A federal court in Washington, D.C., ruled last week that a number of President Obama’s political appointees within the U.S. Department of Justice did in fact interfere with the prosecution of two New Black Panther party members who were videotaped holding a night stick and intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia voting station back in 2008.
Thus far, both Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department have denied the involvement of political leadership in the case, something that is now being called into question.
The conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch previously sued the DOJ in federal court regarding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests pertaining to information surrounding the New Black Panthers case. As a result of the lawsuit, the group was able to obtain a number of withheld documents and are now suing the DOJ for attorney’s fees, the Washington Examiner reports. More importantly, as a result of their motion, a federal judge ruled against the DOJ.
Obama’s DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney’s fees since “none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in” how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:
“The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.”
“In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.”
“The Court’s decision is another piece of evidence showing the Obama Justice Department is run by individuals who have a problem telling the truth,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The decision shows that we can’t trust the Obama Justice Department to fairly administer our nation’s voting and election laws.”
Following a brief investigation into the 2008 New Black Panthers Case, the Department of Justice filed charges. However, the Panthers didn’t respond and a federal court in Philadelphia entered a “default” against all the defendants.
Shortly after he became president, the DOJ quickly backpedaled and the charges against three of the New Black Panther party members were dropped and a fourth was let off with a restraining order.
Watch the video of the New Black Panther party members holding a billy club and intimidating voters outside Philadelphia polling station here:
Townhall’s Katie Pavlich also provides video of DOJ whistleblower Christian Adams on Fox News, who resigned over the case: