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Sen. Pat Leahy on New Black Panther Party case: Blame Bush, twiddle thumbs

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 29, 2010 12:04 PM

Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans demanded a hearing on the New Black Panther Party shenanigans of the Obama Department of (Social) Justice.

Sen. Pat Leahy has replied. Cliff Notes’ version: Blame Bush. Hide behind Abigail Thernstrom. Wait for Eric Holder’s next spin cycle. Read the response right here:

7-29-10 PJL to Sessions Re – NBBP

Speaking of Thernstrom, Andy McCarthy responds to her latest weak sauce at NRO — and her own obstructionist refusal to get to the bottom of the NBPP case:

On July 16, her colleagues on the Commission gave her a chance to put her money where her mouth is. They voted to ask the Justice Department for the testimony of Christopher Coates, the guy Thernstrom told NRO readers she’d “love to hear first-hand” from. The request is set forth in a letter sent yesterday to Attorney General Holder, signed by Commission Chair Gerald Reynolds. This short letter can be read in its entirety here, and Jen Rubin has posted the relevant parts of it at Contentions. But to put the letter’s requests in the words Thernstrom used, the Commission would like to ask Coates (a) “what Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes actually said about the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement priorities” (remember, that’s the thing Thernstrom told NRO readers “the world deserves to know”); and (b) “whether the Obama DOJ has a policy of offering protections for black voters but not white ones.”

Yet, at the July 16 hearing, Dr. Thernstrom refused to support the Commission’s request for this testimony. As Pete Kirsanow wrote in his post, replying specifically to Thernstrom’s claim that she would “join [her] colleagues in welcoming further testimony” from Coates and others with relevant knowledge of DOJ’s civil rights enforcement policy:

This is news to the other members of the Commission. On July 16, a majority of Commissioners approved a motion to once again request that the Justice Department produce the very witnesses that Thernstrom now claims she is interested in hearing from. The motion was crafted in a manner to circumvent the Justice Department’s year-long refusal to produce such witnesses.

Thernstrom refused to support the motion. [Emphasis in original.]

I find this jaw-dropping. I do not know Dr. Thernstrom — we’ve been introduced once, I think — but I have always admired her work. Consequently, it pains me to note that her responsive essay, which NRO published on July 27, was obviously written several days after the July 16 Commission meeting at which she would not support the motion to ask DOJ for the pertinent testimony.


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