Trump taps ‘Judicial Watch’ president Tom Fitton to sit on oversight agency with authority to remove judges

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Editor’s Note: An original version of the article incorrectly reported Tom Fitton as the founder of Judicial Watch. He is the current president. We apologize for the error.

President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to appoint the CEO of Judicial Watch to a Washington, D.C. court oversight body.

The president will be naming Tom Fitton to the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, the White House announced on Friday. The agency has the authority to remove judges in order “to preserve an independent and fair judiciary.”

On a day overtaken by news of the president’s health, the White House announced that Trump intends to appoint Fitton and other individuals to “key positions in his Administration.” The announcement also noted that conservative talk radio host Larry Elder will be appointed to the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.

Fitton currently serves as the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, a nonprofit organization which files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits in investigations like the one of Hillary Clinton’s private email server in 2015.

The organization describes itself as promoting “transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law” using tools to “investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.”

Dozens of lawsuits are currently in the works by Judicial Watch, including investigations into voter fraud, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s communications on the World Health Organization, China, and the coronavirus as well as the Senate records of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Fitton has worked tirelessly to expose corruption and was a vocal critic of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. He confirmed the White House news in a tweet saying he was “honored.”

The 52-year-old could serve as one of two lay members on the Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, who are appointed for five-year terms. The commission is also made up of four attorneys and one federal judge.

The agency “has the authority to remove a judge for willful misconduct in office, for willful and persistent failure to perform judicial duties, and for conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, or which brings the judicial office into disrepute.”

It also has the power “to retire a judge involuntarily if the Commission determines that the judge suffers from a mental or physical disability which is or is likely to become permanent and which prevents, or seriously interferes with, the proper performance of duties,” according to the website.

The commission is also authorized to censure or reprimand a judge “under appropriate circumstances.”

Reactions to the news of Fitton’s intended appointment poured in on Twitter after the White House announcement Friday.

 

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Frieda Powers

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