It’s a bit like the famous television show “Perry Mason” of my youth. An idealistic criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason, representing innocent clients, takes on week in and week out the same prosecutor, Hamilton Burger, and wins every time by miraculously exposing the truth through hard-hitting and clever cross examination and other tactics. Over the years, my experiences with the Federal Programs Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), against whom I have faced off nearly a hundred times, reminds me of this great legal series. But unlike the prosecutor in “Perry Mason,” who by and large honestly believed that the state was right to prosecute, the lawyers in the Federal Programs Branch – which is charged with defending government officials and agencies in not just Freedom of Information Act cases, but other more complicated litigation – from my experience do not really care whether their clients are telling the truth or obeying the law.
In short, with no exception, the lawyers in the DOJ’s Federal Programs Branch – card-carrying members of the Deep State most recently ruled by President Barack Obama and before that former Presidents Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush – are paid liars who simply do what they are told without even wanting to know the truth, lest they be liable for the unethical conduct and even crimes their government clients commit. They remind me of the three monkeys “Hear No Evil, Do No Evil and See No Evil, ” but regrettably, the primates who specialize in “monkeying around” with the facts and the law in this disgraceful section of the Civil Division of my alma mater, number more than three. Let me give you just two examples so you can see what I am talking about and prove I am not just shooting from the hip.
First, the cases I brought and am still litigating against our corrupt intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) come to mind. Claiming that they cannot reveal whether my clients or I have been illegally surveilled, they even suggested to federal Judge Richard J. Leon that this information was not just fiction, but at the same time suggested that the reason they could not disclose this crucial evidence is because we might be terrorists. Of course, Judge Leon found a way to rule against the government defendants in any event, at that time finding in effect that their protestations were ridiculous and that indeed their government clients, which included the National Security Agency (NSA) and the President Obama himself in his official capacity, had created an “almost Orwellian” tyrannical police state with their unconstitutional spying. I need not say more, but I will.
Second, there is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case I recently brought to obtain the now infamous memos written and illegally leaked by former FBI Director James Comey to the New York Times to force the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This case was recently consolidated with three similar cases. One was filed by the former group I conceived of and founded, Judicial Watch, one by CNN, and another by Gannett Satellite Information Network LLC, also a media giant. I thus participated in a conference call last Thursday with the lawyer assigned to the case by the Federal Programs Branch, Carol Federighi, Paul Orfanedes of Judicial Watch, and Charles Tobin representing CNN. The purpose of the call was, as the court directed, to agree on a briefing schedule to move this consolidated case along.
This is despite the fact that the presiding federal judge, James E. Boasberg, an Obama appointee, over the last many years during the Obama administration did his best to slow roll important FOIA litigation to obviously protect both Obama and Hillary Clinton. It was Boasberg years earlier who even refused to allow for the release of the military’s photo of a dead Osama bin Laden, suggesting that it would offend Muslims. Later, he allowed the Obama State Department to suppress records concerning Hillary Clinton and her illegal dealings with foreign interests. Indeed, the Federal Programs Branch has a likely friend in the leftist Democrat Judge Boasberg in this Comey-memo FOIA litigation, so my strategy was to get Federighi to agree to release the requested documents without having Judge Boasberg involved.
With all this in mind, I opened the telephone conference by asking Carol Federighi what time frame the Federal Programs Branch was proposing to either produce the Comey memos and related documents, or assert defenses, known as exemptions under FOIA. She responded that her clients need several months, as the DOJ and FBI had to review the documents and prepare what is known as a Vaughan index, asserting their claimed exemptions from production. But when pressed as to how many pages of documents comprise the Comey memos, she was forced to admit that they consist of only 45 pages.
I then suggested that the entire issue of reviewing the Comey memos could be moot in any event, since we now have a new Trump administration, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and/or his deputy Rod Rosenstein could order them released, as it would be beneficial to the president. In response, Federighi shot back that this was not going to happen and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would claim an investigatory grand jury privilege and block any release – at which point I “reminded” her that the DOJ rules over Mueller, not vice versa.
Fairly certain that Federal Programs Branch lawyers would potentially defy the attorney general and his deputy in the Trump DOJ in favor of the compromised and conflicted Mueller, I started to lecture Federighi of the need to represent the interests of the American people, and not “other interests.” I reminded her that just in the last few years, lawyers in her section were sanctioned by the Honorable Andrew Hanen for lying to him in the Obama executive order amnesty litigation – where I successfully represented Sheriff Joe Arpaio – and that I hoped she would act differently. I was trying to get Federighi to have her clients do the right thing.
But when I started to come on strong, Paul Orfanedes of Judicial Watch cut in and tersely told me to be quiet. I was shocked and responded by telling Paul, whom I had hired first at my law firm and then at Judicial Watch, to butt out. Indeed, while this exchange underscores the difference between my former colleagues and me, I felt that someone had to cut through this obstruction. More of this can be heard on my weekly radio show, “Special Prosecutor With Larry Klayman” at www.freedomwatcusa.org, www.radiomerica.com, YouTube, Roku and Amazon Fire.
The “moral” to this tale is that its high time Attorney General Sessions clean house and replace the lawyers of the Federal Programs Branch – deservedly transferring and exiling them to the DOJ field office on the threatened U.S. territory of Guam (as it’s impossible to fire government employees) – since this corrupted section of DOJ’s Civil Division does not represent the citizenry but the political-establishment Deep State.
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