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The PJ Tatler

by
Hans A. von Spakovsky

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July 30, 2012 - 2:16 pm
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But what is most disturbing about this court order is that it strongly suggests that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez essentially lied in sworn testimony. At a hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010, Perez was asked by Commissioner Peter Kirsanow whether “any political leadership [was] involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case.” Perez’s answer, on page 79 of the transcript of that hearing, is an uncategorical “No.” When the statements of Perez are compared to the documents that Judicial Watch forced DOJ to release in the FOIA lawsuit, it is clear Judge Walton was polite when he said they are contradictory and “cast doubt on the accuracy” of Perez’s account.

A less diplomatic judge might have said that Perez testified falsely in his hearing testimony before the Commission on Civil Rights. In other words, he may have committed perjury if he knew his statements were false when uttered.

The Commission on Civil Rights repeatedly asked Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the NPBB case by the Department and the refusal of Perez to comply with lawful documents requests and subpoenas served on DOJ by the Commission. When will the attorney general do so, and when will he ask for an investigation of this possible perjury by Perez?

Where is the investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of whether Perez violated his ethical and professional obligations as a DOJ attorney? Will the DOJ inspector general open an investigation of the possible violation by Perez of 18 U.S.C. §1621, which outlaws presenting false statements under oath in official federal proceedings? Or will they all respectively yawn and ignore this?

Imagine if a conservative political appointee at DOJ had just been cited in a federal court decision as having apparently testified falsely under oath. Not only would it be a top headline at The New York Times and The Washington Post, but the IG and OPR would be rushing to investigate. All of which is a sad commentary on the liberal bias not just of the media, but of too many of the offices and officials within the Justice Department who are supposed to administer justice in an objective, non-political, and impartial manner.

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Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department. He is the coauthor of the book “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk”.
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