NEW YORK – The Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee opened the second day of the confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch with two witnesses who testified of alleged mistreatment for exposing Obama administration scandals.
Catherine Engelbrecht is the founder of True the Vote and a key witness in proving the IRS discriminated against tea party and other conservative groups applying for tax-favored status. Sharyl Attkisson is the former CBS investigative reporter who has alleged the Obama administration hacked into her computer as she reported on the Department of Justice’s role in the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
Leading the opposition to the appearance of Engelbrecht and Attkisson at the Lynch nomination hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., characterized their appearance as “sound-bite material for Fox News and conspiracy theorists everywhere.”
Meanwhile, GOP members of the committee, including Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, expressed concern that Lynch would be another “yes-person” attorney general, as supportive of President Obama’s leftist agenda as the outgoing attorney general, Eric Holder.
“We have a broken, politicized Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said on C-Span during a break in the Thursday morning hearing. “I am not confident Loretta Lynch can fix the situation because she came forward yesterday and answered questions without really answering them. It was very difficult for her to straddle the fence on defending President Obama on immigration.”
Outside the hearing room, Obama supporters attacked Republicans for their choice of witnesses.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org, a group that bills itself as “the nation’s largest civil rights organization,” charged Engelbrecht’s organization seeks to suppress African-American votes, suggesting GOP opposition to Lynch is racist.
“Engelbrecht has called voter protection efforts ‘race baiting,’ an attempt to ‘exact racial justice on their presumed enemies,” and even called Attorney General Holder’s defense of the freedom to vote a ‘radical, racialist assault on voting rights,” Robinson said in a statement. “These remarks should prohibit her from testifying on an expert panel to confirm the first Black female AG.”
Robinson said True the Vote’s “history of intimidating black and Latino voters at the polls and attempts to purge voters in our communities show the organization is not interested in protecting everyone’s freedom to vote but instead in manipulating elections to support the far right wing.”
“That Engelbrecht is being given a platform to speak at these confirmation hearings tells us everything about the extreme agenda of the Republican senators who invited her and nothing about Loretta Lynch,” he said.
David Horowitz’s website DiscoverTheNetworks.org points out that ColorOfChange.org, co-founded in 2005 by self-proclaimed communist Van Jones, who resigned his post as Obama’s “jobs czar” over his past political activities, and James Rucker, former director of the Soros-funded MoveOn.org, was part of the progressive effort to associate the McCain-Palin GOP presidential ticket with racism.
“In one of its longest-running initiatives, Color of Change has repeatedly smeared the Fox News Channel as a disseminator of racism and bigotry,” DiscoverTheNetworks.org reports. “Beginning in March 2007, Color of Change denounced the station for ‘consistently attack[ing] Black people, leaders, and cultural institutions.”
Noting that other GOP witnesses included Georgetown University law professors Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz and Jonathan Turley, and David A. Clarke Jr., sheriff of Milwaukee County, the Washington Post attacked Lynch’s opposition with an article by Nia-Malika Henderson titled “Why is Sharyl Attkisson testifying at Lynch’s confirmation hearing?”
“If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had an enemies list, it might look a lot like the list of witnesses who will testify at a Senate confirmation hearing for his potential successor, Loretta Lynch,” Henderson wrote. “At least the four witnesses (naming Engelbrecht, Rosencranz, Clark and Turley) have been called by Republicans. That half of the list includes not one, but three people involved in lawsuits against the administration. And among them, none is more well known than ex-CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who is a household name among many conservatives.”
Rosenkranz and Turley both testified that an attorney general’s responsibility was to speak his conscience according to the dictates of the law, not to administer partisan political policies dictated by the ideological agenda of the White House, an obvious slap at Holder.
Clarke also criticized Holder for making political statements in controversial law enforcement cases, supporting, for instance, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown by issuing public statements in advance of criminal legal proceedings that prejudged their deaths as racially motivated. Holder’s judgment in both cases was refuted, with a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Martin case and a grand jury’s decision not to recommend charges against officer Darren Wilson in the Brown case.
Dems charge GOP objection to Lynch racist
Jerome R. Corsi
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:16:59 GMT