A Taste of the Future in Obama's Justice Department

Should we be surprised that the Department of Justice sees no problem with misleading a member of the United States Senate? On September 19 and October 16, I wrote about the plans to criminally target Republican activists and candidates engaged in perfectly legal activity that the partisan career lawyers in the Civil Rights Division did not like. Apparently, Senator Lindsey Graham sent an inquiry to the Justice Department asking about the September 19 posting. In a response dated October 22, Keith Nelson, principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Legislative Affairs, denied that any such activity was going on and claimed that "the Department does not persecute individuals for legal political activities." Really?

In the September 19 posting I pointed out that sources who attended an election training session this summer at Justice specifically were told that the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division intended to prosecute anyone it considered to be engaging in voter "intimidation" or "oppression." I have seen the materials from the conference that substantiate that claim. One of the deputy chiefs, Mark Blumberg, told some attendees that anyone sending a mailer to voters telling them that you must be a citizen to vote was engaging in voter suppression and should be hauled before a grand jury. Mr. Nelson denies that occurred, stating that "the anonymous blog inaccurately describes the content of the presentations and comments" made at the training session. However, Mr. Nelson did not attend the training session and my sources did -- and the Civil Rights Division did precisely what I predicted in my September 19 column.