A Justice Department official who urged pursuing a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panthers will appear before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, The Washington Times reported Wednesday.
Christopher Coates, who was chief of the Civil Rights Division Voting Section, will testify before the commission on Friday when the body continues its hearing on the DOJ’s decision to dismiss charges against all but one defendant in the case. The defendants from the anti-white fringe group stood outside a majority-black polling place in November 2008 wearing military clothing.
The DOJ previously said it would not allow Coates to appear before the commission. He is now working at the South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The handling of the New Black Panthers case has worried Republicans who have expressed concern that politics may have influenced the DOJ’s decision to dismiss charges in the case.