DOJ attorney to testify in Civil Rights Commission's investigation of Black Panthers voter intimidation case

Even though the Department of Justice ordered Christopher Coates to ignore the US Commission on Civil Rights’ subpoena, Coates has contacted the commission and asked to offer testimony on the Black Panthers voter intimidation case:

In a dramatic development that could shake the political leadership of the Justice Department, career lawyer Christopher Coates has sent a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights offering to testify Friday on matters related to the controversial New Black Panthers voter-intimidation case.

Ten months ago, Coates, the award-winning former chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, was subpoenaed by the Commission to testify about the case. He was subsequently instructed by DOJ officials to ignore the subpoena. Within the past hour, commissioners were informed that Chairman Gerald Reynolds had spoken with Coates and that the chairman would reconvene the Commission’s ongoing hearing on Friday at 9:30 a.m. to hear Coates’s testimony.

The Civil Rights Commission has sought to obtain Coates’ testimony on Justice’s dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case in Philadelphia. In a recent request to Justice, the Commission agreed to limit initial questioning of Coates to accusations made by former career lawyer J. Christian Adams about statements and other actions by Julie Fernandes, an Obama administration political appointee, if DOJ produced Coates.

The DOJ refused.

Pajamas Media has Coates’ letter to the US Commission on Civil Rights offering his testimony. Since he is violating the DOJ’s order not to testify, I will be looking to see what Holder does in response.

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