- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
EDITORIAL: Witching hour for Black Panthers
Justice continues to block disclosure into department activities
Question of the Day
The Black Panther voter-intimidation scandal is approaching the boiling point on four different burners. Evidence grows that the Justice Department is using illegitimate means to keep a lid on legitimate investigations. Because his department can’t be trusted to police itself, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. needs to appoint a special counsel.
On Wednesday, Judicial Watch - a private watchdog - filed a brief in its case seeking release of official memoranda, arguing that government stonewalling, “is about political interference in [Justice’s] decision-making process and [the department‘s] efforts to avoid public scrutiny of that interference.” Most abused is the “deliberative process” privilege, which is intended for discussions made before and during litigation but is being claimed for documents created after the Black Panther case was concluded.
On Thursday night, Todd Gaziano of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights protested, “The department doggedly continues to obstruct this investigation … Even the privileges that are recognized law (as opposed to being newly invented) are not valid against the [Civil Rights] Commission.” His most significant revelation is that, “The department’s own Office of Legal Counsel has issued at least two opinions, which are binding on the department unless overruled, that came to the same conclusion.”
Mr. Holder has been hiding behind questionable self-investigations made by his own department. On Wednesday, former Justice attorney Hans von Spakovsky, now at the Heritage Foundation, challenged the bona fides of Robin Ashton, the new head of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility. OPR, which investigates ethics charges against department lawyers, has delayed for 17 months its inquiry into alleged wrongdoing by officials who dismissed complaints against the Black Panthers. Mr. von Spakovsky warns Ms. Ashton is “completely untrustworthy,” especially regarding allegations of improperly “rifling through confidential files and documents,” and charges Mr. Holder and other bureaucrats with directly compromising the overall OPR investigation.
The final internal review into Justice’s seemingly race-based decision-making also lies in question. In September, Justice Inspector General Glenn A. Fine announced he would examine “whether the Voting Section has enforced the civil rights laws in a non-discriminatory manner; and whether any Voting Section employees have been harassed for participating in the investigation or prosecution of particular matters.” Today, Mr. Fine retires from his post with that examination not even close to being finished. His successor will be appointed by President Obama based on Mr. Holder’s recommendation. That’s hardly a recipe for investigatory independence.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- EDITORIAL: A man for 2016
- EDITORIAL: Spies unlike us
- EDITORIAL: Amnesty by another name
- EDITORIAL: Navigating the swindle
- EDITORIAL: Payback time in Wisconsin
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
Get Breaking Alerts
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you