Justice Dept. Targets GOP Activists
Partisan lawyers are running criminal investigations against conservatives who point out that noncitizens shouldn't vote.
October 16, 2008 - 12:10 am
It is important to realize what has happened here. Not only was CCIR engaging in political speech fully protected by the First Amendment, but it was telling voters the absolute truth about federal statutes that prohibit noncitizens from registering and voting in federal elections and the possible consequences, including deportation. Yet the Civil Rights Division initiated an investigation of perfectly legal behavior, in fact First Amendment-protected political speech that could not even remotely be considered a violation of any federal voting rights law the Division is charged with enforcing.
Nguyen made a mistake in talking to investigators — he may have been embarrassed about his involvement or got scared when the FBI showed up at his door. But what is outrageous is that the FBI even showed up at his door to ask him questions about this letter. There was no perceptible violation of federal law. The only problem with it is that the political left would probably characterize it as “anti-immigrant.” The Department of Justice could not indict Nguyen or his surrogates for truthfully informing voters that you have to be a citizen to vote, so instead they indicted him for supposedly not telling the truth about his involvement in a completely legal action — sending this letter to voters. This is a classic example of the government going after someone because they do not agree with what he did and prosecuting him for supposedly lying about fully protected political speech.
And who is the lead career lawyer on the case? Why, James Walsh, an Obama donor who was the lawyer referred to in the September 19 article who was directing the training of DOJ lawyers and FBI agents on how to go after political activists. There would never have been an investigation to begin with if partisan lawyers like Walsh were not in the Criminal Section running criminal investigations based on the content of political speech.
No one should have any illusions either about why this indictment has occurred just prior to the November election. Partisans like Walsh and his immediate boss, Mark Kappelhoff, a former ACLU lawyer and $2,000 contributor to Obama, know that illegal voting by noncitizens, particularly illegal aliens, will be very important in many of the Southwestern states like Texas, New Mexico, and California to ensuring an Obama victory. They are making sure that no Republicans or immigration groups do anything to interfere with the ability of illegal aliens and legal residents to vote in the upcoming election. What is even more ironic about this situation — and a good example of the misplaced priorities of the Justice Department — is that Nguyen was running against Loretta Sanchez, who won her office in 1996 with the votes of hundreds of individuals who were not citizens, none of whom were ever prosecuted by the Justice Department despite the findings of the House committee that investigated the race.
Even more infuriating is that the political leadership of the Civil Rights Division has approved this prosecutorial abuse and chilling of First Amendment rights. And while it is true that the Hatch Act allows career employees to make political donations, the fact that the head of the Division does not understand the inherent conflict of interest in allowing Obama donors like Walsh and Kappelhoff to be involved in any election-related cases is stunning. It is surprising that Grace Becker, the acting assistant attorney general of the Division and President Bush’s nominee to become the assistant attorney general, has not been confirmed by the Democrats. Her complete lack of judgment as illustrated by this indictment would seem to make her the perfect head of the Division for the Democratic Party. If Obama wins, he could do no better than to renominate her to be his assistant attorney general.