Report: Schlozman Emails Indicate GOP Voter Suppression Strategy « The Washington Independent
The report released this morning by the Justice Department is a pretty damning account of the tenure of Bradley Schlozman, the infamous U.S. attorney and head of (politicizing) the Civil Rights Division. at the department. The report details email conversations between Schlozman and “voter rights” guru Hans von Spakovsky, who was special counsel to the assistant attorney general.
The email exchanges solidify what reports on the U.S. attorney firing scandal suggested: that the politicization at the agency was part of a coordinated effort to disenfranchise voters, at the expense of Democratic candidates.
In one exchange, Schlozman wants to get rid of a “liberal” voting rights attorney, by, presumably, banishing him on a tedious assignment:
In an e-mail dated November 28, 2003, to front office Counsel von Spakovsky and Principal [Deputy Assistant Attorney General] Bradshaw, Schlozman wrote about a particular Voting Section attorney, “If I recall correctly, [Voting Section attorney] is a crazy lib hans, am I right?” and “a detail would be a great way to get him out of our hair for 6 months.”
Later, Schlozman goes further, ensuring that politics are taken into account when selecting who will represent the government in a voting rights case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals:
In an e-mail from Schlozman to Flynn dated December 4, 2003, Schlozman wrote, “Please let me know when you decide who is going to argue this 4th Circuit voting appeal. If [specific Appellate attorney] is going to do it, that’s fine. If it’s the other atty on the case, I will have either Hans [von Spakovsky] (or possibly myself) do it instead. The potential stakes are too great to entrust this to either a lib or an idiot.”
This report is probably the meatiest we’ve seen yet from the Justice Department inspector general’s office. It offers a startling glimpse of what was happening at our most important federal agency over the last eight years. With Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for attorney general, heading to the Hill Thursday for a confirmation hearing, it’s a good time to start watching what direction the department will take. We’ll have more on the report shortly.