The Department of Justice under Eric Holder can’t seem to help itself. Truth and candor have gone extinct. The latest lie involving the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Labor secretary is found in today’s Washington Post. Naturally, the compliant reporter, Josh Hicks, appears to make no effort to challenge the lie, and probably never will.
This latest lie about Perez revolves around his illegal use of his personal Verizon email account to conduct Justice Department business at his Takoma Park, Maryland, home. I testified to the House Judiciary Committee last month that when he was confronted with the question whether he ever used his personal email account to conduct DOJ business, he said under oath he “could not recall.”
The reason the question is important is because it is against the law to conduct government business on a personal email account. One reason for the law is to permit transparency, another extinct concept in the age of Obama.
When Perez was confronted with his emails conducting DOJ business on his home Verizon account, his recollection became less foggy.
Enter the liars at the Justice Department to cover for him further, courtesy of Josh Hicks at the Post:
The Justice Department said in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee, that Perez used his personal e-mail account “to allow him to review or edit documents after normal working hours.”
So they admit the substance of Perez violating federal law, but offer up an excuse: he had to work at home.
What Rep. Issa was not informed about by the DOJ are the robust DOJ protocols for doing DOJ work at home. Each year, DOJ lawyers must undergo computer security training. It is a nuisance because it diverts every DOJ employee, including me, from their regular duties. But nevertheless, the training is clear — you don’t use personal email for DOJ business and you don’t do DOJ work at home on non-secure computers.
DOJ has equipment and security systems available for attorneys who wish to do DOJ work at home. It allows them to log into a secure server using high-security log-in protocols. Perez could have accessed his DOJ email at home in Takoma Park by using this system. He never needed to use his own Verizon email account. And he knew it.
The reason he used his home email account when a required secure protocol was in place is obvious. He wanted to skirt federal laws which ensure transparency and shield his work from the Freedom of Information Act. When asked about this behavior, he lied to Congress.
Lied, you ask?
Yes. He said he couldn’t recall using his home Verizon email account. The problem for the Labor secretary nominee is that he did it over 1,200 times, and now he is fighting subpoenas to turn over the private emails related to DOJ.
Tom Perez has a habit of not being forthright to Congress and other investigative committees, even when under oath. Someone with so much trouble with the truth doesn’t deserve elevation to higher office.