Watchdog group Judicial Watch — best known for the more than 20 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to Hillary Clinton’s private server and their role in uncovering the IRS targeting scandal during the Obama administration —— filed another FOIA lawsuit in May of last year that proves the Obama State Department sent taxpayer funds to a Soros-backed, leftwing group in Albania.
Judicial Watch obtained 32 pages of records showing the Obama administration sent U.S. taxpayers’ funds to a group backed by billionaire George Soros, which used the money to fund left-wing political activities in Albania, including working with the country’s socialist government to push for highly controversial judicial “reform.” The records also detail how the Soros operation helped the State Department review grant applications from other groups for taxpayer funding.
The records were obtained in a May 26, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) after both the State Department and USAID failed to respond to March 31, 2017, FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-01012)). Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss the lawsuit after it received the documents and payment of attorneys’ fees.
The new documents show USAID funds were funneled through that agency’s Civil Society Project to back Soros’s left-wing Open Society Foundations in Albania, particularly the Soros operation efforts to give the socialist government greater control of the judiciary. USAID reportedly gave $9 million in 2016 to the “Justice for All” campaign, which is overseen by Soros’s “East West Management Institute.”
Soros founded the Open Society Foundation as a grant-making entity in the 1980s, and has used it to fund socialist-leaning groups in almost 40 nations around the world.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton alluded to Foundation activities in a statement Wednesday announcing his group had been granted access to documents detailing the provision of funds from Obama’s State Department thanks to a FOIA lawsuit filed last year.
Here’s more from Fox News:
“The Obama administration quietly spent at least $9 million in U.S. taxpayers’ dollars in direct collusion with left-wing billionaire George Soros’ backing of a socialist government in Albania,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement Wednesday. “It is particularly outrageous that the State Department allowed the Soros operation to help direct taxpayer funds to other groups.”
For their part, USAID denies they provided grants to Soros’ Open Society Foundation in Albania.
The State Department documents seem to indicate — at minimum — a partnership with the Open Society Foundation to conduct reviews of grant applications and conduct polls of Albanians on how they viewed judicial reform efforts in their country, and possibly more. The State Department apparently worked with the Open Society Foundation to provide funding to conduct some of those polls.
“George Soros is a billionaire and he shouldn’t be receiving taxpayer support to advance his radical left agenda to undermine freedom here at home and abroad,” Fitton said.
The Open Society Foundation is denying the accusation and is leveraging a general charge that there is an attempt to “politicize” their grantmaking efforts to help nations like “Albania and other similarly situated countries transition from communism and democracy, and in promoting an independent judiciary.”