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JUDICIAL WATCH: Obama Administration Funded Soros’ Left-Wing Activities in Albania

By Tom Fitton

President, Judicial Watch

Last week, I reported to you on our efforts to expose the Obama administration’s funding of George Soros’ left-wing political activities in Romania and Colombia. I also noted that we were pursuing his actions in Albania.

This week I’m pleased to say that we have results. We have obtained 32 pages of records showing that the Obama administration sent U.S. taxpayers’ funds to a Soros-backed group that used the money to fund left-wing political activities in Albania. That included working with the country’s socialist government to push for highly controversial judicial “reform.” The records also detail how the Soros operation helped the State Department review grant applications from other groups for taxpayer funding.

We obtained the records in our May 26, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) after both the State Department and USAID failed to respond to our March 31, 2017, FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-01012)). We agreed to dismiss the lawsuit after we finally received the documents and payment of attorneys’ fees.

The new documents show USAID funds were funneled through that agency’s Civil Society Project to back Soros’ left-wing Open Society Foundations in Albania, particularly the Soros operation efforts to give the socialist government greater control of the judiciary. USAID reportedly gave $9 million in 2016 to the “Justice for All” campaign, which is overseen by Soros’ “East West Management Institute.”
In March 2017 a group of six U.S. Senators led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking that he investigate charges that the U.S. government was using taxpayer funds to assist Soros in Albania. The letter said: “Foundation Open Society-Albania and its experts, with funding from USAID, have created the controversial Strategy Document for Albanian Judicial Reform. Some leaders believe that these ‘reforms’ are ultimately aimed to give the Prime Minister and left-of-center government full control over the judiciary.” In the Albanian parliament, opposition leaders have labeled the Strategy “a Soros-sponsored reform.”

The new records we released include an April 2016 memo from the U.S. Embassy in Tirana that reveals that the embassy “sponsored” a survey along with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to measure Albanian citizens’ “knowledge, support, and expectations on justice reform.” The Soros group survey reported that “91% of respondents either ‘fully support’ or ‘somewhat support’ the need for judicial reform.” The poll did not specify the type of reform the Soros group was seeking.

Also, records dated February 2017 show that the State Department used taxpayer funds to co-sponsor asecond poll with the Open Society Foundation on judicial reforms that would essentially solidify the left’s control of the Albanian government. The report notes that the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section and the Open Society Foundation “each provided funding to a local organization to conduct a public opinion poll on attitudes towards the Judicial Reform effort.”

The records also reveal that the State Department gave the Soros organization direct input for its own program funding reviews in Albania. The February 10, 2017, report on “Engagement with the Open Society Foundation for Albania” notes that “As one of the major assistance providers in Albania, representatives from the Open Society Foundation are frequently asked to participate in technical reviews of application [sic] that we receive for funding.”

 

U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu

U.S. Ambassador to Albania Donald Lu, a holdover from the Obama administration, has been closely linked to Soros and the socialist government in Albania. In May 2017, Lu helped undermine Albanian opposition party plans to protest the upcoming parliamentary election by declaring that the U.S. would recognize the election results even if opposition parties refused to participate. Lu has been described in the U.S. press as “a driving force behind Albania’s judicial reforms.”

The Obama administration quietly spent at least $9 million in U.S. taxpayers’ dollars in direct collusion with left-wing billionaire George Soros’ backing of a socialist government in Albania. It is particularly outrageous that the State Department allowed the Soros operation to help direct taxpayer funds to other groups. George Soros is a billionaire, and he shouldn’t be receiving taxpayer support to advance his radical left agenda to undermine freedom here at home and abroad.

We have more Soros-related lawsuits pending, so I expect we will have more to report to you on the scandal in the coming months.

About the author

Artvoice

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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  • I am concerned with what’s happening with the country inside. Edi Rama, the prime minister is making money by leading the drug- trafficking in whole Europe . Albanian is a “bubble” country and I am very sorry for that.

  • Edi Rama is the only hope for Albania, at least for these years. If Soros has really done this he deserves a big thank you from Albanian people. The judiciary reform is one of the pillars of the state building in Albania, a country grown corrupted and criminal by 25 year of Berisha & Family rule, the single worst thing after Enver Hoxha regime , the stalinist dictator. The reform is backed not only by US but also strongly by UE and I hope that this kind of disinformation found on the article has nothing to do with Albania but with US internal politics and interests, otherwise, worst, it is protecting criminal interests in Albania, the same that are about to be hit hard by the judicial reform.

  • @AlbaniaInUE Not Indeed. Edi Rama has led the country towards a “hybrid narco-kleptocracy regime” and EU seems reluctant to take upon the region and to duly reclaim its influence from Lisbon to the Russian border (if it still has a geopolitical agenda of course). But without the EU, this European region is lost.

  • @Angie, the “narcotraffic” propaganda is now a failed attempt(to gain some following) by those who build the corrupted state infrastructure which allowed the building-up of criminal forces. The real issue behind this vulgar fake news propaganda (allow me to add that it is directed to the poor and ignorant) is the failure of albanian opposition leaders who practically has allowed Edi Rama to act without any meaningful resistance, obviously damaging the country’s pluralism. But this is not Rama’s failure, this guy could have been the PM of France or whatever other European country, this is the opposition leaders failure which , on the other hand, are worst than their african counterparts (without any offense for Africa).

  • @ Citizen haha…what has the opposition to do with this? It’s Edi Rama who’s governing and he better explain himself about his ex-minister drug-trafficking ties to the European Commission, or otherwise, we have to assume that the accession talks are a “big joke”.
    And we are talking about the EU’s reluctant role in the region! You are talking nonsense!! Look at your comment!

  • Sorry @Angie, is you that should look at the comments . You claimed that Edi Rama has led the country toward a “narco regime”, I was explaining that kind of claims are fake news produced by a failed/non-existing opposition aimed at ignorants like you, as you just demonstred being part of that category with your offensive language and personal attack obviously without providing any evidence but iterating stupid propaganda thrown at you but those that build a corrupted state and now fear of being jailed.

  • If Albanian the prime minister is a liberal, than right wingers have plenty of reasons to be angry at! lol

  • As far as I am concerned: what has this prime minister done to tackle some of key issues the country has. And reckoning that he is in the second term.
    @ out in the woods Lol
    you made my day with the jest!

    • @Very_concerned _about _the _Balkans maybe you should document yourself before being so worried. The PM has destroyed 99+% of all canabis plus have make sure that 2/3 of constitution is rewritten to make sure that criminals are punished, without mentioning this he has just got EU commission green light for membership…Now, I don’t know where you guys live but seems that you just like to put some random words in your comments.

    • You already told this twice under the Angie and Irene names.

      Btw, instead of repeating your party slogans, any chance you can provide any sort of evidence?

  • @ Irene Just look at Tahiri’s predecessor: Mr. Fatmir Xhafa’s brother, which is the country’s Ministry of Interior, wanted in Italy for drug trafficking! Creepy for a country that wants the opening of negotiations!!!

    • Said the militant without a leadership. He said, I have no ideas, I don’t know how to defeat legally this PM, he is doing an outstanding job and I am a poor guy grown at the old man’s shadow, i.e. I’m used only to creepy things: a broken justice, a corrupt state, a country with no future…but then this guy with his team came out and doing incredible things and my world just broke down…even the US ambassador is repeating things that I don’t want to hear..what I only know, said the sad guy, is just to insult my adversary and create fake news…

      Dear Montecristo what connection you are trying to make? Do you have any data about the job of interior ministry or you are one of many desperate people like the guy I just described above? Give us data please, not personal opinions (if you have it…but let me guess, you have a big ZERO, you are just a fake news).

      @Albanians: take control of your fate, don’t allow a bunch of reckless people (driven by their own interests) damage your EU accession and your children’s future.

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