Wow: When Barry Met Kathy
I’m sure the mainstream media will be all over this in 3, 2, …
Increasing attention is being paid to irregularities at the polls, and the legitimacy of efforts to minimize them. A federal judge just issued a ruling that will become part of this debate. As reported by Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton “held today that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.”
Watchdog group Judicial Watch followed the normal course of action for asking tough questions of Obama’s wonderfully “transparent” administration, suing the Justice Department to enforce a Freedom of Information Act request for documents concerning the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch won, and then sued for attorney’s fees. The Justice Department defended itself by insisting the documents procured by Judicial Watch didn’t prove there was any political interference in the NBPP case, so they shouldn’t be liable for the plaintiff’s legal fees.
Judge Walton’s ruling disagreed with the DOJ defense, saying, “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.”
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, 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.
The Commission on Civil Rights repeatedly asked Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the NPBB case by the Department and the refusal of Perez to comply with lawful documents requests and subpoenas served on DOJ by the Commission. When will the Attorney General do so, and when will he ask for an investigation of this possible perjury by Perez?
Where is the investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of whether Perez violated his ethical and professional obligations as a DOJ attorney? Will the DOJ Inspector General open an investigation of the possible violation by Perez of 18 U.S.C. §1621, which outlaws presenting false statements under oath in official federal proceedings? Or will they all respectively yawn and ignore this?
Imagine if a conservative political appointee at DOJ had just been cited in a federal court decision as having apparently testified falsely under oath. Not only would it be a top headline at The New York Times and The Washington Post, but the IG and OPR would be rushing to investigate. All of which is a sad commentary on the liberal bias not just of the media, but of too many of the offices and officials within the Justice Department who are supposed to administer justice in an objective, non-political and impartial manner.
Move along here, nothing to see …..