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DOJ Official Gave False Testimony About Dropping New Black Panther Case

J. Christian Adams is the DOJ official who resigned as an  Attorney in the Voter Rights Division of the Department of Justice to protest the racism, perjury, and obstruction of justice surrounding the DOJ’s dropping of the election day 2008 voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther party. When Mr. Adams testified, he accused he assistant attorney general for civil rights, Tom Perez, when he testified about the dropping of the case. Today Judicial Watch released documents obtained in a FOIA request that adds to the list of lies that Perez may have made. The data..

….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.

In other words a very political appointee. The summary provided by the DOH

…. 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.”

These records contradict testimony by Assistant Attorney General Perez, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010. During the hearing, Perez was asked directly regarding the involvement of political leaders in the decision to dismiss the Black Panther case.

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.”

Rosenbaum is no “career people”

“These documents show the Obama Justice Department’s decision to drop the Black Panther case was certainly political and potentially corrupt,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Black Panther decision is a scandal for the Obama administration and it merits serious attention by investigators. Assistant Attorney General Perez seems to have been less than candid in his sworn testimony when he said no political appointees were involved in the decision. This scandal has just gotten a whole lot worse for the Obama Justice Department.”

Mr. Fitton is going a bit to far when he says these documents prove that dropping the case was political, to be honest, they are no smoking gun.  But when added to the charges by Mr. Adams, it does show a pattern of misinformation coming from Mr. Perez.

…. Tom Perez, has testified repeatedly that the “facts and law” did not support this case. That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls….Most corrupt of all, the lawyers who ordered the dismissal – Loretta King, the Obama-appointed acting head of the Civil Rights Division, and Steve Rosenbaum – did not even read the internal Justice Department memorandums supporting the case and investigation. Just as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. admitted that he did not read the Arizona immigration law before he condemned it, Mr. Rosenbaum admitted that he had not bothered to read the most important department documents detailing the investigative facts and applicable law in the New Black Panther case…

Not reading the file qualifies King and Rosenbaum to be members of Congress, but it is awful hard to make decisions about a legal case without reading the file.  The head of the Voting Rights Section of the DOJ Christopher Coates got so angry at Rosenbaum for making the decision without first reading about it, he threw the file at him. For the file toss, Coates was stripped of his responsibility and transfered to South Carolina.

Mr. Perez also inaccurately testified to the House Judiciary Committee that federal “Rule 11″ required the dismissal of the lawsuit. Lawyers know that Rule 11 is an ethical obligation to bring only meritorious claims, and such a charge by Mr. Perez effectively challenges the ethics and professionalism of the five attorneys who commenced the case. Yet the attorneys who brought the case were voting rights experts and would never pursue a frivolous matter. Their experience in election law far surpassed the experience of the officials who ordered the dismissal.

These are very serious charges being brought forward by Mr. Adams. Charges that strike at the very heart of our American republic. He is reporting that equality before the law and freedom from racial discrimination is not offered to all Americans, and that an Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice has not testified honestly, a charge backed up the Assistant AG getting caught in another lie.  I wonder if this is what the President meant by “Change you can believe in.” Looks as if the New Black Panther Case is about to heat up once again

Jeff Dunetz is editor of the Political Blog The Lid, a contributor to American Thinker, Big Government,Big HollywoodBig Journalism, and Big Peace, and a Red State diarist

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