Federal court finds Justice Department appointees interfered in New Black Panther Party prosecution
Despite DoJ claims to the contrary, a federal judge has found that political appointees at Justice interfered in the prosecution of New Black Panther Party members who intimidated and prevented voters from voting in Philadelphia during the 2008 election.
The ruling came as part of a motion by the conservative legal watch dog group Judicial Watch, who had sued the DOJ in federal court to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch had secured many previously unavailable documents through their suit against DOJ and were now suing for attorneys' fees.
Obama's DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney's fees since "none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in" how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a "series of emails" between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:
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 decision-making.
In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch's requested award.
AAG Perez flat out lied about DoJ interference in the case, but charges will not be refiled and the arrogance of Holder and his political flaks will continue.
The ruling is vindication for Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky who have written extensively about political interference in the voting rights division of DoJ in order to enforce a race-based policy on prosecutions for voting rights act violations. Looks like they were spot on in their analysis and further revelations may be forthcoming as a FOIA request has been made of more documents regarding DoJ policy.