Is the Obama administration now prepared to renew the convictions in the Black Panther case that the Bush administration had already secured (and which my PJM colleague and former DOJ election attorney J. Christian Adams has done the yeoman’s reporting on)? Yeah, doubtful.
But there’s even a greater problem than that. A July 2009 order by the federal judge in the original Holy Land Foundation case, Judge Jorge Solis, on the matter of naming CAIR and other Islamic groups as unindicted co-conspirators in the case, and unsealed by the court in November 2010, goes to great length explaining the evidence presented at trial implicating CAIR and its co-founder:
The Government identifies four portions of the record from the first trail that purportedly established that CAIR was a “joint venturer and co-conspirator”: (1) a Government exhibit showing the objective of the Palestine Committee is to support Hamas; (2) a Government exhibit showing CAIR founder Omar Ahmad is part of the Palestine Committee and Mousa Abu Marzook is its head; (3) a Government exhibit listing CAIR as part of the Palestine Committee; and (4) the testimony of Special Agent Lara Burns and accompanying exhibits placing the CAIR founder at the 1993 Philadelphia conference and describing the CAIR founder’s mediation of a dispute between HLF and Ashqar over Hamas fundraising . (Resp. at 12-13.) The Government does not mention any occasion where it used the 801(d)(2)(E) hearsay exception to introduce a statement of CAIR. The four pieces of evidence the government relies on, as discussed below, do create at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas. (p. 6-7)
But Judge Solis goes even further, saying that during the Holy Land Foundation trial, “the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (‘IAP’), and with Hamas.” (p. 15)
So why would Holder and the DOJ ignore the “ample evidence” and “prima facie case” cited by a federal judge in July 2009 that CAIR had supported Hamas (nearly a year before deciding to shut down the prosecution of Omar Ahmad in March 2010) and reach all the way back to 2004 and the alleged decisions of the Bush administration for their justification to shut down these indictments?
Please raise your hand if you smell something fishy.
And if Holder’s DOJ was merely upholding what the Bush administration had already decided in the case, why did they have to make this decision “over the vehement and stated objections of special agents and supervisors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas,” as Rep. King suggested in his letter on Friday?
Apparently the FBI agents and federal prosecutors who were actually working the case were never informed during the Bush administration (allegedly) or subsequently by Holder’s DOJ that there would be no further prosecutions in the case. That, too, seems an odd position to take.
Understandably, the Obama administration doesn’t appreciate PJ Media and my DOJ source airing their dirty laundry. They rightfully fear the potential political implications of this news. But their spin doesn’t pass a basic smell test. Meanwhile, the establishment media, who are eager to discredit upstarts like PJM, will no doubt be willing to carry their water regardless of the facts. Does anyone think for a moment that the establishment media would have ever reported this matter if we hadn’t brought it up here at PJM first?
Fortunately, however, it doesn’t seem that Congress is going to be so quick to let the matter drop. According to a few sources on the Hill I spoke with late Monday, they believe that this attempt to pin the blame on Bush in this looming “Holdergate” scandal reeks of desperation. So they don’t intend to back down. Let’s hope that’s the case.