The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights spent $173,653 in its investigation into the Justice Department’s handling of a controversial voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party, Talking Points Memo reported Monday.
The commission held several hearings over the last year regarding the DOJ’s decision to dismiss most of the charges against members of the anti-white fringe group who stood outside a majority-black polling place wearing military clothing in November 2008. The hearings included testimony this year from key DOJ officials including Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, former DOJ prosecutor J. Christian Adams and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Civil Rights Division Voting Section.
Perez defended the decision made in the case during his testimony before the commission. But Coates, who testified against DOJ orders, and Adams blasted the handling of the case.
The commission will meet Friday to approve its New Black Panther enforcement report, which is expected to be critical of the DOJ, according to TPM. The investigation has been applauded by Republicans, who have expressed concern about the DOJ’s decisions in the case.