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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.

New York police spotted Shabazz wearing a bulletproof vest in Harlem, stopped him and discovered he was carrying a loaded and unlicensed gun, according to a newspaper report in Shabazz’s hometown of Philadelphia. He was jailed and slapped with charges of illegal gun possession and illegally wearing body armor. Now he could actually go to jail.  

This is the same thug who says black people should create militias to exterminate whites, skin them alive, pour acid on them, sick pit bulls on them, bust their heads with rocks and even raid nurseries to “kill everything white in sight.” The same newspaper quotes the Black Panther leader, a Philly street preacher, on a black-power radio show: “I would love nothing more than to come home with a cracker’s head in my book bag.”

The news article points out that “such sentiment hasn’t gotten him arrested.” But Shabazz did get charged for violating federal law during the 2008 presidential election when he and his Black Panther posse blocked a polling station in Philadelphia, clad in paramilitary outfits and brandishing weapons. The Black Panthers intimidated voters as well as poll watchers by verbally threatening them, hurling profanities and racial epitaphs.

Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice (DOJ) brought a voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers, which have been labeled a hate group by a number of leftwing nonprofits for their anti-white and anti-Semitic rhetoric. For instance, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, describes the Black Panthers as a “virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”

Led by Shabazz, the Black Panthers violated the section of the Voting Rights Act that prohibits intimidation, coercion or threats against any person for voting or attempting to vote, according to the complaint filed by the feds in 2009 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The DOJ also pursued an injunction preventing any future deployment of or display of weapons by Black Panther members at the entrance of a polling location.

But a few months later the Obama DOJ quietly dropped the charges and it all disappeared like a bad dream. 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.

Adding to the scandal, a veteran DOJ civil rights attorney who worked on the Black Panther case accused the agency of racial bias for dropping charges against the group and resigned over the “corrupt nature of the dismissal.” During testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the whistleblower, J. Christian Adams, said there’s a pervasive and open hostility towards equal enforcement of the law in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

 ‘Thomas Perez has shown a glaring inability to follow his sworn duties to tell the truth and dispassionately apply the basic constitutional tenet of equal justice under law.’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement today regarding the nomination of Thomas Perez to be the next Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration:

“During his time as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Thomas Perez has shown a glaring inability to tell the truth and dispassionately apply the basic constitutional tenet of ‘equal justice under law.’

“Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has exposed Mr. Perez’s repeated attempts to undermine those seeking to assure that the laws of the land are applied equally to those of all races.  Mr. Perez’s attacks on election integrity measures such as voter ID were so far off base that he helped the DOJ earn a reputation as a partisan campaign arm for the Obama reelection campaign.

“As Secretary of Labor, Mr. Perez would be in a position to push policies which broadly discriminate against American workers who failed to meet his own, thoroughly racialist worldview. Furthermore, based upon his relentless record both in and out of government, there can be little doubt that he would continue to put his personal preference for illegal immigrants above the rights of all workers of any race to equal employment opportunity.

“Mr. Perez is a terrible, hyper-partisan choice for Labor Secretary.  Honest Democrats and Republicans who want the Labor Department to be run well should look skeptically at his nomination.”

In November, 2010, Judicial Watch produced documents obtained from the Obama Department of Justice in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit directly contradicting sworn testimony by Perez before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that no political leadership was involved in the DOJ decision to abandon its own voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The Black Panther Party had been charged with threatening and intimidating white voters outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election day 2008.

In July 2012, Judicial Watch obtained a ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Perez had, indeed, lied under oath about the involvement of “political leadership” in the DOJ decision. In the ruling, Judge Reggie B. Walton declared:

“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.”

The DOJ’s Office of Inspector General recently released a report entitled “A Review of the Operations of the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division,” which confirms the court’s ruling: “We believe that these facts evidence ‘involvement’ in the decision by political appointees within the ordinary meaning of that word,” and that Perez’s statements, “did not capture the full extent of that involvement.”  The report also documents that Perez does not believe in the race neutral application of certain civil rights laws.

Also in 2012, Judicial Watch discovered that Perez may have colluded with St. Paul, Minnesota, officials to persuade the city to take the extraordinary step of withdrawing its cert. petition from the Supreme Court docket in a case involving “disparate impact” discrimination. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Minnesota Data Practices Act showed that St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing arranged a meeting between Perez and Mayor Chris Coleman a week before the city’s withdrawal from the case, captioned Magner v. Gallagher. Following Perez’s visit, the city withdrew its case and thanked DOJ and officials at HUD for their involvement.

Documents and a staff briefing with the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform revealed in September 2012 that, in exchange for St. Paul dropping its case before the high court, DOJ stopped two whistleblower claims against the city with the power to restore $180 million in violated HUD grants to the U.S. taxpayer.  The Wall Street Journal confirmed Judicial Watch’s concerns in an investigation of its own and noted that the issues are “likely to get high billing” at Perez’s confirmation proceedings.

Perez is a former president of the board of Central American Solidarity Association of Maryland, CASA de Maryland, a group whose recent filings with the IRS describe its chief goals as  helping all people “participate and benefit fully” in American society, “regardless of their immigration status.” In opposing the Perez nomination, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions (R-AL), described CASA, which was supported by Hugo Chavez, as “a fringe advocacy group that has instructed illegal immigrants on how to escape detection, and also promoted illegal labor sites and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.”

Perez helped spearhead the DOJ’s attack on SB 1070, Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law, also the DOJ’s legal attacks against states that attempted to implement voter integrity measures in 2012, including Voter ID laws.

Previous Documents Contradict Sworn Testimony by Obama Official that Political Appointees Were Not Involved in Decision to Drop Voter Intimidation Lawsuit

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Washington, DC — August 11, 2011Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that a federal court rejected a claim of the attorney work product doctrine by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for documents prepared after the government dismissed its case against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense on May 15, 2009, and ordered the agency to provide better justification for withholding those documents related to the aftermath of its decision to drop its complaint against several members of the New Black Panther Party who were accused of engaging in voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential campaign. The ruling came in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice, No. 10-851(RBW)).In his August 4, 2011, decision, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton rejected the Obama Justice Department’s arguments that documents prepared after the government dismissed its case (against the New Black Panther Party on May 15, 2009) could be withheld under the “attorney work product privilege” exemption. Judge Walton explained:

Although an injunction remains in place in the New Black Panther Party case…the filing of the motion for voluntary dismissal largely marked the end of the litigation. As such, the documents prepared subsequent to that event were not prepared in contemplation of litigation and are thus outside the scope of the work-product privilege.

Because the case had essentially ended on May 15, 2009, Judge Walton found that “it is difficult to see how” the 24 documents created after May 15, 2009, “were prepared or obtained because of the prospect of litigation, which is the testing question the Court must answer in evaluating the DOJ’s work-product claim.” Although Judge Walton found that the DOJ improperly withheld the 24 documents under the attorney work product doctrine, Judge Walton concluded that the documents were properly withheld under the deliberative process privilege, an entirely discretionary claim of exemption.Yet, Judge Walton also found that the DOJ failed to satisfy its burden of showing that the 24 documents may be withheld in their entirety. Under the deliberative process privilege, the DOJ may only withhold information that is “predecisional and deliberative.” Judge Walton explained:

As it stands now, the description of the DOJ’s segregation efforts is too general for the Court, and the plaintiff, to evaluate whether any factual material in these documents is ‘inextricably intertwined’ with the deliberative material and would thus permit the DOJ to withhold the documents in their entirety.

Therefore, Judge Walton provided the DOJ a second chance to satisfy its burden by submitting “a renewed motion for summary judgment accompanied by a declaration or other documentation that solely addresses the segregability issue.” If the DOJ fails to “provide adequate detail regarding why these documents cannot be segregated, the DOJ will be required to disclose the non-exempt portions to the plaintiff.”DOJ’s renewed motion for summary judgment is due September 30, 2011. Judge Walton hopes to rule by February 3, 2012.According to a Justice Department document previously produced to Judicial Watch, top political appointees at the DOJ were involved in the decision to dismiss its voting rights case against the New Black Panther Party, including Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, the third highest ranking official at the Obama Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder also received “an update on a planned course of action in the NBPP” from Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King, dated May 12, 2009, just three days before the case was dismissed, according to a Vaughn index uncovered by Judicial Watch. A Vaughn index describes documents being withheld from disclosure under FOIA and the basis for the withholdings.Previous documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, which include descriptions of internal DOJ email correspondence, directly contradict sworn testimony by Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, who testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that no political leadership was involved in the decision.“The Obama Justice Department is going to extraordinary lengths to make sure no more details emerge regarding the Black Panther scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We already know the Obama administration’s claim that political appointees were not involved in this decision is patently false. And now Justice Department officials continue to fight tooth and nail to stonewall the release of additional information. What else do they have to hide? This new court ruling means we may pry loose some additional information on this voter intimidation scandal.”

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