A disgruntled Justice Department attorney turned conservative blogger writes an unsubstantiated post, and suddenly taxpayers have to pay for a massive, two and a half year long investigation in order to placate Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). At least, that’s one of the biggest takeaways from a more than 250 page report released by the Justice Department’s Inspector General yesterday. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent the Inspector General’s (IG) office on similar goose chases. Neither one of them achieved more than wasted time and money.
An entire chapter of the report stems from a blog post written by J. Christian Adams, a conservative activist hired to work in Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during the Bush Administration as part of efforts to stack the department with conservative hires. Adams left DOJ, and later went on to represent Tea Party Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
In his post, Adams claims that the division “provided preferential treatment when responding to records requests from civil rights groups or individuals alleged to support ‘liberal’ issues in comparison to requests from Republicans or individuals or organizations alleged to support ‘conservative’ issues,” and the IG spends nearly 30 pages investigating these allegations due to a request from Rep. Wolf. Their conclusion: “Our review did not find any substantiation of ideological favoritism or political interference” in responding to requests for information.
Wolf also joined with Rep. Smith to demand a second investigation into whether the Department behaved improperly in dismissing voter intimidation claims against members of the New Black Panthers Party (NBPP) — a common conspiracy theory touted by Fox News and others on the far right. Despite the fact that an investigation by DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility already concluded that Justice Department attorneys “acted appropriately in the exercise of their supervisory duties in connection with the dismissal of the three defendants in the NBPP case,” the IG’s report spends 28 pages reexamining this well-trodden ground. Its conclusion: “we did not find evidence to conclude that the political appointees approved the decision” to dismiss most of the allegations against the NBPP “for improper partisan or racial considerations.”
more here: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/13/1708541/how-three-gop-lawmakers-sent-doj-on-an-expensive-goose-chase-and-stuck-taxpayers-with-the-bill/?mobile=nc