The media covered the multitude of outrageous acts by Secret Service agents.Even though the Court in my FOIA case ruled that there was no “Public Interest” in the case, the story was picked up by over 40 different sites. The story made the front page of the Metropolitan Section of the Dallas Morning News. Dave Leiber, the author of the story indicated that the on-line version of the story received 170,000 unique views the first day the story was published. That was his most viewed story, thus far this year. Yet because the Court denied my request for attorney fees, and dismissed the DHS and Secret Service from the suit, I was forced to appeal his decision. The case was still open in the District Court because the Office of Inspector General was still a party who has not been dismissed.
Because the Court denied my request for attorney fees, and I had already incurred over $100,000 in attorney fees, I was unwilling to expose myself to additional fees. Even though I had not practiced law in over 20 years I re-activated my license last year, in the event I should have to represent myself in this Federal Court case. As an attorney I had a general understanding of the rules that applied and perfected notice of appeal to the 5th Circuit. I also handled the mediation of the case in the District Court , and negotiated the settlement. The average person would never have been in a position to appeal the case or bring pressure on the attorney for the government in the mediation. The truth was the the OIG, who was still a party to the District Court case had previously been ordered to produce all responsive documents by the end of April of 2016. The OIG, in violation of the Court Order, was producing documents sporadically. The OIG indicated its best estimate of the time necessary to produce the rest of the documents was 13 more months. Not only was that an admission of a direct violation of the Court Order, it seemed outrageous when the documents in question had been requested over 4 years ago and the FOIA required the government to produce documents within 20 days.
The reality is that even though the OIG was clearly in violation of the Court’s Order, and even if the Court issued another order requiring production of documents, there was no reason to believe that the OIG would act any faster than in response to the previous order. Because the Judge had previously denied my request for attorneys fees, it was likely that any relief would have only come after another year or more waiting for a decision by the 5th Circuit.
When the government offered to pay my attorney fees, it seemed that recovery of my fees, and limitation of further time devoted to litigation was unwise, so long as the government was willing to make some admissions regarding the documents requested. The case has been settled. My attorney fees were paid. Once again the Dallas Morning News featured a front page article in the Metro section of the paper regarding the story, even though the public had no interest in the story. I guess the editor of the Dallas paper knows that people don’t read the front page articles of the Metro section. People simply buy the paper to line their litter boxes and other receptacles for animal excrement.
Before the case could be settled, I required to the government to make a few admissions. While I will report in greater detail on the effect of these admissions in the coming days, I will list the admissions that were made by the federal government through the Office of Inspector General.
- David Chaney was employed by the Secret Service through August 31, 2012.
- The statement David Chaney gave to Merek Schaefer regarding the allegations made by Shailey Tripp, and which pertained to her pimp Todd Palin, was given June 6, 2012.
- The Washington Post reported that Chaney was no longer with the Secret Service after the Colombia scandal as he “retired under pressure.” That story was reported on April 19, 2012.
- OIG admitted that they had no “non-disclosure” agreements that were signed by the Secret Service agents involved in the Colombia scandal.
- OIG represented that it had produced 8923 documents to the USSS to determine “releasability” after the Court had dismissed the Secret Service from the District Court Case. Thus these were Secret Service documents that the Office of Inspector General had identified as responsive. Before the Secret Service was dismissed from the case the agency represented to the court that it had produced all responsive documents. Amazingly, the Secret Service had identified only 4329 documents that they represented that they found that were responsive to my requests. That included documents that were redacted in full or in part. Thus the Secret Service produced less than half of the documents that were identified by the OIG as Secret Service documents that were responsive to my requests, but represented to the Court that it had produced all responsive documents. By the time these documents were produced by the OIG, the Court had already dismissed the Secret Service from the case. I filed a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of the Secret Service based on the production of these documents. The Court denied the request.
The clear indication is that the Secret Service lied, were coercive , and failed to comply with both the rule of law and Court Orders. Yet the Secret Service realized NO consequences! Violation of the FOIA law occurred…repeatedly…with no consequence. Documents were withheld without justification, and lies were told about the reason for non-compliance.
I am working to provide information regarding this matter to the Oversight committee in Congress. I have requested an evidentiary hearing to make a record of the outright deception and coercion of the Secret Service. Congress has documented that Mark Sullivan lied during his testimony regarding . The same committee has determined that the FOIA system is broken. HOwever nothing is in the Congressional record to document just how outrageously corrupt the Secret Service is, or how the FOIA law is abused. My personal experience is a clear demonstration that the system is not only broken, but taxpayers who try to navigate the system pay a steep price. We become the victims. We pay the price. Ultimately America pays the price …actually and metaphorically. Taxpayer money was used to pay my attorney fees, the salary of the Justice Department attorney, the District Court Judge, the Federal Magistrate, and the multitude of employees who searched for documents in the FOIA department. Metaphorically, we pay the price because there is no way to hold government accountable or shine a light on government corruption.
The fact that Donald Trump is a candidate for the highest office in the land is one of the most obvious consequences of the American public being fed up with our government. People are mad. It is their anger that Trump has tapped into. Neither taxpayer anger or candidates like Donald Trump and the answer. The answer must be Congress mandating accountability in every branch of government. The Secret Service and FOIA Offices would be a great place to start.
“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
― Ronald Reagan
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
― Edward R. Murrow
“The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”
― Julian Barnes,
I consider myself a patriot, and our country has already behaved dishonorably, foolishly, and viciously!