Skip to comments.EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Lamar Smith issues first DOJ oversight letter
Posted on 01/06/2011 1:52:22 PM PST by jazusamo
Right Turn has obtained the first oversight letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued to the Justice Department. While he was in the minority, Smith labored, largely unsuccessfully, on the committee to convince the Democratic chairman to investigate a range of issues, including detainee policy and New Black Panther Party case. He now has the authority to schedule hearings, call witnesses and subpoena documents.
In a five-page letter, Smith notes that there has been "little oversight" as to how the civil rights division has used its budget increases ($22 million in FYI 2010 and $17 million requested in FYI 2011) and why the need for some 164 new positions.
He then gets to the heart of the matter. As I and other outlets have reported, he notes that in the New Black Panther Party case investigation, it came to light that a political appointee, Julie Fernandes, directed Justice Department attorneys "not to bring cases against black defendants for the benefit of white victims."
Smith then details allegations by former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams that the department declined to enforce the National Voter Registration Act and its provisions relating to "voter integrity."
(Excerpt) Read more at voices.washingtonpost.com ...
That took less than 24 hours. Jennifer Rubin has the exclusive news at the Washington Post. Lamar Smith is demanding answers. The speed in which this demand came out of the New Congress sends a message.
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin's piece at the Washington Post notes that the letter is five pages long. It demands to know why the DOJ wants so much more money, and in this context demands answers on New Black Panthers and the unwillingness to enforce Section 8 of the NVRA. And Lamar Smith, according to Rubin, states the obvious: the DOJ has blown this matter from the moment Steven Rosenbaum and Loretta King became belligerent hacks toward Chris Coates, to the moment they could have just gotten the injunctions and moved on, to the time they could have just told the truth and confessed error. It is a textbook example how not to captain a ship, and how not to captain a ship that springs a leak. From Rubin's Washington Post piece:
"The letter is noteworthy on a number of levels. First, administration flacks and liberal bloggers have insisted that the New Black Panther Party case is much to do about nothing. But as Smith has correctly discerned, the issue of enforcement or non-enforcement of civil rights laws based on a non-colorblind view of those laws is serious and a potentially explosive issue for this administration. Second, Holder's strategy of stonewalling during the first two years of Obama's term may have backfired. Had he been forthcoming while Democrats were in the majority, he might have been able to soften the blows; Smith is not about to pull his punches. And finally, Smith is demonstrating the sort of restraint and big-picture focus that is essential for the Republicans if they are to remain credible and demonstrate their capacity for governance."
UPDATE TWO: A further review of Chairman Smith's letter reveals that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes is also on Smith's radar. It is clear that she is now in the cross-hairs of the House Judiciary Committee, and that is a very unwelcome place to be in Washington D.C. One saw how Democrats running the House and Senate Judiciary Committee handled the DOJ in 2006-2008. Fernandes is the one who refuses to enforce Section 8 of Motor Voter to remove ineligible voters from the rolls. The piper wants to be paid.
The issue of whether the Black Panther case should have been prosecuted is obvious to the seeing person...
This is going to get interesting.
>The issue of whether the Black Panther case should have been prosecuted is obvious to the seeing person...
“Perspicuous” - obvious to the intellect;
Clear to the understanding;
Easily apprehended or clearly understood;
Not obscure or ambiguous;
Great word. - I love the English language :)
Thank you for your post
A HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR NEW EMPLOYEES TO DO WHAT?????
OH FIZZAH! Lets get the ball rolling and get a few guilty people in the hot seat
Eric your day of reckoning is coming.
For once, it’s good to read the news today. Dare I hope that the Republicans will keep this going?
You put into words what I’ve been feeling, it’s quite a satisfying change. I would hope they’ll keep it up, there’s no shortage of outrages.
I like my Rep, in Texas, But I REALLY like Lamar Smith. And Ted Poe is great too.
To borrow an enduringly heartfelt note from nancy the wicked witch of the west: Congress, it’s time to “Rip their faces off”!!!
They better keep it going or the next civil war will start.
Prepare for a massive case of collective amnesia.
This sure got buried in the news huh?