Peter McGinnis

FOIA records: Jan. 6 House Select Committee investigator consulted with FEC commissioner, sparking ethics questions

(Juliette Fairley, Legal Newsline)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A nonpartisan think tank has obtained documents that show a Federal Election Commissioner (FEC) communicating with a Jan. 6 committee investigator.

An email obtained by the Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) shows House Select Committee senior investigative counsel Amanda Wick asking FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub to help in exploring a potential connection between campaign fundraising activities and the Jan. 6 Capitol rally.

“As part of the investigation into the events on and leading up to the January 6th attack on the United States capital, we are looking into certain fundraising activities and practices that were used to support and execute the events,” Wick wrote to Weintraub on Oct. 26, 2021. “One of our team members suggested reaching out to you for your expertise on federal fundraising laws, which would be incredibly beneficial. Would you or a member of your team have a few minutes to talk with me this week about some questions we have regarding federal campaign laws and the rules surrounding campaign fundraising?”

Read the rest at Legal Newsline

The Wuhan lab leak theory reappraised

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at American Thinker

Bipartisan investigations are a rarity in Washington, D.C. The constituencies likely to be affected or to suffer collateral damage are usually enough to derail them from gaining momentum. Affix the term “disinformation” to the claim in need of investigation, and the chances of a genuine inquiry plummet from hardly ever to “forget about it.” Such is the current trajectory of the need to explore the origin of COVID-19.

We now know that intelligence officials and top diplomats studied the issue in the spring of 2020 and concluded that the virus “most likely” came from a lab. In keeping with their history of suppressing any news that could be damaging to the regime, the Chinese have stridently opposed entertaining the question. We also know from public records that many of the world’s top scientists, including those from our nation’s own health agencies, went to extremes to prevent the question from being asked early on in the pandemic, with help from media and tech firms. These damning revelations took nearly two years to emerge, and the same forces that suppressed the information early on have responded by ignoring them.

Read the rest at American Thinker

Biden Admin Withholds Info on Bungled Afghanistan Withdrawal, Lawsuit Says

(Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon)

The Biden administration is illegally withholding information about its bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, including information that could show senior U.S. officials knew prior to the withdrawal that the Taliban would quickly rise to power and trap scores of Americans, according to a nonpartisan advocacy group focused on U.S. national security issues.

The Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) is petitioning a district court in Washington, D.C., to force the State Department to release communications records related to the 2021 Afghanistan evacuation. This would include information “related [to the] vetting of Afghan refugees, and the number of U.S. citizens and lawful residents that were or were not evacuated from Afghanistan,” according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Biden administration has yet to provide the American public with a full accounting of those who were left behind in Afghanistan once the Taliban took over and American troops left the country, including the exact number of U.S. citizens and Afghans who aided the American government during the 20-year war. U.S. officials also have evaded congressional investigations into the matter and misled lawmakers for months about the number of Americans trapped in the country once the Taliban cut off access to airports. The Biden administration has thus far rebuffed congressional efforts and those from outside groups to determine how it is vetting scores of Afghan refugees that have been brought into the United States since the withdrawal, including how these individuals are being screened for terrorism ties.

Read the rest at Washington Free Beacon

No Matter What Happens To Biden’s ‘Disinformation’ Board, The Feds Are Spying On Americans

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at The Federalist

Facing an increasing backlash against the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governing Board (DGB), Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised it would not monitor Americans. It was not enough. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was forced to put the DGB on “pause,” and its director, Nina Jankowicz, resigned under public pressure.

Now DHS says it is “reviewing” the board while “continuing” its “critical work…to address disinformation.”

No matter what happens with the board, it is hard to take Mayorkas’s promise not to monitor Americans seriously. Several recent cases of the federal government spying on Americans as well as DHS’s own actions were certain to make people skeptical.

Read the rest at The Federalist

DHS continues to threaten the First Amendment rights of the American people

May 11, 2022

Washington, DC – The Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) expressed serious concern today regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) contradictory statements about free speech and monitoring U.S. citizens. Last week, DHS announced the establishment of a “Disinformation Governance Board” (DGB). This board, DHS Secretary Mayorkas promised, would not monitor Americans. However, just a few months ago, DHS issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin, a memo prioritizing “false or misleading narratives” as a top domestic security threat. That NTAS Bulletin states that “there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19.” Here they are clearly targeting American citizens, and Americans could not be faulted for assuming that this memo was a precursor to the Disinformation Governance Board.

At CASA, we are very concerned that the NTAS Bulletin and the Disinformation Governance Board could lead to an infringement of the First Amendment rights of Americans. At the time of its release, we submitted Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the NTAS bulletin. We are now seeking additional information from DHS concerning the DGB.

The American people have every right to be skeptical of this new entity because, unfortunately, there are numerous instances of the government spying on U.S. citizens in the recent past. These include:

• The Carter Page Incident: Page was an advisor to the Trump 2016 campaign. In 2016-17 the government investigated him on suspicion of being an intermediary between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. A later Inspector General’s report identified “at least 17 significant errors or omissions” in the application for a surveillance (FISA) warrant against Page and a Department of Justice attorney was convicted of falsifying a document that led to a Page warrant.
• The James Clapper Spying Scandal: The former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper apparently made false statement to Congress in March 2013, when he responded, “No, sir” and “not wittingly” to a question about whether the National Security Agency was collecting “any type of data at all” on millions of Americans. About three months after making that claim, documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the answer was untruthful and that the NSA was in fact collecting in bulk domestic call records, along with various internet communications.
• CIA Spying: Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who are privy to classified information, have warned about the existence of a secret bulk collection program that the CIA has operated “outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection,” and without oversight by the courts or Congress. The secret program appears to be related to bulk data swept up by the CIA in terrorism operations, including information on an unknown number of Americans, according to a heavily blacked-out report from a CIA oversight board that was declassified at the urging of the two senators. The program still seems to be in operation.

“Unfortunately, the federal government has a history of spying on innocent Americans, so it is not surprising that DHS would be monitoring them for MDM,” said Adam Turner, Director of CASA. He continued, “But this is still Orwellian and disturbing. I call on DHS to issue far stronger assurances that the Disinformation Governance Board, and all other programs, will not monitor the American people or infringe on their First Amendment rights.”


When it comes to COVID, Illegals Outrank the Military

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at American Thinker

Should American citizens be treated differently from migrants illegally entering the country? How about our men and women who serve in the military? Many would likely answer yes, but that’s not the way it appears to be playing out when it comes to COVID vaccine mandates.

Recently, the brother of Col. Alexander Vindman, of impeachment infamy, expressed his support for a prosecution team that secured a first-in-the-nation conviction of a lieutenant for failing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Regardless of where one stands on the issue of mandates, the double-standard when it comes to the new vaccine policy announced for migrants is hard to accept. In the midst of firing members of the military for not getting jabbed, the Biden administration has declared the pandemic over for the purposes of turning migrants away from the southern border (i.e., use of Title 42) and stated it will no longer be implementing COVID mitigation measures such as testing and vaccines for migrants entering the country. The idea that those not legally in the country are entitled to more liberty and autonomy than American citizens may strike many as puzzling.

Read the rest at American Thinker

When You Think the Border Crisis Can’t Get Worse, It Does

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

Just when you think the situation at the Southern border can’t get any worse, it does. Last week, Texas National Guardsman SPC Bishop E. Evans drowned attempting to save two migrants from drowning. It was later revealed the migrants “were involved in illicit transnational narcotics trafficking.” This tragic incident highlights a number of questions that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to answer.

So, what is DHS going to do about the border crisis? With Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifying on the Hill, the DHS produced a 20-page memo outlining his six-point plan to manage the southern border, called the DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness. The memo provides no new ideas that are not already in place. Further, it appears to have been hastily cobbled together in response to concerns the federal government had no plan to replace Title 42, the act that empowers the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to remove illegal immigrants who cross the border and could be infected with COVID-19. This is not an adequate substitute for Title 42, however. When Title 42 ends, it is estimated that the number of illegal aliens entering this country daily could hit 18,000, more than double the current 8,000. The DHS Plan relies on Title 8 and other existing authorities, which, unlike Title 42, will allow those entering illegally a chance to file asylum claims, making it harder to remove them.

Read the rest at Townhall

China Lurks Behind Most Crises Facing America

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at American Thinker

Since the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last August and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has felt like the world is on fire. But in the midst of these attention-grabbing crises, there is an even more pernicious threat facing the United States and the signs are all around us. Behind most major foreign policy issues lies China.

Take the Iran nuclear deal. Media reports indicate that Iran’s fleet of tankers has ferried at least $22 billion worth of illicit oil to the People’s Republic of China since 2021. This has provided the Iranian regime with a major source of revenue and raised questions about the Biden administration’s lax enforcement of sanctions.

Read the rest at American Thinker

Playing Politics With National Security is Never A Good Idea

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

After more than two years it appears to still be too much to ask for consistency with federal COVID policies. While on the one hand, the Biden Administration continues to fight in court to protect its federal employee vaccine mandates and extends mask mandates on airplanes, on the other it is removing an order that helps keep illegal immigrants who may be infected from entering the country.

Even without this apparent contradiction, the Biden administration’s decision to rescind Title 42 on May 23 (officially known as the CDC’s Order Suspending the Right to Introduce Certain Persons from Countries Where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists issued pursuant to Title 42 of the U.S. Code) is controversial, to say the least. This order allows the federal government to remove illegal immigrants who cross the border and could be infected with COVID-19. Under the measure, the majority of asylum seekers apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border have been expelled immediately back to Mexico or their country of origin, without the chance to file asylum claims.

Read the rest at Townhall

Biden courts enemies and punishes allies

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at American Thinker

Recently, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, a Shia Islamist terrorist group backed by Iran, struck targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates using drones and missiles. The attacks, on two of America’s erstwhile allies, prompted Saudi Arabia’s oil chief to say markets are going through a “jittery period” and that cross-border attacks have put to question “our ability to supply the world with the necessary energy requirements.” Oil prices, already at their highest in years, shot up further as a result of these strikes.

These incidents represent another piece of evidence pinning at least part of the blame for the rise in oil prices on President Joe Biden.  To paraphrase the famous sticker — he did that!

Read the rest at American Thinker