Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Justice Department Injustice

On December 2, 2005, the Washington Post published a page one story headlined "Justice Staff Saw Texas Districting As Illegal". The kernel of the article was "a previously undisclosed memo" written by career staff members of the Voting Rights section of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division recommending disapproval of a Texas redistricting plan--but were overruled by more senior DOJ officials, including the principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. In a follow-up the next month, the Post repeated claims by DOJ staffers that "Politics Alleged In Voting Cases," pointing fingers at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Bush Administration in general. About the same time, the WoPo wrote of complaints by current and former staffers that Bush Administration politics were ruining morale at the Voting Rights section.

Obviously, the Post had an inside source, particularly for the leaked memo, which "dominated the news for days." This NRO article by Edward Blum, Abigail Thernstrom and Roger Clegg explains:
The memo wasn't accurate. In fact, it was filled with erroneous assumptions and irrelevant statistics, it misrepresented the testimony of expert witnesses, and it omitted key data for the proper analysis of voting-rights law. The career bureaucrats who wrote it--one of whom now works for a left-leaning advocacy group--seemed to be intent on saving Texas Democratic incumbents any way they could. Thus they, rather than their Justice Department supervisors, were the ones brazen in their political motivation.
Abigail Thernstrom later wrote a book, Voting Rights--and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections, addressing these and other flaws.

But that's not what this post is about. Rather, it's about former DoJ attorney Hans von Spakovsky's stunning revelation last week of who leaked the memo, and the fact she's still a DoJ employee:
A career employee in the Voting Section of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has confessed to committing perjury, sources say. The employee, Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi, reportedly told investigators from the Inspector General’s Office that she perjured herself during an inquiry into Justice Department leaks during the previous administration. Despite the admission, she has not been fired for criminal malfeasance. Indeed, it appears she has not been disciplined in any meaningful way at all. . .

Ms. Gyamfi made no secret of her hatred of conservatives and Republicans when I worked in the Voting Section from 2001 to 2002. Later, when I moved to the Civil Rights Division’s front office, she had a difficult time hiding her contempt any time she was forced to meet with the political leadership. In revelations now known throughout the Voting Section, she apparently went beyond hatred and resorted to flagrantly violating Justice Department confidentiality requirements and ethical obligations. It is now common knowledge in the Section that she lied about her actions to Inspector General investigators and was caught in the lie with e-mail documentation. Ahh, it’s always the cover-up.

According to numerous sources within the Section, Ms. Gyamfi had been asked in two separate interviews whether she was involved in the leaking of confidential and privileged information out of the Voting Section. Each time, she flatly denied any knowledge as to who was responsible for the leaks. In a third interview, she was once again questioned about her role in the leaks. At first, she adamantly denied involvement. Then, however, she was confronted with e-mail documents rebutting her testimony.

At that point, she immediately broke down and confessed that she had lied to the investigators three separate times. Since IG interviewees are all required to take an oath to tell the truth upon penalty of perjury, and investigators record all interviews, an audio recording of these admissions must exist in the IG files. Mind you, Ms. Gyamfi did not say she misunderstood the questions. She did not claim to have forgotten something and later remembered it. Instead, she plainly admitted her deceit and ascribed her motive to attempting to protect the "other people" involved, i.e., the other career staff (mostly attorneys) who also violated their oaths of office and their professional obligations by publicizing confidential legal opinions and analyses.

After the admission, Ms. Gyamfi returned to the Voting Section distraught, crying and sobbing. She was consoled by another career employee to whom she confessed what had happened. This was witnessed and heard by other Voting Section staff, and the story of what occurred during the IG interview was soon known all over the Section.

Amazingly, despite Ms. Gyamfi’s admission of committing perjury not once, but three times, she so far has been neither terminated nor disciplined by the Justice Department. In fact, her boss, Voting Section Chief Chris Herren, continues to assign her to the most politically sensitive of matters, including the Department’s review of Texas’s congressional redistricting plan.

More disturbing, according to my sources, is that Ms. Gyamfi is now being treated as a hero by some of her Voting Section colleagues. Many of them are gratified at her efforts -- illegitimate or not -- to make the Bush administration look bad in its preclearance of Texas’s earlier redistricting submission.
If true, this is perjury, or obstruction of justice at a minimum. Which, given Attorney General Holder's "misleading" and "inaccurate" statements about Operation Fast & Furious -- why hasn't he resigned? -- probably will fly under the radar. Meanwhile, Ms. Gyamfi still draws a tax-funded paycheck.

So much for the rule of law. Somehow, I doubt Oliver Stone will be making a movie about this leak.

(via reader Warren)


Bob in LA said...

Once again demonstrating that the standards are impossibly high for republicans and ridiculously low for liberals. It is the same in the media and in DC.

Anonymous said...

Roy added: Are there no folks of different persuasion than Oliver Stone having parallel skills? For that matter, what if some enterprising lawyer types decided there existed a chance to make a lot of money suing individuals involved in the obstruction? What if conservative or libertarian types did what we've seen statist types do? What if Ms. Gyamfi had serious reason for tears?

OBloodyHell said...

>>> the standards are impossibly high for republicans and ridiculously low for liberals.

I might be incorrect, but don't you have to have standards for liberals before you can set them low?

Is there anything a rational person qualifies as "improper behavior" which the Demtards won't excuse with a wave of the hand, as long as it's one of their own?

Not child rape.

Not jury tampering.

Not political corruption or bribe-taking.

Not voting fraud.

Not base intimidation and thuggery

So what, really, IS "too raw" for a Democrat to do, that would get the individual that committed it "thrown under the bus"??

James said...

THank's a lot!!
I have more about injustice and corruption on:essay on Injustice

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

OBloodyHell said...
"... Is there anything a rational person qualifies as "improper behavior" which the Demtards won't excuse with a wave of the hand, as long as it's one of their own? "
= = = = =

The thing about the Dems (and the Left & Progressives -but I repeat myself) is:

What drives opprobrium in our Brave New World isn't "the thing that is done"; it's "the affiliation of the doer".

IF the doer has any ties to your political opponents, THEN you "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it".

Otherwise, the misdeed is dismissed with perhaps some reference to "unfortunate personal choices".