The media continues its role as propagandist for the Democratic 2016 presidential ticket with a story showcasing “allegations of antisemitism” that “have surfaced” about presidential candidate Donald Trump advisor Joe Schmitz. But those who know him best say the allegations are “laughable, ugly and profoundly false” and that Schmitz exhibits “the highest character qualities.”
The article highlighting these allegations explains that “the revelations feed two themes that his opponent Hillary Clinton has used to erode Trump’s credibility: That he is a foreign policy neophyte, and that his campaign, at times, has offended Jews and other minorities.” In other words, the allegations that have “surfaced” are convenient if you have an interest in pushing either one of those Clinton campaign narratives.
Schmitz is a Naval Academy distinguished graduate, has a law degree from Stanford, and was formerly the Senate-confirmed inspector general of the Department of Defense. He is currently in private practice in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Schmitz has been advocating for and advising Donald Trump.
The allegations that have “surfaced” originate from a report filed by Dan Meyer, executive director of the intelligence community whistleblowing and source protection program.
Meyer, whose job it is to deal with whistleblowers, filed his own whistleblower complaint after he found himself punished for disclosing possible public corruption. The public corruption in question was the editing of an inspector general’s report that accused former Secretary of Defense and Clinton family pal Leon Panetta of leaking classified information to the makers of the film “Zero Dark Thirty.” Meyer says in his complaint that his DoD bosses had manipulated “a final report to curry favor” with Defense Secretary Panetta. The final report contained no such claims about Panetta leaking classified information. Meyer also alleges that he was targeted by the department because he was gay.
The details and circumstances of Meyer’s complaint are described in a McClatchy story from last month titled “Official who oversees whistleblower complaints files one of his own” which makes no reference to either Joe Schmitz or to the alleged anti-Semitism that is the subject of their latest story about the very same complaint. The story written last week now advances the political narrative that Trump offends “Jews and other minorities,” using Meyer’s complaint as a springboard to smear Schmitz.
Schmitz hired the openly gay Meyer in January of 2004, and left the Department of Defense towards the end of 2005, so the men worked together a little under two years. Meyer’s office told PJ Media “Mr. Meyer never filed any complaints against Mr. Schmitz.”
So where does this sensational statement written by McClatchy about Schmitz come from?
“His summary of his tenure’s achievement reported as ‘…I fired the Jews,’ ” wrote Meyer, a former official in the Pentagon inspector general’s office whose grievance was obtained by McClatchy.
This statement is not from Meyer, it is a description of an allegation made by someone else that Meyer is summarizing. It’s deceptively presented to look like it is an assertion from Meyer and that Meyer’s complaint involves Schmitz.
The Meyer complaint says that former Pentagon official John Crane was a “source and witness” to these remarks. So the allegations of antisemitism come from third-party Crane.
Crane also alleges that Schmitz downplayed the Holocaust. Meyer further summarizes Crane’s allegations, according to the McClatchy piece: “In his final days, he allegedly lectured Mr. Crane on the details of concentration camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 million Jews.”
To be clear, these are not proven or verified facts. They have not been examined by the appropriate officials. The statements are claims by a former employee who has not seen fit to file his own formal complaint about the very things he alleges. Were there other statements in the Meyer report claiming Schmitz made anti-Semitic remarks that support Crane’s allegations? McClatchy has the Meyer complaint (PJ Media does not) and they did not offer up any such corroboration (and I have to believe they would if it was in there). One has to wonder who leaked a confidential whistleblower complaint and why.
According to McClatchy, Crane would not comment on his allegations, saying: “If, when, I am required to testify under oath in a [Merit Systems Protection Board] MSPB hearing, I would then comment on the statement attributed to me by Mr. Meyer.”
“Statements made under oath at the request of a judge in a formal proceeding would also remove my vulnerability to any potential civil litigation by any party involved in the filings by Mr. Meyer,” he added.
The McClatchy piece subsequently piles on Schmitz with another case that deals with antisemitism in the Department of Defense, but one that has nothing to do with Schmitz at all.
The Tenenbaum case is “decades old” and Mr. Tenenbaum’s original complaint focused on Inspector General General Counsel Henry Shelley, who worked on Tenenbaum’s discrimination case eight years ago, after Schmitz had left the DoD. In 2008, the Pentagon’s inspector general found in Tenenbaum’s favor that religious discrimination was a factor in the accusation that Tenenbaum was an Israeli spy.
David Tenenbaum, an Army engineer at the Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan, is now citing the allegations in a letter this week to Acting Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine as new evidence that current and former Pentagon officials helped perpetrate an anti-Semitic culture within the military that left him vulnerable.
“The anti-Semitic environment began under a prior Inspector General, Mr. Joseph Schmitz,” the letter from Tenenbaum’s lawyer Mayer Morganroth of Birmingham, Mich., states.
“The allegations”? The same allegations made about Schmitz by Crane? Not additional, different allegations from another person, but the same allegations by the person who made hearsay statements in the Meyer complaint. The article confirms as much:
The letter from Tenenbaum’s lawyer Mayer Morganroth also alleges Schmitz made remarks about firing Jews and playing down the extent of the Holocaust, citing a “sworn statement” from an unnamed source with knowledge of the Tenenbaum case.
A federal official with knowledge of the matter told McClatchy that Crane testified, under oath, about anti-Semitic remarks Schmitz made to him.
No word as to whether Crane’s allegations have been cross-examined or verified yet, or that there are corroborating witnesses to hearsay conjecture. Only that they were repeated as regards to a different situation.
Schmitz denied any accusations of antisemitism to McClatchy.
“The allegations are completely false and defamatory,” Schmitz said.
“I do not recall ever even hearing of any ‘allegations of anti-Semitism against [me],’ which would be preposterously false and defamatory because, among other reason(s), I am quite proud of the Jewish heritage of my wife of 38 years.”
Schmitz also denied any and all allegations of antisemitism to PJ Media and added that he has no familiarity with Tenenbaum at all.
PJ Media spoke with several associates of Schmitz, inquiring about the newly “surfaced” charges of antisemitism.
Professor Michael Halbig, retired vice academic dean at the U.S. Naval Academy and retired Naval Reserve captain, was a former Naval Academy professor of Schmitz. Halbig had this to say:
I’ve known Joe Schmitz since he was a youngster (a sophomore) in my German class at the Naval Academy. I was then an officer instructor and ended up spending a 40 year career there, retiring in 2012. My wife of 43 years is Jewish, our two sons have had bar mitzvahs, and I am in the process of converting to Judaism (next Friday, to be precise). We have maintained a Jewish household for 43 years. Joe and his wife Molly (and their son Nick, when he was a midshipman) have been to our home many times. We have known Joe and Mollie since before they were married in 1978. Joe was a close colleague in the Naval Reserve Intelligence Command, and was of particular assistance to me as inspector general when I was Chief of Staff in the years surrounding 9/11. I disagree with many aspects of Joe’s politics, about which we usually don’t talk much, but I have never, ever witnessed a whiff of Anti-semitism in Joe or his family. In fact, I cannot imagine it.
Bill Levin, Esq., was a co-clerk in the chambers of Hon. James L. Buckley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, with Schmitz. Mr. Levin told PJ Media:
Joe Schmitz has been a good friend going now on 30 years since we clerked together on the DC Circuit for Jim Buckley. In all that time, Joe has never exhibited even the slightest hint of antisemitism. To the contrary, we openly have shared our faith with great mutual respect. The allegation of antisemitism is laughable, ugly and profoundly false.
Consultant to the DoD Office of the Inspector General Roger Golden, Esq., said of Schmitz: “I’ve known Joe Schmitz personally and professionally for over 20 years. Joe always has exhibited the highest character qualities. The attribution of ‘antisemitic behavior’ to Joe is absurd and unimaginable based on my experience. If anything, the opposite is true; Joe is strongly pro-Judaism.”
The media is selectively interested in cases of antisemitism. It’s a convenient slur to be directed at the proper political target, but ignored when it doesn’t serve the leftist narrative. Don’t buy into convenient stories the media tells you. Dave Reaboi over Red State said it well: “Let’s not allow ourselves to get into a lather, leading us to smear good people we don’t know simply because we want to score points against Donald Trump or any of our other political enemies.”