Rocking the Vote: Did DOJ Try to Whitewash Black Panther Intimidation Case?

Last August, the Hicks File reported on a very strange federal legal case. Let me refresh your memory.

On Election Day 2008, two men -- identified as members of the New Black Panther Party -- stationed themselves outside a polling place in Philadelphia dressed in military clothing. Videotape captured these two strolling back and forth in front of the polling place, with one clearly brandishing a nightstick.

A white poll watcher testified that he was called a “white devil” and a “cracker.” This poll watcher was told by one of the Panthers that he would be “ruled by the black man.”

This is classic voter intimidation as defined by the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Justice Department investigated the charges, affidavits were gathered, and a trial team -- all seasoned Justice attorneys -- filed a case against the two thugs as well as against their organization, the New Black Panther Party.

It was thought to be a “slam-dunk” case.

A default judgment was quickly granted, because the New Black Panther Party simply failed to mount a defense.

Justice prevails, right? Wrong! Last May, Obama Justice Department lawyers ordered the case against the New Black Panther party dismissed.

It was truly a WTF moment.

But hold on … there have been some new and unexpected developments. Two prominent members of the trial team at the Justice Department have now resigned. And they’re in a talking mood!

After resigning, J. Christian Adams -- a veteran lawyer in the Justice Department’s voting section -- wrote a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights which spelled out the reason for his resignation: the appalling decision by his superiors to pull the plug on a guaranteed court victory.

(Adams has since written an article for PJM on this topic as well.)

Earlier, the Civil Rights Commission had subpoenaed Adams and another career Justice attorney, Chris Coates. But in violation of federal law, their superiors at Justice had ordered them not to testify.

Both Adams and Coates are now free to talk.

I should again re-state my connections to this case. I am a California Advisory Board member to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, so I so have a dog in this fight.

What has now emerged in the wake of these resignations is the possible cause of the Justice Department’s abandonment of the case and a subsequent cover-up of its actions.