In a letter delivered today to Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights indicated its investigation has shifted from a narrow focus on dropping the Philadelphia case to the broader question of whether the DoJ – and the Obama administration – is systematically discriminating against white victims.
Commission members voted 5-1 to send the new letter, which notes their “original aim was to determine the reasons for and implications of DOJ’s dismissal of most of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation lawsuit.” It adds, “Our current focus is on the following systemic issue: the growing evidence of a culture of hostility in the Civil Rights Division to the race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws that may involve both supervisory attorneys and some of your political appointees.”
The original case seemed certain to take down some political appointees – and possibly lead even higher. Holder is expected to turn over two memos reflecting race-based discrimination in voting rights cases, which the Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez saw before his testimony to the USCCR. On May 14th, Perez stated under oath that the decision to let the Black Panthers go was simply “a case of career people disagreeing with career people.” Political appointees, he promised, were not involved. However, documents obtained by Judicial Watchreveal Assistant Deputy Attorney General Steve Rosenbaum conferred extensively with Sam Hirsch, a Deputy Associate Attorney General. Both are political appointees, and Hirsch has a long history of Democratic partisanship. These memos are believed to offer additional proof that Perez lied. If Perez committed perjury, the commission must investigate whether he acted on orders from Eric Holder, or Barack Obama. If he did, all three would be guilty of obstruction of justice and suborning perjury, and liable for impeachment.
The new focus allows commission members to launch a more comprehensive investigation into Justice Department policy – and the people responsible for making it. It will almost certainly ensnare the president of the United States. It also conforms precisely with the call of Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and current fixture at National Review. He wrote last month that racial discrimination outweighs issues of perjury or favoritism in the Black Panther case and should be thoroughly vetted:
It is a grave violation of law for the Justice Department to practice racial discrimination in deciding which cases it will bring, to determine that Americans of one race or class are not entitled to the same protection as all Americans.
That’s not just politicization of the Justice Department. It is criminalization of the Justice Department. Under the Constitution, it is Congress’s obligation to stop it.
This means regardless of whether investigators can prove Obama personally instructed Perez to lie under oath, the president may be impeached if the commission can prove he established the Justice Department’s anti-white discrimination policy – or to have turned a blind eye to it once he learned of it.
Two former career attorneys in the civil rights division specializing in voting rights have testified the Justice Department has determined not to enforce any law that either enfranchises white voters or disenfranchises minorities. Christopher Coates testified that his superior, Loretta King, whom Obama appointed Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, “does not support equal enforcement of the” law for Caucasians. He further named Julie Fernandez, Obama’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, whom Coates said told employees “the Obama administration was only interested in bringing…cases that would provide political equality for racial and language minority voters.” Indeed, Fernandez has said as much in public. (Read Coates’ full testimony here.) Another career attorney, J. Christian Adams, went public with these allegations earlier this year.
This is but one of several overlapping investigations into the Black Panther case expected to unfold over the next several months. It also appears to be the most fruitful, for now.
There is little doubt about the department’s actual guilt. Today’s letter states the investigation has already uncovered “detailed allegations of malfeasance in the Civil Rights Division, which are at war with its core mission.” The commission now must ask one question: How did the Justice Department become infected with racism? Who handed down these directives?
Eric Holder will do everything he can to assure the USCCR never gets its answer. Their letter betrays impatience with his months of stonewalling. “Since June 2009,” it reads, “the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has sought information from the Department of Justice, much of which the department refused to provide despite its statutory obligation to ‘cooperate fully’ with such commission requests.” It instructs the attorney general to conduct “a thorough investigation and specific confirmation, refutation, or detailed explanations…that the laws are properly enforced without regard to race.” The members then call on Holder to drop all claims of privilege, turn over all documents and e-mails related to their inquiry, and instruct all employees the commission has subpoenaed to testify fully and accurately.
Holder specifically instructed Coates not to comply with a subpoena and transferred him to a remote office in South Carolina to keep him from speaking out. Coates invoked whistleblower status when he testified last month.