The Department of Justice "probably has been lying" about its role in a controversial case against the New Black Panther Party, a leading judicial accountability expert alleged Sunday while a commissioner from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights cited a culture of "hostility" at the Justice Department.
On Friday, ex-Justice Department official Christopher Coates accused the department of failing to apply civil rights law equally to white and minority Americans. Coates testified to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that a 2008 case involving the New Black Panther Party, whose members were accused of patrolling a Philadelphia polling station and intimidating potential voters, was dropped because Justice Department officials were reluctant to prosecute a case involving white victims and minority defendants.
Appearing on Fox News on Sunday, commissioner Todd Gaziano said the testimony concerned him greatly.
"What did deeply sadden me was the degree of hostility and harassment, and how broad it was in the civil rights division," Gaziano said.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which has been monitoring the case, said the Justice Department has contradicted itself about the involvement of political appointees in the case.
"The commission asked outright, the head of the civil rights division, Tom Perez, was there any political leadership involved in the decision? He said no," Fitton said. "The documents show that's not true."
Watch the entire discussion here.