Here follows a troubling report “Justice Department vs. Republicans: Partisan career lawyers twist civil rights statutes to suppress perfectly legal political activity,” published last Friday on Pajamas Media and written by a lawyer specializing in election law:
The report’s author (“Anonymous”) declares- –
“In the face of the Obama fundraising and media juggernaut, Republicans are worried about losing the presidential election.
They should be even more fearful, however, about being criminally prosecuted by the Justice Department for political speech and activity protected by the First Amendment — a clear effort by partisan career lawyers within the Civil Rights Division to help the Obama campaign.”
“Anonymous” gets down to specific claims —
“[Career lawyer James] Walsh made it clear that the Criminal Section intends to use the civil rights statutes to criminally prosecute anyone they consider to be engaging in voter ‘intimidation’ or ‘oppression.’ Now, that might sound like a reasonable idea until you realize that Walsh and [Criminal Section head Mark]Kappelhoff’s definition of ‘intimidation’ and ‘oppression’ goes far beyond what you and I would imagine. Walsh stated that because we have an African-American presidential candidate, there would be voter suppression — a baseless assumption that plays on left-wing stereotypes of America as a racist nation. Every single example of wrongdoing that Walsh and other presenters used in their presentations talked about Republicans: there was not a single example of any wrongdoing committed by any Democrats in the entire two-day conference.
One cited example of a ‘criminal’ violation supposedly intended to ‘suppress’ voting was sending mailers informing voters that you must be a citizen to vote, a requirement of state and federal law. One of the deputy chiefs, Mark Blumberg, told FBI agents and federal prosecutors that the individuals responsible for such a brochure should be brought before a federal grand jury to ask them if they belong to any ‘anti-immigrant’ groups.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
Readers should look closely at the entire article here with its warning that —
“. . .[T]he Criminal Section has been given the green light to use these same criminal statutes to harass and prosecute political activists (particularly Republicans) who are engaging in protected political activity, not violence or the threat of violence. No candidate for federal, state, or local office should take this unprecedented threat lightly. The entire apparatus of federal election law enforcement was assembled for this conference including every FBI agent and Assistant United States Attorney responsible for election-related matters.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
The author recommends that —
“…Folks in Congress who respect the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment should let Attorney General Mukasey know that the use of the criminal process for political ends and to chill political speech won’t be tolerated. He should also require any Justice employees like Kappelhoff, Walsh, and [John]Russ [Voting Section lawyer responsible for the election observer program] who have contributed to Obama to recuse themselves completely from any involvement in any matter arising out of the election.”
These are most serious allegations, and constitution-friendly members of both houses of Congress should, right away, ask Attorney General Michael Mukasey to get to the bottom of this matter before the Department of Justice does any serious damage in the 2008 elections.
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