Rep. Wolf Asks Holder to Conduct Outside Review of Civil Rights Division

Following on the heels of the report issued by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz regarding the performance of the Civil Rights Division, Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf called on Attorney General Eric Holder to “appoint an outside panel to conduct a review of all officials and correct the systemic dysfunction that exists within the division.”


Horowitz is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before Wolf’s Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee.

PJ Media columnist J. Christian Adams, who served in the Voting Rights section of the division and whose own pursuit of the truth has been vindicated by the report, shared some of the findings contained in the Horowitz Report:

– “Numerous witnesses told us that there was widespread opposition to the Noxubee case among the Voting Section career staff.” Noxubee was a case in which white voters were victimized.

– DOJ employees opposed the bringing of a case against a black defendant to help white victims in Noxubee County, Mississippi.

The report: “Coates and other career attorneys told the OIG that they were aware of comments by some Voting Section attorneys indicating that the Noxubee case should have never been brought because White citizens were not historical victims of discrimination or could fend for themselves. Indeed, two career Voting Section attorneys told us that, even if the Department had infinite resources, they still would not have supported the filing of the Noxubee case because it was contrary to the purpose of the Voting Rights Act, which was to ensure that minorities who had historically been the victims of discrimination could exercise the right to vote.”

– “Many of those individuals told the OIG that they believed that the reason the voting rights laws were enacted was to protect historic victims of discrimination and therefore the Section should prioritize its resources accordingly. Additionally, some of these individuals, including one current manager, admitted to us that, while they believed that the text of the Voting Rights Act is race-neutral and applied to all races, they did not believe the Voting Section should pursue cases on behalf of White victims.”

– Threats were made to African American employees by other Justice Department staff.

The threats were made because the black employees were willing to work on cases like the New Black Panther voter intimidation case and a case in Mississippi involving a black wrongdoer and a white victim. I testified about this disgusting hostility toward race-neutral enforcement of the law, and today’s report confirms it took place.


Wolf has been a congressional thorn in the side of the Civil Rights Division ever since they dropped the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party members in 2009. In the Congressman’s statement, Wolf pulled no punches in his criticism of Holder and the Civil Rights Division:

“Above all, I believe that Attorney General Holder has failed in his leadership of this Justice Department. As the head of the department, he alone bears ultimate responsibility for the serious abuses that occurred on his watch over the last four years. Notably, the report also confirms that the attorney general was made aware of efforts to dismiss the voting rights case against the New Black Panther Party in 2009, which was apparently dismissed with his blessing. Holder has failed the American people, and he must be held responsible for the prevailing dysfunction that has occurred under his leadership.

“Today, I am calling on Holder to immediately appoint an outside, independent panel, led by someone of integrity and experience like former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, to conduct a 60-day in-depth review of all officials, attorneys and policies within the division and make recommendations to the department and to the Congress on how to address the systematic dysfunction that has taken root within the division.

“Additionally, all of the individuals cited for improper conduct should be immediately removed and appropriate action should be taken.

“I take these issues very seriously, both because of my responsibilities as chairman of the House CJS Appropriations subcommittee, which funds the Justice Department, but also because I have been a stalwart supporter of voting rights enforcement.


“I was particularly disheartened by the dismissal of the New Black Panthers case by the Obama Justice Department. The dismissal was wholeheartedly opposed by the four career attorneys managing the case, as well as the Division’s own appellate office, which is also staffed by career DOJ attorneys. In a 2009 memo penned by career Appellate Chief Diana K. Flynn, she wrote that DOJ could make a ‘reasonable argument in favor of default relief against all defendants, and probably should.’ She further noted that the complaint’s purpose was ‘to prevent the paramilitary-style intimidation of voters, while leaving open ample opportunity for political expression.’

“Today’s IG report makes clear the degree to which politicization and mismanagement influenced the inexplicable dismissal of this case. The Civil Rights Division should be beyond reproach, and in my capacity as CJS chairman I will continue to work to finally achieve an ethical, functioning Justice Department that Americans are once again proud of.”


Horowitz has done a great service to the country by exposing the racialist agenda of the Justice Department. It is clear that AG Holder saw the department as a place to conduct a private war on behalf of “his people” rather than a race-neutral arbiter of fairness and equal treatment under the law.

In the old days, a report like this would have led to the resignation of the department head. Sadly, honor and fidelity is rare in government service anymore and unless there is pressure from Congress, Wolf’s call for an independent panel to investigate the Civil Rights Division will probably fall on deaf ears.


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