A federal court in Washington, DC, held last week that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.
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Obama’s DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney’s fees since “none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in” how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making. … In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.
I can't help but note that Scooter Libby was convicted of a felony based upon less evidence than this.
And this case is particularly galling not just because a group of Kluxers engaged in similar behavior would undoubtedly have been prosecuted, convicted, and jailed for their actions, but also because the Obama Regime and the Holder Department of "Just Us" are now positioning themselves as the great defenders of voting rights in a series of cases designed to strike down Voter ID laws and maps drawn as a part of the decennial redistricting in various states. How can a department which began with a decision to ignore a clear-cut violation of voting rights via voter intimidation by armed thugs at a poling place (in favor of the newly elected president) have any credibility?
Hans von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department official, notes that this ruling ought to provoke a whole wave of investigations -- both within the Justice Department and from outside entities as well.
The Commission on Civil Rights repeatedly asked Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the NPBB case by the Department and the refusal of Perez to comply with lawful documents requests and subpoenas served on DOJ by the Commission. When will the attorney general do so, and when will he ask for an investigation of this possible perjury by Perez?
Where is the investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of whether Perez violated his ethical and professional obligations as a DOJ attorney? Will the DOJ inspector general open an investigation of the possible violation by Perez of 18 U.S.C. §1621, which outlaws presenting false statements under oath in official federal proceedings? Or will they all respectively yawn and ignore this?
Imagine if a conservative political appointee at DOJ had just been cited in a federal court decision as having apparently testified falsely under oath. Not only would it be a top headline at The New York Times and The Washington Post, but the IG and OPR would be rushing to investigate. All of which is a sad commentary on the liberal bias not just of the media, but of too many of the offices and officials within the Justice Department who are supposed to administer justice in an objective, non-political, and impartial manner.
The disparity in the response is striking -- this decision was handed down on July 23 -- and as of yesterday (July 30) it had not been reported on by a single mainstream media outlet, despite its relevance to both the current voting rights litigation by the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ and the ongoing presidential election.