Did the DoJ lie about political interference in the New Black Panther Party dismissal?

posted at 10:01 am on July 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve followed the strange decision to dismiss a case of voter intimidation that the Department of Justice had already won, stemming from the 2008 election and which was caught on video.  However, we missed a rather interesting court ruling on the case last week, one that may end up taking the Philadelphia incident in the same direction as Operation Fast and Furious — potential perjury and obstruction of justice.  Ironically, the judge in this case is a familiar face in just these kinds of issues, too:

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.

PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams worked in the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division at that time, and has been arguing all along that the NBPP dismissal was a political decision from the Obama administration, not a legal decision by career attorneys.  The Obama administration has repeatedly denied this, going so far as to offer “testimony,” in the judge’s words, that political appointees weren’t involved in that decision.  The judge’s use of the word “testimony” strongly suggests that the information was given under oath by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the head of the CRD.  If that testimony came under oath and e-mails prove it false, Perez may have to answer for perjury.  Even if it didn’t come under oath but as a representation made to the court, Perez or whoever made that representation on his behalf could face charges of obstruction of justice.

Judge Walton has some significant experience in this regard.  Readers may or may not recall that Walton presided over the trial of Scooter Libby — who got convicted of obstruction of justice for offering false information to federal investigators.  He also presided over the Roger Clemens trials for perjury and obstruction of justice, the first of which ended in a mistrial and the second in acquittal.  The connection to the Libby case is rather interesting, and if this case gets that far, Perez and his associates might have some uncomfortable days ahead.

The NBPP case was a straightforward example of voter intimidation, but hardly an earth-shaking event — until the DoJ bizarrely snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in court and made it a much bigger deal than it otherwise would have been.  It’s always the cover-up that ends up tripping people, and not the “crime” itself.

Update: At PJ Media, Hans von Spakovsky writes that the testimony was given by Perez himself under oath:

In a little noted decision on July 23, a federal district court judge concluded that internal DOJ documents about the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case “contradict Assistant Attorney General [Thomas] Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in” the decision to dismiss the case.

In other words, the sworn testimony of Perez, the Obama political appointee who heads the Civil Rights Division, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was apparently false. …

But what is most disturbing about this court order is that it strongly suggests that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez essentially lied in sworn testimony. At a hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010, Perez was asked by Commissioner Peter Kirsanow whether “any political leadership [was] involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case.” Perez’s answer, on page 79 of the transcript of that hearing, is an uncategorical “No.” When the statements of Perez are compared to the documents that Judicial Watch forced DOJ to release in the FOIA lawsuit, it is clear Judge Walton was polite when he said they are contradictory and “cast doubt on the accuracy” of Perez’s account.

A less diplomatic judge might have said that Perez testified falsely in his hearing testimony before the Commission on Civil Rights. In other words, he may have committed perjury if he knew his statements were false when uttered.

Be sure to read it all.  Hans believes that the DoJ may have to produce more documents on the case as a result of this decision, and it might get even worse.


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angrymike…says YES!

KOOLAID2 on July 31, 2012 at 10:03 AM

…Electrongod…sings “LIAR LIAR PANT’S ON FIRE!

KOOLAID2 on July 31, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Of course they lied. That’s what all the evidence points to.

Darren on July 31, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Judge Walton also ruled that the sun rose in the east this morning.

rbj on July 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Bmore…is trying to punch in one word in his little hand held thingy…JAIL!!!!

KOOLAID2 on July 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I agree with KOOLAID2…
:)

Electrongod on July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Depends on what the meaning of political is…

rightside on July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Be sure to read it all. Hans believes that the DoJ may have to produce more documents on the case as a result of this decision, and it might get even worse.

You sure about that? They’ve done pretty well so far not releasing documents on Fast & Furious.

Doughboy on July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Yes.

vityas on July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I like the timing of this! Nice “Obama cheats” narrative ahead of what could be a close election. It will be good to go into the election with the black panthers thuggery fresh in everyone’s mind.

Rational Thought on July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Deldemonte weighs in with “this scandal needs a cool name”

hillsoftx on July 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Does the pope wear a funny hat?

munseym on July 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Perez needs to be fired, disbarred, and serving time — along with many other of the political-hacks-masquerading-as-lawyers who were hired at the DOJ during Eric (It’s Payback Time, Whitey) Holder’s tenure.

AZCoyote on July 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM

It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.

Actually, in this case it’s both.

dczombie on July 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM

The NBPP case was a straightforward example of voter intimidation, but hardly an earth-shaking event — until the DoJ bizarrely snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in court and made it a much bigger deal than it otherwise would have been.

Yep. The utter stupidity of this decision just plumbs the depths of stupidity.

ted c on July 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Nice headline……the word Lie is actually part
of the headline???

We’re long past the point of actual “debate” about
whether this Administration lies…

..it’s like the Sun coming up every day….

ToddPA on July 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Scandal-free administration.

ted c on July 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM

This group is becoming experts in cover ups.

seven on July 31, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Of course they did. Remember its all about the healing social justice isn’t it?

dmann on July 31, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Why the question on whether their actions concerning this case were politically motivated or not? We’ve known for years they were. The only new development is a judge calling them out on it.

NotCoach on July 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM

The DOJ got the outcome they wanted. The message was–go ahead all of you NBPP and OWS types—if ya’ll want to mess with elections, banks, businesses, police cars, personal property and so on, the green light has been given. It was a go-ahead call for lawlessness and thuggery by these punks, and now it is shown to be a political call by the DOJ.

ted c on July 31, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Since Obama is post-political to say that there was “political” involvement is just silly. I mean, cmon. Why can’t you see that Obama’s people are just doing what you would do if you weren’t so darn racist.

-Carney-

airmonkey on July 31, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Simple answer…yes.

The sad part is there should be calls for resignations and further investigations. The President should be asked how he feels about this. The AG should explain exactly who was involved and how this happened.

Yet we hear crickets from the MSM and this Administration.

Marcus Traianus on July 31, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Why was this even brought up?Those Panther guys were just checking voter ID cards.

docflash on July 31, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Was there ever any doubt?

Browncoatone on July 31, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Anyone that has spent time in Philadelphia knows all too well that muggings and assault is a real threat — and I hate to have to be so explicit or non-politically correct and put it in this indelicate way — muggings from black people. Now we can add the threat of flash mobs that can appear anywhere at any time. It can be very scary.
Why may this case look suspicious? Lets see, we have a black president, a black Attorney General, that dismisses an intimidation case from BLACK Panthers. This, and the preezy’s support for the ground zero mosque and other mosques (see the Tennessee case) and doing things like changing the mission of NASA to the agency devoted to “Muslim outreach,” gives people a sense of O’s racial divisiveness. O would “bring people togeher.” Not.

anotherJoe on July 31, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Another EP from dear leader in 5….4…….3

cmsinaz on July 31, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Most corrupt administration, evah!

GarandFan on July 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Well since you know what angrymike and Bmore thinks…….What does KOOLAID2 think??????

angrymike on July 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

This group is becoming experts in cover ups.

seven on July 31, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Well, to be honest, expert implies that they’re good at it. Just seems to me that all their cover ups are unravelling, demonstrating that they’re utterly incompetent at cover ups, along with so many other things.

Trafalgar on July 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Requiring identification to vote is racist. Having to walk a gauntlet of thugs with clubs to vote, is all honky dory.

Howcome on July 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM

This ought to become a big story . . . ought to.

WannabeAnglican on July 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Lie, Cheat, Steal! Why not? It’s not like there will be any consequences. But let some Conservative get caught jaywalking and the Republican establishment will be all over them.

Alabama Infidel on July 31, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Does a bear sh, uh, well, you know the rest.

Flora Duh on July 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Holder and company lied when he was with the Clinton administration and got away with it. That gave him convidence that he could get away with lying again. Maybe this time he can be stopped.

The example he has set for justice in the US is disgusting and to the rest of the world who sees through it makes us look like a curupt nation and fuels hatered toward our policies abroad.

plutorocks on July 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM

It’s only false if you belive it’s false… Just ask Holder

freddyfrank81 on July 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Scandal-free administration.

ted c on July 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM

…and they ARE… becoming transparent!

KOOLAID2 on July 31, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I like the timing of this! Nice “Obama cheats” narrative ahead of what could be a close election. It will be good to go into the election with the black panthers thuggery fresh in everyone’s mind.

Rational Thought on July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Yep, this, and the Three fast and furious congressional investigation reports, the August installment just dropped……drop one report on Obama /Holder each month before the election.

Two more final reports, they said, will deal with “the devastating failure of supervision and leadership” at the Department of Justice and an “unprecedented obstruction of the [congressional] investigation by the highest levels of the Justice Department, including the attorney general himself.”

and lookee what the latest gallop poll just found:

Creating good jobs, reducing corruption in the federal government, and reducing the federal budget deficit score highest when Americans rate 12 issues as priorities for the next president to address.

If republicans can play this right, Obama and Holder might crack like eggs, right before the election.

Cavalry on July 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

“I actually know eight different people named Thomas Perez.”

-Side Show Carney

Bishop on July 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

angrymike on July 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

…D O J…should be changed to…P O S!

KOOLAID2 on July 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Hans believes that the DoJ may have to produce more documents on the case as a result of this decision, and it might get even worse.

I hope more documents are sought. This case, like F&F should be thorough before any sanctions are considered or charges filed. This means it will take time and we need to be patient. I’m hoping, though, that it will be completed by the end of January so that justice can prevail.

Dusty on July 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM

This group is becoming experts in cover ups.

seven on July 31, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Pshaw! Political cover ups are a Chicago value.

Happy Nomad on July 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Lol KA

cmsinaz on July 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Wannabe
could you just imagine if it was the GOP pulling all this BS? Wow, the MSM’s heads would be exploding if nothing was done…………..

THE MOST CORRUPTION FREE full administration evah

angrymike on July 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM

It finally makes sense – “Transparent” and “Transparency” have been redefined by the Obama administration to means “lie, delay, obfuscate, hide anything and everything possible.” Besides NBPP, Fast & Furious and Salazar’s disregard for judicial orders, what else is lurking?

sadatoni on July 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The. Most. Corrupt. DOJ. In. History

NOMOBO on July 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I don’t know why but it still galls me that all of this takes so long.

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Cindy
that’s good old government red tape……If they get healthcare completely to themselves, think how many ppl will die waiting on an ok for a life saving operation ………… Its scary………;-(

angrymike on July 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Did the DoJ lie about political interference in the New Black Panther Party dismissal?

You betcha!

Jack Deth on July 31, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Are there any honest people in this Justice Department? You’d think that, if this were true, someone would have blown the whistle and told the world about it. I can’t believe no one figured it out.

bflat879 on July 31, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Stick them in a cell with white supremacists…

PatriotRider on July 31, 2012 at 11:18 AM

If republicans can play this right, Obama and Holder might crack like eggs, right before the election.

Cavalry on July 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

That Gallup poll stunned me! Corruption?! American voters put corruption at the top of this list of concerns?! Well, by golly we’ve got some corruption for ‘em right there in the White House, the DOJ, Congress, every single city in this union run by democrats. Bring it and sing it, Romney. The American voters are showing you the way. Solyndra and the other campaign donors getting “loans” (i.e., payoffs), Jon “Bernie Madoff” Corzine (this one is HUGE and should be pushed, pushed, pushed), Fast & Furious, black panthers, cutting campaign ads in the White House, Moochelle’s million dollar vacays, illegal executive orders, ignoring the Constitution. Get going!

Rational Thought on July 31, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Tool Perez was following orders from the lying dirt bags Holder and Obama.

jqc1970 on July 31, 2012 at 11:22 AM

What we need is a frank national conversation about race. Er, never mind.

Mason on July 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Lying?
Weren’t their lips moving?

chewydog on July 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

angrymike on July 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Sure would be nice to see this get some public attention before November. What would those dummies have gotten if they had been prosecuted? A fine? I hope it turns out that the DOJ acted stupidly.

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

But didn’t you hear Romney’s people were mean to the press? That will be the lead story on ABC.

tims472 on July 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM

They don’t call it the “Injustice Department” for nothing.

JimK on July 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

The fact that government corruption is one of the top three things important to Americans this election means something must be getting through.

Night Owl on July 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Eric Holder: “Do you know how this makes my people look?”

slickwillie2001 on July 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Does a bear sh, uh, well, you know the rest.

Flora Duh on July 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc85/Mamba1-0/frequently%20used/Bear.jpg

Why…I believe they do…………

Solaratov on July 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Dept. of Justice?…there’s irony in that name.

kirkill on July 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM

This group is becoming experts in cover ups.

seven on July 31, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Not really. It looks as though most of their cover-ups are falling apart – and The People are starting to notice…………..
Fast & Furious
Black Panther voter intimidation
ALL of the “green” bankruptcies that result in political payoffs to donors
Barry’s inability to make a simple decision to kill OBL

The whole house of cards is beginning to collapse around their heads.

Solaratov on July 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM

“SHUT UP YOU COWARDS!!!”
~Eric Holder

Strike Hornet on July 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Can we just get some indictments already somewhere in all this pus-filled administration? Sometime before the election would be good. There’s so much out there just ripe for the picking. Hoping Issa is timing this to perfection.

silvernana on July 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Prediction: we’re going to see hostage taking and political demands made for their release in the not so distant future.

This is the way savages and 3rd worlders work out their problems. Hence, it follows that we’ll soon see it here.

Akzed on July 31, 2012 at 1:15 PM

It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up

Perhaps they are trying to improve they’re multitasking capabilities. Both?

Bmore on July 31, 2012 at 1:15 PM

they’re = their

Bmore on July 31, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Can we just get some indictments already somewhere in all this pus-filled administration? Sometime before the election would be good. There’s so much out there just ripe for the picking. Hoping Issa is timing this to perfection.

silvernana on July 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

There’s no point until after Jackass leaves office. As it is, I expect he will try to issue blanket fill-in-the-blank pardons to whole departments which we may have to challenge in court.

slickwillie2001 on July 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM

The fact that not a single Obama administration official has been frog marched off to the federal pen yet for anything leads me to an “I’ll believe it when I see it” conclusion. These dirtbags are going to get away with everything they’ve done to our country, I’m afraid. Beating them in November will go a long way towards turning this nation around but it won’t do enough for the restablishment of the rule of law.

jnelchef on July 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

slickwillie2001 on July 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Yeah, unlike Bush, who refused to pardon Scooter Libby. But we need something to use before the election that the MSM cannot refuse to cover. The new administration might choose to just let everything drop and then every one of these criminals will get off scott free.

silvernana on July 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The DOJ lie? The DOJ obstruct justice? I’M SHOCKED! SHOCKED I TELL YOU! Next thing ya know, you’ll be telling me that there is gambling going on at Rick’s!

GarandFan on July 31, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Unless I missed something, a future DOJ could pursue the New Black Panthers since they never won the case, and all 0bama managed to do was put it in limbo.

Will Romney fix the DOJ, or let this very evident problem in American Law Enforcement slide? The question remains relevant.

DannoJyd on July 31, 2012 at 7:28 PM