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Non-partisan 144-page report indicates ongoing DOJ cover-up in Black Panther voter intimidation case with possible direct participation from Obama White House.

The implications found within the 144 page report issued by the non-partisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the investigations into the New Black Panther voter intimidation case from 2008 appears to strongly indicate a cover up initiated by figures within the Obama Department of Justice, and quite possibly the White House itself.  Within the context of this cover up, are found accusations of intimidation and non compliance within the Department of Justice throughout the comprehensive investigation.

At the heart of the investigation are allegations the Department of Justice aggressively prevented some within its own department from fully and fairly investigating the Black Panther voter intimidation case filed shortly after the 2008 presidential election.  Page 85 of the report indicates members of the Obama administration felt the DOJ should primarily focus on charges brought on behalfof minorities, not against them – in essence, an institutionally approved and promoted form of reverse racism.  When some DOJ officials raised concerns over this, they were, according to the details of the report, subjected to intimidation and marginalization by their superiors within the Obama Justice Department.  Primary among these examples was former Department attorney Christopher Coates, who testified to the commission that the DOJ had, “deep seated opposition to the equal enforcement of the Voting Rights Act against racial minorities and for the protection of white voters who had been discriminated against.”  Shortly after raising concerns over the New Black Panther case having been dropped by the Department, Coates testified to the commission that his authority was systematically reduced and his concerns over the handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case ignored, ultimately leading to his resignation from the DOJ.

As the Commission on Civil Rights’ investigation proceeded, another member of the Department of Justice, J. Christian Adams, resigned due in part to what he felt to be incorrect and or misleading testimony by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez.  This reasoning for this resignation was given by Adams under oath to the commission on July 6th, 2010.  In this testimony, Adams indicated that he had being instructed by the Department not to comply with the requests of the commission’s investigation – in essence, ordering him to participate in a cover-up.  The Civil Rights Commission itself lends significant credibility to the possibility of a Department of Justice cover-up, stating within page 104 of the report, “…a serious question exists as to whether the Department’s attempt to prevent Mr. Coates and Mr. Adams from testifying was based on concerns other than protecting legitimate institutional privileges.”  (emphasis added)

The commission report goes on to outline a consistent pattern of non-compliance from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, with to date, no direct explanation as to why the DOJ has yet to adequately respond to the investigation’s requests for further information and/or explanation regarding the apparent irregularities associated with the Black Panther voter intimidation case.  Page 105 of the report then opens the possibility of direct White House involvement in the ongoing non-compliance, stating, “The Department simply ignored the question of whether the President, or Department official on his behalf, had invoked executive privilege.”

In May of 2010 the Justice Department stated that President Obama had not and would not assert executive privilege.  When pressed by the commission to then explain what privilege the DOJ was utilizing to not comply with the commission’s request for information, Assistant Attorney General Perez  answer was, according to the commission, “largely non-responsive”.  The commission then goes on to denounce the DOJ’s refusal to provide requested information in the following scathing terms that again point to the strong possibility of a cover-up, “…vague and unexplained assertions of privilege by the Department raise serious questions as to the Department’s degree of cooperation and whether its explanations serve the legitimate concerns of the agency.”

At the time of publication, the commission report listed the following requests that remain unanswered by the Obama Department of Justice: 

 

1. The Department refused to authorize Christopher Coates and J. Christian Adams to

testify before the Commission. These individuals appeared over the objections of the

Department. Even then, Mr. Coates and Mr. Adams felt obligated to honor the

Department’s privilege claims that some on the Commission believe are not valid in

the absence of an invocation of executive privilege.

2. With regard to documents withheld, the Department has not specified the privileges

being invoked, other than implying in its May 13, 2010 letter that the Department’s

“well-established command that “[a]ll federal agencies shall cooperate fully with the Commission.”

confidentiality interests” (emphasis added) override the statutory   In addition, as discussed above, the Department has refused to provide a privilege log as requested by the Commission.

3. The Department refused to provide witness statements from poll watchers Mike

Mauro, Chris Hill, Steve Morse, Wayne Byman, Joe Fischetti, Larry Counts, Angela

 

Counts, and Harry Lewis; defendant Malik Zulu Shabazz; police officer Richard

Alexander; and Republican Party officials Joe DeFelice and John Giordano.

4. The Department heavily redacted the FBI incident reports that have been produced.

5. The Department refused to provide the draft pleadings that were the subject of the

dispute between the trial team and the management team of Loretta King and Steve

Rosenbaum.

6. The Department refused to provide documents constituting and concerning the

communications between the trial team and Loretta King and Steve Rosenbaum,

including an April 2009 memorandum referenced in a press report, prepared by the

trial team in response to Mr. Rosenbaum’s concerns.

7. The Department refused to provide e-mails between Civil Rights Division officials,

such as Loretta King and Steven Rosenbaum, and other Department officials, such as

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sam

Hirsch, and Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, relating to the NBPP case.

8. There are several documents referred to in the Appellate Section memo that have not

been produced: an e-mail from the Voting Section to the Civil Rights Division of

May 1, 2009; a Draft Motion for Default Judgment (dated April 30, 2009); a Draft

Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Default Judgment (dated April 30,

2009); and a Draft Proposed Order (dated May 6, 2009)

FULL REPORT HERE:

http://www.usccr.gov/NBPH/CommissionInterimReport_11-23-2010.pdf

 

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