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August 24, 2009
Politicization of the Obama Justice Department
First the nod and wink that permits the New Black Panther Party to escape from penalties for intimidating voters during last year's election. Now we have Obama's Justice Department choosing to use its time to investigate acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marr Jr. for his comments regarding corruption in New Jersey, a heavily Democratic state whose Democratic governor, Jon Corzine, faces political problems.
Donald Lambro of the Washington Times reports:
Reports that President Obama's Justice Department has begun an "internal ethics investigation" into acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra Jr.'s remarks about the root causes of corruption in New Jersey raised suspicions in certain political circles last week.
Associated Press reported that the department's obscure Office of Professional Responsibility was investigating comments made by Mr. Marra about the depth of corruption in the state that some officials think may have crossed the line into politics. But some outside observers think it may be the department's actions that were motivated by politics.
Mr. Marra is continuing the sweeping federal corruption investigation that late last month led to the arrests of 44 people, 29 of whom were elected or public officials. The arrests were part of a long-term anti-corruption crusade begun by U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, who resigned his post in December to run against embattled Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.
Official corruption in the state has become a huge political issue that threatens Mr. Corzine's bid for re-election to a second term in November. Polls show Mr. Christie, who convicted 130 public officials over his seven-year tenure, has been leading him by double digits for months.
Mr. Corzine's problem is how to defuse the corruption issue. Enter the Justice Department, which AP says has launched an investigation into Mr. Marra "over public comments that may have helped his ex-boss' campaign for governor," referring to Mr. Christie. The AP story is based on Justice Department officials "who spoke on condition of anonymity." The department itself refuses to comment on it one way or the other.
Politicizing the justice Department? Where is the outrage?