The Justice Department Fix Is In

The New Black Panther fix is in. I have learned through sources inside and outside the Department of Justice that the long-awaited internal report on the New Black Panther voter intimidation dismissal is done, and sensible Americans aren’t going to be happy. In essence, it will adopt the outrageous position of Attorney General Eric Holder when he testified to Congressman Frank Wolf’s Appropriations subcommittee a few weeks ago: all this fuss about the New Black Panther dismissal does a disservice to his people, or to quote the attorney general at the hearing, “my people.”

I am told that the report is now being transmitted to the deputy attorney general.

The whitewash is authored by the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). While it sounds like an impartial shop, it isn’t. In January 2009, Attorney General Michael Mukasey blasted the draft OPR report about the John Yoo and James Bybee terror interrogation investigation as a “hatchet job.” OPR tried to ram through their sloppy work in the final days of the Bush administration and General Mukasey would have none of it. The repudiation was consistent with OPR’s sordid history of omitting relevant investigative facts and inventing legal standards that don’t exist.

Congressmen Frank Wolf and Lamar Smith have been demanding documents and explanations about the New Black Panther case for almost two years. In response, DOJ opened the OPR investigation. But OPR is now headed by Robin Ashton. Ashton, according to multiple sources who have worked alongside her, is a militant leftist partisan. She actually left DOJ to do a detail on the Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Patrick Leahy. Hans von Spakovsky wrote this piece in which he describes Ashton's bizarre behavior, such as searching through co-workers' desks.

Holder appointed Ashton on Christmas Eve. Just a few days later, he essentially telegraphed what her findings should be in the Panther investigation during an interview with the New York Times. While the investigation was still ongoing, he instructed “there is no there, there.” Principled people call that “stacking the deck.”

Ashton is in a position to listen and comply -- she answers directly to Eric Holder. His other statement to the New York Times --  that the case was a “made-up controversy” -- would have never been made by his predecessor, Attorney General Mukasey. Mukasey is a man of profound integrity and impartiality.

What does the OPR report conclude? Indications are that it will conclude that nobody did anything improper in dismissing the case. But it apparently goes even further and concludes that the case was brought because of racial bias, or at least with an insensitivity to Mr. Holder’s “people.” In doing so, signs are that the authors of the report are perfectly willing to adopt some of the favorite lines of the extreme left-wing blogosphere about people who worked on the case and the principle of equally enforcing the law.

Americans know a whitewash when they see it, especially a racially unfair one.