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Video: Judicial Watch Director of Investigations Chris Farrelll - Mueller Is Abusing His Power


Judicial Watch Director of Investigations Chris Farrell on how special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is trying to convict Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort of bank fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. Farrell also discussed how Judicial Watch received a series of redacted documents released by the FBI.

 

 
 
 
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Judicial Watch Obtains Carter Page FISA Court Documents


(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today’s release of 412 pages of documents about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants targeting Carter Page, who had been a Trump campaign adviser:

These documents are heavily redacted but seem to confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC were behind the “intelligence” used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team. Given this corruption, President Trump should intervene and declassify the heavily redacted material.

The documents were due to Judicial Watch yesterday but were emailed around 5:30 pm today.

The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests came from a “dossier” that was created by Fusion GPS, a paid agent of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.  The initial Carter Page warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.  Today’s document release supports criticisms by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee who released a memo that criticized the FISA targeting.  The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

The document production comes in a February 2018 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ rejected a July 19, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)). The lawsuit is seeking:

Copies of all proposed and all final signed FISA applications submitted to the FISC relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, and any known Trump associates regardless of context;

Copies of all FISC responses to the above-mentioned applications in which the Court notified the FBI or Justice Department that it would not grant the proposed applications or recommended changes. If any such FISC responses were provided orally, rather than in writing, please provide copies of FBI or Justice Department records memorializing or otherwise referencing the relevant FISC responses;

Copies of all FISC orders relating to the above mentioned applications, whether denying the applications and certifications, denying the orders, modifying the orders, granting the orders, or other types of orders.

In April, the DOJ told the court it was “processing for potential redaction and release certain FISA materials related to Carter Page,” and agreed to a production schedule for responsive records to be completed July 20, 2018.

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Judicial Watch Obtains IRS Documents Revealing McCain’s Subcommittee Staff Director Urged IRS to Engage in “Financially Ruinous”


McCain minority staff director Henry Kerner to IRS official Lois Lerner and other IRS

officials: “the solution is to audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous”

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”  Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.

Judicial Watch previously reported on the 2013 meeting.  Senator McCain then issued a statement decrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.”   The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting but Judicial Watch found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.

Judicial Watch separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”

The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups.  In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.

On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.

All these documents were forced out of the IRS as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the IRS after it failed to respond adequately to four FOIA requests sent in May 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch is seeking:

  • All records related to the number of applications received or related to communications between the IRS and members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • All records concerning communications between the IRS and the Executive Branch or any other government agency regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • Copies of any questionnaires and all records related to the preparation of questionnaires sent to organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
  • All records related to Lois Lerner’s communication with other IRS employees, as well as government or private entity outside the IRS regarding the review and approval process for 501 (c)(4) applicant organizations.

“The Obama IRS scandal is bipartisan – McCain and Democrats who wanted to regulate political speech lost at the Supreme Court, so they sought to use the IRS to harass innocent Americans,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama IRS scandal is not over – as Judicial Watch continues to uncover smoking gun documents that raise questions about how the Obama administration weaponized the IRS, the FEC, FBI, and DOJ to target the First Amendment rights of Americans.”

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Judicial Watch Statement on DOJ IG Report on Clinton Email Investigation


(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report:
 

The IG report has destroyed the credibility of the Department of Justice and the FBI. It confirms what Judicial Watch has investigated and revealed for nearly two years. The Obama DOJ/FBI investigation of Clinton was rushed, half-baked, rigged, and irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump and pro-Clinton bias and actions. As Judicial Watch uncovered the Clinton email scandal, it is outrageous to see a politicized FBI and DOJ then so obviously refuse to uphold the rule of law.
 
The IG report details repeated DOJ/FBI deference to Hillary Clinton, her aides and their lawyers. Americans should examine the report and judge for themselves whether the over-the-top deference to Hillary Clinton can be explained as anything other than political, especially from agencies that at the same time were actively collaborating with the Clinton campaign’s Fusion GPS to spy on and target then-candidate Trump. The IG report details how at least five top FBI agents and lawyers exchanged pro-Clinton and anti-Trump communications. The IG shares the concerns of Judicial Watch and millions of Americans that this bias cast a cloud over the credibility of the Clinton email and Russia investigations.
 
As Judicial Watch has demonstrated through its independent investigations and lawsuits, there is more than enough evidence that Clinton knowingly and intentionally mishandled classified information while using a non-government email system to conduct government business.
 
Will the Sessions Justice Department now do the right thing and conduct a Clinton email investigation properly? Or will it let James Comey and Loretta Lynch have the last word on Hillary Clinton’s evident email crimes?
 
In the meantime, Judicial Watch will continue its ongoing FOIA lawsuits and investigations into the Clinton email scandal and the related Obama administration cover-up.

 
Judicial Watch has numerous lawsuits and document productions regarding the issues raised by the IG, including the conduct of Andrew McCabe, the Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting, the Strzok-Page communications, the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton, and DOJ collusion with the Clinton campaign.
 
Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who was appointed by President Obama, has been investigating allegations of wrongdoing within the federal law-enforcement agencies since January 12, 2017. Horowitz opened a separate investigation into James Comey on April 20 over classified information stemming from his memo leaks.
 
Horowitz previously released a report stating that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was dishonest with investigators about how sensitive information from the agency ended up in The Wall Street Journal in 2016, which was the basis for his termination and criminal referrals by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last May. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who met with former President Bill Clinton just days before Hillary’s FBI interview, was also a subject of Horowitz’s report. 

 

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