Judicial Watch Statement on Court Ruling on Clinton Email Issue

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today’s ruling by United States District Judge James E. Boasberg that the Department of State must make public a FBI declaration detailing its efforts to retrieve Hillary Clinton’s government emails (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rex Tillerson (No. 1:15-cv-00785)):

We’re happy with the ruling but it is unbelievable we’re being opposed by Trump appointees in the State and Justice Department’s on the Clinton email issue. President Trump ought to be outraged his appointees are protecting Hillary Clinton. The State Department should initiate action with the Justice Department – and both agencies should finally take the necessary steps to recover all the government emails Hillary Clinton unlawfully removed.

On April 30, 2015, Judicial Watch sued former Secretary John Kerry after the State Department failed to take action on a letter sent to Kerry “notifying him of the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and requesting that he initiate enforcement action pursuant to the [Federal Records Act],” including working through the Attorney General to recover the emails. After initially being dismissed by the district court, Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was revived on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 27, 2016. The Federal Records Act states that an agency head “shall” initiate an action through the Attorney General when he becomes aware of any unlawful removal of agency records.

While at the State Department, Clinton conducted official government business using an unsecure email server and email accounts. Her top aides and advisors also used non-“state.gov” email accounts to conduct official business. Clinton left office February 1, 2013.

The Trump administration defended handling of the email matter by the Obama administration filed two declarations from the FBI trying to justify the State Department’s refusal to follow the law and refer the Clinton email issue to the Justice Department. As the decision notes, the second FBI declaration is non-public and was filed in camera and ex parte with the court. Judge Boasburg today rejected the State Department’s arguments that the FBI declaration be withheld to protect grand jury secrecy:

After reviewing the document in camera, the Court concludes it largely rehashes information already made public, thus obviating any need for secrecy.

Amid nationwide controversy, St Junipero Serra statue vandalized in L.A.

.- A statue of St. Junipero Serra in a Los Angeles public park appeared to have been vandalized last week in a time of national debate about historical statues.

The statue portrays the Franciscan friar in a favorable light, with his arm on the shoulder of an indigenous child. The park is across the street from the Mission San Fernando in Mission Hills community of Los Angeles. The mission was founded by Fr. Fermin Lasuen, another Franciscan, in 1797.

A picture of the statue was circulated on social media, showing it spray-painted red with the word “murder” written on the priest in white.

City officials did not confirm to Los Angeles news station CBS2 that the photo was authentic or that the statue was cleaned. However, a CBS2 reporter at the scene said there was red paint on the arm of the priest’s statue and a swastika on the statue of the child.

St. Junipero, a Franciscan missionary from Spain, founded nine Catholic missions in California in the late 1700s. His missions helped convert many native Californians to Christianity and taught them new technologies.

Most of the missions he founded would go on to become the centers of major cities in the state, as did other Franciscan-founded missions. The priest carried on his work despite a painful wound to his leg.

He died in 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Carmelo in what is now California

St. John Paul II beatified Father Serra in 1988. Pope Francis canonized the priest Sept. 23, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

“He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life,” Pope Francis said. “He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God’s life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters.”

“Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people,” the Pope added.

In Los Angeles last week, passerby Cristian Mendoza criticized the vandalism.

“Everyone’s entitled to their own public opinions and thoughts,” Mendoza told CBS2. “But once it gets to this level I don’t think it’s right.”

CBS2 quoted another passerby, Christian Ramirez, who said he thought the statue should be taken down and replaced with a statue he thought would show “appreciation to the native people that live here.” He suggested it represented a “violent history.”

Several California legislators have unsuccessfully pushed to remove the statue of St. Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.

Some of St. Junipero Serra’s critics object to the forced confinement of some indigenous peoples in the missions he founded, as well as corporal punishment inflicted there, saying they are causes to dismiss the saint. Some also criticize his association with Spanish colonialism.

His defenders note St. Junipero Serra’s defense of native peoples at a time when Spanish soldiers and other officials could easily abuse them. At one point, he opposed the death sentence for a man who had killed one of his fellow missionaries in an uprising.

Many native peoples attended his burial and openly wept at his death.

The vandalism of the saint’s statue comes amid controversy over the fate of statues honoring leading figures of the Confederate States of America and the Reconstruction era.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, several hundred demonstrators gathered from around the country on Aug. 11 to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee from a city park. The rally drew white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members. Many waved the Confederate battle flag and at least one demonstrator waved a Nazi flag.

The demonstration was set to continue the next day, attracting many counter-protesters. Both groups skirmished with each other, leading authorities to declare the assembly unlawful and to order the crowds to disperse.

An hour later, one rally attendee, 20-year-old James Alex Fields, allegedly drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and seriously injuring several others.

The incident prompted many peaceful responses, as well as some attacks on Confederate statues and other public monuments.

A statue of St. Joan of Arc had been vandalized in New Orleans by an unknown person or persons sometime in late April or early May, with graffiti reading “tear it down.” It followed controversy in the city about the removal of monuments to the Confederacy and the Reconstruction era.

In Baltimore, the oldest U.S. statue of the explorer Christopher Columbus, erected in 1792, was also vandalized this month. A video posted to YouTube claiming responsibility for the incident blamed Columbus for “a centuries-old wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, rape, slavery, ecological degradation and capitalist exploitation of labor in the Americas.”

Many such statues were set up by U.S. Catholics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mark his role in opening the New World to Europeans, at a time when many leading Americans denigrated Catholic figures.

 
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US and UK failing to support Iraqi Christians, MPs warn

CHRISTIAN TODAY

The US and UK governments are failing to support Iraqi Christians, leaving them vulnerable to be squeezed out of their homes, MPs have said.

Iraqi Christians who fled after their homes were overridden by ISIS are at risk of being pushed out the Middle East altogether by a combination of Shia and Sunni forces moving in, they warn.

In a letter to the British development secretary Priti Patel, several MPs alongside charity heads and religious freedom campaigners say unless funding is immediately provided to rebuild Christian villages and homes on Iraq’s Nineveh Plains, ‘most Iraqi Christians who escaped ISIS to Kurdistan are likely to leave Iraq permanently’.

Signed by the Catholic peer Lord Alton as well as Labour’s faith envoy Stephen Timms and Second Church Estates Commissioner Dame Caroline Spelman alongside others, the letter says: ‘We note that DFID were able to allocate significant emergency funds for the support of residents from Mosul, and the rebuilding of the same, but nothing has been allocated to date for the many thousands of Christians and Yazidis who lost their homes 3 years ago (including in Mosul) and who are now faced with a grave humanitarian and existential crisis.’

READ MORE AT CHRISTIAN TODAY