A government ethics watchdog is now filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, accusing the department of “hiding” information from the public concerning the withholding of records about potential bias and conflicts of interest involving high-profile cases such as the Durham investigations and the probe into Hunter Biden and his business dealings.
Just the News is reporting that in June 2021, Protect the Public’s Trust filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOJ in order to obtain records from the agency’s Justice Management Division. It’s now been over a year and the department has not bothered to inform the watchdog whether or not it will comply with the request.
The report goes on to say that the Biden administration “has filled some of the highest ranks of DOJ with officials who have been criticized for possible bias or potential conflicts of interest in high-profile cases,” Protect the Public’s Trust went on to claim in a press release, going on to cite several media reports and public documents.
“The high-profile cases include the reported federal financial crimes investigation of Hunter Biden and Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the discredited Trump-Russia collusion investigation,” Just the News reported.
“The President appointed Nicholas McQuaid as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division,” PPT stated. “Just prior to the Administration taking power, a former colleague of McQuaid, with whom McQuaid jointly represented at least one client, was hired by Hunter Biden, who is reportedly ‘under investigation for possible tax and money laundering activities, with a potential counterintelligence component.'”
Susan Hennessee, who did not have nice things to say about the Durham probe, calling it “partisan silliness,” was given the general counsel position within the DOJ’s National Security Division, according to information shared by the watchdog.
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“Have these officials been granted waivers to participate in these matters, which would likely fall into their portfolios?” the PPT went on to ask. “Over a year ago, PPT submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to DOJ seeking ethics waivers and documents that could help shed light on whether these officials were given the green light to participate in these matters. By its refusal to properly respond to this FOIA request, as required by law, DOJ is hiding this information from the American public.”
“Three other DOJ appointees — Jonathan Kanter, Rachael Rollins, and Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar — declared on their ethics certificates that they received waivers to participate in matters in which they may have conflicts of interest. However, the DOJ has yet to release the waivers, according to PPT,” Just the News stated in its report.
“During Transparency Week, Attorney General Merrick Garland made a strong case for the importance of FOIA in ‘ensuring transparency, accessibility, and accountability in government,'” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain remarked. “But even where serious concerns about bias, impartiality, and conflicts of interest in his own agency could be alleviated with a little transparency, Protect the Public’s Trust has run into a stonewall. It’s little wonder trust in the government continues to decline.”
When Just the News attempted to reach out for a comment, the DOJ did not immediately respond.
The delay certainly makes it seem as if the department doesn’t want folks to know the truth, doesn’t it? Why all of the secrecy if there’s nothing damning to hide? There’s so much corruption within our government it’s hard to imagine ever being able to fully untangle the mess.