Eric Holder, Part 6

On May 13, 2013, it was learned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had secretly obtained the records of all calls which had been routed through some 20 separate Associated Press (AP) telephone lines in April and May of the previous year. Moreover, even some personal phone lines belonging to AP staff were subjected to DOJ surveillance.

DOJ explained that its actions were part of an investigation into AP’s May 7, 2012 publication of a story disclosing that the CIA had successfully infiltrated an al Qaeda plot to detonate an “underwear bomb” aboard an American airliner. All five reporters (and an editor) who had been assigned to that particular AP story were among those whose phone records were seized by DOJ.

According to strict DOJ rules, phone records from news organizations can be obtained only with a subpoena that is issued after “all reasonable attempts” have been made to get the same information from other sources—which DOJ elected not to do. Further, DOJ rules stipulate that the subpoena must be approved personally by the Attorney General.

But at a May 14, 2013 press conference, Eric Holder said that he had recused himself from DOJ’s investigation of AP, and that Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole had signed off on the subpoena in question. Thus, when reporters began asking Holder specific questions about the seizure of AP’s phone records, the Attorney General pleaded ignorance. “I frankly don’t have knowledge of those facts,” he contended.

In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on May 15, 2013, Holder said that he had recused himself from the investigation of the leak—which he characterized as perhaps the “most serious” leak he had ever encountered in his legal career—because he was a “fact witness,” meaning that he had access to the classified data and had been questioned about it. But Holder also said that he could not recall precisely when he had recused himself; that he had not recused himself in writing; and that he had never told the White House about his recusal.

When Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin asked Holder to explain why he had recused himself, the Attorney General replied: “I was interviewed as one of the people who had access to the info”—i.e., Holder himself was a potential suspect in the leak.
AP condemned DOJ’s “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into its news-gathering activities. In a letter to Holder, AP president and CEO Gary Pruitt stated:
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”
AP reporters were equally angered. “We all know that confidential sourcing is the lifeblood of what we do, and people can’t come to us if they think they’re going to be compromised,” said one reporter. “It’s hard enough getting sources, now we’re afraid this is going to have a chilling effect.”

On May 16, 2013, the Washington Post broke a major story explaining the real motives behind the Justice Department’s surveillance of AP’s phone lines. Specifically, said the Post, AP was prepared to publish its scoop (about the aforementioned CIA infiltration of an al Qaeda plot) on May 2, 2012. But CIA deputy director Michael J. Morell told the news service that publishing the story at that point would compromise a “sensitive intelligence operation” with serious national-security implications; that his Agency would need several more days to protect the secrecy of whatever it had in the works; and that AP could publish its story as soon as that had been accomplished.
A few days later, on May 7, 2012, CIA officials informed AP that national-security concerns were “no longer an issue” in the matter involving the al Qaeda story, but nonetheless requested that the news service delay publication for one more day. This was because the Obama administration was planning to announce the CIA’s successful counterterrorism operation the following morning—May 8, 2012—when President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, was slated to appear on Good Morning America. Given the fact that national security was no longer an issue, however, AP disregarded the CIA’s request and proceeded to publish the story on May 7. That is what prompted Eric Holder’s Justice Department to illegally procure AP’s telephone records.


On May 20, 2013, it was revealed that DOJ’s efforts to intimidate the media went beyond targeting reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The Washington Post reported that DOJ had also: seized the phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen; used Rosen’s security badge to access records tracking his movements at the State Department; traced the timing of Rosen’s calls with a Department security advisor suspected of giving him classified information; obtained a search warrant to access Rosen’s personal emails; and seized the phone records of Rosen’s parents.

That same day (May 20), it was reported that two more Fox News staffers — reporter William La Jeunesse and producer Mike Levine — had also been targeted by DOJ.

Rosen’s case in particular centered around his involvement with State Department advisor Steven Kim, an arms expert with security clearance. A naturalized citizen from South Korea, Kim was indicted in 2009 for telling Rosen that the intelligence community believed that North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions (against its nuclear-weapons program) by defiantly conducting further tests of its nuclear capabilities. Rosen published a story to that effect on June 11, 2009, the same day that a top-secret report was made available to Kim and 95 other members of the intelligence community. Using the surveillance tactics cited above, the FBI built a case contending that Rosen’s information had come directly from that document, and that Kim was in violation of the Espionage Act.

It should be noted, however, that Kim had not obtained unauthorized access to the information in the report; he had merely conveyed exclusive information to a reporter—something that occurs virtually every day. Furthermore, according to the New York Times, four months prior to passing along the information to Rosen, Kim had been asked by a State Department press officer to speak to the reporter about North Korea, “and the two began to talk and exchange e-mails.”

In building its case against Kim, DOJ—invoking the Espionage Act—secretly (without notifying Rosen) issued a subpoena, personally signed by Eric Holder, to gain access to two days’ worth of Rosen’s personal emails and to all of his email exchanges with Kim. The subpoena stated that there was “probable cause to believe” that Rosen was a “co-conspirator and/or aider and abettor … committing the criminal offense.” Two judges initially denied DOJ’s request for approval of the subpoena, before a third judge, Royce C. Lambert, the chief judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, overturned those rulings.

In an affidavit, FBI agent Reginald Reyes elaborated on DOJ’s rationale for investigating Rosen: “From the beginning of their relationship, the Reporter [Rosen] asked, solicited and encouraged Mr. Kim to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information about the Foreign Country. The Reporter did so by employing flattery and playing to Mr. Kim’s vanity and ego.”

The fact that Holder personally signed off on the subpoena involving Rosen is highly significant, because on May 15, 2013, the Attorney General had testified, under oath, to the House Judiciary Committee: “With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.” But that is precisely what DOJ was trying to do in the Rosen case.
Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald explained the implications of the DOJ targeting Rosen:
“Under U.S. law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the U.S. government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the U.S. government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ — that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for ‘soliciting’ the disclosure of classified information — is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself.”
Fox News’ Brit Hume echoed that assessment. “The Obama-Holder Justice Department is now prepared to treat the ordinary newsgathering activities of reporters to seek information from government officials as a possible crime,” he warned.

A few days after the news broke about how Holder had authorized DOJ to seize Rosen’s personal emails, the attorney general’s aides reported that Holder felt “a creeping sense of personal remorse.”
On May 30, 2013, Holder conducted an “off the record” meeting with certain media editors and promised changes in the way the Justice Department would handle future investigations involving reporters. Many editors boycotted the meeting to protest its secrecy.
On July 12, 2013, after intense pressure from Congress and the press, Holder sent President Obama a report promising that future DOJ policies vis a vis leak investigations would “forbid the targeting of journalists who are pursuing ‘ordinary newsgathering activities’ and forbid use of warrants against journalists if the target of the investigation is someone other than the reporter, e.g., a government official who is leaking classified information to a journalist.” Holder’s report also stated that “contrary to DOJ’s prior practice, the department will now inform affected media of subpoenas that seek journalists’ phone records and emails unless the Attorney General determines that doing so would pose a threat to the DOJ investigation and, in any event, DOJ would so inform affected media no later than 90 days after issuance of subpoenas for journalists’ records and correspondence.”

On July 31, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee issued a report on its investigation into the discrepancies between Holder’s sworn congressional testimony and his decision to obtain a search warrant for the emails of James Rosen. The report states that Holder made a “deliberate effort to avoid answering for [his] questionable decisions and actions”; that he gave “deceptive and misleading” testimony; that his testimony “was an attempt to circumvent proper congressional oversight and accountability by distorting the truth about the Justice Department’s investigative techniques targeting journalists”; and that “the Justice Department inappropriately interpreted the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 to obtain a search warrant for Mr. Rosen’s emails.”

In 2012 the IRS compiled the names and addresses of individuals who in 2008 had donated money to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group opposed to same-sex marriage. The IRS then illegally leaked that confidential information — which had been gleaned from NOM’s 2008 tax return — to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an organization that supports gay marriage. In turn, HRC published the names and addresses of the donors — one of whom was Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — so that gay-rights activists could target them for harassment and smear them in the press. Holder and the DOJ refused to investigate and prosecute the IRS in this matter. NOM proceeded on its own to sue the IRS in 2013, and in June 2014 a federal court ordered the IRS to pay a $50,000 settlement to NOM.

On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled (in a 5-4 decision) that the Voting Rights Act’s requirement that mainly Southern states must undergo special federal scrutiny before being permitted to change their voting laws — e.g., by instituting Voter ID requirements or reconfiguring voting districts — was based on an outdated formula that was no longer relevant to changing racial circumstances. Holder, vowing to “use every tool” at the Obama administration’s disposal to continue federal oversight of the states affected by the Supreme Court decision, swiftly filed a federal lawsuit designed to keep Texas — which was one of the states affected by the June 25 ruling — under the “pre-clearance” requirement. Holder also pledged to take similar action in a number of other affected states.


In May 2013, Holder’s DOJ selected an avowed political supporter of President Obama to head a criminal probe into the scandal where the IRS had unlawfully stalled and blocked efforts by hundreds of conservative Tea Party groups to gain tax-exempt status during 2010-12. This individual was Barbara Kay Bosserman, a Justice Department trial lawyer who had donated more than $6,000 (in 12 separate contributions) to Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, as well as hundreds of dollars to the national Democratic Party.

In early January 2014, when news outlets first reported that Bosserman was in charge of the investigation, Republican Congressmen Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan said in a written statement: “The [Justice] department has created a startling conflict of interest. It is unbelievable that the department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the president’s policies.”

Just days later, the FBI announced that it had thus far found no evidence that would warrant the Justice Department filing criminal charges vis a vis the IRS scandal.


In 2011 Holder’s Justice Department sued 18 banks, including JP Morgan Chase & Co., for allegedly making false statements and omitting material facts when they had sold billions of dollars worth of bonds to the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007 — transactions that ultimately contributed to the financial crisis and housing-market collapse of 2007-08. In October 2013, JP Morgan and DOJ reached a tentative agreement requiring the bank to pay a $13 billion fine — the largest payout that any financial firm has ever made to the U.S. government.

The broad strokes of the deal were finalized in a phone call between Holder, Associate U.S. Attorney General Tony West, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, and JP Morgan general counsel Stephen Cutler. According to the Washington Post, $4 billion of the settlement amount was earmarked for homeowners, and another $4 billion would be paid to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The deal also resolved a lawsuit fled by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with regard to the bond sales, as well as a California civil probe.

It is vital to remember that the genesis of the housing crisis was a federal government determined to turn home ownership into a de facto affirmative-action program in which banks were threatened with reprisals if they did not approve a certain percentage of risky loans to undercapitalized and nonwhite borrowers. (For details, see “Community Reinvestment Act & the Housing Market Crisis of 2008.”)

Dick Bove, an influential bank analyst at Rafferty Capital, assessed the meaning of the October 2013 deal with Holder’s DOJ: “This is a basic and fundamental attack on capitalism. It is possible that the government is taking away the property of the JP Morgan shareholders without the shareholders having committed any crime or having any say in the expropriation of these funds.”

Other financial analysts likewise characterized the deal as blatantly unfair, noting that 80% of the mortgages under criminal investigation were acquired from Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns. Both of those failing banks were acquired by JP Morgan in 2008 at the request of the federal government, which needed the bank’s help to keep the crisis from getting even bigger than it was. JP Morgan’s own culpability involved mostly mismanagement, not investor fraud.

The October 2013 deal also had a clearly political dimension. Some background is in order at this point:
• In 2009, the New York Times had referred to JP Morgan CEO (and longtime Democratic donor) Jamie Dimon as President Obama’s “favorite banker, and in turn, the envy of his Wall Street rivals.”
• Similarly, a 2012 Politico profile had noted that Dimon was one of President Obama’s “most prominent Wall Street friends, a rare high-profile Democrat in an industry dominated by low-tax, free-market Republicans.”
• That friendship resulted in Dimon making 16 trips to the White House, including three meetings with Obama himself, as part of an effort to make the president seem more business-friendly.
But all of that changed when Dimon, despite his Democratic leanings, began to criticize the Obama administration’s economic policies during the 2012 election campaign. In May 2012, while characterizing America as a nation in possession of a “royal straight flush” represented by the world’s strongest military, best businesses, most entrepreneurial workforce, and deepest capital markets, Dimon also cited three failings of the Obama administration: the debt ceiling crisis, the failure to adopt the Simpson-Bowles recommendations for fixing the financial crisis, and the administration’s “constant attack on business.” When asked why corporate America was not hiring more in a time of record profits, Dimon upped the ante, insisting that the 4 million jobs added by business had nothing to do with government policy. ”It should have been 8 million,” he said.

The New York Post’s Charles Gasparino noted the consequences of such candor. “By speaking out, Dimon became de facto public enemy No. 1,” he explained. Gasparino also revealed the strategy behind Holder’s refusal to end the criminal probe, and claimed that the Attorney General’s demand for some “concession of guilt … is basically a multibillion-dollar gift to the administration’s buddies in the trial bar, who are waiting anxiously to see exactly how much the bank will be forced to ’fess up to before their lawsuits start to fly.”

The Wall Street Journal was even more critical of the administration’s heavy-handed tactics, characterizing the effort to keep track of the government’s probes of JP Morgan as tantamount to having a full time job. In conjunction with a tally taken by the New York Times, the Journal revealed that there were investigations being conducted by “at least seven federal agencies” along with “seven investigations in the Justice Department alone, plus inquiries at other agencies.”

Journalist Arnold Ahlert wrote in October 2013: “The real story is that no one is safe from political retribution in the age of Obama, not even the president’s former ‘favorite banker,’ who is now learning what happens to those who dare to criticize this administration.”

Among the other institutions that were assessed massive fines were the Bank of America ($16.65 billion) and Citibank ($7 billion).

Although the funds derived from these fines were purportedly meant to be distributed to minority victims alleging that they had been charged higher interest rates and fees than white borrowers because of their race (rather than their credit-worthiness), much of the money went instead to Democrat-allied organizations with no connection whatsoever to the DOJ lawsuits. Among these groups were: ACORN, the Mutual Housing Association of New York (a spinoff of ACORN Housing), the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the National Council of La Raza, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, NeighborWorks, and Operation Hope.


On November 15, 2013, Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and 10 other House Republicans drafted four articles of impeachment against Holder. These included allegations that Holder had violated federal law by refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena over the Fast and Furious gun-walking program; had “failed to enforce multiple laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986,”; had failed to prosecute IRS employees vis a vis that agency’s illegal scrutiny of conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status; and had misled Congress over whether he was aware of a search warrant issued for the emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen.

“This was not a decision that I made lightly,” said Rep. Olson. “Since the House voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the pattern of disregard for the rule of law and refusal to be forthright has only continued. The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the Attorney General refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action.”


In the fall of 2013, media outlets like Breitbart News, Truth Revolt, and Fox News reported extensively on the growing prevalence of the so-called “knockout game,” whereby groups of black teenagers were targeting defenseless and unsuspecting white, Jewish, and Asian pedestrians and blindsiding them with roundhouse punches designed to render the victims unconscious. Accomplices to the perpetrators commonly captured these attacks on video and posted them, as a form of celebration, to the website YouTube. Hundreds of these knockout-game incidents had occurred in cities nationwide since 2010. Many had resulted in serious injuries, and in several cases the victims had died.

The Obama administration, however, never took action against any of the perpetrators until late December 2013, when Holder’s DOJ filed a federal hate-crimes charge against a 27-year-old Texas white man who targeted a 79-year-old black man with a “knockout-game” attack (which he also videotaped and subsequently boasted about to strangers).


At the end of 2013, federal judge John Koeltl ordered that terrorist abetter Lynne Stewart, who was suffering from terminal cancer and was not expected to survive longer than another 18 months, be released immediately (seven years early) from her ten-year prison sentence, on grounds of compassion. Koeltl’s decision was made in response to a request that the director of the Bureau of Prisons, which is a subdivision of the Justice Department, had issued through the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Eight months earlier, Holder’s DOJ had relaxed the criteria by which prisoners could gain early release for reasons of compassion.


In mid-January 2014, Holder told New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about DOJ’s plans to expand the federal definition of racial profiling. The new guidelines would bar U.S. agents from profiling not only by race (a restriction that was already in place), but also by religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Holder did not indicate when the rule change would be announced officially, but a senior Democratic congressional aide told The New York Times that the announcement was “imminent.” At issue, specifically, were concerns expressed by civil-rights groups contending that federal authorities had been singling out Muslims in counter-terrorism investigations and Latinos in immigration probes.


In a February 10, 2014 speech at Georgetown University Law Center, Holder called on states to repeal all laws prohibiting felons from voting in political elections after their release from prison. At that time:
• Two states had no laws concerning felons’ voting rights; in fact, felons were permitted to vote by absentee ballot while in prison.
• Thirteen states restored felons’ voting rights after the term of incarceration was complete.
• Four states restored felons’ voting rights after the terms of incarceration plus parole were complete.
• Twenty states restored felons’ voting rights after the terms of incarceration plus parole plus probation were complete.
• Eleven states placed additional restrictions on felons’ voting rights, and in some cases could deny those rights permanently.
Said the Attorney General:
• “It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.”
• “These restrictions are not only unnecessary and unjust, they are also counterproductive. By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”
• “These laws deserve to be not only reconsidered, but repealed.”
• “At worst, these laws, with their disparate impact on minority communities, echo policies enacted during a deeply troubled period in America’s past—a time of post-Civil War repression. They have their roots in centuries-old conceptions of justice that were too often based on exclusion, animus and fear.”
Holder elaborated that states had originally enacted laws barring felons from voting after the Civil War—as a way to keep blacks from casting ballots. Further, he claimed that in contemporary America some 5.8 million people—of whom 38% were black—were not allowed to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.

According to the Washington Post: “Holder does not have the authority to force states to change their laws, but his request could influence the debate to restore voting rights. His appeal is part of a broader effort underway by the Justice Department to overhaul the criminal justice system, which U.S. officials say often treats minority groups unfairly.”

The Washington Times noted that “Democrats would benefit politically if disenfranchised felons were allowed to vote, as the majority of them identify with that party, according to a 2002 study conducted by Northwestern University.”


On February 25, 2014, Holder spoke at a winter meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, where he encouraged state attorneys general not to defend laws in their jurisdictions banning same sex-marriage if they deemed those laws unconstitutional. Said Holder: “Any decisions—at any level—not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare. They must be reserved only for exceptional circumstances. And they must never stem merely from policy or political disagreements—hinging instead on firm constitutional grounds. But in general, I believe we must be suspicious of legal classifications based solely on sexual orientation.”


In a video released on April 21, 2014 to announce the Obama administration’s “Clemency Project 2014,” Holder criticized drug-crime sentences that had been doled out under “the old regime.” He was referring to the fact that prior to August 2010, when President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, crimes involving crack cocaine (committed mostly by black offenders) had been punished much more severely than those involving powder-based cocaine (committed mostly by white offenders). Said Holder:
“In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act reducing unfair disparities in sentences imposed on people for offenses involving different forms of cocaine. But there’s still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. This is simply not right.”


On April 28, 2014, Holder announced that the Justice Department would begin collecting racial data about stops, searches, and arrests made by police as part of an effort to reduce racial bias in the criminal-justice system. Noting that in 2012 black men were 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men—and Latino men were 2.5 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men—Holder said:
“This overrepresentation of young men of color in our criminal justice system is a problem we must confront—not only as an issue of individual responsibility but also as one of fundamental fairness, and as an issue of effective law enforcement. Racial disparities contribute to tension in our nation generally and within communities of color specifically, and tend to breed resentment towards law enforcement that is counterproductive to the goal of reducing crime….

“We will conduct this research while simultaneously implementing strategies in five initial pilot sites with the goal of reducing the role of bias and building confidence in the justice system among young people of color. This work will likely include anti-gang and mentoring projects intended to empower young African-American and Latino males and break the vicious cycle of poverty, incarceration, and crime that destroys too many promising futures each and every day.”


On June 6, 2014, the Obama administration announced that it would be paying approximately 100 American lawyers to help young illegal immigrants — a rapidly growing demographic — settle in the United States. Holder said that these hundred-or-so attorneys — dubbed “justice AmericaCorps” — would “protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society … particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings.”

The number of youths illegally crossing the border into the southern U.S. had reached staggering proportions since 2012, when President Obama had announced that his administration would no longer deport minors who were in the country illegally, so long as they met certain basic requirements. Whereas in 2011 about 6,000 young people were apprehended by border personnel, government officials estimated that the corresponding totals would exceed 90,000 in 2014 and 140,000 in 2015 — not including the many tens of thousands more who would avoid capture.


In a July 2014 interview on ABC’s This Week, Holder said: “There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president. You know, people talking about taking their country back…. There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”


According to an October 21, 2014 article by Israel scholar Caroline Glick:
[T]errorism analyst and investigative reporter Steven Emerson revealed how the highest echelons of the [Obama] administration blocked the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office from assisting Israel in finding the remains of IDF soldier Oron Shaul. Shaul was one of seven soldiers from the Golani Infantry Brigade killed July 20 when Hamas terrorists fired a rocket at their armored personnel carrier in Gaza’s Shejeia neighborhood. As Emerson related, after stealing his remains, Hamas terrorists hacked into Shaul’s Facebook page and posted announcements that he was being held by Hamas.

Among other things it did to locate Shaul and ascertain whether or not he was still alive, the IDF formally requested that the FBI intervene with Facebook to get the IP address of the persons who posted on Oron’s page. If such information was acquired quickly, the IDF might be able to locate Oron, or at least find people with knowledge of his whereabouts.

Acting in accordance with standing practice, recognizing that time was of the essence, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office began working on Israel’s request immediately. But just before the US Attorney secured a court order to Facebook requiring it to hand over the records, the FBI was told to end its efforts. In an order that senior law enforcement officials told Emerson came from Attorney General Eric Holder’s office, the FBI was told that it needed to first sign an “MLAT,” a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Israel, a procedure that would take weeks to complete, and is generally used in cases involving criminal prosecutions and other non-life threatening issues.

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