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JUDICIAL WATCH VICTORY:
APPEALS PANEL ALLOWS CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT TO PROCEED AGAINST TOP COMMERCE LAWYER

Judicial Watch
Washington, DC
Jan. 14, 2002

COMMERCE WHISTLEBLOWER EXPOSED MASSIVE ILLEGALITIES AND CHINAGATE COVER-UP AT CLINTON COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today announced another victory in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled this past Friday that a key portion of a civil rights lawsuit brought by Commerce official Sonya Stewart may proceed. Ms. Stewart, whose lawsuit is being pursued by Judicial Watch, claims that private papers concerning a Commerce Department scandal were illegally searched by Commerce lawyers while she was in the hospital. Ms. Stewart is suing Commerce Associate General Counsel Barbara Fredericks and Kathleen Taylor, another Commerce lawyer, over the illegal search.

Ms. Stewart made headlines when she testified in Judicial Watch’s Chinagate case against the Commerce Department that the Clinton White House and Commerce Department officials conspired to withhold improperly documents concerning the sale of the trade mission seats in exchange for campaign contributions. It was this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case which led to the uncovering of accused Chinese spy John Huang. Because of Ms. Stewart’s testimony, Clinton White House officials Bruce Lindsey and Cheryl Mills will be deposed in the ongoing lawsuit. Top Commerce lawyers such as Ms. Fredericks were also implicated in the cover-up and have already been roundly criticized by the judge handling the case, The Honorable Royce C. Lamberth.

“We are pleased that Ms. Stewart will get her day in court. She has suffered much over the years for resisting corruption at the highest levels of the Clinton Commerce Department. This court ruling is vindication and shows that the court process can sometimes work for whistleblowers,” stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman.

A copy of the court decision is available on the Judicial Watch Internet site at www.judicialwatch.org, or by clicking here .


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