Credibility Coup De Grace: GOP Activist Adams To Speak At CPAC

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

While the right-wing media have declared former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams a "whistle-blower" for his claims that the department's handling of the New Black Panthers case constitutes racially charged corruption, it has long been clear that Adams has an extensive history of GOP activism. In the final blow to any claim that Adams is neutral or impartial, Adams is scheduled to appear as a panelist during next month's CPAC, the conservative activist convention.

Adams Scheduled To Appear At Right-Wing Convention CPAC

Adams Will Be A Panelist on "Lawlessness, Racialism And Terror At Obama's Department Of Justice." From the Conservative Political Action Conference's (CPAC) schedule of events:

CPAC schedule

[CPAC 2011 Schedule of Events, The American Conservative Union, accessed 1/31/11]

CPAC Is "The Nation's Largest Gathering Of Conservatives Annually." From the website of the American Conservative Union, CPAC's primary sponsor:

CPAC -- the Conservative Political Action Conference is the nation's largest gathering of conservatives annually. It is a project of ACUF and its largest annual conference.

Taking place in Washington, DC each year, CPAC brings together nearly 10,000 attendees and all of the leading conservative organizations and speakers who impact conservative thought in the nation. Regularly seen on C-SPAN and other national news networks, CPAC has been the premiere event for any major elected official or public personality seeking to discuss issues of the day with conservatives. From Presidents of the United States to college student leaders, CPAC has become the place to find our nation's current and future leaders. [The American Conservative Union, accessed 1/31/11]

This Year's CPAC Participants Include Potential GOP Presidential Candidates, GOP Members Of Congress, Right-Wing Media Leaders. CPAC's schedule of events lists as participants possible Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Sen. John Thune (SD), Tim Pawlenty, Gov. Haley Barbour (MS), Newt Gingrich, and John Bolton; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY); GOP Sens. Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and John Cornyn (TX); GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann (MN), Allen West (FL), Tim Scott (SC), Raul Labrador (ID), Steve King (IA), Paul Ryan (WI), Tom Price (GA), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Ted Poe (TX), Connie Mack (FL), and Peter Roskam (IL); and right-wing media figures such as Andrew Breitbart, Jonah Goldberg, Betsy McCaughey, John Fund, Ann Coulter, and Jason Mattera. [CPAC 2011 Schedule of Events, The American Conservative Union, accessed 1/31/11]

CPAC Participation Only Latest Indication Of Adams' GOP Partisanship

Adams Had Record Of Conservative Activism Before Joining DOJ. Adams is a long-time right-wing activist, who is known for filing an ethics complaint against Hugh Rodham that was subsequently dismissed, served as a Bush poll watcher in Florida 2004, and reportedly volunteered for a Republican group that trains lawyers to fight "racially tinged battles over voting rights":

  • Adams Reportedly Filed Ethics Complaint Against Hugh Rodham That Was Dismissed. In a February 26, 2001, Washington Times column, John McCaslin cited a formal ethics complaint filed by Adams against Hugh Rodham, brother of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, a complaint that was later dismissed. [The Washington Times, 2/26/01, accessed via Nexis]
  • Adams Claimed Rodham "Put His Florida Law License 'In Jeopardy.' " On February 24, 2001, The Washington Times reported that "Adams said Mr. Rodham put his Florida law license 'in jeopardy' with an admission that he accepted a contingency fee in obtaining the commutation for Carlos Vignali, the convicted drug dealer released from prison after serving six years of a 15-year sentence." [The Washington Times, 2/24/01, accessed via Nexis]
  • Florida Bar Cleared Rodham. A July 22, 2001, New York Times article reported: "The Florida bar has cleared Hugh Rodham of violating legal ethics." [The New York Times, 7/22/01, accessed via Nexis]
  • Adams Reportedly Volunteered With GOP Group That "Trains Lawyers To Fight On The Front Lines Of Often Racially Tinged Battles Over Voting Rights." The legal news website Main Justice reported:

Before coming to the Justice Department, Adams volunteered with the National Republican Lawyers Association, an offshoot of the Republican National Committee that trains lawyers to fight on the front lines of often racially tinged battles over voting rights. [Main Justice,12/2/09]

  • Adams Reportedly Was A Bush Campaign Poll Watcher In Florida. The Main Justice article further reported: "In 2004, Adams served as a Bush campaign poll watcher in Florida, where he was critical of a black couple for not accepting a provisional ballot in early voting after officials said they had no record of the couple's change of address forms, according to Bloomberg News. Democratic poll watchers had advised voters not to accept provisional ballots because of the risk they could be discounted under Florida law, Bloomberg reported." [Main Justice, 12/2/09]
  • Adams Identified As Founder Of Law School's Federalist Society, Buchanan Supporter. From an open letter to Adams from Democratic political operative Donnie Fowler:

To: J. Christian Adams, J.D., Univ. of South Carolina Law School '93 / Virginia
Fr: Donnie Fowler, J.D., Univ. of South Carolina Law School '93 / California
Re: Congrats on Achieving Whistle Blower Status


It strikes me that your commitment to the 1965 Voting Rights Act is both laudatory and a bit surprising. I know you from our three years in school together as a strong advocate of states rights, limited federal power, and judicial restraint. Conservatives in the 1960s (when the Voting Rights Act was passed over their strong objections) and many conservatives today take philosophical and political umbrage at the Act's strong federal-over-state mandate and at the Act's gift of power to the federal courts to "interfere" in local politics.

The other thing that I you and I can agree on is that you are a committed, partisan conservative who does not come to this "whistle blower" attack on President Obama with clean hands. As a founder of the Univ. of South Carolina Law School's Federalist Society (the most important legal group for conservative judicial activism) and as a committed supporter of Pat Buchanan's presidential campaigns, it makes complete sense that you have a bone to pick with the Democratic majority in Washington. [Huffington Post, 7/15/10]

Adams Uses Right-Wing Media Platforms To Attack Obama Administration

Adams Likened Obama To Appeasers Who Caused "Carnage" Of WWII. In an October 2009 American Spectator piece, Adams wrote: "President Obama's received his Peace Prize, according to the Nobel Committee, for his 'efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between nations.' Norman Angell's Nobel was awarded for similar reasons." Adams went on to blame Angell's ideas for World War II:

The 1933 Peace Prize winner profoundly influenced British policy in ways that led directly to German tanks rolling into Poland in September 1939. War did not break out because nations ignored Angell's advice; instead, the ensuing carnage in Europe happened because European democracies made Angell's ideas government policy.


Churchill, responding directly to Angell, asked "who is the man vain enough to suppose that the long antagonisms of history and of time can in all circumstances be adjusted by the smooth and superficial conventions of politicians and ambassadors?" The Nobel Committee may have answered Sir Winston's query for the 21st century. [American Spectator, 10/30/09]

Adams Suggested DOJ Handling Of New Black Panthers Case Was Political Payback For Their Obama "Endorsement." In a post at, Adams suggested that the DOJ's actions were due to "the New Black Panther's endorsement of candidate Obama during the primaries":

Similarly, [Associate Attorney General Thomas] Perrelli was behind the dismissal of the already won DOJ case against the New Black Panthers who organized and ran an armed voter intimidation effort the day Obama was elected. Justice officials acted as advocates for the New Black Panthers more than they sought to protect the ballot box from armed thugs.

Did Perrelli's zeal to have the case dismissed have anything to do with the New Black Panther's endorsement of candidate Obama during the primaries? [, 12/2/10]

  • New Black Panther Party Is A "Virulently Racist" "Hate Group." According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has listed the group "as a black hate group since 1998": "The New Black Panther Party is a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers." [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 1/18/11]
  • NBPP's Shabazz: Obama Is "A Puppet On A String," "I Don't Support" Him. Minister King Samir Shabazz -- chairman of the New Black Panther Party's Philadelphia chapter, against whom the Obama DOJ obtained default judgment for carrying a weapon outside a polling station -- told the Philadelphia Daily News prior to the 2008 election that Obama is "a puppet on a string. I don't support no black man running for white politics. I will not vote for who will be the next slavemaster." [Order of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 5/18/09; Philadelphia Daily News, 10/29/08, accessed via Nexis]

Adams: Democrats Should Seek Holder's Resignation. In a Pajamas Media post headlined, "Dems Should Seek Eric Holder's Resignation," Adams wrote:

President Obama's supporters should hope Attorney General Eric Holder resigns. His embarrassing tenure has given Republicans a potent symbol of leftist extremism combined with comic incompetence. This nasty blend is symbolic of the entire administration, as shattered expectations of moderation and competence played a significant role in the midterm tsunami.


Defenders of President Obama should pay attention. No matter how difficult it is for them to toss Eric Holder overboard, the deed must be done. Otherwise, Holder's incompetence and radicalism will fuel the run-up to the next presidential election. Obama needs the measured integrity of his own Michael Mukasey to help win re-election.

The problems with Holder's tenure are so numerous it is hard to know where to start. [Pajamas Media, 11/30/10]

Adams Now Working For Tea Party Group Accused Of Intimidating Voters

Adams: King Street Patriots Is A "Client." In a blog post claiming that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was using "thug tactics" by "urging law enforcement personnel to crack down" on King Street Patriots, Adams acknowledged that the group is "a client of mine." [, 10/29/10]

Adams Appearing At Summits For King Street Patriots. TPM Media reported:

A Texas Tea Party group that critics said trained poll watchers who intimidated voters in neighborhoods with large minority populations last year is launching a nationwide effort to put an end to what they say is the massive problem of voter fraud.

True the Vote, an outgrowth of the King Street Patriots group, held a "Texas Summit" at the beginning of the month featuring prominent anti-voter fraud speakers J. Christian Adams (a former DOJ lawyer who resigned over its handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case) and Anita Moncrief, who was fired from the community organized group ACORN for allegedly misusing a credit card and then became a critic of the group.

Both will be featured at an upcoming National Summit on March 25 and 26 which is being hosted in Houston. [TPM Media, 1/24/11]

Adams Also Promoted Group And Its Summit For Pajamas Media. In a January 2011 blog post for Pajamas Media, Adams wrote:

This past weekend, citizens from across Texas held a summit in Houston to help protect the future integrity of the electoral process. Called "True the Vote," this amalgam of tea party groups and interested citizens met to learn about how they can fight voter fraud when their governments won't. True the Vote is going nationwide in March with a summit for the rest of the country. Citizens who care about honest elections can, at last, do something about it. [Pajamas Media, 1/25/11]

King Street Patriots' "True the Vote" Initiative Accused Of Intimidating Voters. In October 2010, Talking Points Memo reported allegations of voter intimidation by poll watchers trained by King Street Patriots. According to the article, the Department of Justice is looking into claims that poll watchers in Harris County were " 'hovering over' voters, 'getting into election workers' faces' and blocking or disrupting lines of voters" at early voting stations. From the article:

Poll watchers in Harris County, Texas -- where a Tea Party group launched an aggressive anti-voter fraud effort -- were accused of "hovering over" voters, "getting into election workers' faces" and blocking or disrupting lines of voters who were waiting to cast their ballots as early voting got underway yesterday.

Now, TPMMuckraker has learned, the Justice Department has interviewed witnesses about the alleged intimidation and is gathering information about the so-called anti-voter fraud effort.

"We are currently gathering information regarding this matter," Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement confirming the Civil Rights Division's involvement.

Harris County, the biggest county in the state, is where a Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots launched an anti-voter fraud initiative called "True the Vote," which recruited poll watchers and amped up fears over groups like the community organizing group ACORN.

Chad Dunn, a lawyer who is representing the Texas Democratic Party, told TPMMuckraker a number of witnesses have been interviewed by Civil Rights Division lawyers already. "We've gotten a number of reports -- quite a few out of the Houston area -- that poll watchers, King Street Patriot training poll watchers, are following a voter after they've checked them out and stand right behind them," Dunn said. There's at least a dozen reports that they could confirm with witnesses, he said. "Interestingly, it's all in the polling places in Hispanic and African-American areas," he added. [TPM Media, 10/19/10]

Adams Is Deeply Tied To Bush-Era Politicization Of DOJ

Former Voting Rights Section Chief: Adams Is "Exhibit A Of The Type Of People Hired By Schlozman." A July 2010 article on Main Justice reported that Joseph Rich, former head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division Voting Section, said that Adams "was hired in the Civil Rights Division Voting Section under a process the DOJ Inspector General later determined was improperly influenced by politics," by Schlozman. Main Justice further reported:

Rich said Schlozman asked him to attend an interview with J. Christian Adams, a solo practitioner from Alexandria, Va., who had worked for the Secretary of State in South Carolina. Adams had also volunteered for the Republican National Lawyers Association, a GOP-funded group that sought to draw attention to voting fraud.

Adams did not have an extensive background in civil rights, Rich said, but may have had limited voting rights experience from his time in South Carolina. "He is exhibit A of the type of people hired by Schlozman," Rich said.

Rich said he sat in on the interview, but Schlozman asked most of the questions. There was no discussion of Adams' political background at the meeting, according to Rich. Adams was offered the position shortly thereafter, and Rich said he doesn't believe anyone else was interviewed for the job.

"I was invited to the interview but was never asked for a recommendation," Rich said. "This was an example of the way things were being done. There's no evidence that this was a normal hiring process." As a supervisor, Rich said, he normally would have been involved in hiring decisions. [Main Justice, 7/6/10]

DOJ IG "Found That Schlozman Considered Political And Ideological Affiliations When Hiring... In Violation Of Department Policy And Federal Law." A July 2008 report from the Department of Justice Inspector General's Office and the Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that Schlozman "considered political and ideological affiliations when hiring and taking other personnel actions relating to career attorneys in violation of Department policy and federal law." The report concluded:

The evidence in our investigation showed that Schlozman, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and subsequently as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General, considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys and in other personnel actions affecting career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division. In doing so, he violated federal law -- the Civil Service Reform Act -- and Department policy that prohibit discrimination in federal employment based on political and ideological affiliations, and committed misconduct. The evidence also showed that Division managers failed to exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that Schlozman did not engage in inappropriate hiring and personnel practices. Moreover, Schlozman made false statements about whether he considered political and ideological affiliations when he gave sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and in his written responses to supplemental questions from the Committee. [IG/OPR report, "An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring and Other Improper Personnel Actions in the Civil Rights Division," 7/2/08]

Schlozman Is Said To Have Picked Attorneys Who "Lacked Relevant Experience" And "Rarely Expressed Any Interest In Civil Rights Enforcement." The IG/OPR report stated that Special Litigation section chief Shanetta Cutlar "said that the applicants whose résumés she reviewed after they had been culled from the applicant pool by Schlozman or others in the front office typically reflected membership in conservative organizations. She also said the most striking thing she noticed about the résumés was that the applicants generally lacked relevant experience. She said Schlozman minimized the importance of prior civil rights or human rights work experience." In addition, the report stated:

Former Criminal Section Chief [Albert] Moskowitz also said the candidates for career positions chosen by Schlozman had conservative political or ideological affiliations and rarely had any civil rights background, rarely expressed any interest in civil rights enforcement, and had very little or no federal criminal experience. [IG/OPR report, "An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring and Other Improper Personnel Actions in the Civil Rights Division," 7/2/08]

Right-Wing Media Declared Adams A "Whistle-Blower"

Ingraham. Guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor, Laura Ingraham said: "In the final days of the Bush administration, the Justice Department charged three of the New Black Panthers with Voting Act violations. But then last year, the Obama Justice Department moved to dismiss the charges, and now a DOJ whistleblower says the charges were dropped for racial reasons. FOX News' Megyn Kelly spoke exclusively with that whistleblower, J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ attorney. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/1/10, via Media Matters]

Fox News. From the July 1, 2010, edition of Fox News' America Live:

Adams caption

[Fox News, America Live, 7/1/10, via Media Matters]

The Washington Times. From a Washington Times editorial: "Justice Department whistle-blower J. Christian Adams says Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. 'tampered' with two ongoing investigations into voter-intimidation by members of the New Black Panther Party." [The Washington Times, 1/6/11]

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