WASHINGTON – The powerhouse government watchdog group Judicial Watch has joined WND’s fight to get to the bottom of the Miriam Carey mystery.
Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit to compel the Justice Department to comply with WND’s Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request for the investigative report into the killing of the unarmed, 34-year-old suburban mother, shot dead by federal officers in the shadow of the nation’s Capitol on Oct. 3, 2013.
The Justice Department announced on July 10, 2014, that no criminal charges would be filed against the Capitol Hill police officers and uniformed Secret Service agents who fired a barrage of bullets into the back of Carey’s car, fatally striking her in the back, but miraculously sparing her infant daughter strapped in the backseat.
The investigative report was never released to the public.
That report was done by Washington Metropolitan Police Department and reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Washington, D.C., a branch of the Justice Department, or DOJ.
“Given the Obama Justice Department’s habit of second-guessing police officers in shooting incidents, it is the height of hypocrisy for Eric Holder’s DOJ to violate FOIA law to keep secret details about the controversial shooting of Miriam Carey, who also happens to be black, by federal law enforcement,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.
“The illegal secrecy by the Justice Department has forced our journalist client, WND, to go to federal court to get its simple questions answered.”
WND Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah said,”It’s time for the Justice Department to live up to its name and bring justice, openness and closure to the Miriam Carey tragedy.”
“It’s time to come clean with the American people to ensure no other innocent women are gunned down in the nation’s capital like this for no justifiable reason. If we can’t trust government to hold law enforcement accountable for inexcusable violent behavior that ends in death, then it’s time to clean house in government.”
WND has covered the Carey case extensively for 18 months with scores of reports, filing FOIA requests and now a lawsuit against the Department of Justice.
The lawsuit documents how WND’s repeated attempts to use a FOIA to obtain the Carey report have been stonewalled by the DOJ.
WND filed the FOIA request on Aug. 4, 2014.
By law, the DOJ had 20 days to fulfill or deny the request.
After a series of inquiries from WND on the status of its FOIA request, the most recent response from the DOJ, received on March 19, 2015, was that the request was waiting to be assigned and processed by a paralegal.
The DOJ said WND was “welcome to check on the status within a few weeks.”
Instead, WND enlisted the help of Judicial Watch to sue the DOJ to comply.
Judicial Watch has become a big-time power player in Washington politics, often obtaining materials from the Obama administration that even Congress has been unable to secure.
It is because of the efforts of Judicial Watch that a series of incriminating emails from Lois Lerner became public. Lerner is the central figure in the IRS scandal, as the former head of the tax-exempt division who targeted conservative groups for extraordinary, and possibly illegal, scrutiny.
Judicial Watch has also uncovered critical information on the Benghazi attack, Obama’s executive orders granting immigration amnesty, the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme, the swap of five top Taliban leaders for Bowe Bergdahl (now accused of desertion) and is working to obtain former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Judicial Watch just broke the news on Tuesday that Mexican authorities claim to have learned of an ISIS camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas.
Judicial Watch lends a powerful voice to WND’s year-and-a half long inquiry into the death of Carey, beginning with eye-witness accounts filed moments after the shooting.
WND has published 70 stories on Carey; half of those, investigative pieces.
Informed of the facts of the case, famed civil libertarian Nat Hentoff told WND, “[T]his is a classic case of police out of control and, therefore, guilty of plain murder.” Other civil libertarians and law enforcement experts have echoed similar sentiments.
Carey was chased and killed by Capitol police officers and uniformed Secret Service agents after she apparently did little more than mistakenly turn into a White House entry kiosk, then immediately try to leave.
Mainstream media outlets mistakenly reported Carey had rammed a White House barrier, triggering a chase.
Actually, Carey made an immediate U-turn after apparently driving into the entry post by mistake, when an off-duty Secret Service agent threw a bike rack-type gate in front of her car.
Carey wasn’t trying to enter the White House, she was trying to leave when the agent tried to stop her.
Police claimed she posed a danger because, they said, she then led officers on a high speed chase reaching speeds of 80 mph, weaving through traffic and ignoring red lights.
However, as the Washington Post reported, if it took Carey the four minutes authorities claimed to reach Garfield Circle (near where the chase ended) from the White House, “her average speed was 19.5 mph in a 25-mph zone.”
Carey family attorney Eric Sanders has been preparing to file a $150 million lawsuit against the Capitol police and the Department of Justice after failing to get what the family considers an adequate explanation for the death of Miriam.
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth