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Tag Archives: Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch Seeks Ethics Probe of Democrat Schiff

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee may have violated standards by disclosing classified information, the Washington Examiner reported.

In the letter that requests the investigation of ranking committee member Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Jackie Speier, both of California, Judicial Watch cites other complaints to the OCE which were successful in garnering an investigation of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Nunes stepped aside from leading the committee’s Russia investigation after the OCE began their investigation.

“If the standard for filing a complaint or opening an ethics investigation is that a member has commented publicly on matters that touch on classified information, but the member does not reveal the source of his or her information, then the complaints against Chairman Nunes are incomplete insofar as they target only Nunes,” Judicial Watch wrote.

Watchdog Group Suit Seeks Costs of Obama’s Hawaii Vacation

The political watchdog group Judicial Watch is suing the government to ascertain the costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s January 2013 trip to Hawaii, the second he took to the Aloha State during this winter’s holiday season.

According to Judicial Watch, the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Secret Service seeks:

All records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or other services to President Obama and any companions on their January 1 and 2, 2013 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.

The lawsuit focuses on Obama’s shocking decision to travel to Hawaii a second time on January 1 after having returned to Washington from his initial sojourn there in late December in order to conduct negotiations to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.

At the time, White House Dossier estimated Obama’s second trip added over $3 million to the more than $4 million that the first Hawaii excursion had already cost taxpayers. A significant portion of the known costs are attributable to the use of Air Force One, which costs about $180,000 an hour to fly.

Judicial Watch says it is filing the lawsuit in the wake the Secret Service’s failure to state – as required by law – whether it would comply with a January 2, 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA request for information.

Lawsuit Seeks Costs of Michelle’s South Africa Trip

The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Air Force seeking to obtain details and costs of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana June 21-27.

The request, announced today, was filed June 28, one day after White House Dossier published an examination of the trip that found it included a significant vacation component and probably cost taxpayers well over $500,000.

From the Judicial Watch announcement:

Judicial Watch is investigating the total cost of the trip to the taxpayers in the face of a ballooning federal debt and a sinking economy. As stated in an analysis by White House Dossier (the blog of White House reporter Keith Koffer, who writes for CongressDailyNational JournalRoll Call and Politico), the cost to taxpayers for the C-32 was $430,000 alone. This cost is based on an estimated charge of $12,723 an hour, which is what the Department of Defense charges other federal agencies for use of the aircraft. If a military cargo plane was included – which typically accompanies a First Lady – the cost of transportation could have escalated by another $200,000.

Other costs, such as Secret Service protection, the care and feeding of staff, and pre-trip advance work done by administration officials in Africa, cannot be determined without examining records.

While the stated goal of the trip was “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” in southern Africa, the excursion included tourist stops to historical landmarks and museums, a chance for Mrs. Obama to meet privately with Nelson Mandela – an experience she described as “surreal” – and a private safari.

The first lady brought along her mother, her daughters and two of their cousins – the children of her brother Craig Robinson.

“A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in South Africa prior to the trip.