The logs also show extensive communications between Rosenbaum and multiple lawyers inside the Civil Rights Division’s Appellate Section. Apparently Rosenbaum was looking for a second opinion to back up political hostility to the case. He never got it.
According to the logs, the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section was also recruited to help kill the case. On May 12, Rosenbaum wrote an email to political appointee Hirsh, which the privilege log describes as follows:
[Rosenbaum] provides [Associate AG] in charge of CRT with requested follow-up information and confirmation that additional actions would be conducted by Criminal Section Chief per his request.
The logs reveal a full court press to find someone, anyone, willing to provide a death blow to the case with the imprimatur of the civil service.
They never got it.
Political officials Rosenbaum and Hirsch communicate an additional twenty-two times in the days before the case is finally dismissed on May 15. Hirsch even had to review the scaled-down final order which prevents King Samir Shabazz from brandishing a weapon until 2012, and only in Philadelphia.
Reading the logs, one is struck by the level of intimate involvement by the highest-ranking political officials at the DOJ. Frankly, the level of political coordination saddened me, especially given the countless statements to Congress and the public characterizing the decision as having been made only by civil servants.
For example, DOJ press spokesperson Tracy Schmaler has crowed about the Panther dismissal being made solely by career civil service attorneys, and the resulting controversy being nothing more than a “disagreement among career attorneys.” False. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez repeated the same mantra to the Civil Rights Commission. Again, not true.
When Justice Department officials deliberately misrepresent facts to the public and to Congress, there must be consequences.
Schmaler is the same press spokesperson who accused me of deliberately misrepresenting facts to advance an agenda. My testimony was under oath. I gave up a great job at the Department so I could truthfully comply with a subpoena. My only agenda is the truth.
Schmaler, or another Justice official, told Fox News that I had been reassigned to other duties and was therefore a disgruntled employee. This was laughably false. I hadn’t been reassigned anywhere — instead, I had been promoted two weeks before I resigned, and had the same duties with a GS-15-9 pay grade. When I heard this lie, I was astounded that someone at DOJ would not only breach personnel privacy policies, but engage in gutter tactics so completely divorced from the truth.
General Holder should ensure that the first obligation of his press shop is to tell the truth, then spin afterwards. And reporters dealing with Tracy Schmaler should be cautious.
The logs show political officials Hirsch and Rosenbaum, and a press spokesperson, swinging into action as soon as the press reported the dismissal on May 28, 2009. “Response to Malkin” shows up on May 28 — they were coordinating a response to Michelle Malkin’s exclusive breaking the story of the outrageous dismissal. These communications are characterized by the log as “pre-decisional,” and therefore protected. Of course, the decision to dismiss the case had already been made. I can’t wait to see what the court does with that in the FOIA litigation. (Though I suppose the decisions about how to cover up the truth of the dismissal were in the formative, pre-decisional process.)
If Congress ultimately suspects that they were lied to, they might scrutinize an undated entry: Karen Stevens is listed as an author of “talking points for the Attorney General regarding the DOJ’s handling of the NBPP litigation and the decision to drop charges.” She should get a subpoena from Congress next year also.
Similar entries evidencing the creation of an ultimately dishonest spin are throughout the log.
I would not be surprised if the log omitted documents. Inspector General Glenn Fine’s investigation of the Voting Section should include an inquiry into whether the Department is fully responsive to various requests from Congress, the press, and the Civil Rights Commission.
The log provided by DOJ to Judicial Watch contains numerous unidentified documents. The listing provides no information whatsoever about these documents, as the identity of both the authors and recipients are omitted. Congress might also demand to know what all the untitled, undated entries are in the log.
Today was a very bad day for the Justice Department, but a worse day for our country. The privilege logs show what most Americans suspected all along: that the Department was lying, and the corrupt dismissal of the New Black Panther Case was made high up the political chain of command.
Let’s see if the Department’s defenders in the press and on the Civil Rights Commission keep repeating the lies.