Judicial Watch Sues State Department and USAID for Records About Funding of George Soros' Open Society Foundation -- Albania
Contact: Brandon Cockerham, Judicial Watch, 202-646-5172
WASHINGTON, May 31, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- Judicial Watch today announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records relating to their funding of the political activities of the Soros Open Society Foundation – Albania (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-01012)). The lawsuit was filed on May 26, 2017.
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 to 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.
In a March 14, 2017, letter to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, six U.S. Senators (Sens. Lee (R-UT), Inhofe (R-OK), Tillis (R-NC), Cruz (R-TX), Perdue (R-GA) and Cassidy (R-LA)) called 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.
In the letter, the senators reference USAID funding of Soros activities in Macedonia and then cite similar activities in Albania:
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...