For us at Judicial Watch, however, it’s business as usual. As corrupt as the Obama administration has been, we are under no illusion that a new broom sweeps entirely clean. Even before he takes the oath of office, President-elect Trump is under pressure over the potential conflicts of interest related to his sprawling Trump Organization.
By way of background, the ethics rules covering government officials are designed to punish successful businessmen like Trump. But as the relevant law doesn’t apply to Trump, some (mostly from the Left) are trying to pressure him to destroy his company completely in order to eliminate alleged conflicts of interest. This week Judicial Watch presented alternative views in an op-ed that appeared in The New York Times. We appreciate that the Times published our contrarian approach. Believe it or not, some, especially his ideological opponents sees this issue as a potential vehicle for impeachment, so it is an area your Judicial Watch will carefully monitor.
Here’s a portion of the piece, which you can read in full here: in here:
In a tweet on Monday, [Trump] promised without elaborating that “no new deals will be done” by his business while he is president. This sounds interesting. Americans should expect that the new president will take reasonable steps to separate his public office from his personal business. But it would be unfair to insist that Mr. Trump destroy his business to become president. This would create a dangerous precedent that would, in effect, deter those who had succeeded in their private lives from bringing their substantial skills to the public arena.If Mr. Trump recognizes the public interest in transparency and accountability – and follows through – it would be a remarkable change of pace from business as usual in Washington, DC.
The Obama administration’s willful failure to recognize the potential threat from radical Islamists here at home continues to place Americans at risk. The latest example of this will shock you and in is found in just 31 pages of records we pried loose from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The records reveal the Department of Homeland Security has given Somalis “community engagement tours,” including security briefings, in secured areas in at least three major U.S. airports – Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio.
The briefings provided to the Somali groups were so sensitive that in 14 instances the agency redacted portions of the records under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption (B)(7)(e) the law-enforcement “risk circumvention” exemption, which reads:
Exemption 7(E) of the Freedom of Information Act affords protection to all law enforcement information that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.In one instance, Customs and Border Protection exempted under (B)(7)(e) a portion of a February 16, 2016, “Minute by Minute Agenda ” provided during a tour/briefing of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The material that was withheld from Judicial Watch as too law-enforcement sensitive – but provided in full to the Somali group – included a section entitled: “TSA Overview — Processing [Redacted].” The invitees were provided briefings of the Global Entry system, APC [Automated Passport Control] system, secondary screening procedures, baggage-screening procedures and given tours of the holding cells/interview rooms.
Notes from the February Minneapolis St. Paul Airport tour indicate: “Current CBP and TSA job vacancies” were discussed. Attendees responded with requests for DHS outreach efforts during Somali community events to further advertise these positions to interested individuals.”
The newly released records also reveal:
The documents show Customs officials reporting that one of the invited individuals had given “CBP Chicago a hard time ” following the last tour and noted three of the invitees had had investigations against them, which had since been closed. Another invitee had an active investigation pending.
Logically, information that is too sensitive to provide to Judicial Watch and the public should not have been given to a “community engagement tour.” The U.S. government has been aware for years that Minnesota is a hotbed of Somali terrorist-cell activity. The behind-the-scenes tours and security briefings of the Minneapolis airport very well could have created a threat to public safety.
We’ve been on watch for this issue for some time. In August 2016, the JW Corruption Chronicles blog reported on the Muslim airport tour story: “The Obama administration gave Somali Muslims behind-the-scenes tours at a major U.S. airport after the group complained to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about feeling harassed and profiled, government records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The special security tours not offered to any other group occurred at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after Department of Homeland Security roundtable meetings with local Somali leaders to obtain feedback for ‘modifications to practices that would allow for operations to be more culturally sensitive.’”
Our porous border brings other threats to our health and safety, as Chris Farrell, our Director of Investigations & Research, explains in this piece published by Fox News.
Mexican drug cartels are the “other” terrorist threat to America. Militant Islamists have the goal of destroying the United States. Mexican drug cartels are now accomplishing that mission – from within, every day, in virtually every community across this country.When someone self-righteously defends wide open borders, show him this article. I encourage you, as well. Watch Chris here as he discusses this most serious of issues.