Jim Kouri
Justice Department whistleblower ignored by news media
By Jim Kouri
July 10, 2010

The Department of Justice whistleblower who resigned over the "corrupt nature of the dismissal" of the New Black Panther case testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights this week. Unfortunately, except for the Fox News Channel — Megyn Kelly, Glenn Beck and others — the nation's newsrooms are ignoring the story.

At the hearing in the commission's Washington D.C. headquarters, J. Christian Adams accused the DOJ of racial bias for dropping charges against the New Black Panther Party. An attorney on the case, Adams testified that within the DOJ's Civil Rights Division there is a pervasive and open hostility towards equal enforcement of the law. So insidious is this attitude that, according to Adams, even a minority DOJ employee was harassed by DOJ Voting Section staff for working on a case with white victims.

To support his allegations regarding the culture of the Civil Rights Division, Adams cited numerous second and firsthand accounts. Notably, he stated that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes told him personally that the division is "in the business of traditional civil rights work.

"In other words, it will only pursue cases with minority victims," said officials at the Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch.

His testimony before the commission focused on the New Black Panther case in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008. Members of the New Black Panthers — clad in paramilitary outfits and brandishing a club — intimidated voters as well as poll watchers.

The individuals involved are seen on videotape verbally threatening citizens, hurling profanities and racial epithets. Using the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the group. Despite receiving a default judgment after the defendants in the case ignored the charges, the Obama Justice Department dropped the case in May 2009.

Adams testified that the Obama Administration used a political appointee to scrutinize former Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates. When that political appointee delivered the order to dismiss the Black Panther case, he admitted that he had not even read the memos in support of proceeding with it. Additionally, Adams mentioned that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) lobbied in March 2009 to have the case dismissed.

During the Hearing, Adams refused to answer several questions concerning specifics on the DOJ's handling of the case, citing fears that he would be revealing deliberative information. However, Adams confirmed that political appointees — not career attorneys — made the decision to dismiss the case.

Despite the Obama Administration's stonewalling, the hearing reinforces that the New Black Panther Party story is not going away. The lack of transparency in this case forced Judicial Watch to sue the Justice Department.

In a racial double standard, the Obama Administration instructs government attorneys in the Justice Department's civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims, according to Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.

The explosive revelation was made this week by a high-ranking Justice Department official who quit over the administration's handling of a voter intimidation case against members of the radical black revolutionary group known as the New Black Panther Party. Career Justice Department attorneys were ordered to drop a complaint against the group for bullying voters in Philadelphia during the 2008 presidential election.

Clad in military attire, members were captured on video tape intimidating white voters as they attempted to enter a polling place. The Black Panther bullies used weapons, racial insults and profanity to deter voters and federal prosecutors filed a civil complaint in Philadelphia. The case was mysteriously and abruptly killed by a top Justice Department official just as a federal judge was preparing to punish the Black Panthers for ignoring the charges and refusing to appear in court.

The order came from Loretta King, who at the time was President Obama's acting assistant Attorney General for the civil rights division. No explanation was offered for the sudden dismissal and outrage ensued among federal prosecutors handling the case. One of them is J. Christian Adams, a veteran election lawyer in the agency's Voting Rights Division. He resigned in outrage and this week is testifying before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a fact-finding nonpartisan agency with subpoena power to investigate discrimination complaints.

The commission is investigating why the Justice Department dropped the Black Panther case and has subpoenaed several of the attorneys involved, even though the agency has ordered them not to cooperate. In emotional testimony, Adams told the commission that the Justice Department instructs attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases — like the Black Panther matter — that involve black defendants and white victims.

In May, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the DOJ, after the Justice Department determined that "access to the majority of the records" responsive to the request should be denied.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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