We are aggressively fighting the Department of Justice to uncover all the details of the unprecedented August 8, 2022, raid on the home of former President Trump.
In a vindication of our efforts, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart issued a decision that rejected the out-of-hand Justice Department’s brazen play to keep the whole document secret. The Biden administration’s unprecedented and abusive raid on Trump’s home has created a crisis in the rule of law that can only be alleviated with transparency and accountability. We’re thrilled that Americans will get more of both with today’s court decision, finding that at least some more information about this terrible raid should be released.
Magistrate Reinhart had called for a hearing in West Palm Beach, FL, at which James Moon of the Meland Budwick, P.A. law firm in Miami, argued on our behalf. After the hearing the court issued an order that stated:
As I ruled from the bench at the conclusion of the hearing, I find that on the present record the Government has not met its burden of showing that the entire affidavit should remain sealed. It is ORDERED that by noon EST on Thursday, August 25, 2022, the Government shall file under seal its proposed redactions along with a legal memorandum setting forth the justification for the proposed redactions.
The court also ordered the release of other documents concerning the warrant.
Here’s what led up to this decision.
On August 9, we filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to unseal the search warrant materials used by the FBI to raid President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida (U.S. v. Sealed Search Warrant (Case No. 9:22-mj-08332)).
On August 11, the DOJ filed a motion offering to unseal certain warrant materials.
On August 12, we filed President Trump’s public statement with the court, in which he made it clear that he would not oppose the release of documents related to the raid. Later that day, the DOJ made a partial release of the Trump raid warrant materials.
Initially, the Albany Times Union and the New York Times joined us in filing for the unsealing of the warrant by filing an amicus letter and motion respectively. Other interests later joined in the effort.
Magistrate Reinhart ordered the Justice Department to respond by August 15 to our Motion to Unseal the warrant and supporting materials behind the FBI raid. In its filing, the Justice Department alleged that releasing the affidavit would “cause significant and irreparable damage” to its ongoing criminal investigation.
The “criminal investigation” the Biden administration is covering up reeks of corruption and dishonesty – and is based on a reinvention of law about presidential records that is at odds with the U.S. Constitution, court rulings, federal statutes, and prior government legal positions and practice. No administration should be able to raid the home of a former president and putative presidential candidate based on ‘secret’ reasons.
We’re pleased that our legal pressure forced the partial release of warrant materials. The U.S. Constitution and federal law give unreviewable authority to President Trump to take whatever records he wishes at the end of his presidency. The Biden administration’s dishonest depiction of personal records of President Trump it illicitly seized during the raid as “classified” is further demonstration that the raid was a brazen act of raw political abuse.
The battle for transparency and accountable will continue and require much heavy lifting by your Judicial Watch legal team. If this current crisis doesn’t convince you of the need for Judicial Watch, I’m not sure what will! I encourage to join our cause and support our work directly here. In the meantime, we will keep you abreast of breaking developments in the Biden administration’s attack on President Trump and the rule of law.
Whistleblower: Hundreds of Afghans on Terror Watchlist Released in U.S.
Our southern border isn’t our only security vulnerability. The Biden administration is also abdicating its duty to protect America when it comes to vetting so-called refugees from Afghanistan. According to a Defense Department whistleblower, political appointees in the national security bureaucracy are the problem. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports.
Hundreds of unvetted Afghan refugees released in the United States by the Biden administration are on a Department of Defense (DOD) watchlist of suspected and known terrorists, according to a Pentagon whistleblower. The database is known as Biometrically Enabled Watchlist (BEWL), and it identifies individuals whose unique physical characteristics have been flagged by analysts to be national security threats. Some 324 Afghan evacuees who appear in the system were freed in the U.S., the DOD whistleblower says. The information has sparked outrage among some members of Congress who assert known suspected terrorists were let into the U.S. last year “ after the administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
At least two U.S. Senators are demanding and immediate investigation by the DOD Inspector General. In a letterto the Pentagon watchdog, the lawmakers, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, write that the whistleblower’s information may show the Biden administration’s failure to vet those evacuated from Afghanistan was even worse than the public was led to believe. The whistleblower also alleges that political appointees at the National Security Council (NSC) and DOD instructed agency personnel to cut corners when processing evacuees in Afghanistan and at staging bases in Europe, the lawmakers write. Rather than administer fingerprint tests on all ten fingers, personnel were told to abbreviate tests to promote the rushed evacuation from Afghanistan. “Finally, it is alleged that personnel at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who work on vetting Afghan evacuees have been authorized to delete old biometric data, whenever they personally believed that such information is out of date,” the senators write. “This is a troubling development that could threaten national security and public safety.”
The legislators want the DOD IG to investigate how many BEWL matches were generated by biometric submissions from Afghan evacuees, how many of those individuals were denied entry in the U.S., how many were admitted and how many are currently in the country. They also want to know the number of BEWL matches generated by evacuees after their arrival in the U.S. and what steps have been taken to identify, vet and deport the individuals who appeared on the watchlist or if the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has investigated any of them. The probe also needs to reveal if political appointees at the NSC or DOD instructed personnel to administer abbreviated fingerprint tests to Afghan evacuees, according to the senators, and under what conditions may agency personnel delete biometric information. They specifically want to know if any biometric information associated with Afghan evacuees been deleted.
The disturbing security lapses exposed by the whistleblower come on the heels of a federal audit confirming that dozens of Afghan refugees released in the U.S. were flagged by the Pentagon for “potentially significant security concerns.” In that probe the DOD IG found that the agency responsible for clearing the Afghans by conducting thorough background checks is not doing its job, creating serious national security issues, and undoubtedly threatening the safety of Americans. The agency is known as the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and it functions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). It was launched in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks by consolidating intel gathered by the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), DHS, and the DOD. Besides missing the significant DOD security concerns of at least 50 refugees, the nation’s lead counterterrorism intelligence entity also failed to stop at least four dozen Afghans with “derogatory information” in their record, the watchdog found.
Under the Biden administration’s Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), approximately 80,000 “displaced persons from Afghanistan” have been admitted into the country under a special immigrant visa (SIV) or humanitarian parole. The president directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to lead the chaotic plan to resettle the Afghans and the administration assured Americans the refugees would be thoroughly screened. That has not materialized and for months media reports have exposed crimes, including child molestation, assault and domestic violence committed by Afghans housed at military bases throughout the U.S.
Until next week …
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