Right-wing media are again alleging that President Obama's potential Department of Labor nominee, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez, may have committed perjury in connection with the right-wing's New Black Panther Party voter intimidation non-scandal. But the internal Department of Justice (DOJ) report that they are citing to support these claims actually (once again) debunks these accusations.
The right-wing claim that political appointees within the Department of Justice (DOJ) improperly directed the outcome of the New Black Panther Party fiasco has already been repeatedly disproven, most notably by DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and now by DOJ's Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The discredited accusation, initiated by right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, was revived in 2012 by his discredited associate, Hans Von Spakovsky, after a federal judge awarded attorney's fees to a conservative advocacy group that had obtained emails relating to this case through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Von Spakovsky immediately analyzed the opinion, saying of statements from the judge relating to Perez's 2010 testimony on the New Black Panther Party case to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights:
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... 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.
Now that Perez's Labor nomination is being floated and following the release of the Inspector General's review of the Justice Department's Voting Section (which is overseen by Perez), National Review Online columnist John Fund revived Von Spakovsky's accusation, calling the 2010 testimony "clear dishonesty." Describing Perez as "loathsome," the American Spectator likewise informs its readers (again) Perez "may have committed perjury[.]"
Fox News is using reports that Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez may be nominated as Secretary of Labor to revive their manufactured scandal that the Obama administration favored the New Black Panther Party in a 2008 voter intimidation case.
The right-wing media has spent years propping up the bogus charge that President Obama's Justice Department engaged in racially charged "corruption" in the New Black Panther Party case. The claims, promoted by GOP activist J. Christian Adams, fell apart given the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one defendant, while the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations in 2006.
America Live anchor Megyn Kelly highlighted news of Perez's possible appointment and said that his "fingerprints are all over some rather significant controversies," including the New Black Panthers case, during the March 11 edition of America Live.
During the segment Fox aired this image:
Since President Obama's election, right-wing media have tried to find wrongdoing by top Obama administration officials. The pseudo-scandal they have contrived have resulted in investigations, congressional hearings, and right-wing media bluster, but they have not resulted in any evidence of wrongdoing by top Obama administration officials.
Fox News' Fox & Friends hosted the network's favorite disgruntled storyteller, J. Christian Adams, to complain about his former employer, the U.S. Department of Justice, and hawk his new book, "Injustice," which is out today. While on the curvy couch, interviewer Gretchen Carlson gave Adams the green light to talk at length about phony allegations that President Obama's DOJ dismissed their case against the New Black Panthers and enforces the law with an anti-white agenda.
It's no surprise that Adams' book tour would find a home on Fox News. After Adams pushed his claims in a two-part interview on Fox News' America Live last summer, Fox devoted hours of coverage to hyping the myths about the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
Unsurprisingly, Adams' interview this morning did not delve into the results of the DOJ's extensive investigation into these allegations. In a March letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Robin Ashton of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility wrote that their investigation found that "department attorneys did not commit professional misconduct," and that there was "no evidence" that their decisions were improperly affected by political considerations or by the race of the defendants.
During their interview, Adams repeatedly pushed the falsehood that the DOJ dismissed the case against the New Black Panthers.
CARLSON: So let's go back to the Black Panther situation. You decide to come out and tell your side of the story, which was what?
ADAMS: Well, that they dismissed the case because there's a hostility to enforcing the law in a race neutral fashion. In the Black Panther case, the victims were white. The defendants were black and those were the sorts of things many people in the department don't want to enforce.
Adams failed to mention that it was the Bush DOJ who decided not to pursue criminal charges against the New Black Panther Party and that the Obama DOJ obtained a judgment against one of the defendants in the case.
In his forthcoming book, Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department, former Department Of Justice attorney and Republican activist J. Christian Adams desperately tries to maintain his credibility by doubling down on accusations of racially charged corruption in the Civil Rights Division. The book is filled with falsehoods, misrepresentations, and baseless allegations.
Andrew Breitbart wants you to know that he doesn't think President Obama is "a secret member of the New Black Panther Party." But he's more than willing to hide the truth in order to conjure up the ridiculous smear that sometimes, they hang out.
Under the headline "Shock Photos: Candidate Obama Appeared And Marched With New Black Panther Party in 2007," Breitbart reports that at a March 2007 march in Selma, "then-Senator Obama was joined by a group of Panthers who had come to support his candidacy."
Breitbart is providing some publicity for charges that New Black Panther Party fabulist J. Christian Adams leveled at the president in his new book Injustice: Exposing The Racial Agenda Of The Obama Justice Department, which comes out tomorrow. Breitbart provided a blurb for the back of the book, and in the acknowledgements Adams thanks Breitbart, whom he describes as his "soul brother and pied piper."
In claiming that Obama was "joined by" the Panthers, "appeared and marched with" them, and "shar[ed] the same podium" with them, Breitbart carefully avoids explaining just what the event in question was. References to Obama campaigning "in Selma, Alabama in March 2007" and a mention of how "then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Al Sharpton were also in Selma at the same event" do more to confuse the readers than explain it to them.
What Breitbart is trying to avoid acknowledging is that several thousand people "appeared and marched" with the New Black Panthers that day. The event in question was the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, which ended when the civil rights marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Birmingham News reported:
Former President Bill Clinton and presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama locked arms with civil rights icons Sunday and marched through thousands of wellwishers, crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to cap the 42nd anniversary Right to Vote and Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
It wasn't Obama's event. It wasn't the Panthers' event. They were all in Selma for an annual celebration of an historic civil rights moment. During that event, Obama and New Black Panthers leader Malik Zulu Shabazz gave speeches from the same podium, and both were part of the crowd that then marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Breitbart says that the Panthers "explicitly came to Selma to support Obama," and basically establishes that they followed Obama around that day. For Breitbart, this constitutes "an association between a vile racist organization and a future President of the United States."
A sense of proportion has never been J. Christian Adams' strength.
From major overarching themes like his ridiculous claim that the New Black Panther Party case proved a pattern of racially charged "corruption" by the Justice Department to smaller mishaps like his comparison of diversity committees to "South Africa's apartheid regime," Adams is constantly going overboard. His new book is no different.
For instance, are you aware that we're currently experiencing a "national war over civil rights"?
[Ike Brown's] shocking campaign of vote fraud - the likes of which, most Americans believe, is rarely seen outside third world nations - sparked a national war over civil rights that continues to this very day. (Page 25)
Did you ever think how much African Americans who gained political power after the passage of civil rights legislation act a little bit like they during "the transition from white rule to black rule in Zimbabwe"?
The empowerment of formerly oppressed people often creates a volatile situation where much can go wrong and much can go right. In those situations, there is a natural human instinct toward vengeance and retribution that must be controlled by the law. In the transition from white rule to black rule in Zimbabwe, we find a start example of what happens when the law fails to control these instincts - legally sanctioned terror against the white minority, gangsterism, and economic collapse. We find a counter-example in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela presided over a peaceful transition from apartheid that, though imperfect, was marked by adherence to the law and full legal protections for all races.
In some American counties, as the black majority became empowered after passage of the Voting Rights Act, new political leaders emerged who sought racial payback. While they did not unleash wanton violence on the scale of Zimbabwe, the same sense of racial animus animated their cause. (Page 179)
In his new book, Injustice: Exposing The Racial Agenda Of The Obama Justice Department, New Black Panther fabulist J. Christian Adams goes to great pains to highlight campaign donations to President Obama from DOJ staffers and appointees.
In Chapter 3 ("Personnel Is Policy") Adams points out that several hires for career attorney positions in the Civil Rights Division were Obama donors. At the end of the book, he circles back to this point, urging future Republican administrations to "prevent the appearance of bias in the conduct of employees' duties" by banning career DOJ lawyers, specifically those in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, from "engaging in political activities."
Adams then references several such attorneys who were involved in election-related DOJ functions who donated to Obama, creating "an appearance of impropriety to the American public."
At one point in the book, Adams even explains that on Election Day 2008, Voting Section chief Christopher Coates kept him at the Section's Washington desk because he didn't trust "key DOJ election officials" who were "large donors to Obama":
I received an early report about the Panther incident in Philadelphia. Voting Section chief Chris Coates had kept me at the Washington desk for just this sort of eventuality. Normally another lawyer would manage all traffic on election day, but Coates didn't trust him because there were already signs within the DOJ that some attorneys had used their position and power to aid the Obama campaign. Not only were key DOJ election officials large donors to Obama, but a wave of questionable inquiries and requests had come in over the previous few months from people such as Obama campaign lawyer Robert Bauer.
Yeah, it would be horrible if a donor for one of the presidential candidates had been in that position on Election Day, right? You'd never be able to trust whether they were acting to further the law or their candidate of choice.
Yup, J. Christian Adams was a John McCain donor. He received the first report about the New Black Panther case. The rest is history.
Anyone else see an "appearance of impropriety"?
New Black Panthers Party fabulist J. Christian Adams is a long-time right-wing activist who began working for the U.S. Department of Justice during its notorious era of politicized hiring and now blogs for the right-wing media site Pajamas Media, often issuing false attacks on the Obama DOJ for its supposed politicization and "racial agenda." His forthcoming book, Injustice: Exposing The Racial Agenda Of The Obama Justice Department, promises to cover similar territory.
Eleven months ago, J. Christian Adams triggered weeks of frenzied right-wing coverage after he quit the Department of Justice and claimed that under President Obama, the Department of Justice was engaged in a campaign of racially-motivated corruption, highlighted by its actions in the New Black Panther Party case.
Complaints that the DOJ is hiring attorneys for the Civil Rights Division who have backgrounds in civil rights law? Sure. Declarations that those lawyers are "radicals," "committed leftist[s]," "militants," and so on? Of course. Complete lack of comprehension of the irony of a guy hired under a regime of improper DOJ politicization complaining about politicization? You betcha!
But then, via TPM's Ryan J. Reilly, we come to this paragraph:
Tamica Daniel: Ms. Daniel comes to the Section only a year out of Georgetown's law school, where she was the diversity committee chair of the law review, volunteered with the ACLU's Innocence Project, and participated in the Institute for Public Representation Clinic. For those in the real world, diversity committees are groups set up to hector for race-based outcomes in hiring employees and student matters. It is an entity with close cousins in South Africa's apartheid regime and other dark eras in history.
Yup. Adams thinks that committees intended to increase diversity are "close cousins" with "South Africa's apartheid regime."
This isn't the sort of comparison that you make when you want to be taken seriously as a critic of the DOJ's fictional policy of racial corruption. With every additional comment, Adams discredits the right-wing freak show that promoted his wild claims.
Former Department of Justice lawyer and New Black Panthers fabulist J. Christian Adams has found a way to cash in on last year's manufactured scandal. On October 4, right-wing outlet Regnery Publishing will release Adams' first book, "Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department."
According to the description provided to Amazon.com, Adams' book will expand on his oft-repeated claims that DOJ practices racially-motivated enforcement of the law, focusing in particular on his fanciful recounting of the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case:
Revealing unknown and startling examples of racism and corruption at the local, state, and federal level, Injustice exposes a Justice Department that is anything but just.
Justice is supposed to be blind, especially to race and politics. Yet as Department of Justice (DOJ) whistleblower J. Christian Adams divulges in his shocking expose Injustice, justice under the Obama administration is anything but blind. Here, Adams reveals the never-before-published truth about the corrupt, racist, and politicized inner workings of the Obama Justice Department, as well as the untold story of the DOJ's corrupt handling of the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case. As a former Department of Justice attorney in the civil rights division, Adams has witnessed firsthand how the DOJ is aggressively executing a racist and radical left-wing agenda through its policies and employees. After watching the DOJ continually turn a blind eye to voter fraud, blatant racism, and voter rights abuses, Adams finally blew the whistle during the New Black Panther case--a case that Adams brought to the DOJ's attention and ultimately resigned over because of the corruption and perjury he witnessed leading up to and following the case's orchestrated dismissal.
Michael Yaki, a Democratic member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission who led the opposition to the Commission's flawed investigation of the New Black Panther Party case, predicted to Media Matters that Adams' book would be "a warmed over-retread of his allegations that never got traction and which an independent watchdog within Justice cleared of any political or racial overtones."
Yaki also commented that "Adams' failed and discredited testimony before the US Civil Rights Commission was a lesson that apparently did not take hold," adding that under the Bush administration, DOJ's Civil Rights Division employed "a partisan litmus test which he passed" and "ignored massive civil rights violations at the polls."
Indeed, it has long been clear that Adams' claims of racially charged "corruption" in the handling of the New Black Panther Party case don't add up, and are simply the politically-motivated attacks of a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of DOJ.
Eric Bolling, host of Fox Business Netork's Follow the Money, invited former congressman and failed Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo onto his show to discuss the ongoing investigation into Fast and Furious, the controversial operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Tancredo, a notoriously intolerant fear-monger, didn't take long to shift the conversation to the topic of race, calling African-American Attorney General Eric Holder "the guy that refuses to prosecute blacks -- black thugs who intimidate people at the polls."
Tancredo's statement is an obvious reference to the long-discredited New Black Panther Party controversy, a voter intimidation case featuring African-American defendants that some conservatives say were let off the hook by the Obama administration. His claim, which echoes a wider conservative narrative that President Obama's administration is racist, is demonstrably false.
In fact, the DOJ obtained a judgment against an African-American defendant in the NBPP case after the Justice Department under President Bush decided not to pursue criminal charges against the NBPP. The Obama DOJ has also requested injunctions against black Democratic Party officials in Mississippi who were found to have discriminated against white voters.
TANCREDO: Eric Holder knows. No other agency of this government is so politicized. Remember this is the guy that refuses to prosecute blacks -- black thugs, who intimidate people at the polls.
There's another, even more I think, insidious -- potentially more insidious -- reason for the, for Operation Gunwalker. I think they wanted guns in Mexico so they could eventually say, "look at the flood of guns from the United States into Mexico causing all this violence. Let's do something about guns in the United States." I think that was behind all of this.
In typical Tancredo fashion, he adds fuel to the fire when he followed up his racially-infused comments with the latest conservative conspiracy theory, claiming that the Obama administration is purposefully allowing guns to enter Mexico in an attempt to gain popular support for tighter gun laws in the U.S. Conservative proponents of the far-out notion admit that they "do not have any direct evidence" of its veracity. Far be it for someone like Tancredo to let something as trivial as "proof" stand in the way of a good sound bite.
Fox News' strategy for assembling a stable of commentators appears to follow this pattern: find the biggest possible failure in an area of expertise and ask them to comment on that topic. When there's a story involving responses to disasters, they call in "heckuva job" Michael Brown; Mark Fuhrman is the network's "forensic and crime scene expert" and the guy they turn to for discussions of race and law enforcement; Judith Miller appears regularly on Fox News' media criticism program.
Nonetheless, the network's use this afternoon of serial fabricator J. Christian Adams for commentary on recent stories involving the Department of Justice is so pathetically absurd that it leads us to ask the question: Is it possible that this is all some sort of joke?
You may remember that it was almost a year ago when Fox News first introduced Adams to the world on America Live, the same program on which he appeared today. At the time, Adams was an obscure lawyer and writer for websites like Pajamas Media and American Spectator who had served for a few years in the Bush administration's Justice Department Civil Rights Division.
Adams had an explosive, but entirely unsubstantiated story: that DOJ improperly dismissed voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for political reasons, namely an unwillingness to protect white voters from intimidation by black defendants. It being Fox News, and given that the story was critical of the Obama administration, the network put the emphasis on the "explosive" and kept quiet about the "unsubstantiated." Adams' lengthy two-part interview with Megyn Kelly, and the wall-to-wall coverage the story would receive on the network over the following month, catapulted Adams into political relevance.
But even as Fox was promoting Adams' allegations, it quickly became clear that his story didn't add up[[,]] and that he was in fact a political hack whose goal was to damage the Obama administration and the Justice Department. Soon even Fox News pundits were pushing back on the network's obsessive coverage of Adams' tale, while other media clued into the way that Fox's coverage seemed obviously agenda-driven.
One year later, Adams is completely discredited, a fabulist whose obsession with bringing down the Obama Justice Department consistently leads him far from the facts. Except on Fox News, where he's apparently the person they turn to for commentary on what DOJ is up to.
Take a look. Make sure to pay special attention to the parts where a) Adams compares current DOJ "scandals" to the New Black Panthers case, as if that story hadn't been thoroughly repudiated and b) the host closes the interview by saying of Adams, "we know that you know so well the culture inside the DOJ":
In a Pajamas Media blog post, New Black Panthers fabulist J. Christian Adams reports on a request from the town of Southbridge, Massachusetts to the Justice Department to monitor upcoming elections. Adams thinks that he's really trapped the Obama DOJ in a way that proves his central theory that the Obama DOJ is willing to protect minorities from voter discrimination but not willing to protect white people.
Unfortunately for him, he's entirely wrong about why the town is requesting monitors. His trap unravels quickly after that.
Adams claims that the town is requesting monitors because of a recently posted billboard in the town which recommends people voluntarily show identification at the polls. Adams responds:
So what is more intimidating: black panthers with billy clubs, or billboards urging citizens to voluntarily show photo identification? I'd lay odds that right now inside the Voting Section, you'd find more votes for the billboard. The two photos, the lady on the billboard vs. the black panthers, serve as a DOJ Rorschach test. Hold both up, and watch what happens in the next few weeks.
Adams is correct that Latino advocates have said that the billboard is "meant to intimidate Latino voters." But that's not why Southbridge asked for DOJ monitors. As you can read by clicking on one of the links that Adams helpfully includes in his post, the town contacted DOJ in response to Tuesday's election. During that election, according to the town clerk and a local judge, Latino voters were allegedly targeted for intimidation by tea party groups.
In the fifteen days following Megyn Kelly's June 30, 2010, interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, six Fox News shows devoted 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime to the phony New Black Panthers scandal. By contrast, those shows have devoted a total of two segments and 88 seconds to the Justice Department's release of the results of an internal investigation clearing DOJ officials of any wrongdoing or misconduct in that case.