In the News

Watchdog Sues Biden Admin Over Funding for Palestinian Government

State Department stonewalling info about U.S. funding for terrorists

 Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon

A watchdog group is suing the Biden administration for refusing to turn over internal documents that could show it violated a bipartisan law banning the federal government from sending money to the Palestinian government until it stops using these funds to pay terrorists.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), a watchdog group comprised of former government officials, is accusing the State Department of stonewalling its Freedom of Information Act request for all internal documents and communications related to the administration’s decision last year to unfreeze U.S. aid to the Palestinian government. Taxpayer funds for the Palestinian Authority were stopped under former president Donald Trump due to that government’s ongoing support for terrorism.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, says the State Department sat on PPT’s FOIA request for more than 240 days, well past the statutory period in which federal agencies like the State Department must provide the requested information. The State Department says it will not be able to turn over the relevant information until at least Dec. 16.

“The American public deserves transparency around this decision, which may not only be in violation of the law but could potentially result in increased danger for U.S. citizens and their allies,” Michael Chamberlain, PPT’s director, told the Free Beacon. “But the State Department has yet to even give an estimate for when we will receive records, much less provide any.”

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Biden’s top Supreme Court lawyer granted ethics waiver to argue for race-based college admissions

Margaret Peppiatt, The College Fix

The Department of Justice has granted U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar an ethics waiver, permitting the former Harvard professor to support race-based admissions in a Supreme Court case involving Harvard University.

Prelogar, who taught at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2020, was nominated for Solicitor General in August 2021 and confirmed by the Senate that October. Under the Biden Ethics Pledge, Prelogar was prohibited from working on a court case relating to her former employer until two years after her appointment.

But the ethics waiver releases her to argue the case before the Supreme Court.

Protect the People’s Trust, an ethics watchdog organization, recently obtained a copy of an ethics waiver granted to Prelogar by the DOJ in November 2021. The form released Prelogar from the two-year requirement for the case Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College.

“The timeline is very curious, especially with such a clear potential conflict of interest that required not just one, but at least two waivers, only one of which is currently publicly available,” said Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the People’s Trust, in a recent email to The College Fix.

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“A close call”: Office of Special Counsel cleared Fauci of violating Hatch Act just days before 2020 election

Karen Townsend, Hot Air

A complaint was lodged against Dr. Fauci in June by Protect the Public’s Trust, a government transparency non-profit group. The complaint was lodged over an interview with Fauci published in the Washington Post on October 31, 2020, just days before the 2020 presidential election. During the interview, Fauci described Biden’s approach to the pandemic as one that took it more seriously than Trump. Protect the Public’s Trust claimed that Fauci violated the Hatch Act with his remarks.

Protect the Public’s Trust is made up of a group of retired and former public servants. They are committed to ensuring that there is “one set of rules that our leaders must live by no matter what party affiliation or ideological bent.” The group’s director issued a statement on the OSC’s ruling.

Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said: ‘The highest-paid employee in the federal government, and one of the most influential public voices, should be held to the highest standards of conduct.

‘Unfortunately, as the Office of Special Counsel noted, Dr. Fauci disregarded its best practices around the Hatch Act and enabled his official position to be used ‘to make a political point’ even if his motives were unclear.

‘We respect OSC’s determination that this was a “close call” but believe the American public deserves more from officials such as Dr. Fauci.’

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Special Counsel Declares It’s a ‘Close Call’ on Whether Fauci Actively Undermined Trump During 2020 Election

Joe Saunders, The Western Journal

It’s a bad sign when even the whitewash admits it’s a “close call.”

But that was the ruling last week when the United States Office of Special Counsel decided that de facto COVID czar Anthony Fauci didn’t break a law against federal employees engaging in political activity when he gave a loaded interview to The Washington Post that boosted then-candidate Joe Biden against then-President Donald Trump less than a week before the 2020 election.

And the ruling used reasoning only the Beltway could pretend to believe.

In a letter dated Jan. 3, the OSC responded to a complaint filed by the conservative nonprofit group Protect the Public’s Trust that accused Fauci of violating the Hatch Act, which is aimed at keeping electioneering out of federal government offices.

In its complaint, the group charged that the Fauci interview in the Post, published Oct. 31, 2020, “exceeded the mere exchange of opinions and in fact, participated in impermissible political activity.”

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Did Fauci Interfere In The 2020 Election? Special Counsel Says It’s A ‘Close Call’

‘Dr. Fauci disregarded its best practices around the Hatch Act and enabled his official position to be used ‘to make a political point.”

Tristan Justice, The Federalist

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) exonerated National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier this month in a “close call” case of a Hatch Act violation.

In June, the government transparency non-profit Protect the Public’s Trust filed a complaint against Fauci over an October 2020 interview with the Washington Post. Published days before the election, the White House medical adviser branded then-candidate Joe Biden as taking the novel Wuhan coronavirus more seriously.

Michael Chamberlain, the director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said the group “respect[s] OSC’s determination.”

“Unfortunately, as the Office of Special Counsel noted, Dr. Fauci disregarded its best practices around the Hatch Act and enabled his official position to be used ‘to make a political point’ even if his motives were unclear,” Chamberlain said in a press release.

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White House watchdog CLEARED Dr. Fauci, the highest paid government employee, of violating the Hatch Act when he criticized Trump’s handling of the COVID pandemic just four days before the election

Rob Crilly, Daily Mail

A federal watchdog cleared Dr. Anthony Fauci of breaching rules designed to prevent civil service employees engaging in political activities after a conservative group complained he criticized President Trump‘s handling of the COVID pandemic days before the 2020 election.

Protect the Public’s Trust claimed Fauci violated the Hatch Act during an interview with the Washington Post.

In its complaint, the group said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticized Trump and praised then presidential candidate Joe Biden.

It said the OSC noted that the statement came just days before the election and stated that it ‘generally advises employees that it is best not to discuss candidates for partisan political office when speaking in their official capacity. 

While ultimately finding no technical violation, the OSC’s Deputy Chief conceded that the Washington Post author ‘may have written it from a particular perspective and tried to use Dr. Fauci’s words to make a political point.

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Ex-Harvard Professor Who Wrote Legal Justification For Race-Based Admissions To Help Justice Department On Harvard Case

Chrissy Clark, Daily Caller

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar was granted an ethics waiver to assist the Biden administration in making the case for race-based admissions, according to documents obtained by Protect the Public’s Trust.

The Department of Justice ethics form waived Prelogar, a former Harvard professor, of perceived ethics violations for working on a case before the Supreme Court related to race-based admissions rules at Harvard University, according to a form obtained by the ethics watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust. The case is titled “Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College.”

“While ethics waivers are not uncommon, transparency is vital to ensure the interests of the American public are protected,” Chamberlain said. “The timeline of events around Ms. Prelogar’s waiver and her involvement in this important case raise questions.”

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Watchdog Flags Ethics Landmine for Biden Admin in Landmark Affirmative Action Case

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar received a waiver to argue a case involving her former employer

Kevin Daley, Washington Free Beacon

A watchdog group is asking the Justice Department about its decision to waive ethics rules and let the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer argue a landmark affirmative action case involving her former employer, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Protect the Public’s Trust filed a Freedom of Information Act request Wednesday for information about Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar’s involvement with a legal brief the administration filed urging the Court to reject a lawsuit accusing Harvard of bias against Asians. Prelogar, a former Harvard employee, is barred by the Biden administration’s ethics pledge from participating in the case without a waiver.

The request seeks all records relating to the decision to grant Prelogar a waiver, as well as communications involving Prelogar and the case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

“Considering that there is no shortage of legal talent in the solicitor general’s office, the American public has to wonder why Ms. Prelogar’s involvement was so irreplaceable,” said Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust. “At this point, the circumstances raise a number of questions of whether the proper procedures were followed and whether the waiver process was appropriately applied.”

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U.S. Solicitor General Granted Ethics Waiver on Discriminatory Admissions Lawsuit Despite Conflict of Interest with Harvard

Breccan F. Thies, Breitbart News

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, a Harvard law professor prior to joining the Biden administration, has been granted a waiver to the Biden Ethics Pledge allowing her to work on a lawsuit brought against her former employer by Asian American students.

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College is a case brought by students against the school claiming their admissions policies discriminate against Asian Americans. The students, who lost in the U.S. First Circuit, have appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Without the ethics waiver from the Department of Justice, Prelogar would have been prohibited from working on the case. Government ethics watchdog, Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), tracks public officials who receive ethics waivers. In this case, PPT filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records on the Solicitor General’s involvement in the case.

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