The City of Asheville, North Carolina, settled our federal civil rights lawsuit after agreeing to remove all racially discriminatory provisions in a city-funded scholarship program. The city also agreed to remove racially discriminatory eligibility provisions in a related program that provides grants to educators. The City Council approved the settlement on January 11.
In October 2021, we filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of a North Carolina citizens group, WNC Citizens for Equality, Inc., whose members include high school students who were ineligible for a scholarship program only because they are not Black (WNC Citizens for Equality, Inc., v. City of Asheville et al. (No. 1:21-cv-00310)). (The Legal Insurrection Foundation partnered with us in the lawsuit.)
Here’s the background. On May 5, 2021, the City of Asheville entered into an agreement with the Asheville City Schools Foundation to establish and administer the City of Asheville Scholarship Fund. According to the agreement, the City of Asheville Scholarship is “awarded in perpetuity to Black high school students within Asheville City Schools, with special consideration given for Black students pursuing a career in education.” (In July 2020, Ashville’s City Council unanimously approved what is called a “reparations initiative,” that provided “funding to programs geared toward increasing homeownership and business and career opportunities for Black residents.”)
To settle our civil rights lawsuit, on January 11, 2022, Asheville’s City Council approved a resolution that removes the racial criteria for the scholarship:
[T]he scholarship will give preference to applicants whose household members, including parents and/or guardians have a high school education or less, these applicants representing “first generation” college students.
The City Council also removed racially discriminatory language for a scholarship program for educators and staff of Asheville City Schools.
The scholarship agreements were also amended to prohibit discrimination based on race and other categories.
Our clients, a group of Asheville residents, including high school students, courageously challenged this blatantly discriminatory and illegal scholarship program in federal court. Thankfully, the City of Asheville did the right thing in quickly ending these indefensible race-based scholarship programs.
This federal lawsuit and the resulting remarkable settlement should serve as a wake-up call to those activists and allied politicians pushing the extremist leftist agenda to segregate and discriminate based on race.
Judicial Watch Sues for Info on CIA Targeting President Trump
For four years the Deep State schemed against President Trump to end his presidency. Then near the end of his administration, they accused him of planning a coup, according to reports.
To unveil the details we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA for records of communications and meetings between then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Central Intelligence Agency (No. 1:21-cv-03387)).
We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 31, 2021, after the CIA failed to respond to a September 15, 2021, request for:
- All records of communication between CIA Director Gina Haspel and Gen. Mark Milley between November 1, 2020, and January 20, 2021.
- All records regarding all meetings between CIA Director Haspel and Gen. Milley between November 1, 2020, and January 20, 2021. This includes all summaries, notes, and transcripts, as well as all records created in preparation for, during, or pursuant to any such meeting.
Milley and Haspel reportedly had at least one conversation in which President Trump was attacked as being part of a “coup.”
This isn’t our first lawsuit involving Milley. On March 5, 2021, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Pentagon for records about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 8, 2021, telephone call with Milley. Pelosi acknowledged the call in a January 8 letter to her colleagues.
It ought to be disturbing to all Americans that the head of the CIA and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs were reportedly conspiring against the president of the United States.
Our new lawsuit will hopefully ferret out the truth about any plots to undermine President Trump by the military and CIA.
Judicial Watch Sues for Dr. Fauci’s Calendars and Calendar Entries
Dr. Anthony Fauci wields enormous power, and the American people have a right to know what he has been up to.
In our pursuit of that information, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit with OpenTheBooks.com against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Fauci’s calendars and calendar entries. (American Transparency, d/b/a/ OpenTheBooks.com and Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:22-cv-00036)). He’s the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID.
We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is an agency of HHS, failed to respond to our November 5, 2021, FOIA request for:
All calendars or calendar entries for Dr. Anthony Fauci, including calendars maintained on Dr. Fauci’s behalf. For calendars or calendar entries created electronically, the records should include the names of invitees, notes, and other attachments for a given entry.
The time frame of the request was identified as “November 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.”
“It’s an understatement to say that Dr. Fauci’s daily calendar from the earliest days of the pandemic is in the public interest. By not producing it, NIH is acting like it has a lot to hide,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com.
On October 28, 2021, we filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of OpenTheBooks.com against the HHS for the employment contracts; financial, conflict of interest, and financial disclosure documents; and job description of Dr. Fauci, as well as royalties paid to NIH employees by outside entities (American Transparency, DBA OpenTheBooks.com v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02821)). (This issue made big news this week after an unhinged Fauci called a United States Senator a “moron” for simply asking that he disclose all his financial information.)
We have several other FOIA lawsuits concerning Dr. Fauci. One of these recently uncovered emails and other records that confirm Fauci agency funding for gain of function research in Wuhan, China.
Fauci’s agency is playing shell games with records and we will continue to go to court to stop the illegal secrecy.
Judicial Watch Sues State Department for Biden Afghanistan Coverup Document
Biden’s Afghanistan surrender was the worst defeat for America since the War of 1812. In fact, it may be even worse than that. So, one can imagine the desperate coverup of the truths about this catastrophe by the Biden administration.
Enter, Judicial Watch.
We filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Department of State for records of the censorship of government reports about U.S. tax dollars spent on military support and equipment for Afghanistan, as well as records about payments to Afghanistan’s government and/or any member of the Taliban related to the U.S. departure from Afghanistan (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:21-cv-03391)) (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:21-cv-03390)).
We filed the lawsuit about the censorship of government reports about Afghanistan after the State Department failed to respond to a September 13, 2021, FOIA request for:
All records regarding the editing or removal from any public website of any report pertaining, in whole or in part, to any military equipment or training provided to the government of Afghanistan or any component thereof. This request includes, but is not limited to, any related directives or requests, as well as any related records of communication between any official or employee of the Department of State and any official or employee of any other branch, department, agency, or office of the Federal government.
We filed the lawsuit concerning payments to the Afghanistan government and/or Taliban after the State Department failed to respond to a September 8, 2021, FOIA request for:
All records related to any actual or proposed payments to the government of Afghanistan and/or any member or associate of the Taliban related to the departure from Afghanistan of any U.S. citizen or other individual authorized by the U.S. Government to depart. This includes, but is not limited to, all fees related to the use of any airport for any such departure.
Even without a lawsuit, we already uncovered smoking gun records showing Biden’s lawless contempt for the people’s right to know about his Afghanistan debacle.
Emails we obtained from the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) confirm that the Biden administration censored hundreds of reports from government websites at the request from the State Department:
On August 16, 2021, at 3:18 p.m., one day after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, Carole Clay, an official at the State Department’s Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services, emails SIGAR official Matt Dove to inform him of the State Department’s “unprecedented request” to SIGAR “to suspend large portions of your website and public access to reports and records:
We request urgent assistance in identifying and temporarily removing (and potentially redacting on a longer term basis) all potentially sensitive and identifying information on U.S. government assistance programs/projects in Afghanistan. A great many of your historical publications contain extensive details about activities and partners that could put individuals at risk in the current environment.
We caught the Biden administration red-handed trying to cover up its Afghanistan disaster. As Americans reportedly remain stranded there, the Biden administration has yet to come clean about the tens of billions of military resources potentially lost to the Taliban and about whether the government paid or considered paying the Taliban during Biden’s deadly and disastrous surrender.
EXCLUSIVE: Judicial Watch Uncovers Dirty Voter Rolls, Fights for Election Integrity
The issue is simple: Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections. In our Investigative Bulletin, Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, lays out our latest, essential efforts to ensure cleaner election rolls – and elections:
In a high-impact case of potential voter fraud, you’ll learn about only from Judicial Watch, a new investigation reveals likely ineligible voter registrations around the country.
In November, Judicial Watch’s election integrity team sent letters to officials in five states warning of apparent serious violations of the National Voter Registration Act. The NVRA is a critical election integrity measure that directs the states to make “a reasonable effort” to remove from voting rolls “the names of ineligible voters” who have been disqualified from voting due to death or failure to provide notification of change of residence.
Dirty voter rolls matter. Leaving the names of inactive voters on registration rolls creates opportunities for fraud, such as dead people voting or double voting. Sometimes it takes only a few votes to swing an election.
The numbers of potentially ineligible voters identified in the new Judicial Watch probe are staggering. The NVRA requires states to remove registrations of voters who fail to respond to an address confirmation request and then fail to vote in two consecutive elections. States are required by federal law to report to Congress how many ineligible voters are removed from their rolls for this reason. Judicial Watch mined the statutory reporting data for some astonishing revelations: over the most recent four-year reporting period, large counties in powerful states such as New York and California reported few or no removals of ineligible voters from voting rolls.
For example, in the heart of New York City, Manhattan, with 1.2 million registered voters, state authorities removed a grand total of two ineligible voters from voting rolls for failing to respond to a notice and vote, according to data New York itself provided to Congress.
In Brooklyn, with 1.7 million registered voters, the number removed for this reason: zero. In Queens, with 1.3 million registered voters, the number removed as ineligible: zero. In the Bronx, with 867,000 voters: one ineligible voter was removed. In Staten Island, with 344,000 voters: zero.
The story is the same in California. Large counties show impossibly small number of ineligible voters removed from voting rolls for failing to respond to a notice and vote. In San Bernardino County in Greater Los Angeles, with a county population of 1.2 million registered voters, a total of fourteen ineligible voters were removed from the voting rolls for the entire four-year reporting period, according to data the state provided to federal officials. For Sacramento County, with over one million registered voters: zero removed. In Fresno County, with more than 500,000 registered voters: two ineligible voters removed.
“About 10% of Americans move every year,” notes Robert Popper, Judicial Watch’s director of voting integrity efforts. “Those counties should generate hundreds of thousands of cancelled registrations. There is simply no way to comply with federal law while removing so few outdated registrations under its key provision.”
Judicial Watch sent warning letters to state election officials in five states—New York, California, Oregon, Arkansas, and Illinois—noting the impossibly low numbers of statutory removals. The warning letters give the state 90 days to correct the record. “If the data are incorrect,” the Judicial Watch letters note, “please provide what you believe to be the correct numbers.” If the numbers are not corrected or otherwise resolved within 90 days, “we will commence a federal lawsuit.” Read the letters here.
Judicial Watch supporters know that this is not our first rodeo.
In California, we uncovered 1.6 million inactive voters on electoral rolls in Los Angeles County and sued, forcing LA to clean up its act.
We sued Pennsylvania for failing to make reasonable efforts to remove ineligible voters from their rolls. Pennsylvania revised its numbers, admitting it had reported incorrect information to a federal agency on the removal of ineligible voters. But even the new figures are too low. Pennsylvania now admits that in eighteen other counties—which together contain twenty-five percent of the entire state’s registered voters—it removed a grand total of fifteen inactive, ineligible voters in a two-year period.
We went to court in Colorado, where studies have shown that a majority of the state’s counties have registration rates that exceed 100% of the voting-age population. Our lawsuit charges “an ongoing, systemic problem with Colorado’s voter list maintenance obligations.”
We filed a lawsuit in North Carolina for the same reason—large numbers of ineligible voters on the state voter rolls.
We’ve successfully taken on Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana as well. In Ohio, a Supreme Court decision upheld a voter-roll cleanup stemming from a Judicial Watch lawsuit. In Kentucky, we sued for a voter-roll cleanup and won. Indiana agreed to clean up its rolls after Judicial Watch launched an investigation.
The new warning letters put California on notice (again) and expand Judicial Watch’s electoral integrity work into New York, Oregon, Arkansas, and Illinois. “Once again, Judicial Watch is leading the charge for clean voter rolls and election integrity,” says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These letters are just the beginning of another sweep, in federal court if necessary, to clean voter rolls throughout the country.”
Feds Sit on Records Request for 16 Years, Thank Judicial Watch for ‘Continued Patience’
Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the incredible tale over the outrageous, and almost comical, stonewalling Judicial Watch faces day to day from the federal swamp:
In a brazen failure to comply with a public records law enacted to keep government accountable, a federal agency waited 16 years to respond to a Judicial Watch request for information related to a controversial intelligence operation. Back in 2005, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Defense (DOD) for records related to Able Danger, a secret military unit led by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) that reportedly identified some of the 9/11 hijackers before the 2001 attacks. The request also asks for U.S. intelligence, law enforcement and/or counterterrorism projects utilizing data mining software techniques to search open-source records in the public domain.
Last week, 16 years and a month later, USSOCOM’s FOIA team contacted Judicial Watch to say it reviewed its current backlog of cases and identified the 2005 inquiry as one of USSOCOM’s oldest pending requests. “Before we continue to process your request, our office would like to confirm that you are, in fact, still interested in the subject matter of your request,” the agency writes in an electronic mail to Judicial Watch. “If so, we will continue to process; if you are no longer interested, please consider withdrawing your request.” The email ends with regards and is signed by USSOCOM FOIA Team. Judicial Watch quickly responded that it is very much interested in the subject matter and asks the SOCOM FOIA team to keep the case file open and continue to process the government records that we are owed. “Please provide a projected date of when (after 16+ years) you anticipate accomplishing your mission,” Judicial Watch writes to the agency. USSOCOM’s replies by thanking Judicial Watch for its “continued patience” and writes that it anticipates completion of the request in “approximately 18-24 months,” adding that “it could more or less.”
After more than a decade and a half, it is inconceivable for the government to take another two years—possibly more—to provide the information. Under FOIA, enacted in 1967 to ensure citizens are informed about their government, all federal agencies are required to respond to records requests within 20 business days. The information surrounding Able Danger without question concerns the operations and activities of government covered under FOIA, namely open-source data mining efforts and the assertion that 9/11 terrorists had been identified by U.S. intelligence agencies a year before the 2001 attacks. In 2005 Army intelligence officer Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer said his Able Danger unit identified four of the 9/11 hijackers as Al Qaeda operatives well before the 2001 attacks. Months later, a congressman revealed the secret military unit singled out 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times and pinpointed a problem in Yemen two weeks before the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole in the port of Aden that killed 17 sailors. A 2006 Senate probe found no evidence to support that Able Danger identified Atta before 9/11. The USSOCOM records Judicial Watch is working to obtain could help uncover the truth.
The stonewalling of this vital information by the government is hardly an isolated case. Judicial Watch regularly must sue the government in federal court to get public records that should not require litigation to obtain. The USSOCOM case, however, breaks the previous record for the time a federal agency has taken to respond to a Judicial Watch FOIA request. In December 2001 Judicial Watch asked the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for information concerning Osama Bin Laden being expelled from Sudan in May 1996 and relocating to Afghanistan. Fourteen years and six months later the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), a component of the DOD, finally responded to the FOIA request, writing in a letter that the records exist but “all substantive portions of the five documents (36 pages) must be withheld in full from disclosure pursuant to the FOIA.” Like in the most recent snub involving Able Danger, the government expresses regret for taking so long—nearly 15 years—and a declassification officer apologizes for the delay in replying to Judicial Watch’s request, explaining that to properly respond, it was necessary to consult with other agencies and offices.