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Judicial Watch: Buttigieg agrees to search his email for records regarding his role in the creation of ‘ID cards to help illegal aliens’

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pete buttigieg

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg agreed to do his own personal search of his emails, rather than be deposed for testimony by a top conservative government watch dog group “for records related to the creation of ID cards to help illegal aliens in South Bend, Indiana,” stated the organization Wednesday.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit for Buttigieg’s emails in August, 2019. According to JW, he agreed to the search, in an effort to avoid being deposed and in response to the court order  issued by the judge, after the City of South Bend failed to respond as required by law to open records requests. The records request was for all emails between Buttigieg, members of his staff and officials of La Casa de Amistad, regarding the Community Resident Card program, Judicial Watch stated.

On Wednesday President-elect Joe Biden named Buttigieg his Transportation Secretary nominee.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that the former South Bend Mayor was working to create ID cards for illegal aliens to help them stay in the country.

“This victory will help the public understand Mayor Buttigieg’s plan to create special ID cards to make it easier for illegal aliens to stay in the United States contrary to law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is curious that the mayor fought us for so long on this simple request for information.”

In August, 2019, when the lawsuit was filed by JW, Buttigieg’s spokesman Mark Bode, said “In 2016 Mayor Buttigieg helped jump-start the municipal ID program with a local nonprofit so that immigrants in our community could feel welcome and live without fear. Records related to the municipal ID are inaccessible by public records laws, as they are maintained by the nonprofit. We will continue to protect the well-being of all who live in our neighborhoods.”

In 2016, Buttigieg signed an executive order requiring city departments, such as police, fire and parks, to recognize the ID.

DOCUMENTS REQUESTED FROM THE JUDICIAL WATCH LAWSUIT

Judicial Watch initially sought a deposition of Buttigieg, but withdrew its request upon his agreement to search his personal email for the following records:

  • Emails between Mayor Peter Buttigieg on any personal/private or non-South Bend email account and any of the below listed individuals from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 containing the following terms: “Community Resident Card,” “CRC,” “Municipal ID,” “SB ID, ”Resident ID,” and/or Community ID.”
  • Individuals:  Same Centellas, John Collins, Felix Bueno, Jr., Laura O’Sullivan, Tammy Bell, Genevieve Miller, Molly Buser, Cherri Peate, Scott Ruszkowski, Mark Bode, Eric Horvath, Jamie Morgan, Marcia I. Jones
Why is Judicial Watch is requesting the records?

On December 16, 2016, the South Bend Tribune reported that, “A nonprofit Latino advocacy group … unveiled a new identification card it hopes will make life easier for undocumented immigrants who live in [South Bend].” La Casa de Amistad Inc. are the creators of this “SB ID.” Buttigieg reportedly worked “closely with La Casa de Amistad, South Bend’s main Latino outreach center … and the nonprofit’s executive director, Sam Centellas,” to create a “Community Resident Card … created and distributed by the group — a private organization — not the city.” “Buttigieg’s part to make it all work was to sign an executive order requiring local services and institutions — like law enforcement, schools, the water utility and libraries — to accept the card as a valid form of identification.”

South Bend refused or ignored Judicial Watch APRA requests for multiple times between June 24, 2019, and July 18, 2019. Each time, South Bend said the requests were too broad and not “reasonably particular.” After each refusal, Judicial Watch would comply with South Bend’s suggestion to limit their request. After four exchanges, South Bend produced Mayor Buttigieg’s executive order and 2 information bulletins that were already publicly accessible.

JUDICIAL WATCH

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Parler @SaraCarterOfficial or on Twitter @SaraCarterDC

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Screen Shot 2024 03 13 at 9.50.09 AM
Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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