Judicial Watch’s Eighteen Month Soros Conspiracy Theory

Over the weekend, Judicial Watch’s head of investigations Chris Farrell went on Lou Dobbs and referred to the group of migrants Trump has dubbed a “caravan” as a,

highly organized, very sophisticated organization — I have that from the highest levels of the Guatemalan government — they’re investigating those groups criminally, and I strongly urge President Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do the same here, a lot of these folks also have affiliates who are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department, and that is a very grave concern.

When people noted that Farrell had been spewing the same kind of Protocols of the Elders of Zion conspiracy that Robert Bowers had embraced before shooting up the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and that such conspiracy theorizing had led Cesar Sayoc to send a bomb to Soros, Fox took down the segment (but not before showing it twice) and claimed it would no longer welcome Farrell.

Today, Radio Televisión Martí also pulled a Judicial Watch sourced segment attacking Soros in Cuba that Mother Jones pointed to in the wake of last week’s assassination attempt.

Radio Televisión Martí, a network overseen by the U.S. government that broadcasts to Cuba, pulled a video segment it produced months ago that relied on material from the conservative group Judicial Watch and referred to Democratic donor George Soros as a “multimillionaire Jew,” Mother Jones reported last week.

“George Soros has his eye on Latin America. But Judicial Watch, an American investigative legal group, also has its eye on Soros and what it sees as his lethal influence to destroy democracies,” the narrator of the segment says in the video, according to an English translation published by Mother Jones. “It describes him as a millionaire investor and stock market speculator who exploits capitalism and Wall Street to finance anti-system movements that fill his pockets.”

The video also refers to Soros as “the multimillionaire Jew of Hungarian origin whose fortune is estimated at $8 billion” and “a non-believing Jew of flexible morals,” according to Mother Jones.

While the assassination attempt has generated focus on Judicial Watch’s actions, what has not been explained, is how Judicial Watch came to include Soros on its beat, which otherwise for the last several years has remained focused on the themes of the 2016 election (and for basically the history of the organization has been focused unrelentingly on Hillary Clinton). They’re still looking for Hillary emails, and other than a break to push the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, currently spend most of their time trying to discredit the Mueller investigation. They’re even still trying to use Tony Podesta’s involvement in Paul Manafort’s corruption to suggest John Podesta had a role in such things.

The organization is awful, but they’re not primarily awful in an unreconstructed racist sense.

There are some thematic sympathies, to be sure. JW has supported Trump’s Muslim ban. They’ve done some lawsuits on where refugees were resettled under the Obama Administration. JW sued for information on unaccompanied minors in custody under the Obama Administration, claiming they had ties to gangs and other crimes. Even before Farrell’s “caravan” comments, he and JW President Tom Fitton were calling to militarize the border.

Just as notably, the premise behind Farrell’s coverage of this issue and presence on Lou Dobbs’ show over the weekend (though he has been a very regular guest on Dobbs’ show) — that he recently took a fact-finding trip to investigate the “caravan” — is also a departure from Judicial Watch’s normal investigative approach, which involves endless FOIAs rather than reporting trips.

JW is pitching its coverage of the “caravan” as part of its “corruption chronicles” which are normally focused on the US government, perhaps based on its claim that there is financial support for migrants in Central America.

Here’s one of the reports from his trip — which seems more like an effort to air right wing governments’ propaganda about migrants than any evidence of corruption.

The migrant caravan marching northbound through Central America is an “elaborately planned” movement that’s benefiting human smugglers and bringing disturbing numbers of violent gang members and other criminal elements through Guatemala, according to government sources in the capital city. “MS-13 gang members have been detained and coyotes (human smugglers) are joining the march with clients who pay to get smuggled into the United States,” a Guatemalan official told Judicial Watch. People from Asian countries waiting to get smuggled into the U.S. through Central America are also integrating with poor Hondurans in the caravan, a high-level Guatemalan government source confirmed. Among them are nationals of Bangladesh, a south Asian Islamic country that’s well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). “There are lots of dirty businesses associated with this,” Guatemalan authorities told Judicial Watch. “There’s lots of human trafficking.”

Sandwiched between Honduras and Mexico, Guatemala has been overrun with the onslaught of migrants that began their journey last week in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. At last count around 7,000 have participated in the trek, a great deal of them rowdy, angry men ages 17 to 40. President Jimmy Morales has ordered the military and police to detain all of the migrants and facilitate their safe return back to Honduras, though thousands have already reached the Mexican border. In a morning interview with Judicial Watch at the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense, Secretary of Defense General Luis Miguel Ralda Moreno said more than 2,000 Hondurans have been sent back home on buses. “We’re doing everything possible to stop the caravan while still respecting human rights,” General Moreno said.

During an afternoon interview at the National Palace, President Morales said that Guatemala has absorbed the huge cost of mobilizing police and military to return thousands of people to Honduras. He would like the United States to help him find the organizers of the caravan so they can face legal consequences. “Mass immigration like this endangers lives,” Morales said. “This is unprecedented. We are in the process of investigating who is behind the caravan.” Morales assures that Guatemala is doing everything possible to curb illegal immigration and asked for cooperation from the United States.

But as it turns out, and as the Radio Televisión Martí piece makes clear,  JW’s attacks on Soros go back further, at least 18 months.

The effort publicly started in February 2017, as tensions between the right wing government and the opposition in Macedonia started heating up. At that point, JW accused Soros of engaging in a “clandestine” effort to overthrow the government, one based on a Viktor Orbán accusation (remember that Orbán is about to shut down Soros’ Central European University, an effort launched around the same time as this JW effort).

Here’s how the clandestine operation functions, according to high-level sources in Macedonia and the U.S. that have provided Judicial Watch with records as part of an ongoing investigation. The Open Society Foundation has established and funded dozens of leftwing, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Macedonia to overthrow the conservative government. One Macedonian government official interviewed by Judicial Watch in Washington D.C. recently, calls it the “Soros infantry.” The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros’ groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian. The book is a tactical manual of subversion, provides direct advice for radical street protests and proclaims Lucifer to be the first radical. Thanks to Obama’s ambassador, who has not been replaced by President Trump, Uncle Sam keeps the money flowing so the groups can continue operating and recruiting, sources in Macedonia and the U.S. confirm.

With a population of about 2 million, Macedonia has one of the more conservative governments in Europe. This includes the lowest flat tax in Europe, close ties with Israel and pro-life policies. The country recently built a border fence to crackdown on an illegal immigration crisis that overwhelmed law enforcement agencies. Between 10,000 and 12,000 illegal aliens were crossing the Greek-Macedonian border daily at the peak of the European migration crisis, a Macedonian official told Judicial Watch, and the impact was devastating. This is likely of big interest to Soros, a renowned open borders advocate who pushes international governance, diminished U.S. global power and an increase in Muslim immigration. Soros spent tens of millions of dollars to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Just this month Hungary’s prime minister lashed out against Soros for funding groups to secretly influence the country’s politics. “Large-bodied predators are swimming here in the waters,” said Viktor Orban in his annual state of the nation speech. “This is the trans-border empire of George Soros, with tons of money and international heavy artillery.”

JW started suing for State documents on Soros’ involvement in Macedonia in April 2017. In May of that year, Mike Lee and five other GOP Senators started probing why State fosters democracy. This year, JW has sued for information on State-funded Soros programs in Romania, Colombia and Albania. The Radio Televisión Martí piece makes it clear they’re focusing on Cuba, too.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is a May 21 piece Farrell did on Lou Dobbs, (this came in the wake of the Concord Management filing complaining about the same, but I’m still working on pulling up the full episode to see if that’s what it was a reference to) in which he claimed that President Obama pursued a policy of regime change overseas, at times funded by Soros, which Dobbs suggested may have prompted Putin’s own tampering.

That is, not only are JW and Dobbs complaining that Soros is undermining right wing governments, but at least once, they made the argument that Soros’ open society work justified Putin’s own tampering in 2016.

Update: This InfoWars piece pointing to JW’s Albanian documents to sustain a claim that JW has proven the caravan is funded by Soros relies on both JW’s FOIAed documents and documents leaked by dcleaks in 2016. While I’m definitely not suggesting a link, by using both JW FOIAed documents and GRU stolen ones, InfoWars ties Putin’s 2016 effort to JW’s current ones.

Update: This post says the conspiracy theory linking Soros to the caravan dates to March.

The claims of a direct link between intentional SºRºS funding and the Latin/Central America ⊂⟑r⟑v⟑n appeared on March 30th. Of course, this was a different caravan. But it is the origin of the larger theme and keywords. It was amplified in April and May by TheBl⟑ze, WND, along with the usual actors, rage blogs, and sketchy K.⟑.G. cyborg accounts. And by MSN headlines, fact checks, and aggressive left-wing “retort” sites.

Let’s begin from the start. To be clear, I don’t mean all the SºRºS-funding rumors, but specifically the damaging Latin America-related ⊂⟑r⟑v⟑n-funding, midterm election impacting one.

Update: The employees behind the Radio Televisión Martí ads have been suspended and may get fired.

The federal government’s state-funded broadcasting arm is placing a number of employees on administrative leave and opening an investigation into how it ended up airing a story this year attacking liberal financier George Soros as a malignant “multimillionaire Jew.”

The story aired in May on Radio Televisión Martí, a Spanish-language broadcaster housed in the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami. OCB is a division of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), formerly known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency that oversees government-funded news organizations around the world.


“Those deemed responsible for this production will be immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into their apparent misconduct,” Lansing added. “Disciplinary action appropriate under federal law may then be proposed, including the potential removal of those responsible, depending on the outcome of that investigation.”


29 replies
  1. Charles says:

    While there is absolutely no justification of Putin’s interference in the US elections–it was and is a crime–we Americans should think long and hard about our own involvement in tilting elections and how much that meddling is resented. I do not doubt that Putin views the installation of Trump as payback for our role in propping up Yeltsin, which doomed the fledgling democracy movement in Russia.

    But of course Putin saw how reckless and destructive that interference was–how it endangered humanity because Yeltsin, as custodian of a massive nuclear arsenal, couldn’t stay sober–and decided to *repeat* it, this time with someone even more indifferent to the fate of the world. Putin and all the Russians involved in the 2016 election are both incompetent and criminals.

    Let’s just hope that Americans learn from this experience and bring the cycle to an end.

    • Ed Walker says:

      Among other things, I’d ike to know about Mike Pompeo’s CIA role in Brazil’s election of a fascist.

      • Charles says:

        I don’t think there’s any evidence of CIA involvement in the election, Ed.

        Brazil is a highly-unequal oligarchy. All the means of communication are controlled by the very wealthy. They have used those over the years to expose corruption by the left while concealing corruption by the right. Brazil is also a very racist society. The attitudes of people toward the indigenous and Afro-Brazilian peoples are terrible.

        So, sure, the US government gives every ounce of support it can toward rightists. But this is through overt means. I haven’t seen any evidence of CIA involvement.

  2. Trip says:

    There’s a humongous amount of projection in this conspiracy. The GOP, (along with other hard right ethno-states) has/have been plotting the tyrannical power grab for decades.

  3. Anon says:

    I think that their turn to Soros is as much desperation or opportunism as it is racism. Judicial Watch’ MO has always been to claim that all things wrong are wrong due to the all powerful enemy in office. But now with Obama out of office and the Clinton Machine ™ off track what other all-powerful bogeyman do they have. George Soros with his deep pockets and longstanding support of communism is the best candidate that they have until Bernie Sanders becomes President.

    This is ironic of course because Soros is a billionare who named his Open Society project in honor of Karl Popper a fellow escapee and philosopher at the London School of Economics. Popper was a self-described classical British Liberal and argued for democracy with relatively minimal state involvement in the market. Popper’s definition of Closed Societies (See “The Open Society and Its Enemies”) covered ostensibly leftist dictators like Stalin as well as rightist ones like Hitler. Popper reserves particular ire for the classical advocates for such societies like Plato. The book predates Pinochet.

    Soros has consistently backed that approach with his support, meaning he has always supported the goals espoused by Regan. Apparently that is not good enough for “the party of Regan” these days.

    • orionATL says:

      it is very interesting to learn that popper and soros knew each other.  miss wiki says soros was a student of popper’s at the lse.  

      with reference to both being “escapees”, i assume you mean from germany under the national socialists. is that correct?

      what do you mean specifically by “the goals supported by regan”?


      • Anon says:

        I actually regret using the term “escapees” what I was referencing generally was the mindset, apparent (at least to me) in Popper’s cultural work, and I think in what Soros has funded, that they escaped communism and were pushing back against it. Hence Popper’s longstanding opposition to Marx.

        With respect to your second question about Regan I was referring to his own foreign policy embrace of multilateralism, and his focus on engagement. Regan, or at least his administration, recognized the value of working with other nations (i.e. NATO) and the value of making and sticking to agreement (i.e. Trust But Verify). There is a lot I dispute about him, and a lot that is actually directly copied or maximized by Trump but he did at least get the idea of having persistent allies and articulating principles not just demands.

  4. Wm. Boyce says:

    How about the fact that our “leader” is simply bugshit crazy and in need of a bogeyman! Doesn’t take a Hitler-watcher much to see that.

  5. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Steve KKKing also brought up the Macedonia stuff in that interview on his summer jaunt among the Euro far-right.

    (And yes, I know people from eastern Europe who received international scholarships from Soros foundations in the years after the end of communism. The aim was to teach them about small-l liberal democracies while living in those small-l liberal democracies, and that included economics and business degrees.)

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. I often joke that I made it thru a PhD studying the most Soros of topics, on both Latin America and Eastern Europe, and never received a cent directly. But he did fund a lot of my colleagues, including a close Russian friend of mine.

  6. njrun says:

    It’s truly dizzying how the right has gone from staunchly anti-Russia to being tools of autocracy. I know it was always politically motivated, but being pro-freedom was a central tenet of the rhetoric of GOP-leaning institutions for decades. Now they are objectively in the tank for Putin. They just be getting funding from the oligarchs.

  7. Trip says:

    Oh brother, a new manufactured conspiracy (which started with pay outs)


    Scott Stedman‏ @ScottMStedman

    I wasn’t going to report on this, but I think my fears are coming true. Based on information that I am privy to, I believe false accusations will be spread about Mueller in order to discredit him and possibly the journalists who are preparing this story….Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman who claimed to be a former associate of Mueller who said that she got a phone call from a man working on behalf of a GOP operative who was paying women to come forward to make up sexual assault allegations…IMPORTANT: If you see a story tomorrow or anytime in the future of former colleagues of Mueller coming forward with sexual assault claims then please check in with my feed. I have receipts.

    • harpie says:

      Chris Geidner, 12 minutes ago:

      10:02 AM – 30 Oct 2018 Special counsel’s office spokesperson Peter Carr: “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation.” (confirming his comment, reported elsewhere)

    • harpie says:

      Scott Stedman:

      9:48 AM – 30 Oct 2018 Peter Carr, Mueller’s spokesman: “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation.” / At least 2 major news orgs are preparing stories, I will wait until those are published to comment further 

    • harpie says:

      Natasha Bertrand, The Atlantic:
      10:15 AM – 30 Oct 2018 NEW: The Special Counsel’s office was made aware of a scheme to pay off women to make up sexual harassment claims against Mueller. It has referred the scheme to the FBI. STORY:  >>> Special Counsel Refers Scheme Targeting Mueller to FBI The FBI has been asked to investigate claims that women have been offered money to fabricate sexual-harassment allegations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller. 

      • harpie says:

        The special counsel’s office confirmed that the scheme was brought to its attention by several journalists who were told about it by a woman alleging  that she herself had been offered roughly $20,000 by a GOP activist named Jack Burkman “to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller.”

        Here’s Jack Burkman’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jack_Burkman

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The president’s due regard for law and the Constitution – and his oath to enforce them – is on full display again.  He proposes to do away with birthright citizenship, created by the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Trump’s is an overtly racist and cynical ploy.  His proposed executive order would be illegal at birth, except in the mind of at least one employee at the one alt-right law school – Chapman – that was glad to host John Yoo after he first left the BushCheney’s Department of Justice. But the legality of Trump’s proposed executive order is not the point.  He is appealing to the prejudice of his base in a desperate attempt to get them to vote. 

    The Fourteenth Amendment was added during Reconstruction.  Its history is provocative.  It nullified the Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott, which held that Americans descended from slaves could not be citizens.  It assaulted the rebellious South’s version of states’ rights by making the Bill of Rights applicable to state action.  That explicitly prohibited discrimination against former slaves, who were now citizens.  It affirmed debts of the United States, but nullified the debts owed by the Confederacy.  And it prohibited former Confederate officials from holding office for the United States.

    One helluva racist dog whistle for a racist Trump to blow a week before the 2018 midterm elections.  It speaks to his racism, his cynicism, his willingness to excite any passion to get what he wants.  Donald Trump is afraid of having either the Senate or the House in Democratic hands.  His house of cards would tremble, and he might begin to an unfamiliar dance with accountability.

  9. cwradio says:

    The federal government’s state-funded broadcasting arm is placing a number of employees on administrative leave and opening an investigation into how it ended up airing a story this year attacking liberal financier George Soros as a malignant “multimillionaire Jew.

    There would not have been a problem if they had just said “Democrat” instead of “Jew”.  Even the Trump administration has to back off that one.

  10. oldoilfieldhand says:

    John (Torture) Yoo who should be doing hard time in prison for life for enabling the Bush 43 Administration’s crimes against humanity, was just on Faux Newz expressing his belief that only a constitutional amendment can replace an existing constitutional amendment. Can’t be done by executive order or by Lindsey Graham’s proposed law. Well, at least he can read.

  11. e.a.f. says:

    You have to wonder who believes all of the b.s. J.W. is pedalling    Its like reading a b film movie script.  Oh, well there is no accounting for the fabrication of lies.

    The U.S.A. certainly has meddled in other countries affairs,  like how did the Shah of Iran become the Shah of Iran.  How many elections in South and Central America did they meddle in, How many political/union leaders did they kill or have killed.

    Reading the comments of the JW is actually funny because they complain about Soros but say nothing about the money Adelson provides the Republicans.

    This isn’t going to change any time soon and we are once again heading the way of the 1930s.

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