ACLJ Releases FOIA Quarterly Report Detailing Expanding Deep State Government Corruption and Our Ongoing Legal Battle To Defeat It
As part of our ongoing Government Accountability Project, we recently released our latest Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Quarterly Report providing some updates on our ongoing FOIA requests and litigation.
In order to expose the corrupt efforts of the out-of-control Deep State, we have utilized the FOIA to request documents and records from federal government agencies to show rampant and often ongoing government corruption and lawlessness. All told, we’ve issued more than 75 FOIA distinct requests to more than 20 different federal or state agencies and their components.
Unfortunately, Deep State-controlled federal agencies and departments have repeatedly refused to provide the requested information. As a result, the ACLJ has been forced to file lawsuits in federal court to compel compliance in a dozen cases. The current Quarterly Report involves just six of our federal FOIA lawsuits, and we’ve been successful in obtaining documents in every single case – but not until we took the agencies to federal court. To date, we have obtained about 30,000 pages of records, and all but approximately 9,000 pages have been obtained through litigation.
This latest Quarterly Report provides updates on some of our FOIA requests and lawsuits.
As we indicated in our previous FOIA Quarterly Report, the ACLJ issued a series of FOIA requests to federal agencies seeking records to reveal exactly what happened when, according to bombshell reports, fired-FBI Director James Comey planted spies in the White House during the Trump Administration. Not surprisingly, the FBI failed to comply with the law’s requirements and the ACLJ was forced to file a federal lawsuit. We have obtained an initial production of documents responsive to our FOIA requests, which we announced and published for the public – and which we explain in detail in this Report.
Through this lawsuit, the ACLJ obtained new records from the FBI which reveal the Obama-Biden White House communicating with Comey and his circle of corruption. These records reveal that the night before President Trump’s Inauguration, James Comey emailed his General Counsel James Baker an “FYI” marked TOP SECRET, with a forwarded email that President Obama’s White House Counsel had sent to Comey and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe earlier that day, with the subject line “[TOP SECRET, Record],” and an attached letter. Additional records obtained by the ACLJ show Comey setting a meeting in April 2017 on the 7th Floor of the FBI with a name-redacted person, and more interaction between the Obama-Biden White House with FBI leadership about a “content review.”
While the complete processing of our FOIA request was delayed due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the ACLJ continues to press the FBI to comply with the law and produce the documents to which we and the American people are entitled.
As was also previously reported, we filed two lawsuits in 2017 against the State Department and the National Security Agency (NSA) to force production of agency records regarding outrageous unmasking efforts in the waning days of the Obama Administration targeting Americans.
During our lawsuit, shocking news broke when the government declassified and released information showing that former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and even Vice President Joe Biden were directly involved in unmasking requests involving Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The ACLJ notified the court of this development and explained that agencies are not allowed to maintain “Glomar” responses (the classic, “we can neither confirm nor deny”) when the government officially acknowledges that such records exist. The court rejected the State Department’s attempt to continue its Glomar response even after the official acknowledgment of Samantha Power’s efforts to unmask Americans. The court also concluded that unmasking efforts undertaken by a subordinate on behalf of a principal (like Samantha Power) were unmasking efforts undertaken by the principal. The State Department is still in the process of searches it was required to make by the court as part of our legal victory.
In the devastating economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, and included millions of dollars for small businesses in the form of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and aid. This package specifically included language preventing Planned Parenthood and its regional affiliates from obtaining any of these funds. The loans were intended for businesses with less than 500 employees. Planned Parenthood has more than 16,000 employees.
Regardless, at least 37 of Planned Parenthood’s 49 affiliates unlawfully obtained a total of approximately $80 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – taxpayer funds that were meant to go to small businesses as part of the CARES Act.
We submitted a FOIA request to the Small Business Administration (SBA), to determine whether Planned Parenthood fraudulently obtained these funds through the SBA – funds it had no lawful right to – and to find out how this contravention of Congress’ limitations in the CARES Act occurred.
We obtained records that confirm that Planned Parenthood affiliates did, in fact, apply for and receive CARES Act funds. In some cases, it appears loans were canceled. Our investigation continues.
We told you how young elementary school students were being forced to participate in Buddhist-based meditation in public schools. Then, we learned that federal government grant funds had been awarded to implement these so-called mindfulness programs on preschoolers. The ACLJ took action and issued a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Education to find out about the grants it has awarded for these programs and how it justifies using federal taxpayer dollars to implement them. We wanted to find out what ethical, moral, and legal considerations the Department has taken into account before giving federal funds for these programs.
The ACLJ received a record production from the Department of Education, totaling nearly 8,000 pages. We continued to review and analyze these records, but we are now ready to report key documents we’ve uncovered, which include clear evidence that the U.S. Department of Education has been developing and funding these types of curricula for years.
As these lawsuits, record productions, and new FOIA requests proceed, the ACLJ will continue to provide updates both on our website, www.ACLJ.org, and through our FOIA Quarterly Reports.
Emboldened by the new Administration and the radical Left, Deep State operatives have been hard at work trying to shred the Constitution and reshape our constitutional republic under its own radical agenda. We are waging an even more vibrant and aggressive FOIA and government accountability practice.
In fact, we’ve already filed EIGHT LAWSUITS against the Biden Administration. And we’ve already issued new FOIA requests to the Biden State Department, and other new FOIA requests are currently being prepared. The ACLJ will continue to shine light on our government’s actions; especially on issues surrounding life and abortion, American policy toward Israel, national security, and religious liberty.
We will use every tool available to hold our government leaders and the unelected bureaucracy accountable and provide the information to the American people, along with our analysis of why it matters – and what you can do about it. This is why our Government Accountability Project is needed now More Than Ever.