Streetcar Line

Holder’s Perez: Perjury on Panthers?

The corrupt Obama-Holder Justice Department earns another rebuke.

By 8.8.12

Send to Kindle

Late last month, the Obama/Holder Justice Department suffered another embarrassment, and showed that its leaders probably merit criminal prosecution, in a too-little-noticed spin-off from the infamous New Black Panther Party case. As I have written repeatedly, the politicized leadership of the Holderites is thoroughly corrupt, and a menace to the very cause of justice.

The embarrassment came in the final court action of a long-running suit brought by the indefatigable Judicial Watch. The watchdog group had pressed requests based on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to force the Department of Justice (DoJ) to divulge more information about its seemingly inexplicable, and certainly unexplained, decision to drop voter-intimidation cases against the Panthers for their actions outside of a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. As it has done in numerous other instances, the Obama administration stonewalled, claimed spurious "privileges" against disclosure, and prevaricated wildly through its embarrassingly unprofessional press office and via sworn testimony by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. Yet Judicial Watch prevailed in part, even against a none-too-friendly judge, thus forcing the release of some of the withheld records.

The latest ruling from federal district judge Reggie Walton involved Judicial Watch's request for the government to pay its attorneys' fees as a result of Judicial Watch's partial win. The judge agreed that the government ought to be liable for at least some of those fees. In doing so, he wrote the following passages, which would be deeply embarrassing for any administration with the grace to feel embarrassment, especially if an establishment media weren't pathetically in the pocket of said administration:

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.  Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials' representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decisionmaking.  

And:

The Court therefore concludes that the DOJ has failed to show that its withholding of some documents from Judicial Watch prior to the filing of this lawsuit was legally correct or had a reasonable basis in law.

This is about as gentle a way as possible to say that Perez probably perjured himself -- a point some of us have been making for years now as in the Washington Times editorial noting this:

On May 14, Mr. Perez swore under oath before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that there was no "political leadership involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case any further than it was" and that it was only "a case of career people disagreeing with career people."…. [Yet] By our count, Deputy Associate Attorney General Sam Hirsch, not only a political appointee but previously a top, cutthroat election attorney for the national Democratic Party, sent or received 58 e-mails about the case. The "description of withheld information" provided by the Justice Department indicates that Mr. Hirsch weighed in on the decision to drop the cases.

At least a dozen of Mr. Hirsch's e-mails went back and forth up the chain of command to Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, not down to people that the department now calls "career employees" (who themselves at the time were filling political positions). The list also shows that Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden was involved by contributing "current thoughts" on the matter. The office of Attorney General Holder was kept in the loop as well. These are all political appointees. 

This is all of utmost importance, if only because it serves as a microcosm of how the Holder DoJ operates in general -- not as a neutral law-enforcement outfit, but as a highly politicized, bullying group pushing an agenda both leftist and racially weighted in favor of groups thought to be politically in hock to Obama.

Remember that it was the window opened by the Panther case that shone light on Perez's policies, as announced by deputy Julie Fernandes, of refusing to enforce civil rights laws against black perpetrators and of refusing to enforce federal law requiring that voting rolls be cleaned up. This revelation should have served as ample warning of the sorts of shenanigans being conducted now, in which the administration is suing multiple states to block voter-ID laws favored by more than 60 percent of the public and actually suing states like Florida to block it from scrubbing the names of non-citizens from its voter lists.

These aren't legitimate legal disputes; these are raw attempts to steal the election if it is close enough to be stolen.

This is the same Justice Department which, directly or through other administrative agencies it represents, has been shown repeatedly to be in flagrant violation of propriety. Let us count some of the ways.

First, the Fast and Furious fiasco. Second, the continuing Obama effort to harm military voters, just as DoJ also did in 2010. Third, the obnoxious effort to force the trial of terrorist detainees to be held in New York City. Fourth, the unanimous Supreme Court decision absolutely smacking down the Obama administration in the key religious-liberty case known as Hosanna-Tabor v. E.E.O.C.

Fifth, the administration's citation for civil contempt of court for its imposition of a drilling moratorium after the BP oil spill disaster. Sixth, the Holderites' continued moves, vigorously opposed even by Mayor Bloomberg and even in part by the Village Voice, to institute racial hiring quotas for the heroic Fire Department of New York -- even for Fire Academy applicants who missed 70 percent of the simple questions on the entrance exam.  Seventh, the DoJ Inspector General's just-released report finding improper hiring practices in another DoJ division. Eighth, the senior non-political DoJ official's harsh override of the Obamites' findings against Bush administration lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

Other examples are numerous, but that's enough for now. The reality remains that Barack Obama and his racialist, race-baiting attorney general Eric Holder, he who sees "a common cause that bonds the black U.S. attorney with the black criminal or the black doctor with the black homeless person," are steadily trying to turn the Justice Department into a corrupt law unto itself. In effect, Holder's team is brandishing the billy club of federal power, threatening to wield it for nefarious ends. It is a thoroughly hateful enterprise, without any "reasonable basis in law."

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author
Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator and a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom. Follow him on Twitter @QuinHillyer.