Attorney General Eric Holder and others within the U.S. Department of Justice prevented members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from conducting a complete and thorough investigation of the department’s decision to drop charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for their 2008 election day actions in Philadelphia.
Members of the commission issued what should be regarded as a stinging indictment of AG Holder and the Justice Department in one paragraph of a news release issued today about the investigation trying to answer the question of whether DOJ practiced race-neutral enforcement of the law:
Although such testimony supported the need for thorough investigation, DOJ continued to withhold relevant documents and preclude relevant officials and supervisors from testifying. The Commission was thus limited in its ability to complete a final report. As a result, the Commission has issued an interim report that describes the evidence that has been collected up to this point and the lack of cooperation by the Department of Justice.
In a separate paragraph, appearing on page iii of the interim report addressed to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), Commission members highlighted the dilemma they face as a result of the DOJ’s obstruction:
The Commission, by a separate 5-2 vote breaking down along the same lines, found that although its statute authorizes the Commission to subpoena witnesses and written material and requires federal agencies to cooperate fully with its investigations, its authority to seek legal recourse when the Attorney General refuses to enforce Commission subpoenas, as has occurred repeatedly during this investigation, is unclear.
Video (below) of the Nov. 4, 2008, incident that triggered public outcry is clear to any objective viewer: Billy club-carrying members of the New Black Panther Party were intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place.
It will be interesting to see whether any state-run media outlets report AG Holder’s obstruction of justice and apparent racist enforcement of the law. Stay tuned!
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UPDATE 1/28/11 at 3:32 p.m. Central: Cross-posted at Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com.