Republicans on the Senate and House Judiciary Committees are calling for an investigation into allegations that the Justice Department wrongly abandoned a case against the New Black Panther Party.
They also think there’s evidence that the department has adopted a policy to ignore voting rights violations against white victims.
Senate Judiciary Republicans sent a letter Friday to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the committee, requesting a hearing. That followed a letter sent by House Judiciary Republicans to President Obama asking him to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to launch an investigation, according to Fox News.
A spokesman for Leahy did not return a message left on his cellphone Saturday, Fox reported. The White House did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The bipartisan and independent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is continuing its yearlong investigation of the allegations. Earlier this month, the commission, which has a conservative majority, called on the Justice Department to investigate its civil rights division after a former employee, J. Christian Adams, now a conservative blogger, testified that supervisors in the division instructed attorneys to ignore voting rights cases that involved black defendants and white victims.
"If these alarming allegations are true, the Civil Rights Division is actively engaged in widespread politicization and possible corruption," Senate Republican Judiciary members wrote. "It is imperative that you schedule a hearing immediately so we can determine the validity of these claims and whether DOJ, as Mr. Adams testified, 'abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens.'"
In their letter to the president, House Republican Judiciary members said the Justice Department's "continued refusal to give any legitimate reason for the dismissal has only increased suspicions that race and politics played a role in the decision."
"Recent allegations from a former Civil Rights Division attorney confirm our concerns that the Justice Department has adopted a policy of race-based non-enforcement of federal voting rights law," they wrote. "If these allegations are true, it means that the Justice Department has become politicized and only an independent entity can effectively investigate this matter."
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