A top-level, career prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, J. Christian Adams, has resigned his post in protest against alleged racially biased enforcement of federal voting rights laws under Obama Attorney General, Eric Holder. The final straw was “untruthful” testimony given by an Obama political appointee about the merits of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case in Pennsylvania.
Adams summarized the case that he and other lawyers won in court, but which Holder didn’t want to follow through to a final judgment:
On Election Day 2008, armed men wearing the uniforms and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were posted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the entrance to a polling site. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters. After the election, the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice brought a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and these armed thugs. I, and other Justice lawyers, obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the case against them.
Here’s the video of the incident:
Adams continues, with this legal assessment:
Before a final judgment could be entered, however, our superiors ordered dismissal of the claims.
Congress has sought answers from the Department about why the Black Panther case was dismissed. The Department has repeatedly claimed the “facts and law” did not support the case — which of course is false. Others have speculated about a White House involvement. But I believe the best explanation for the corrupt dismissal of the case is the profound hostility by the Obama Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department towards a race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws.
This hostility was — and is — on open display within the Department of Justice.
Example after example exists where this dirty little secret manifested itself within the Department and affected Department policy.
Attorney General Holder and his political appointees have traveled the country claiming that they have “reopened” the Civil Rights Division. The Civil Rights Division is “back in business,” they announce, without a sniff of media scrutiny. In time, statistics and other information will present truth to this lie, as the Bush Civil Rights Division had a more robust civil rights agenda than the Obama Civil Rights Division. During the Bush years, the Civil Rights Division brought more cases in many areas of the law, particularly voting rights.
The case has been stirring interest in the conservative blogosphere since making news in Philly in November 2008, but has only just been picked up by traditional media. Fox is now headlining the story.
Back in 2008, Philadelphia’s mayor and DA insisted peopled needed to move on, nothing to see here. These two local politicos, with possible racial motivations of their own, claimed these thugs had every right to be where they were, minding their own business – obviously the same forced-narrative Holder has tried to popularize.
Adams will now be testifying before Congress, without fear of reprisal from his old boss.
Every prosecutor claims the “facts and law” do or don’t support a prosecution, depending on whether the prosecutor wants to bring charges. Frequently, these conclusions are based on well-considered legal analysis, but not always. When the analysis is clearly erroneous or pretextual, prosecutors have a duty to speak out and not participate in the facade. Unfortunately, in the real world, few do. Christian Adams and his colleagues at Justice are exceptions.
Colorado U.S. Senate candidate, Ken Buck, is another exception. Buck, the leading Republican Senate candidate and Weld County district attorney, recently came under fire by his primary opponent for advising defense counsel about the weakness of a case he and other career prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’ office had declined to file, but their new Democrat boss, Tom Strickland, decided to pursue. Buck’s school marm of a Senate opponent, Jane Norton, is not a lawyer and perhaps failed to understand that Ken Buck’s client was not his politically opportunistic boss, a two-time failed Democrat Senate candidate, most recently known for being hoisted out of the Grand Canyon while on a rafting trip so he could attend to his duties as Ken Salazar’s assistant in the Gulf of Mexico.
Both former federal prosecutors, Christian Adams and Ken Buck, demonstrated that the ethical obligation of all prosecutors is to the rule of law and the pursuit of justice, not the pursuit of the agenda of their bosses.