Wednesday, May 19, 2010

DoJ Voting Rights attorney resigns over Black Panther stonewall

When I read about Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner's apology to the Communist Chinese "human rights" representatives for Arizona's new immigration law, it occurred to me that one of the most egregious human rights violations in this country in recent memory was summarily dismissed by the Obama Justice Department.  You remember this, don't you?

I wrote about the Justice Department's scandalous handling of this 2008 voter intimidation case in Philadelphia here and here.  Basically the Justice Department decided to drop the case after winning a default summary judgment.  It also ordered two Justice attorneys not to comply with federal subpoenas from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the case.  Well it looks like we're about to learn the rest of the story.  From The Washington Examiner (via Rick Moran at American Thinker):
A trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Section has resigned, citing concerns about the government’s refusal to prosecute a case involving voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party. A letter of resignation obtained by The Washington Examiner from a former Justice Department employee makes clear DOJ has refused to allow attorneys in the Voting Rights Section to testify before the congressionally-chartered bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, despite subpoenas that could result in their being held in contempt.

In his letter of resignation, J. Christian Adams said:

On the other hand, the events surrounding the dismissal of United States v. New Black Panther Party, et al., after the trial team sought and obtained an entry of default, has subjected me, Mr. Christopher Coates, and potentially at some point, all members of the team, to a subpoena from the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The subpoena is based on an explicit federal statute and seeks answers about why the case was dismissed.

I have incurred significant personal expense in retaining a number of separate attorneys and firms regarding this subpoena in order to protect my interests and advise me about my personal legal obligation to comply with the subpoena. Over the last few months, one of my attorneys has had multiple communications with Federal Programs regarding the subpoena. My attorney suggested to them that the Department should file a motion in district court to quash the subpoena and thereby resolve conclusively any question about my obligation to comply.

Months ago, my attorney advised the Department that a motion to quash would be welcome, and that I would assert no objection to the motion. Further, my attorney has explicitly sought to ascertain whether Executive Privilege has been invoked regarding the decisions of individuals not in the Voting Section to order the dismissal of the case. If Executive Privilege has been asserted, or will be, obviously I would not comply with the subpoena. These options would provide some conclusive legal certainly about the extent of my obligation to comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to a federal statute. Instead, we have been ordered not to comply with the subpoena, citing a federal regulation (emphasis mine).
Adams also cites his knowledge of the criminal character and “violent tendencies of” members of the New Black Panther Party, saying:

As you also know, the defendants in the New Black Panther lawsuit have become increasingly belligerent in their rhetoric toward the attorneys who brought the case. (See eg., April 23, 2010 statement of Malik Zulu Shabazz, case statement.pdf, describing the “phony case” brought by “the modern day racist lynch mob seeking to hang what [we] think .are [our] modern slaves.”) Their grievances toward us generally echo the assertions that the facts and law did not support the lawsuit against them, ab initio. Knowing intimately the criminal character and violent tendencies of the members of New Black Panther Party, it is my profound hope that these assertions are tempered.
Jennifer Rubin concludes that things are about to get really interesting:
All this suggests that once he is free from the constraints of his superiors, Adams intends to tell his story. When he does, I expect we will hear that attorneys placed in political positions came up with fraudulent reasons for dismissing the case. I also think we’ll hear more about the role of the NAACP. Stay tuned. Fireworks coming forthwith.
Here's the full text of Mr. Adams resignation letter:

J. Christian Adams resignation letter 051910

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