As Fox News continues to dishonestly hype GOP activist J. Christian Adams' hearsay-laden accusation that President Obama's Justice Department is guilty of racially charged corruption, information continues to emerge that submarines his credibility to discuss why the Justice Department chose to obtain judgment against a member of the New Black Panther Party for carrying a weapon outside a Philadelphia polling station in 2008, while not pursuing charges against additional members of the party not accused of carrying weapons. According to Abigail Thernstrom, Republican vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Adams "doesn't know why the decision was made."
The commission is scheduled to hear testimony from Adams tomorrow in a months-long investigation into the DOJ's handling of the case. Thernstrom, a GOP appointee to the board, adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has been critical of the commission's investigation, saying in April, "I do not think that this inquiry has served the interests of the Commission as being a bipartisan watchdog for important civil rights violations, and I do not believe it has served well the party to which I belong."
During that hearing, Thernstrom also cast doubt on whether Adams had direct knowledge of the DOJ's decision:
THERNSTROM: I know Chris Adams very well, and he doesn't know why the decision was made, which was the question before -- that we were supposed to be addressing at this Commission.
So, you know, I have no idea what the reasoning of DOJ was, and I don't think that -- I don't think that any of us do, and I don't think we're going to get the answer to that question. And finally, let me say that I'm not wild about the idea of career attorneys being hauled before hearings like this. I do think that -- and I base this on some experience that -- that if you're trying to do your job in an administration as -- as the career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division, of the voting rights section of the Civil Rights Division are trying to do their job, that to have to constantly think, "If I have the following conversation, or make the following decision, or write the following email, it may become public information." I don't think people can do their job properly.
And so, I -- with all due respect, I would not have liked to have seen them forced to appear here.
As Media Matters demonstrated, Adams himself readily acknowledged that he was not present for the meetings and conversations that he pointed to as evidence supporting his allegations.
- J. Christian Adams