The Obama Justice Department let the New Black Panther Party off the hook for voter intimidation in a federal election but this week the radical group leader, King Samir Shabazz, who led that effort got busted on gun charges.
The incident was investigated by the Department of Justice and, before Barack Obama became President, the decision was made not to pursue criminal charges in the matter. The controversy mostly died out when the Summer of 2010 ended and people began focusing on the election, but Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog notes that there was a final report issued by the DOJ back in March and it turns out that the whole story really was much ado about nothing: (1) the original NBPP controversy really was small potatoes, as Abby Thernstrom and Jonathan Adler concluded.
(3) Whether we should call DOJ’s subsequent actions a “cover-up” as Jonathan says or not, DOJ certainly did a very poor job explaining its actions.
And it is only from the OPR report that one can get a clear sense as to the bona fide dispute among those at DOJ over how to handle the case.
Judicial Watch investigated and after suing the DOJ, obtained explosive documents that show Obama political appointees were intimately involved in the decision to dismiss the voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers.
The documents directly contradict sworn testimony by Obama’s Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Thomas Perez, that no political leadership was involved in the decision. Christian Adams, said there’s a pervasive and open hostility towards equal enforcement of the law in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.