Who Is Micah Morrison?

Micah MorrisonWho is Micah Morrison?

I get that question a lot.

I’m the chief investigative reporter for the watchdog group Judicial Watch and the author of Fire in Paradise: The Yellowstone Fires & the Politics of Environmentalism. Judicial Watch is the national leader in freedom of information litigation, focusing on government accountability and transparency.

I’ve spent decades as a working writer, mainly in investigative journalism, often on complicated and controversial stories.

From 1994 through 2002, I worked for the Wall Street Journal editorial page as an investigative writer with a focus on political scandal and financial crime. I led the Whitewater investigation of the Clinton Administration and reported on union fraud, Indian casino gaming, money laundering, terrorism, and the corrupt Bank of Credit & Commerce International. Along with Editorial Page Editor Robert L. Bartley and Deputy Editorial Page Editor Melanie Kirkpatrick, I edited the six-volume series, Whitewater: A Wall Street Journal Briefing. I was nominated four times by the newspaper for the Pulitzer Prize: in the Editorial Writing category in 1997, 1998, and 1999; in the Investigative Reporting category in 2000.

The Whitewater investigation ruffled a few feathers. President Clinton’s allies mounted a vigorous attack. You can read the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s assault, “Who Is Micah Morrison?,” here. You can read the Wall Street Journal’s response to that attack, also titled “Who Is Micah Morrison?,” here.

In 1993, HarperCollins published Fire in Paradise: The Yellowstone Fires and the Politics of EnvironmentalismKirkus called it “a thrilling, blow-by-blow account of the wildfire.” You can read the full review here.

Prior to joining the Journal, I was a senior editor for Insight Magazine. I also wrote for the American Spectator magazine, working for a time as its roving correspondent, and later serving as deputy director of the neoconservative Committee for the Free World and editor of its monthly publication, Contentions. A 1980 graduate of Bennington College, I began my writing career in the Middle East, working for five years as Jerusalem-based freelancer.

In 2003, after nearly a decade with the Journal, I circled back to freelancing, with a  focus on investigative reporting, consulting, and book projects. I wrote a novel, worked with some great clients, and joined Fox News as a investigative consultant. In 2010 and 2011, I led the investigative reporting for the Fox special, “Iran’s Nuclear Secrets.”

In 2013, Judicial Watch came calling—kicking off an exciting new chapter working with JW’s great team of litigators and investigators in deploying the federal Freedom of Information Act and its state-based cousins as tools of reporting, reform, and public education.

In 2016, I was recognized by the Retired Detectives Association of the New York Police Department for my “relentless investigation” into the killing of NYPD Patrolman Phillip Cardillo—a case known as “the Harlem Mosque Incident.” The group presented me with an “ARDY” award, its highest honor.

An investigative report —“Killing Cardillo: What Did the FBI Know and When Did They Know It?”—published on the Judicial Watch website in 2015, revealed new evidence in the case, including details of a White House ordered secret FBI program to hunt black radicals; documents suggesting that the FBI had informants inside the Harlem mosque at the time of the Cardillo killing; and reports from long-suppressed official investigations that point to police officials obstructing justice.

In 2019, I was elected to a two-year term at New York City’s District 28 Community Education Council, serving more than 40,000 school kids. As de Tocqueville noted, association is the mother science of American democracy, and my time at the council was a terrific laboratory in community controversy and decision-making. It coincided with the greatest crisis to hit public education in decades: the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with a national racial reckoning spurred by the murder of George Floyd. Those important stories are still playing out.