Did the DoJ lie about the dismissal of voter-intimidation case?

posted at 7:59 pm on September 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When challenged by Congress to explain the dismissal of an already-won criminal prosecution for voter intimidation against a New Black Panther Party activist, the Department of Justice claimed that political appointees were not part of the decision-making process.  Thomas Perez, the Assistant Attorney General under Eric Holder, made that claim under oath.  New records obtained by Judicial Watch under a FOIA request shows that Perez did not tell the truth, and that the decision to drop the case did involve political appointees:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has forced disclosure of the existence of documents from the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicating Democratic election lawyer Sam Hirsch was involved in the DOJ decision to dismiss its voting rights case against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The records, described in a Vaughn index produced pursuant to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, contradict sworn testimony by Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, who testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that no political leadership was involved in the decision (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 10-851)).

The “Vaughn index” describes documents responsive to the lawsuit currently being withheld in their entirety by the Justice Department. The index details a series of emails between Assistant Deputy Attorney General Steve Rosenbaum and Deputy Associate Attorney General Sam Hirsch, who was described by Slate magazine as a “DC election lawyer who represents a lot of Democrats” prior to joining the Justice Department.

The index describes eight email exchanges between Rosenbaum and Hirsch, taking place on April 30, 2009, the day before the Justice Department reversed course and declined to pursue much of the Black Panther case. Listed among the email correspondence:

An “Email Chain with Attachments” from Rosenbaum to Hirsch dated April 30, 2009: The email chain includes “…a detailed response and analysis of the proposed draft filings in NBPP (New Black Panther Party) litigation…The response includes a candid assessment of legal research and raises questions about the case law and proposed relief….This document also contains attorney discussion, opinions, and analyses of the draft documents and case law.”

That contradicts the testimony of Perez, who claimed that any debate within the DoJ on the decision took place between “career” staff, not political appointees:

COMMISSIONER KIRSANOW: Was there any political leadership involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case any further than it was?

ASST. ATTY. GEN. PEREZ: No. The decisions were made by Loretta King in consultation with Steve Rosenbaum, who is the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

J. Christian Adams, who resigned his career position in the Civil Rights section of the DoJ to blow the whistle on politicization at Justice, notes that the documentation shows that the Deputy AG was involved in the debate, with one such e-mail’s description includes the notation that it includes his thoughts on the case:

The description of the email contains a bombshell:

“asking for update on the NBPP litigation between officials in the [Associate’s office] and noting the [deputy attorney general’s] current thoughts on the case.”

The deputy attorney general is the second highest-ranking official in the Department. The use of the term “current thoughts” infers that there were prior thoughts and ongoing discussions with the second highest-ranking political official at DOJ about how to handle the case.

Adams concludes that this goes a lot deeper than the DoJ wants to admit, and that the media have been willing to report:

Congress and the public have been told — for over a year — that the dismissal of the New Black Panther case resulted from nothing more than a dispute between lowly career civil servants. Lapdog reporters have repeated this lie, if they even covered the case at all. The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch expose the ruse.

Rarely in our nation’s history have officials in the Department of Justice engaged in a dishonest misinformation campaign to Congress, the public, and other fact-finding tribunals. Thankfully, these few episodes have been confined to the darkest and most corrupt eras of the republic.

Interestingly, it seems as though the Boss Emeritus got under their skin a bit at DoJ, as Adams explains:

Adams spotlights one interesting little nugget showing how the DOJ scrambled to react to my May 28, 2009 online exclusive that first revealed the shady dismissal of the NBPP case:

The logs show political officials Hirsch and Rosenbaum, and a press spokesperson, swinging into action as soon as the press reported the dismissal on May 28, 2009. “Response to Malkin” shows up on May 28 — they were coordinating a response to Michelle Malkin’s exclusive breaking the story of the outrageous dismissal. These communications are characterized by the log as “pre-decisional,” and therefore protected. Of course, the decision to dismiss the case had already been made. I can’t wait to see what the court does with that in the FOIA litigation. (Though I suppose the decisions about how to cover up the truth of the dismissal were in the formative, pre-decisional process.)

Remember: Sunlight — relentless sunlight — is the best disinfectant. And the ballot box is the ultimate sanitizer.

The ballot box will be helpful in 2012, but perhaps more so in 2010. Congress needs to demand answers to the evidence of perjury and obstruction of justice that Judicial Watch has unearthed. The current Congress wouldn’t dare challenge Obama and his AG, but a House run by John Boehner could at least get the ball rolling.


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Can’t wait for Issa to get his teeth into these people with subpoenas next January.

VidOmnia on September 20, 2010 at 8:00 PM

I can’t say for sure, but… yes.

Skywise on September 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Oopsie!

katy the mean old lady on September 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Leavenworth is a better disinfectant than sunshine will ever be. Enough with these toothless, protect-one-another, insider, investigative commissions, there has to be another way to hammer these criminals.

Bishop on September 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Inquiring minds want to know…….is Holder Obama’s “pet”?

PappyD61 on September 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Can’t wait for Issa to get his teeth into these people with subpoenas next January.

VidOmnia on September 20, 2010 at 8:00 PM

from your keyboard to the Creators ears.

PappyD61 on September 20, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Remember: Sunlight — relentless sunlight — is the best disinfectant.

And it makes the cockroaches run for cover.

Guardian on September 20, 2010 at 8:05 PM

The records disclosed to Judicial Watch seemingly contradict testimony by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010.
================
Commision on Civil Rights-PDF

http://www.usccr.gov/NBPH/05-14-2010_NBPPhearing.pdf

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Good grief these people are corrupt! Nov. can’t come fast enough.

Weight of Glory on September 20, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Did the DoJ lie about the dismissal of voter-intimidation case?

God I hope so. It’s about time for some of these *($%890ers to end up in prison.

BigWyo on September 20, 2010 at 8:06 PM

but a House run by John Boehner could at least get the ball rolling.

I sure hope so!

Lapdog reporters have repeated this lie, if they even covered the case at all.

nice work once again msm…

cmsinaz on September 20, 2010 at 8:06 PM

This Stinks and Reaks to High Heaven!!

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:07 PM

from your keyboard to the Creators ears.

PappyD61 on September 20, 2010 at 8:05 PM

:)
yep

cmsinaz on September 20, 2010 at 8:08 PM

COMMISSIONER KIRSANOW:

Was there any political leadership involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case any further than it was?
———————————–

ASST. ATTY. GEN. PEREZ:

No. The decisions were made by Loretta King in consultation with Steve Rosenbaum, who is the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

Perez also suggested that the dispute was merely “a case of career people disagreeing with career people.”
===============================================

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NUTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Lying? Like there’s something wrong with it?

SouthernGent on September 20, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Did the DoJ lie about the dismissal of voter-intimidation case?

I’m going to go ahead and give an emphatic “YES.”

And I’m doing so without even reading the article.

Vyce on September 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM

The Fort Bliss commander says two people are dead after a shooting at a small grocery store on the West Texas Army post.

Col. Joseph A. Simonelli Jr. declined to discuss details or identify the victims of the Monday afternoon incident.

Simonelli said the area was roped off for an FBI investigation, but the sprawling facility next to El Paso was never under lockdown.

Simonelli says the shooting was reported about 3 p.m. local time and authorities responded in about three minutes.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Schadenfreude on September 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM

The ballot box will be helpful in 2012, but perhaps more so in 2010. Congress needs to demand answers to the evidence of perjury and obstruction of justice that Judicial Watch has unearthed. The current Congress wouldn’t dare challenge Obama and his AG, but a House run by John Boehner could at least get the ball rolling.

The ball needs to be rolling towards impeachment, conviction and removal.

Nothing less.

Two years of Joe Biden is survivable.

Two more years of Barry Soetoro is not.

This is exactly why impeachment is dealt with in the Constitution – to remove elected officials who violate their oath of office.

From the minute Chief Justice Roberts concluded his swearing in of Obama, he has been in violation of his oath.

Now comes the time to exact our pound of flesh for the transgressions of the usurper. Too many have sacrificed for this great nation to allow this man to continue to sully the office for one more minute than is absolutely necessary.

turfmann on September 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM

There are a number of appointees at DOJ that need to learn about stripe city… from the inside.

ajacksonian on September 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM

It would be great to see Holder perp-walked down the DOJ steps in cuffs.

Oliar’s own law enforcement appointees are the ones that acted stupidly.

ontherocks on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

subpoena–interrogate–indict–imprison–repeat

in that order.

gird loins.

ted c on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

where’s that crr6 to tell us how foolish we are to pursue this? Silent, natch…

ted c on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Did the DoJ lie…

Were their lips moving? If so, then the answer is yes.

iconoclast on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Inquiring minds want to know…….is Holder Obama’s “pet”?

PappyD61 on September 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

PappyD61:Could be,Progressive fetish running amuck within
Team HopeLessNess/ChangeLesNess,and,then theres
that shower thingy with Rahm,and……(sarc):)

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Darrell Issa needs his fangs sharpened and stop feeding him two days before the November bloodbath. Heads need to roll to show the American people are tired of what has become the Cloward Piven ruling class…..

adamsmith on September 20, 2010 at 8:14 PM

The current Congress wouldn’t dare challenge Obama and his AG, but a House run by John Boehner could at least get the ball rolling.

Depends if “Tan Man” has the balls.

chickasaw42 on September 20, 2010 at 8:14 PM

I’m really digging this new email thingie majig. It’s a little more difficult to dispose of evidence. The keyboards keep getting stuck in the shredder.

ButterflyDragon on September 20, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Weight of Glory,
November elections ain’t gonna do squat…unless…
We get some people, in committee LEADERSHIP roles,who got BALLS!!!

jerrytbg on September 20, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Unless Holder goes to jail, nothing will change. These people have to start going to prison, or it’s only for show.

lilium on September 20, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Holder is history.

You heard it here first.

novaculus on September 20, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Holder will wind up under the bus and Obama will declare himself “Shocked…SHOCKED!”

This Presidency is like a cheap re-make of “The Untouchables”

Justrand on September 20, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Come on, November!

LASue on September 20, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Wow… lawyers, lying under oath. Who would have thought that?

upinak on September 20, 2010 at 8:21 PM

From H/A’s Archives!
======================

Civil Rights Commission blasts decision to drop voter-intimidation case
posted at 2:53 pm on August 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/04/civil-rights-commission-blasts-decision-to-drop-voter-intimidation-case/

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:22 PM

What can I say that others haven’t already said? It just isn’t that shocking, and I’m not holding my breath that anything will come of this. Unfortunately. :(

capejasmine on September 20, 2010 at 8:23 PM

where’s that crr6 to tell us how foolish we are to pursue this? Silent, natch…

ted c on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Working the swing shift at Karl’s House of Chilli Fries and Sliders. The law degree from Phoenix University hasn’t panned out just yet.

BigWyo on September 20, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Investigate,trial,sentence.

IowaWoman on September 20, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Obama will shamelessly pardon all.

justltl on September 20, 2010 at 8:25 PM

OT: legislating is hard

cmsinaz on September 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Unless he himself ends up first in Cell Block B+.

justltl on September 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

there is a reason that the statue in front of the supreme court holds a sword and the other a balance.

weigh the facts, then bring the hammer down.

ted c on September 20, 2010 at 8:27 PM

The use of the term “current thoughts” infers implies that there were prior thoughts and ongoing discussions with the second highest-ranking political official at DOJ about how to handle the case.

I’m all behind Adams’s efforts, but he should know better. Does pajamasmedia provide a copy editor or do they simply post anything presented to them?

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/imply.html

BuckeyeSam on September 20, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Holder and many others need to find out about perjury charges, as in facing them and not charging others.

bluemarlin on September 20, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Darryl Issa is going to have a field day with this!

GarandFan on September 20, 2010 at 8:31 PM

It doesn’t matter if he lied under oath, because it’s only about sex and everybody…what’s that? It’s not about sex?

Never mind.

percival on September 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Come on, November!

LASue on September 20, 2010 at 8:20 PM

LASue:)
========================================

The Women Tea Party Patriots are ready!!!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_rOd6gCbW9QM/TJYrEPpd7SI/AAAAAAAAGUc/k5b7f_b16mI/s1600/chickamauga.jpg
==================================
And,

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_3QqO8EXd-II/TIIleN3BgAI/AAAAAAAA3cs/9zlyfuxK_YM/s1600/image001.JPG
====================================
And,

See You In November

http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=22547

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM

FTA:

Today was a very bad day for the Justice Department, but a worse day for our country. The privilege logs show what most Americans suspected all along: that the Department was lying, and the corrupt dismissal of the New Black Panther Case was made high up the political chain of command.

How high? High enough for impeachment?

Cody1991 on September 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM

OT: legislating is hard

cmsinaz on September 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

cmsinaz:Well OMama Obama is going through PURE H*LL,
and,the scuttlebutt,is that Hopey hates being
the POTUSA!!!!!!————:)

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Holder has to be the biggest lap dog AG of all time and the most corrupt in modern History. But Mitchell was there for dick.

tim c on September 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM

“In the case of Mu-Shu versus Pork (1824) the judgment was made that future black President’s would be allowed to appoint people who are race pimps and that would be a good thing somehow.”

-crr6, perpetual law student

Bishop on September 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM

We’re all a bunch of cowards when it comes this issue…/

d1carter on September 20, 2010 at 8:41 PM

We all knew they were lying (and/or, like Perez, perjuring themselves), but it’s always good to get confirmation, in writing, from their own records.

Guess they didn’t get the “don’t put anything [incriminating] in writing” memo that the other Obama appointees received.

November’s coming, you crooks. Better lawyer up now and avoid the rush — before all the best Dim shysters are fully booked.

AZCoyote on September 20, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Someone at DOJ acted stupidly.

Lily on September 20, 2010 at 8:44 PM

The ballot box will be helpful in 2012, but perhaps more so in 2010. Congress needs to demand answers to the evidence of perjury and obstruction of justice that Judicial Watch has unearthed.

P E R J U R Y

O B S T R U C T I O N of J U S T I C E

petefrt on September 20, 2010 at 8:44 PM

LIES, RE EDUCATION is it 1939 ?

ELMO Q on September 20, 2010 at 8:47 PM

We need a Special Prosecutor to sort this whole mess out. Forget about the idiot Holder coming clean, it’s not his nature. It will be too late for the NBP because of SOL, but not too late to expose the crimes of Bammie and Holder and their racist enforcement of the law.

slickwillie2001 on September 20, 2010 at 8:48 PM

How high? High enough for impeachment?

Cody1991 on September 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Cody1991:This might help!
==========================================================

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Impeachment

canopfor on September 20, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Was there any political leadership involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case any further than it was?

Well looks like they are in the clear…there is no provable or apparent leadership coming out of Washington.

right2bright on September 20, 2010 at 8:50 PM

In reality, nothing will come of this. The best we can hope for is no more intimidation from that mob.

OldEnglish on September 20, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Anybody who thinks BO is not at the bottom of this criminal activity is delusional.
Anybody who supports Holder is evil.

proconstitution on September 20, 2010 at 9:03 PM

WATERGATE…

It wasn’t the crime… it was the cover-up…

Khun Joe on September 20, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Panthergate?

AshleyTKing on September 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM

To liberals, the end justifies the means.

diogenes on September 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM

This is the most politicized DOJ since the days of John Mitchell in the Nixon administration. We need to get rid of these scoundrels in 2012. If Obama can load up the courts with his leftist (read Marxist) judges and justices, we are all so screwed.

simkeith on September 20, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Don’t wanna spoil the party, but what is Judicial Watch’s track record for winning in court?

And I ask that knowing that they also went after Republicans like Bush.

Del Dolemonte on September 20, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Throw the bums in jail!

TN Mom on September 20, 2010 at 10:25 PM

I can’t believe all you hate mongering racists can’t see that all Obama and his crew were doing had good intentions, rembeber it’s the thought that counts not the outcome.

cmptrnerd on September 20, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Why doesn’t the dominant liberal mainstream mass media focus on THIS, instead of Christine O’Donnell’s teenage high school “witchcraft” musings?

bannedbyhuffpo on September 20, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Anybody who thinks BO is not at the bottom of this criminal activity is delusional.
Anybody who supports Holder is evil.

proconstitution on September 20, 2010 at 9:03 PM

One word: Chicago

chewydog on September 20, 2010 at 10:36 PM

And the ballot box is the ultimate sanitizer.

And the litter box is where these DoJ turds belong.

disa on September 20, 2010 at 10:38 PM

subpoena–interrogate–indict–imprison–repeat

in that order.

gird loins.

ted c on September 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

We’ve got to imprison them first so we can see what’s in the subpoena and any other charging documents. This is the new standard known as “The Pelosi Way.”

sweet pea on September 21, 2010 at 12:28 AM

We’ve got to imprison them first so we can see what’s in the subpoena and any other charging documents. This is the new standard known as “The Pelosi Way.”

sweet pea on September 21, 2010 at 12:28 AM

Don’t give the tyrant any ideas…oh, Wait! FDR! Stalin! Uh, don’t encourage them?

Who is John Galt on September 21, 2010 at 12:45 AM

This goes much deeper. It will be great to get rid of him for something like this, but it is merely a gotcha moment. His ilk has been fighting against our freedoms, insidiously, since he has been in Washington. Every step of the way. I would like to see a multi point case brought against him and his kind. A full account of their evil against the American people for all to see.

moyeti on September 21, 2010 at 4:56 AM

So we have a Dem Asst. AG caught in perjury, AG Holder suspected of perjury, a sitting Dem President (Clinton) caught in perjury, a GOP aid (Libby) indicted and convicted, and a brash pitcher who supports GOP candidates (Clemens) indicted. These are the tipping scales of justice in the leftist utopia.

Mark30339 on September 21, 2010 at 7:19 AM

Of course they lied, and several lied under oath, which is why they fought the FOIA requests tooth and nail.
`
`
It was of course obviously a political decision from the start, because no career prosecutor is going to reverse an already-in-the-books conviction. It makes no sense at all except for political influence.
`
`
The AG is a career political hack, so the misuse of DOJ comes naturally. Certainly he lost no sleep worrying that Obama would disapprove.
`
`
`

Adjoran on September 21, 2010 at 7:43 AM

Why is this a surprise? I know, it is not. But there is no one on this site and many others who didn’t think the DOJ was outrageously corrupt when it came to this decision but the facts were reported no where besides the right of center media.
Nothing will come of this unless Obama goes so far over the edge that impeachment is likely. Right now that should happen but it won’t.

ORconservative on September 21, 2010 at 9:23 AM

I hope the email threads leads to Hussein. This is the perfect “pet” issue for the 1st post racial temporary presidential custodian to get impeached on. Or helping his lard ass illegal Kenyan aunt play the US judicial system, one or the other.

Alden Pyle on September 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

turfmann on September 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM

AMEN!!!

No serious person can claim that anything done by Obama or “Justice” has anything to do with following our Constitution.

landlines on September 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM