Wednesday, Judicial Watch announced that it filed at FOIA suit against the U.S. State Department and the USAID for records related to their financing of the political escapades of Soros’ Open Society Foundation, Albania.
The suit, “Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development” (No. 1:17-cv-01012), was filed on May 26, 2017.
Judicial Watch notes:
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after both State and USAID failed to respond to identical March 31, 2017, FOIA requests seeking:
- All records relating to any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department (USAID) to the Foundation Open Society-Albania (FOSA) and/or its personnel and/or any FOSA subsidiaries. Such records shall include, but is not be limited to proposals, contracts, requests for funding, payment authorizations, invoices, and similar budget records, as well as any and all related records of communication between State Department officials, employees, or representatives and officials, employees, or representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
- All records of communication between any officials, employees or representatives of the State Department (USAID), including but not limited to U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu, and any officials, employees or representatives of Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or affiliated organizations.
- All assessments, evaluations, reports or similar records relating to the work of Foundation Open Society-Albania and/or its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations.
- All records of communications transmitted via the State Department’s SMART system sent to or from any employee of the U.S. Government operating under the authority of the Chief of Mission in Tirana that pertain to Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or affiliated organizations.
On March 14, 2017 Judicial Watch sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and six Senators calling “on the secretary to investigate the relations between USAID and the Soros Foundations and how U.S. tax dollars are being used by the State Department and the USAID to support left-of-center political groups who seek to impose left-leaning policies in countries such as Macedonia and Albania”, the senators wrote:
Much of the concerning activity in Macedonia has been perpetuated through USAID funds awarded to implement in entities such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. As the recipient of multiple grant awards and serving as a USAID contractor implementing projects in this small nation of 2.1 million people, our taxpayer funded foreign aid goes far, allowing Foundation Open Society-Macedonia (FOSM) to push a progressive agenda and invigorate the political left…
This problem is not limited to Macedonia, but appears to follow a pattern of alarming activity in this volatile region. Respected leaders from Albania have made similar claims of US diplomats and Soros-backed organizations pushing for certain political outcomes in their country. Foundation Open Society-Albania (FOSA) and its experts, with funding from USAID, have created the controversial Strategy Document for Albanian Judicial Reform. Some leaders believe that these “reforms” are ultimately aimed to give the Prime Minister and left-of-center government full control over judiciary power.
Fox News reported back in August of 2016:
Newly leaked emails and other files from billionaire George Soros’ web of organizations are shedding light on the liberal powerbroker’s extensive influence in political and diplomatic affairs.
One email chain shows the Wall Street titan in 2011 personally wrote then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging intervention in Albania’s political unrest. Within days, an envoy he recommended was dispatched to the region.
You can read the full report from Judicial Watch here. TGP has previously commented on JW’s FOIA requests from the State Department and USAID.