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Re: Black Panthers

Oh my. People are talking. People who used to work for the DOJ.

In emotional and personal testimony, an ex-Justice official who quit over the handling of a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party accused his former employer of instructing attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims.

J. Christian Adams, testifying Tuesday before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said that “over and over and over again,” the department showed “hostility” toward those cases. He described the Black Panther case as one example of that — he defended the legitimacy of the suit and said his “blood boiled” when he heard a Justice official claim the case wasn’t solid.

“It is false,” Adams said of the claim.

“We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens,” he later testified.

The department abandoned the New Black Panther case last year. It stemmed from an incident on Election Day in 2008 in Philadelphia, where members of the party were videotaped in front of a polling place, dressed in military-style uniforms and allegedly hurling racial slurs while one brandished a night stick.

(…)

The Civil Rights Commission, which subpoenaed Adams, has been probing the incident since last year. Adams said he ignored department directives not to testify and eventually quit after he heard Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testify that there were concerns the Black Panther case was not supported by the facts.

Adams has described the case as open-and-shut and said Tuesday that it was a “very low moment” to hear Perez make that claim.

But he described the department’s hostility toward that and other cases involving black defendants as “pervasive.” Adams cited hostility in the department toward a 2007 voting rights case against a black official in Mississippi who was accused of trying to intimidate voters. Adams said that when the Black Panther case came up, he heard officials in the department say it was “no big deal” and “media-generated” and point to “Fox News” as the source.

But as the investigation unfolded, he said he discovered “indications” that the Black Panther Party was doing the “same thing” to supporters of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary season in early 2008. He urged the commission to pursue testimony from other Justice officials to corroborate his story.

Pajamas Media has this statement by former DOJ director of public affairs, Mark Corallo:

As the Department of Justice director of public affairs under Attorney General John Ashcroft, I witnessed the hostility of the “career” Civil Rights Division attorneys firsthand.

Internal disagreements over policy routinely became matters for the press, via leaks to reporters or leaks to Democrat members of Congress. They had no compunction about breaking the ethical requirement of attorneys to keep those internal deliberations confidential.

I am not surprised that the Department is attacking J. Christian Adams. The Civil Rights Division attorneys have no interest in the rule of law as written and passed by Congress — the New Black Panther case is glaring proof that the Division has an agenda. If Congress was truly interested in oversight, there would be hearings on this case and others.

J. Christian Adams did the honorable thing in resigning and speaking out.

Democrats constantly complained about the lack of oversight when Republicans were the majority party in Congress. Can any reasonable person imagine the Democrats ignoring a case of blatant violations of the Voting Rights Act (captured on video) brought by career Civil Rights Division attorneys being dismissed by a Republican attorney general?

Any veteran of the Justice Department should be outraged.

July 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm
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