DoJ attorney admitted to perjury but still kept her job?
posted at 3:25 pm on December 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Hans von Spakovsky reports today for PJ Media that a key figure in the Department of Justice investigations of Texas redistricting in the last decade admitted to perjury during an Inspector General probe of leaks from the Civil Rights Division to the Washington Post. Spakovsky, who formerly worked in the same office as Celandine Gyamfi, says that Gyamfi twice denied under oath having any knowledge of the leaks, but when confronted with e-mail evidence, admitted that she herself was the source:
Ms. Gyamfi made no secret of her hatred of conservatives and Republicans when I worked in the Voting Section from 2001 to 2002. Later, when I moved to the Civil Rights Division’s front office, she had a difficult time hiding her contempt any time she was forced to meet with the political leadership. In revelations now known throughout the Voting Section, she apparently went beyond hatred and resorted to flagrantly violating Justice Department confidentiality requirements and ethical obligations. It is now common knowledge in the Section that she lied about her actions to Inspector General investigators and was caught in the lie with e-mail documentation. Ahh, it’s always the cover-up.
According to numerous sources within the Section, Ms. Gyamfi had been asked in two separate interviews whether she was involved in the leaking of confidential and privileged information out of the Voting Section. Each time, she flatly denied any knowledge as to who was responsible for the leaks. In a third interview, she was once again questioned about her role in the leaks. At first, she adamantly denied involvement. Then, however, she was confronted with e-mail documents rebutting her testimony.
At that point, she immediately broke down and confessed that she had lied to the investigators three separate times. Since IG interviewees are all required to take an oath to tell the truth upon penalty of perjury, and investigators record all interviews, an audio recording of these admissions must exist in the IG files. Mind you, Ms. Gyamfi did not say she misunderstood the questions. She did not claim to have forgotten something and later remembered it. Instead, she plainly admitted her deceit and ascribed her motive to attempting to protect the “other people” involved, i.e., the other career staff (mostly attorneys) who also violated their oaths of office and their professional obligations by publicizing confidential legal opinions and analyses.
After the admission, Ms. Gyamfi returned to the Voting Section distraught, crying and sobbing. She was consoled by another career employee to whom she confessed what had happened. This was witnessed and heard by other Voting Section staff, and the story of what occurred during the IG interview was soon known all over the Section.
Did Gyamfi get fired? Face discipline? Not according to Spakovsky’s sources, who note that Gyamfi has been assigned to the Voting Section’s probe of the new Texas redistricting plan. Coincidentally or not, the leaks occurred on the last CRD investigation of a redistricting plan in Texas:
The genesis of Ms. Gyamfi’s perjury is apparently rooted in political attacks on the Bush Justice Department. Throughout 2005-2007, numerous attorney-client privileged documents, confidential personnel information, and other sensitive legal materials were leaked from inside the Voting Section to the Washington Post and various left-wing blogs.
One of the most prominent leaks involved the Voting Section’s privileged, internal analysis of the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan, submitted to the Civil Rights Division in October 2003 for review under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The contents of the internal memorandum appeared on the front page of the Washington Post on Dec. 2, 2005, to great fanfare from Democrats on Capitol Hill and their surrogates in the liberal blogosphere.
This follows on the heels of other reporting at PJ Media from another former CRD attorney, J. Christian Adams, of bias and political influence in the Civil Rights Division, but this is the first hint that perjury has taken place within the DoJ. Adams has his own thoughts on this story, advising readers not to focus entirely on Eric Holder but also on the corrupt career bureaucrats that have distorted the CRD’s mission. Meanwhile, the Daily Caller reports that the DoJ has not responded to the claims in the story, and that Gyamfi refused to comment at all.
Assuming that the story is true, this still leaves Holder in the hot seat. If Gyamfi somehow avoided the technical commission of perjury (and there are many technical details involved), she still would have committed obstruction of justice. That’s grounds for disbarment, and it certainly should be a disqualifier for employment at the Department of Justice, which has a crucial stake in prosecuting people who obstruct, er, justice. If this is true, it takes the politicization of the DoJ into undreamed-of extremes.
The Judiciary and Oversight committees in both chambers of Congress need to immediately get to the bottom of this.