Judicial Watch Sues for Records of Pelosi Call with Pentagon Chief
Did the CDC Communicate with Big Tech about COVID-19?
ICE Arrested 60% Fewer Illegal Immigrants in February
Clear Thinking on Elections from Clarence Thomas

Judicial Watch Sues for Records of Pelosi Call with Pentagon Chief

In psychology the term projection describes the act of attributing your own negative trait to someone else. Nobody does this better than Nancy Pelosi. If you’ve read her January 8 letter attacking then-President Trump to her colleagues you would agree. In it, she talked about her anti-Trump phone call to the nation’s top military chief.

We want to know more, so we filed a FOIA suit against the U.S. Department of Defense for records of Pelosi’s January 8, 2021, telephone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense (No 1:21-cv-00593)).

Pelosi acknowledged the call in her January 8 letter to her fellow Democrats. In the letter, Pelosi described her purported discussion with Milley earlier that same day: 

“This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Defense Department failed to respond to a January 11, 2021, Freedom of Information (FOIA) request for:

  • Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the telephone call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and General Mark Milley on or about January 8, 2021. This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all transcripts, recordings, and/or summaries of the call, as well as any other records produced in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to the call.
  • Any and all additional records of communication between Gen. Milley and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi between November 1, 2020 and the present.

In a section of the letter headed “Removing the President From Office,” Pelosi also told her colleagues:

“As you know, there is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the President for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses. Yesterday, Leader Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people.”

If Speaker Pelosi’s description of her conversation with General Milley is true, it sets a dangerous precedent that could undermine the president’s role as commander in chief and the separation of powers. Our lawsuit aims to uncover truth about the call. 

The Wall Street Journal editorial page called her call “A Coup of Pelosi’s Own”: 

Mrs. Pelosi’s call to Gen. Milley is itself a violation of the separation of powers by seeking to inject herself into an executive-branch military decision. She can offer advice all she wants, but this call at this time has the sound of an order. It might even be construed by some as its own little coup—conniving with the military to relieve of command the person who remains the elected President.

It is remarkable, but par for the course, that it is up to Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting to get more details about this dangerous Pelosi call as Congress and a corrupted partisan media sit on their thumbs in the face of yet another attack on constitutional governance. 

Did the CDC Communicate with Big Tech about COVID-19?

Big Tech has taken upon itself the role of Ministry of Health Truth, censoring users and even doctors with which it disagrees. To what extent has the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) been involved in this?

To find out, we filed a FOIA suit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking records of communications between the CDC and Big Tech about COVID-19.

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after HHS failed to reply to a September 15, 2020, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health of Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00625)). Judicial Watch requested:

Any and all records of communication between CDC officials and/or employees and employees, agents, and/or representatives of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube concerning, regarding, or relating to COVID-19 related content on company platforms. Such records include, but are not limited to, any advice or instructions issued on disinformation re COVID-19.

The CDC was required to respond to Judicial Watch’s request by October 29, 2020, but failed to do so.

The public has the right to know about CDC’s involvement in Big Tech’s outrageous censorship of Americans, including doctors, who raise questions about the COVID-19 response. The Biden administration should stop stonewalling and release the records about the CDC’s role in suppressing the free speech of Americans.

ICE Arrested 60% Fewer Illegal Immigrants in February

As I noted in my recent CPAC speech, Joe Biden “has launched the most significant attack on immigration law in American history.”  And the consequences are a humanitarian, national security, and public health disaster on the border.

Here, from our Corruption Chronicles blog, are details of “Biden’s Border Crisis”:

Predictably, the Biden administration’s disastrous immigration policies are having a detrimental impact on the U.S. even though they have only been in place for weeks. In that short time, the nation has seen an overwhelming flood of illegal alien minors slam Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and a huge drop in adult fugitives arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Last month the administration restricted ICE from making arrests by reducing agents’ enforcement priorities and forcing them to seek written permission from senior supervisors before arresting fugitives. Not surprisingly, it has resulted in a huge decrease in illegal immigrant arrests. ICE data reviewed by a mainstream newspaper reveals that the number of illegal aliens arrested by ICE dropped more than 60% in February compared with the last three months of the Trump administration. Deportations fell by nearly the same amount, according to the figures.

In the meantime, more than 7,000 illegal immigrant minors were placed in U.S. shelters in February alone, according to government data published by a separate national news outlet days earlier. “The numbers in March indicate the steady rise has continued,” the story reads. “During the first four days of the month, more than 1,500 unaccompanied migrant minors were taken into custody.” The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a well-funded branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is charged with providing care for illegal aliens under the age of 18 which are classified as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) by the government. ORR has been receiving an average of 337 UAC a day. “The figure for the first full month of the Biden administration is the most migrant children the refugee office has ever received in a February,” the news article states.

Just a few weeks ago, Judicial Watch reported that the UAC influx is prompting a health emergency on the southern border and surrounding communities. The increasing number of UAC illegally crossing the border will soon overwhelm facilities in the middle of a global pandemic, according to a congressional delegation’s letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “This surge also has the capability to cause a COVID-19 outbreak at ports of entry and other CBP facilities, which threatens the health of CBP personnel and could result in the temporary closures of ports of entry,” the legislators who sit on various House committees—including civil rights, national security, and the environment—write. “Such closures would greatly impact commerce and hamper the United States’ economic recovery,” the lawmakers continue. “The increase in illegal immigration at the southern border presents a risk not only to Border Patrol agents apprehending migrants who illegally cross the border, but also to those communities into which those individuals will relocate—likely leading to widespread COVID-19 infection and fatalities.”

Concerns associated with the new onslaught in illegal immigration are not limited to health issues. The attorney general in Montana points out that methamphetamine trafficked by Mexican drug cartels has wracked his state. “The problem will only be made worse if the Biden administration continues to allow criminals to stay in the country,” according to Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen. This month Knudsen and his counterpart in Arizona, sued the Biden administration to block the outrageous directive restricting ICE from arresting illegal immigrants. “Blindly releasing thousands of people, including convicted criminals and those that may be spreading COVID-19 into our state, is both unconscionable and a violation of federal law,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “This must be stopped now to avoid a dangerous humanitarian crisis for the immigrants and the people of Arizona.”

Their lawsuit asserts that Biden’s new policy will lead to an increase in criminals and drugs as well as COVID-19 in Montana and Arizona. It will also cause a hike in healthcare and law enforcement costs, according to the complaint, which lists a multitude of government agencies among defendants, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). “The Removal Moratorium will directly increase the number of aliens with final orders of removal who remain in Arizona because they will not have been removed by DHS,” the complaint says. “Additionally, knowledge that DHS has issued a blanket moratorium on removals will encourage additional unauthorized immigration to Arizona, and this increase in population will increase Arizona’s incurred law enforcement and healthcare services costs related to them.” Embedded in the court document are statements from law enforcement officials who claim the states will be hurt by the new initiatives.

 

Clear Thinking on Elections from Clarence Thomas

The controversies of the 2020 election haven’t gotten much traction yet in the courts. However, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, speaking for some of his colleagues, is unafraid to deal with the legal issues of the 2020 election crisis. Our chief investigative reporter, Micah Morrison, sets forth Thomas’ thinking in his Investigative Bulletin.

The Supreme Court shut the door on the 2020 election late last month, but Justice Clarence Thomas got the last word. In a dissent directed at the court’s decision not to take up two cases involving the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and mail-in ballots, Thomas encapsulated the world of electoral woe surrounding the 2020 presidential contest.

“We failed to settle this dispute before the election,” Thomas wrote, “and thus provide clear rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence.”

The Pennsylvania cases centered on which state bodies have the ultimate authority to set election rules, the legislature or the judiciary?  The U.S. Constitution says that the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections…shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” But state courts often intervene.

In the run-up to the presidential election, the Pennsylvania state legislature gave all Pennsylvania voters the option of casting mail-in ballots. But it left in place a November 3 deadline for ballots to be in. Unhappy with the deadline, Democrats sued, arguing that in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline violated a voting-rights clause in the state constitution stating that elections “shall be free and equal.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed, extending the deadline for mail-in ballots by three days.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined petitions to intervene in the case before the election. In February, with the election settled, petitioners tried again. The high court again declined to hear the cases, prompting the Thomas dissent.

It’s worth reading in its entirety. Thomas zeroes in on two key issues: legislative versus judicial power, and problems with mail-in voting.

Both “before and after the 2020 election,” Thomas notes, “non-legislative officials in various States took it upon themselves to set the rules,” resulting in “an unusually high number of petitions and emergency applications” to the high court.

The Pennsylvania changes undermine confidence in the electoral system. “Changing the rules in the middle of the game is bad enough,” Thomas writes. “Such rule changes by officials who may lack the authority to do so is even worse.”

Thomas is clear-sighted on the problems of mail-in voting. “Voting by mail was traditionally limited to voters who had defined, well-documented reasons to be absent,” he notes. But in recent years, “many States have become more permissive, a trend greatly accelerated by Covid-19.”

The opportunity for cheating in mail-in or absentee balloting is substantial, Thomas writes. He cites a 2012 New York Times article that notes the “vastly more prevalent” risk of fraud in mail-in balloting. He cites ballot fraud cases in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He reminds us that Heather Gerken—now dean of Yale Law School—told the Times in the same article that absentee voting allows for “simpler and more effective alternatives to commit fraud.”

At Judicial Watch, we’ve been tracking ballot fraud for years. We’ve noted that as far back as 2005, the bi-partisan Carter-Baker Commission warned that “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” In July, we pointed to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s rapid escalation of mail-in voting and reported on a New Jersey fraud case. Read the JW bulletin here.

The thanks Justice Thomas got for his rigorous dissent was to be attacked by Democrats and the progressive media. But the complex issues surrounding election fraud aren’t going away. The country owes Clarence Thomas a debt of gratitude for his clear thinking on the coming crisis.

Until next week,



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