[hr]I'm deeply motivated by, and grateful for the support more than a thousand of you have provided my landmark lawsuit against the government over its computer intrusions: Attkisson v. DOJ/FBI.
This is the first time a national journalist has filed a court challenge the government's alleged improper surveillance of journalists. So far, the case has survived four years of Justice Department attempts to dismiss and obstruct it. I believe this is also the farthest a court challenge has reached in a private citizen's challenge of the government's surveillance practices in the era of the Edward Snowden revelations.
[quote]The latest good news is that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted our request for Oral Arguments. They are scheduled for: Jan. 29, 2019 at 9:30am.[/quote]
It's an uphill battle to sue the federal government when top officials are bent on protecting the guilty parties rather than investigating and holding them accountable. The government and its officials are offered all kinds of immunity protections, the Department of Justice has unlimited taxpayer money to spend defending the culprits, and the government has unlimited time to delay and obstruct discovery.
Many thanks to the organizers of the 4th Amendment Litigation Fund, spearheaded by attorney Mark Fitzgibbons, and including a diverse group of civil rights, privacy, free press and whistleblower advocates (whose names appear below).
Please consider reaching out to The Justice Department, The White House and President Trump to tell them to stop spending your tax dollars fighting my lawsuit and protecting the government computer intruders.
To contact the Justice Department:
Through formatted email use https://www.justice.gov/contact-us;
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
To contact the White House:
Through formatted email use https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/;
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Or tweet President Trump @realDonaldTrump and @TheWhiteHouse
Thank you for following this case! Your interest means a great deal.[hr]
Announcing the Sharyl Attkisson Fourth Amendment Litigation GoFundMe
The “Sharyl Attkisson Fourth Amendment Litigation Fund” GoFundMe page signed by two dozen politically and professionally diverse constitutional rights leaders was launched to aid the landmark case of Attkisson v. Unknown Agents of the Department of Justice and FBI.
Donations are being accepted now at https://www.gofundme.com/sharyl-attkisson-4th-am-litigation.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right of all citizens to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. Freedom of the press is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Both of these basic American tenets of the rule of law are at stake in the Attkisson lawsuit stemming from the forensically-proven government intrusion of her work and home computers while she was an investigative correspondent for CBS News.
Despite the substantial civil liberty and free press implications, no advocacy groups had offered any sort of assistance in the Attkisson lawsuit, now in its fourth year, which the Attkissons are funding on their own. In contrast, the Department of Justice is using its vast, overwhelming resources and taxpayer funds to fight the lawsuit, and avoid document discovery and witness testimony.
“I recently spoke at a legal seminar on Fourth Amendment surveillance abuses by the government, and some of the attending lawyers were stunned to hear that no journalism groups or civil liberties organizations had become involved despite the substantial implications of this case for the constitutional rights and privacy of all Americans,” says Attkisson.
“It is very encouraging that this prestigious group of signatories has offered assistance by signing onto this GoFundMe effort. I’m grateful for everyone’s support not only from a financial but also a moral standpoint,” added Attkisson.
Supporters of this effort are encouraged to not only contribute at the GoFundMe site, but also contact the Department of Justice and Trump administration to oppose taxpayer funds being spent to fight the Attkisson lawsuit. The government instead should admit what independent forensic results show, and conduct an urgent investigation to identify who is responsible for the computer intrusions and invasions of personal property and privacy rights.
We, the undersigned, ask that you contribute today to this pro bono GoFundMe effort to help five time Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson finance her landmark lawsuit against the Department of Justice for the spying on her computers after she reported honestly but negatively about the federal government and the past presidential administration.
Sharyl, as many of you know, is now the host of the Sunday TV news program “Full Measure." The hacking of her home and work computers occurred when she reported for CBS News. Among other recognition, she received the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting for her stories on the Fast and Furious scandal.
As CBS News reported on August 13, 2013:
“…[A] cybersecurity firm hired by CBS News 'has determined through forensic analysis' that 'Attkisson's computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson's accounts'.”
As The Daily Caller reported November 21, 2014:
“Newly released documents show the White House and Justice Department targeted investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson in hopes of thwarting her reporting for CBS News on the secretive government operation called Fast and Furious.”
To date, five independent forensics exams have uncovered various aspects of the unauthorized remote surveillance of Sharyl's computers.
Expert analysts found software used in the remote intrusions is proprietary to a U.S. federal government intelligence agency. Forensic analysis uncovered government Internet Protocol (IP addresses) used in the operation. Additionally, software installed remotely monitored Sharyl's keystrokes and activated her computers’ microphones to listen in on conversations. Analysts tracked the path of exfiltrated data from Sharyl’s home to the FBI center in Quantico, Virginia. Three classified government documents were found planted in Sharyl’s computer, and her social media accounts and phones were also compromised.
When Sharyl recently spoke at a legal seminar on Fourth Amendment surveillance abuses, some of the attending lawyers were stunned to hear that not a single journalism group or civil liberties organization has stepped up to become involved in the case, or help pay for Sharyl’s legal fees. Sharyl and her family are financing this litigation out of their own pockets, and to see this case to the end could cost upwards of $1,000,000.
One reason Sharyl’s case is so important is because there are likely more cases like hers that have gone undiscovered.
Internal emails at the “shadow CIA” company Stratfor, and disclosed by WikiLeaks, imply a larger effort:
“Obama Leak Investigations (internal use only - pls do not forward)
Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.
Note -- There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…” —Stratfor, Sept. 21, 2010
If these violations go unanswered and unpunished, government attacks on journalists and citizens will be left, unchallenged, to expand. Sharyl’s lawsuit has important Constitutional and freedom implications for every American. She is courageously proceeding -- really on behalf of all Americans.
The Department of Justice, first under Obama and now under Trump, has failed to launch appropriate efforts to learn who is responsible for the intrusions and to remedy the violations. Instead, the agency is spending taxpayer funds and public time -- all unlimited, unlike Sharyl’s resources -- fighting her lawsuit and obstructing attempts to discover the facts. This has exacerbated the damage caused by the intrusions in terms of emotional distress, professional distraction and financial cost.
Sharyl’s case is perfect for a GoFundMe account, but she felt uncomfortable about setting one up for herself. So we, the undersigned, have stepped in to help her, with all proceeds going directly to Sharyl for her lawsuit.
Please donate what you can: $10, $25, $100, $250, $500, or whatever your best gift may be. Our goal is $400,000.
And please share this on your social media pages, and forward this GoFundMe link to friends.
This is an extremely important case about the limits and consequences of government spying on Americans’ personal and work computers, and is being watched by many. It is in the public interest to seek accountability. It is at our own peril that we give up on the old fashioned free press and privacy notions set forth in our Constitution.
Lastly, we urge you to contact the U.S. Department of Justice and the Trump administration today through social media or any other means at your disposal and tell them to stop using taxpayer money to fight Sharyl Attkisson -- a highly respected, principled journalist who was spied upon by the U.S. government.
(Organizations/affiliations named for identification purposes only)
Chairman, Liberty Guard
Former Member of Congress
Former NSA Technical Director
Conservative Leadership PAC
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
Errol Copilevitz, Esq.
Copilevitz & Canter
The Honorable Ken T. Cuccinelli II
Former Virginia Attorney General
Mark J. Fitzgibbons, Esq.
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising, Inc.
Independent investigative journalist
Founder and Publisher
Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund
Alberto A. Martinez
Professor of History
University of Texas at Austin
Mark Crispin Miller
Professor of Media, Culture & Communication
New York University
Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
Foley & Lardner LLP
William J. Olson, Esq.
Free Speech Defense and Education Fund
American Target Advertising, Inc.
Whistleblower Summit for Civil & Human Rights
Alfred S. Regnery
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
Member, Freedom Forum’s
Freedom of Information Hall of Fame
Richard A. Viguerie
FedUp Political Action Committee