence apparatus like we’ve never seen before.
As I said to the panelists, no one else in American history has been targeted like this president. That’s not a political statement; that’s a fact. It ought to be concerning to any American who wants a Republican form of government – as opposed to a government run by political appointees and bureaucrats who think they know better than the American people in terms of who gets to be president and how they exercise their power and authority. Stay tuned for more as your Judicial Watch continues to investigate the investigators.
Hillary Clinton was Warned Twice against Using Unsecure BlackBerrys and Personal Emails
Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, testified in a recent Judicial Watch deposition that Hillary was warned twice against using unsecure BlackBerrys and personal emails to transmit classified material. A full transcript of the deposition is available here.
Boswell, who was responsible for securing classified and national security information, stated that Clinton and her staff were “wedded to their BlackBerrys.” Additionally, he stated that he and other former State Department employees “were surprised” that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.
In his deposition, Ambassador Boswell stated:
• Hillary Clinton and other Senior State Department officials were warned in 2009 that “any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails and exploiting calendars.”
• Clinton was warned again by State Department officials in 2011 that, “We also urge Department users to minimize the use of personal web email for business, as some compromised home systems have been reconfigured by these actors to automatically forward copies of all composed emails to an undisclosed recipient.”
• Clinton assured Boswell that she “gets it” when he informed her about dangers of BlackBerrys.
• Clinton and her staff were “wedded to their blackberries” and wanted to continue using them in secure areas even after warning because it was a “convenience issue” to them.
• He and other former State Department employees “were surprised” to learn that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business. Boswell claimed that they were not aware of such activity while still employed by the government.
Boswell was deposed as part of the discovery granted to us by U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecured, non-government email system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).
Your Judicial Watch was granted both depositions and written questions under oath of former Clinton aides, State Department officials, and others:
• Justin Cooper, a former aide to Bill Clinton who reportedly had no security clearance and is believed to have played a key role in setting up Hillary Clinton’s non-government email system;
• John Hackett, a State Department records official “immediately responsible for responding to requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act;”
• Jacob “Jake” Sullivan, Hillary Clinton’s former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff;
• Sheryl Walter, former State Department Director of the Office of Information Programs and Services/Global Information Services;
• Gene Smilansky, a State Department lawyer;
• Monica Tillery, a State Department official;
• Jonathon Wasser, who was a management analyst on the Executive Secretariat staff. Wasser worked for Deputy Director Clarence Finney and was the State Department employee who actually conducted the searches for records in response to FOIA requests to the Office of the Secretary;
• Clarence Finney, the deputy director of the Executive Secretariat staff who was the principal advisor and records management expert in the Office of the Secretary responsible for control of all correspondence and records for Hillary Clinton and other State Department officials;
• Heather Samuelson, the former State Department senior advisor who helped facilitate the State Department’s receipt and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails;
• Monica Hanley, Hillary Clinton’s former confidential assistant at the State Department;
• Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant;
• E.W. Priestap, is serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and helped oversee both the Clinton email and the 2016 presidential campaign investigations. Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts;
• Susan Rice, President Obama’s former UN ambassador who appeared on Sunday television news shows following the Benghazi attacks, blaming a “hateful video.” Rice was also Obama’s national security advisor involved in the “unmasking” the identities of senior Trump officials caught up in the surveillance of foreign targets;
• Ben Rhodes, an Obama-era White House deputy strategic communications adviser who attempted to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy;”
• Heather Samuelson, the former State Department senior advisor who helped facilitate the State Department’s receipt and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails;
• one other person to be designated by the State Department.
Judge Royce Lamberth ordered that the Boswell video be sealed.
Thanks to our court-ordered discovery, we now have confirmation that Hillary Clinton was warned by the top security official in the State Department that unsecure Blackberry and email use was a security risk, yet Hillary Clinton ignored these warnings. Why? She claims she did it – and in the process put national security at risk – for her own personal convenience.
In June 2017, we submitted evidence to Judge Sullivan showing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly used an unsecure BlackBerry device despite being warned by “security hawks” against doing so.
In a related case, in 2016, we took depositions from Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Patrick Kennedy, Stephen Mull, Karin Lang and Bryan Paglianoin connection to Secretary Clinton’s private email system.
U.S. Government Wastes Billions on ‘Fragmented, Overlapping or Duplicative’ Programs
We at Judicial Watch have been fighting government waste, fraud and abuse throughout our 25-year history. A perfect example was the case of whistleblower Linda Shenwick during the Clinton administration, who exposed gross nepotism at the U.S. Mission to the UN; conflicts of interest in appointments and contracting; misrepresentations of the existence and waste and mismanagement at the UN; failure to deal with overbudgeting and overbilling; outright theft and mishandling of cash. For her efforts, she was escorted from her office at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. during working hours by armed guards like a common criminal; forced to go on leave without pay; then transferred to government jobs unrelated to her experience and unworthy of her skills; and isolated and forced to work under humiliating scrutiny. And then she was fired.
As our Corruption Chronicles recently reported, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report showing federal government wasting tens of billions of dollars:
The federal government wastes tens of billions of dollars on all sorts of “fragmented, overlapping or duplicative” programs in areas ranging from healthcare to defense, the production of U.S. currency and disaster response. It is a perpetual government-wide epidemic that has long fleeced American taxpayers, according to a report issued this month by the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The watchdog has published similar documents in the past eight years listing more than 300 areas of waste, yet the hemorrhaging continues because Congress or executive branch agencies have failed to act.
In the latest probe, the GAO identifies 98 new areas—in addition to hundreds that have been ignored—of fragmentation, overlap or duplication that must be addressed to help curb the waste. Fragmentation refers to circumstances in which more than one federal agency is involved in the same broad area of national need and service delivery can be improved. Overlap occurs when multiple agencies or programs have similar goals, engage in similar activities or strategies to achieve them or target similar beneficiaries. Duplication exists when two or more agencies or programs are engaged in the same activities or provide the same services to the same beneficiaries. “GAO estimates that tens of billions of additional dollars could be saved should Congress and executive branch agencies fully address the remaining 396 open actions, including the new ones identified in 2019,” the new report states. “Addressing the remaining actions could lead to other benefits as well, such as increased public safety, better homeland and national security, and more effective delivery of services.”
Here are some examples of new waste identified in the report, which also includes ongoing problems from previous investigations: The Department of Energy (DOE) could save “billions of dollars by developing a program-wide strategy to improve decision-making on cleaning up radioactive and hazardous waste.” The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services could save hundreds of millions of dollars simply by improving how it identifies and targets risk in overseeing Medicaid spending and by avoiding overpaying for clinical lab tests. The Department of Defense (DOD) could save millions of dollars a year by expanding its use of intergovernmental support agreements to obtain support services that include waste management. The U.S. Mint could “reduce the cost of coin production by millions of dollars annually” and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could save tens of millions of dollars a year by more efficiently combating “tax fraud and noncompliance.”
The list of agencies that fragment, overlap or duplicate goes on and on with practically every key federal agency appearing as an offender. Among them are the departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Labor (DOL), Homeland Security (DHS), State, Agriculture (USDA) and Commerce as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The report does point out that actions taken by Congress and executive branch agencies have resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in “financial benefits.” Are American taxpayers supposed to pat lawmakers and federal government managers on the back for doing their job? The waste is a result of poor management and never should have occurred in the first place. A lengthy and costly federal audit should not have been required to correct the problem.
There appears to be no end in sight to the spending crisis. Every year the GAO finds more and more violations. Investigators reveal they have directed 797 cost-saving actions to executive branch agencies in the last eight years and 106 actions to Congress. The federal agencies, including DOD, Health and Human Services and DHS, have addressed just over half of the problems. Congress has a worse track record, failing to take action in 56% of the cases documented in past federal audits. The GAO warns that “the federal government continues to face an unsustainable long-term fiscal path caused by an imbalance between federal revenue and spending” and that opportunities exist in a number of areas to improve the situation. Now elected officials and public servants must do their job.
Until next week …