State Department Belatedly Releases New Hillary Clinton Benghazi Documents
Another piece of the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton and Benghazi fell into place this week when the State Department released to us new documentscontaining telephone transcripts from the evening of September 12, 2012.
The documents reveal that the then-Secretary of State informed then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil that the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. compound the day before “had nothing to do with the film.”
You will recall that on the evening of September 11, Mrs. Clinton issued an official State Department press statement, approved by the White House, placing the blame for the attack on an Internet video:
Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
Yet the next day, September 12, in her conversation with Kandil, Clinton said, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack – not a protest.” Kandil responded, “You’re not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe that group that claimed responsibility for this is affiliated with al-Qaeda.”
Nevertheless, two days later, at the ceremony when the bodies of the four Americans who were killed arrived in the United States, Clinton again left the implication that it was all due to the video:
“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
This became an administration theme. On September 16, then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice, appearing on all the Sunday morning political talk shows, invoked the video. For example, she told Jake Tapper of ABC:
“But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.”
There are actually two scandals here. The first is Hillary Clinton telling different stories to different foreign leaders about the Benghazi attack – including an admission that it was a terrorist attack.
The second is the State Department’s cover-up of these documents. The department has forced Judicial Watch to play ‘whack-a-mole’ with Clinton and Benghazi documents. It is no wonder that two frustrated federal court judges granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton FOIA issues.
Here’s the story on that.
Clinton’s admission to Kandil was first revealed to the Select Committee on Benghazi on October 13, 2015 and publicized on the day of Mrs. Clinton’s testimony, October 22. However, court filings in Judicial Watch litigation show that the record was only produced after two federal court judges ordered the State Department to produce more Benghazi-related records to us.
Similarly, our litigation also forced the release of the September 11, 2012, email in which Clinton informed her daughter that the attack had been staged by an “Al Qaeda-like group,” rather than as the result of “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” as Mrs. Clinton had claimed in her official public statement one hour earlier. (So, the two big reveals of the Benghazi Select Committee during Clinton’s testimony only came about because of your Judicial Watch – and despite the incompetence of Congress.)
The State Department had previously told a federal court that the Kandil document wasn’t responsive to Judicial Watch’s request and resulting lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)) seeking:
Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.
But the State Department then delivered this information last month to us. The records, the State Department told the Court, were found among thousands of newClinton State Department records supposedly only discovered in December, 2015 – again, two months after the key Kandil document was first produced to the Benghazi Committee.
I provide more analysis in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, which you can watch here.
Bureaucratic bungling or cover-up? What do you think?
Obama Administration Immigration Crisis Puts Rule of Law and Public Health at Risk
If you’re not reading our Corruption Chronicles blog, run by my long-time colleague Irene Garcia, then you need to start – as the reporting there is as important as anything you’ll find elsewhere on the internet. “Fundamental transformation” will require sympathetic voters. And a year after President Obama launched his Task Force on New Americans, the administration is injecting it with a $19 million infusion so that it can achieve its key initiative of registering new voters that will likely support Democrats in the upcoming election:
Officially, this is being described as enhancing pathways to naturalization by offering immigrants free citizenship instruction, English, U.S. history and civics courses. The cash is being distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that oversees lawful immigration, and the obvious goal is to register more immigrant voters because they tend to be Democrat.
Otherwise a Democrat commander-in-chief and his open-borders Domestic Policy Director wouldn’t be operating such a costly project. Judicial Watch wrote about the new task force last April, reporting that its chair is none other than Cecilia Muñoz, the former vice president of the powerful open borders group National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Obama recruited Muñoz to be White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs then promoted her to the more powerful and prestigious post of Domestic Policy Director. That gives her tremendous influence as the president’s top adviser on domestic issues as well as the White House official in charge of coordinating and supervising the execution of domestic policy. As head of the Task Force on New Americans Muñoz recruited like-minded leaders from various agencies-including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, Education, Transportation and Health-to brainstorm about ways to empower immigrants.
Executing this mission will cost American taxpayers a chunk of change to provide immigrants and refugees with free “citizenship preparation” programs the administration claims will “strengthen civic, economic and linguistic integration” and “build strong and welcoming communities.” The allocation was announced this month by USCIS, which has dedicated large sums over the years to similar causes. The money usually goes to various leftist groups that help lawful permanent residents prepare for naturalization. In fiscal year 2016, however, the agency is recruiting new groups by offering them a piece of the multi-million-dollar pie. “We intend to award about $1 million to first-time recipients in the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program for fiscal year 2016,” the agency’s grant announcement states. “If you represent one of these organizations, or know of an interested organization, we strongly encourage that organization to consider applying. Additionally, another $9 million will fund programs that provide both citizenship instruction and instruction and naturalization application services.”
This is only a small part of the new task force’s mission. Practically every federal agency will participate in this effort by contributing resources and creating programs to help immigrants….
Judicial Watch wrote about the new task force last April, reporting that its chair is none other than Cecilia Muñoz, the former vice president of the powerful open borders group National Council of La Raza (NCLR):
President Obama’s Task Force on New Americans has issued its much-anticipated plan to facilitate life in the U.S. for immigrants and refugees by enhancing pathways to naturalization, building welcoming communities and providing “mobile immigration services in underserved communities.” The government-wide initiative aims to “strengthen federal immigrant and refugee integration infrastructure.”
This includes multilingual media campaigns promoting immigrant rights and other free tools to make life easier in the U.S. and up to $10 million for “citizenship preparation” programs. The goal is to “strengthen civic, economic and linguistic integration and to build strong and welcoming communities,” according to the report issued this month by the special task force. In the end communities will be strengthened by welcoming all residents, the administration assures. The panel was created by the president in November and is chaired by Cecilia Muñoz, the former vice president of the powerful open borders group National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
Obama recruited Muñoz to be White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs then promoted her to the more powerful and prestigious post of Domestic Policy Director. That gives her tremendous influence as the president’s top adviser on domestic issues as well as the White House official in charge of coordinating and supervising the execution of domestic policy. As head of the Task Force on New Americans Muñoz drafted like-minded leaders from various agencies-including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, Education, Transportation and Health-to brainstorm about ways to empower immigrants.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will make sure the new Americans have worker rights and protections, the task force says, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will launch a two-year pilot to assure that non English speakers have “meaningful access to housing programs” subsidized by American taxpayers. “As part of these efforts HUD will develop interactive tools that provide information on HUD programs in multiple languages,” the task force report says….
Meanwhile, with Islamic terrorism on the rise, the Obama administration has issued around 680,000 green cards to foreigners from Muslim countries over a five-year period, according to data published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The stats show that the U.S. government admits more than double the number of immigrants from Muslim nations than from the European Union:
This disturbing information was circulated by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration … a committeeannouncement reminds us “a green card entitles recipients to access federal benefits, lifetime residency, work authorization, and a direct route to becoming a U.S. citizen.” Some of the recipients are admitted to the U.S. as refugees so they immediately qualify for federal welfare benefits like food stamps and Medicaid.
The DHS stats include a breakdown of the countries where the migrants came from. Pakistan and Iraq sent over the most with 83,000 apiece and Bangladesh had 75,000. Seventy-three thousand came from Iran, 45,000 from Egypt, 31,000 from Somalia, 24,000 from Uzbekistan, Turkey and Morocco had 22,000 each, Jordan and Albania 20,000 each and Lebanon and Yemen each had 16,000. Rounding out the five-digit club is Indonesia (15,000), Syria (14,000), Sudan (13,000), Afghanistan (11,000) and Sierra Leone (10,000). The rest, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kosovo and Libya, only sent over a few thousand during the five-year period covered by the DHS data. By contrast, only 65,000 green cards were granted to migrants from the European Union country (United Kingdom) with the highest number during this period. The Senate committee reveals that DHS has not yet published statistics covering fiscal year 2014 and fiscal year 2015 so we’ll be on the lookout for that.
DHS even met covertly with a group of extremist Arab, Muslim and Sikh organizations to discuss national security matters and the State Department sent a controversial, anti-America Imam (Feisal Abdul Rauf) to the Middle East to foster greater understanding and outreach among Muslim majority communities. The president also hired a special Homeland Security advisor (Mohamed Elibiary) who openly supports a radical Islamist theologian and renowned jihadist ideologue and a special Islam envoy that condemns U.S. prosecutions of terrorists as “politically motivated persecutions” and has close ties to radical extremist groups.
As if this weren’t bad enough, the administration caved into a terrorist front organization’s demands to purge FBI anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. The group, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists and JW obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the outrageous deal. Read all about it in thisspecial report. More recently, the administration followed the orders of Islamic activists in suspending an FBI internet program aimed at preventing the radicalization of youth because Muslim and Arab rights groups determined that it discriminates against Muslims and will lead to bullying. After the San Bernardino terrorist attacks the administration issued a warning regarding workplace discrimination “against individuals who are, or perceived to be, Muslim or Middle Eastern.” The directive orders American businesses to accommodate the religious needs of Muslims and assure they aren’t being harassed or intimidated.
As this is going on, here’s what the administration wants you to think about immigration: Our border with Mexico “is more secure now than it has been in many, many years.” That delusional assessment comes from Deputy secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
This is the same Mayorkas who initially served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the Obama administration and came under fire for reportedly abusing his power to obtain visas for shady Chinese investors in a company run by Hillary Clinton’s brother:
More than a decade after being shamefully ousted as a top federal prosecutor for orchestrating the pardon of a big-time drug dealer, President Obama’s pick as the No. 2 official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is embroiled in another scandal involving the Clintons.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Obama’s director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is under fire for reportedly abusing his power to obtain U.S. visas for shady Chinese investors in a company run by none other than Hillary Clinton’s brother. Mayorkas intervened after his own agency denied the application and rejected an appeal, according to news reports.
The scandal broke because Obama recently picked Mayorkas to be second-in-command at DHS and the media obtained documents confirming that Mayorkas is named by the DHS Inspector General’s Office as a target in a probe involving the foreign investor program, known as EB-5, run by USCIS. Making matters worse, one of the visas sought by Hillary’s brother (Anthony Rodham) was for the vice president of a Chinese telecommunications firm that’s been investigated by Congress for its ties to China’s intelligence agencies.
The entire plot is atrocious enough, but if Mayorkas helped this particular Chinese telecom guru-no doubt a communist-obtain a U.S. visa, elevating him to be in charge of national security would be downright obscene. Not surprisingly, the White House and DHS, which oversees USCIS, have refused to comment. However, the news outlet that originally broke the story predicts the scandal “has the potential to become a political headache” for Hillary Clinton.
Mayorkas and the Clintons go back years. Mayorkas served as Bill Clinton’s U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1998 to 2001 and resigned in shame after orchestrating the pardon of a major league drug trafficker. As U.S. Attorney Mayorkas was largely responsible for freeing the drug dealer serving a 15-year prison sentence for operating sophisticated cocaine rings that stretched from California to Minnesota.
Mayorkas resigned in disgrace and went into private practice at a big Los Angeles law firm until Obama named him USCIS director in 2009. The White House announcement conveniently omits his role in freeing a convicted drug dealer, instead touting Mayorkas as a prosecutor of public corruption, organized crime and civil rights violations.
That isn’t the only consequence of an unprotected border.
We now know from records we have obtained that a government official warned employees deploying for the influx of illegal immigrant minors several years ago about health and safety risks, because the new arrivals would have tuberculosis and some were young adults-not children-as the Obama administration proclaimed:
[A]ccording to records obtained by Judicial Watch. “We might as well plan on many of the kids having TB,” states a June 26, 2014 guidance e-mail from a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) environmental health scientist, Alaric C. Denton, as the agency prepared to handle the crisis. “Most of these kids are not immunized, so we need to make sure all our staff are immunized.” Denton, who is stationed at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, predicts in the directive that the agency will be overwhelmed pretty quickly and that screening requirements will be hard to keep up with.
This new batch of government records, part of an ongoing JW investigation into the UAC disaster, indicate the administration was well aware of the danger in allowing hordes of illegal immigrant youths to enter and stay in the U.S. At the very least it flies in the face of the administration’s false narrative involving the key issues of health and safety surrounding the new arrivals which have been relocated throughout the nation. Denton, the CDC environmental health scientist who warned colleagues prior to deployment, works at the agency’s Environmental, Safety and Health Compliance Office (ESHCO). Officials from other federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were also involved in the exchanges. JW will continue receiving records from the government involving this issue as part of an agreement, supervised by a federal judge, stemming from our lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court looks to turn aside another Obama power grab. At issue this week was Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which purportedly authorizes work permits and other benefits at least 4 million deportable illegal aliens. Judicial Watch filed several amici curiae briefs with the lower courts that put a halt to this program that rewrites the law in egregiously unconstitutional ways:
Judicial Watch filed three amici curiae briefs in State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al. (No. 14-cv-00254).
• opposing the administration’s request for an emergency “stay;”
• opposing the Department of Justice’s attempt to block the ruling that postponed immigration action in the Fifth Circuit;
• and on behalf of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) in support of Texas and 20 other states that sued the federal government to prevent the Obama administration’s implementation of DAPA.
Desperate to cement this illicit amnesty, the Obama gang gained Supreme Court review of lower court findings that refused to let Obama to govern as a king. I was lucky to be able to attend the Supreme Court arguments this week, and had to wade through hundreds of leftwing activists demanding amnesty trying to pressure the High Court.
One can’t judge what will happen based on arguments (which you can readyourself). From my vantage point, the liberal justices were political and ran away from much of Obama’s expansive unilateral amnesty. At best, the collective wisdom suggests, Obama will come away with four votes, which wouldn’t be enough to revive his amnesty.
We hope for a rule of law of outcome that vindicates the Constitution but you can see from this piece that the Obamamnesty is happening anyway. President Obama’s administration has almost completely stopped deporting illegal aliens and continues to leave our borders open to illegal aliens and terrorists. This lawlessness places the nation’s safety and health at risk. So, no matter how the Supreme Court rules, the illegal immigration continues and your Judicial Watch will do its part to stand for the law and our nation’s sovereignty.
Bill Clinton and Benghazi – What Did He Know and When Did He Know It
Judicial Watch’s Chief Investigative Reporter Micah Morrison produced a major investigative piece on something the Big Media hasn’t figured out yet – that Bill Clinton has some questions to answer on Benghazi. His piece is produced below in its entirety:
New documents obtained by Judicial Watch raise questions about the role of Clinton Inc. in the Benghazi debacle, particularly the involvement of Bill Clinton and longtime Clinton hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal.
Mrs. Clinton, seeking to ease concerns about her ties to the Clintons’ powerful political machine, famously pledged as secretary of state-designate not to “participate personally and substantially” in matters relating to the Clinton Foundation or the Clinton Global Initiative. We now know that promise was swiftly broken. Blumenthal-a man so hated by the Obama White House that it banned the State Department from hiring him-was secretly put on Mrs. Clinton’s payroll in an arms-length arrangement funded by the Clinton Foundation and Clinton ally David Brock. Judicial Watch and the New York Post documented the deep ties between the Clinton State Department and Blumenthal here.
Blumenthal was active in Libyan affairs. He privately urged Mrs. Clinton to take a more aggressive military role in country and to claim more credit for Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall. He also promoted a Libya deal sought by U.S. defense contractor Osprey Global Solutions. Among Blumenthal’s many memos to Secretary of State Clinton are several that claim to possess an inside track to the thinking of the new Libyan president, Mohammed Magariaf.
According to the new Judicial Watch documents, while the Benghazi facilities were under attack on September 11, Clinton phoned Magariaf at 6:49 p.m. Washington time, asking the president “to provide additional security to the compound immediately as there is a gun battle going on, which I understand Ansar as-Sharia is claiming responsibility for.”
Three hours later, Clinton issued a statement blaming the attack on an Internet video: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”
An hour later, at 11:11 pm, Clinton emailed her daughter: “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group.”
Shortly after midnight, Clinton received a “Confidential” email from Blumenthal titled “Magariaf and the Attacks on Libya.” Citing intelligence gleaned from unnamed “senior advisers, including members of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood,” Blumenthal said Magariaf had been told the Benghazi and Tripoli attacks were inspired by a “a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed.”
Blumenthal devotes most of the lengthy memo to defending Magariaf and weaving an elaborate conspiracy theory. Magariaf has “growing concerns,” he writes, about “current covert efforts by his political opponents to link him directly to foreign intelligence services. According to a separate sensitive source, el Magariaf noted that his opponents had often tried to connect him to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), a group…Magariaf led in the 1980s.”
According to this source, Blumenthal writes, “the attacks on the U.S. missions were as much a result of the atmosphere created by this campaign [to connect Magariaf to the CIA], as the controversial internet video.”
Magariaf is a Libyan patriot. He spent thirty years in exile, most of it in the United States, leading the NFSL, the main opposition group to Gaddafi. If he wasn’t closely connected to the CIA, somebody at Langley should be fired for dereliction of duty. But what master is Blumenthal serving here? Why carry water for the CIA-suggesting that Magariaf’s position is shaky because of his earlier putative loyalty to the agency-when the fires are still burning in Benghazi?
The day after the Benghazi killings, the Clinton Foundation received a sudden request. A senior Magariaf aide, Fathi Nuah, emails Amitabh Desai, the foundations director of foreign policy. Magariaf will be in New York for the UN General Assembly and wishes to “meet President Clinton and participate at the Clinton Global Initiative.”
Dr. Nuah also spent decades in exile in the United States, working in opposition to the Gaddafi regime. According to a recent biographical note, Dr. Nuah is “engaged in developing major business” in the Libyan “education, oil, construction and commerce sectors.” Was he also one of Blumenthal’s unnamed sources?
The Clinton Foundation’s Desai emails senior Clinton aide Cheryl Mills: “Would USG have concerns about Libyan President being invited to CGI? Odd timing, I know.”
Mills replies, copying to another senior Clinton aide, Jake Sullivan: “we would not have issues.”
Five days later, sounding a note of caution, Desai emails Mills and Sullivan again. Magariaf is seeking a private meeting with Bill Clinton. “Would you recommend accepting or declining the WJC meeting request?”
The email chain, first uncovered by Judicial Watch as the result of a federal court order in ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation, is linked here.
The State Department apparently had no objection to the private meeting with the former president. On September 26, Desai emailed Mills, “He had a v good meeting with Libya.” Separately, in New York for the Clinton Global Initiative, Secretary of State Clinton met with Magariaf on September 24.
Sidney Blumenthal, recall, was a Clinton Foundation employee. What role did he play in brokering the meeting between Bill Clinton and the CIA-connected new Libyan president? What was discussed at the meeting? Why the sudden request from Magariaf the day after the Benghazi attacks, hours after Blumenthal’s memo went out to Mrs. Clinton?
Blumenthal also was a key advisor to the secretary of state. The Magariaf meetings in New York and Blumenthal’s Libya connections are further evidence that despite the Clintons’ pledges, there was no sunlight between Clinton Inc. and the Hillary Clinton State Department. Expect more of the same if Mrs. Clinton makes it to the White House.
Until next week…