It was announced by Judicial Watch on Wednesday that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit had been filed against the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records and communications relating to $4,819,125 in funding and political activities of the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia.
Per Judicial Watch:
The Macedonia organization, part of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, received nearly $5 million from USAID from 2012 to 2016. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-00729)).
The suit was filed after both the U.S. Department of State and USAID failed to respond to a February 16, 2017, FOIA request seeking:
- All records related to any grants, contracts, or disbursements of funds by the Department of State to the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s subsidiaries. This request includes all related requests for funding, payment authorizations, or similar records, as well as all related records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any official, employee, or representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
- Any records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any officer, employee, or representative of the Open Society Foundation -Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s affiliated organizations. This request includes responsive records of communication sent from or directed to U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Jess L. Baily.
- All analyses or similar records regarding the political activities of the Open Society Foundation -Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s affiliated organizations.
- All messages transmitted via the State Department’s SMART system sent from any U.S. Government employee or contractor operating under the Chief of Mission’s authority at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje that pertain to the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s affiliated organizations.
The USAID website reports that between February 27, 2012, and August 31, 2016, USAID gave $4,819,125 in taxpayer money to Soros’s Open Society Foundation – Macedonia (FOSM), in partnership with four local civil society organizations. The USAID’s website links to www.soros.org.mk, and says the project trained hundreds of young Macedonians “on topics such as freedom of association, youth policies, citizen initiatives, persuasive argumentation and use of new media.”
In February, Judicial Watch reported:
The U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“The Obama administration seemed to bust taxpayer budgets in an effort to fund the Soros operation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Trump State Department and USAID should get their act together and disclose the details of the Obama-Soros spigot.”
Indeed they should, Mr. Fitton. Here’s to hoping the court comes through for the taxpayer, exposes the ugly truth of the operation, and finally puts an end to this type of corrupt funneling of funds moving forward.