Thursday, January 14, 2010

Above the Law? Eric Holder Thinks He Is

He May Be Right
Michael P. Tremoglie
Tremoglie's Tea Time

The House Judiciary Committee voted against a measure, yesterday, that was previously introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf (R.- Va.) that would have required the Department of Justice (DOJ) to explain to Congress why it dismissed a voter intimidation case involving members of the New Black Panther Party at a polling place in Philadelphia in November 2008.

Wolf, the top Republican on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds DOJ, introduced a “resolution of inquiry” in December. The measure, H. Res. 994 was defeated 15-14 on a party-line vote.

“I am deeply disappointed that Judiciary Committee defeated my resolution of inquiry on a party-line vote. There has been no oversight, no accountability and certainly no transparency with regard to this attorney general and this Department of Justice," Mr. Wolf said in a written statement.

Mr. Wolf noted that the Obama administration promised "unprecedented transparency" and has provided the exact opposite. The American people deserve better he said.

Attorney General Holder has ignored seven letters over seven months from Mr. Wolf. He has also failed to comply with subpoenas issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The attorney general continues to thwart all efforts to compel an explanation for the dismissal of U.S. v. New Black Panther Party. DOJ is claiming broad privileges – which many legal scholars question – in order to avoid disclosing any new information regarding this case.

“The Justice Department has gone as far as to claim ‘privilege’ and redact seven pages of a letter that I sent to the attorney general and released publicly on July 31, 2009," Mr. Wolf said. "It failed to provide the commission with many of my other letters that it said it was prepared to share. I sincerely question the judgment of the Civil Rights Division leadership – both in its dismissal of this case and its stonewalling of this Congress and the Commission on Civil Rights.”

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