Also Mentions Judiciary Chairman Conyers, “Shameful Failure to Provide …Congressional Oversight”
By Michael P. Tremoglie
Tremoglie's Tea Time
Rep. Frank Wolf (R.-Va.), issued a public statement December 17 saying that the President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, has instructed staff attorneys to ignore legal subpoenas by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission (CRC) requesting information about the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
This is in stark contrast to Mr. Obama’s pledge for transparency in government.
“We understand that the attorney general has instructed his department to ignore these subpoenas,” Mr. Wolf said. “ The nation’s chief law enforcement officer is forcing these career attorneys to choose between complying with the law and complying with the attorney general’s obstruction. At least one of the attorneys has been compelled to obtain private counsel.”
Mr. Wolf has written the attorney general six times seeking answers as to why the Justice Department (DOJ) dismissed a voter intimidation case in Philadelphia involving members of the New Black Panther Party. He also has written DOJ’s inspector general seeking answers.
He has yet to receive a response from him. The CRC has had a similar experience. They subsequently issued the aforementioned subpoenas for the information and to interview the career attorneys that handled the case.
Because of this Mr. Wolf introduced a measure December 17 that would require the House Judiciary Committee to deal with this issue. He also announced that he had language inserted in the annual spending bill that funds the Justice Department requiring that its Office of Professional Responsibility provide the results of the investigation it is conducting surrounding the dismissal the case to the House Appropriations Committee.
Wolf, the top Republican on the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee, and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, requested the investigation earlier this year.
“I regret that Congress must resort to oversight resolutions as a means to receive information about the dismissal of this case, but the Congress and the American people have a right to know why this case was not prosecuted,” Mr. Wolf said in a statement.
Mr. Wolf wants the House Judiciary Committee to demand the attorney general answer the questions surrounding this case. He believes that the protection of Americans right to vote without intimidation is paramount.
“This House must not turn a blind eye to the attorney general’s obstruction,” Mr. Wolf concluded. “He has an obligation to answer the legitimate questions of the House and the Civil Rights Commission.”
The commitment by Rep. Wolf towards insuring voting rights is substantiated by his past record. Many Republicans have been reluctant to pursue this issue because they are fearful of being labeled racist by liberal Democrats. Mr. Wolf’s record discredits such an accusation. He has over the years demonstrated a commitment to minority rights and is currently involved in an effort for human rights in Sudan.