WASHINGTON – When sources told the media that the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information “was a top-down decision,” one person closely involved in the investigation explained, “Loretta Lynch simply wants to stay on as Attorney General under Clinton, so there is no way she would indict.”
That was despite the fact that, of the more than 100 FBI agents and analysts who worked with six attorneys from the DOJ’s (Justice Department) National Security Division, Counter Espionage Section to investigate the case, according to the source, “No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute.”
Fox reported the team was especially angry that FBI Director James Comey made that decision because “a recommendation to charge would not be followed by DOJ prosecutors.”
In other words, the FBI’s top investigators and the DOJ’s own attorneys were livid that Comey knew Lynch would ignore a recommendation to prosecute Clinton.
There is another case with substantial evidence of wrongdoing right under her nose that Lynch has ignored: the deadly shooting of suburban mother Miriam Carey, virtually in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.
The question has been why the Justice Department would not seek to prosecute the killers of an unarmed black woman who did little more than make a wrong turn into a White House guard post, then immediately try to leave?
After all, the Justice Department sent a team of investigators including 100 FBI agents to look into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The DOJ also launched a full-scale investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. President Obama even said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
But when it came to Carey, Obama has never even mentioned her name.
Why all the official silence? The killings that made headlines and were vigorously pursued by the DOJ were shootings by local police departments. Carey’s killers were federal officers. The very Secret Service and Capitol Police assigned to protect Obama, Lynch and Congress.
On July 10, 2014, the DOJ announced no charges would be filed against the officers who pursued and killed Carey because of insufficient evidence. But the department never said what evidence it had. And, in a departure from standard procedure, it refused to release the police report that would show what evidence there was.
Represented by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, WND sued the DOJ and successfully obtained the police report. But WND discovered the report was missing a key 96-page memo containing the findings of the investigation, which would have revealed why prosecutors declined to press charges in the killing of Carey.
Now, a federal judge has kept the official stonewall in place.
WND went back to court to try to obtain that 96-page memo, but a federal judge has now ruled that it will stay under lock and key.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not base her decision on information WND presented that indicated the DOJ was attempting to conceal evidence of wrongdoing.
She ruled that an exemption to Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests commonly used to protect the integrity of inter- and intra- departmental communications was applicable in this case.
In plain language, the judge based her decision on a technicality, not on the merit of the argument by WND that the DOJ was concealing evidence.
Carey family attorney Eric Sanders concurred, telling WND, “The Court’s decision is consistent with the law. There is no surprise here based upon the date of the recommendation.”
He also noted, “The Court’s decision does not preclude the Attorney General (or the White House and Congress) from authorizing the full release of the entire un-redacted investigation of the Miriam Carey case in the public interest, just as they have called for in other police shooting cases.”
And, to that end, WND’s investigation goes on.
Alluding to that, Sanders continued, “Maybe, the White House, Department of Justice and Congress would respond differently if they knew one of their officers’ was going public with previously unreleased facts and the culture of cover-up and corruption.”
He added, “Based upon these new facts, the Miriam Carey case MUST be re-opened and investigated by House Committee on the Judiciary due to the Department of Justice’s conflict of interest in this matter.”
In addition to legal arguments given by Judicial Watch as to why the DOJ should have turned over the 96-page memo, WND provided the judge with two pieces of evidence indicating the department was engaged in a cover up.
One was that the DOJ had redacted an officer’s description of the state of Carey’s child (who was in her car) after the shooting as covered in “glass and blood,” and how he had her transported to a hospital. WND found that witness statement in a version of the police report from the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, which was obtained by FOIA. But, curiously, it was blacked-out in the version provided by the DOJ.
Another piece of evidence indicating a cover up was that the DOJ had tried to conceal even the existence of the 96-page memo.
WND only discovered the existence of that memo through persistence.
When the DOJ complied with the FOIA, WND discovered there were no findings of the investigation included in the evidence turned over, even though the request had specifically asked for “the final report and findings of that investigation.”
There is a legal course to take when a government agency has not fully complied with a FOIA request. One can ask for a Vaughn Index.
That is a document that agencies prepare in FOIA litigation to justify information withheld under a FOIA exemption.
The Vaughn Index revealed there were 140 emails withheld by the DOJ that looked very much like the findings of the investigation.
They were described as:
“Email communications between the Assistant United States Attorneys who were assigned to the case and law enforcement task force that were investigating the October 3, 2013 shooting death of Miriam Carey. The documents contain the AUSA’s notes, legal research, and legal theories with law enforcement officials analyzing the strength of the evidence in contemplation of litigation.”
The DOJ said, in this case, litigation referred to the potential prosecution of officers.
After WND asked the Judicial Watch attorney to inquire, the DOJ described the withheld emails as a “96-page declination memo”, written by the U.S. Attorneys assigned to the criminal investigation.
The DOJ said:
“The memo provides an overview and recommends that the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia decline prosecution in the police shooting death of Miriam Carey.”
That is exactly what WND was looking for: The specific reasons why investigators concluded the shooting and killing of Carey was justified.
WND maintained that revealing the memo would be especially in the public interest because it would show whether the shooting was justified.
Now that the judge stymied that effort on a technicality, WND will continue to explore other avenues to bring to light the reason Carey was killed.
And to discover why the Justice Department determined the deadly shooting was justified, but won’t release the evidence, or the reveal the reasoning investigators used, to come to that conclusion.
WND has covered the Carey case in depth for more than three years with more than 40 investigative pieces. For a full and detailed accounting of what WND has learned go to WND’s website on the Miriam Carey scandal.
When WND’s investigation was just a few week’s old, once he heard the basic facts of the case in December of 2013, famed civil libertarian Nat Hentoff said from all of the evidence he had seen in WND’s reports, which he called very thorough and easily corroborated, “[T]his is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder.”