A federal judge on Saturday denied a request from news outlets to provide access to records related to former President Trump’s compliance with a grand jury subpoena to turn over classified materials held at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Chief District Judge Beryl Howell rejected the outlets’ argument that secrecy was no longer necessary given the “extensive public judicial disclosure” and the “profound interest” in and “gravity” of a request by the government to hold the former president and current 2024 presidential candidate in contempt.
“Even though the government disclosed the existence of the Subpoena in connection with another judicial proceeding pending in another circuit, that disclosure … did not reveal the details of ancillary proceedings relating to the government’s efforts to enforce, and the former president’s efforts to comply, with the Subpoena,” Howell said in Saturday’s order.
Howell added that it would be “infeasible” to respond to the news organizations’ request “without disclosing grand jury material,” noting that “redaction is simply not possible” in this case.
The news organizations sued for access to the records in December, after Howell declined to admit press into a hearing reportedly related to contempt proceedings, according to Politico, who was part of the suit.
Howell denied a similar request from Politico and The New York Times in February that sought to unseal court filings from a grand jury investigation into the Jan. 6 riot and Trump’s use of executive privilege.
The Home Office has decided not to award £150,000-worth of grants to Windrush community organisations, amid internal disagreement about whether funds should be given to groups that have expressed criticism of the government on social media.
However, their decision was blocked by the home secretary’s private office, because advisers were concerned that two of the groups approved for funding had retweeted posts expressing criticism of the Home Office.
The Windrush National Organisation, the UK’s largest Windrush community organisation, and the University of Leicester Pro Bono clinic, working with the Highfields community centre, both had their grant approval questioned.
Discussions over whether or not they could be removed from the recommended list caused a long delay to the grant process, and eventually the department had decided to scrap the allocation of the fund for 2022-23, a Home Office source said.
The source said there was nothing abusive in the contentious tweets, which consisted of retweeted articles from the Guardian and the Independent covering government immigration policy and pieces highlighting issues around race.
The Windrush community engagement fund was set up to support community groups to raise awareness of the government’s compensation and documentation scheme, and of the Home Office’s other initiatives to support those affected by the department’s Windrush errors, which led to thousands of legal UK residents being mistakenly classified as immigration offenders.
Applicants to the cancelled fund received letters from the Home Office stating: “We are writing to inform you that we are unfortunately withdrawing the competition for this financial year and no funding will be awarded.
“Unfortunately, we have experienced delays with our internal assessment of the latest community engagement fund (CEF) bids leaving successful applicants very little time to spend money before the end of the financial year.”
The letter added: “We will relaunch the competition next financial year. We know this is disappointing news.”
Asked at a public meeting last week about the decision not to distribute £150,000-worth of grants, Angela Wilson, a Home Office civil servant and head of the Windrush external engagement team, said: “This was to do with internal problems with our assessment criteria.”
Applicants to the fund responded with frustration at the time wasted in submitting applications for small grant allocations that were then not distributed.
The source said the eligibility criteria were likely to be rewritten for next year, to request that applicants be prepared to “work constructively” with the Home Office.
Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, the chair of the Windrush National Organisation, was unaware of the context behind the cancellation of the 2022-23 grants. He said his organisation had had a constructive working relationship with the Home Office to date.
“Community-led engagement is intrinsic to righting the wrongs of the Windrush scandal and any available community engagement fund must be timely and commensurate to support the much-needed engagement requirements across the affected diverse communities in the UK and abroad,” he said.
Laura Bee, from the Leicester University Pro Bono clinic, which assists people to make applications to the Windrush compensation scheme, said she had not been told anything about the background to the “disappointing” decision to cancel the fund allocations for last year.
Her organisation had not put anything on social media about Windrush, but the Highfields community centre, where they were planning to hold events, and with whom they had submitted a joint application, had occasionally retweeted articles about Home Office policy.
“Our clinic is well-placed to raise awareness about the compensation scheme and help potential claimants to access the scheme. Our student advisers really value the opportunity to carry out this important work,” she said.
A Home Office spokesperson said the decision to withdraw the fund had been taken due to “internal delays”, and that the scheme would be relaunched in the new financial year. “We continue to provide comprehensive engagement and information to organisations to enable them to support affected individuals,” the spokesperson said.
OTTAWA, ON, March 21, 2023 /CNW/ – Ontario–Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, will welcome the Honourable Joe Biden, President of the United States, on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 6:25 p.m., at the Canada Reception Centre at the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport. The Governor General and Mr. Whit Fraser will then meet with President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
6:25 p.m. (EDT)
Canada Reception Centre at the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport
Notes for media:
All media must be accredited with the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
Photos of the meeting taken by the Governor General’s official photographer will be made available upon request.
As we continue to mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we look at how the corporate U.S. media helped pave the way for war by uncritically amplifying lies and misrepresentations from the Bush administration while silencing voices of dissent. Longtime media critic Norman Solomon says many of the same media personalities and news outlets that pushed aggressively for the invasion then are now helping to solidify an elite consensus around the Ukraine war. “In the mass media, being pro-war is portrayed as objective. Being antiwar is portrayed as being biased,” he says. Solomon is author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and the forthcoming War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine.