Report: Justice Department emails show political bias, racism
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday January 14, 2009

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Bush administration Justice Department appointee Bradley Schlozman swore under oath before the Senate Justice Committee in 2007 that he had never used a political litmus test in hiring when he worked at the Civil Rights Division. However, a new report from the Justice Department indicates that he did just that.

As MSNBC's Keith Olbermann explained on Tuesday, "The Bush Justice Department is -- surprise, surprise -- not prosecuting Mr. Schlozman for his violation of, yes, civil rights laws, or for lying to Congress. But now at least we have Schlozman's own words."

In one email, Schlozman wrote, "I can assure you that [applicant] is a good American. [We] made up a four-member Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy at my former law firm."

In another, "I have an interview at 1 with some lefty who we'll never hire but I'm extending a courtesy interview as a favor."

Again, "We hired another member of 'the team' yesterday. And still another ideological comrade will be starting in one month."

Schlozman's racism was also on view in one email that described an applicant with a magna cum laude degree from a top law school as "an idiot ... an affirmative action thing ... wrote in ebonics."

And Schlozman cheerfully forwarded to another employee an email he had received from the chief of the voting rights division, saying he liked his coffee "Mary Frances Berry style -- black and bitter," a reference to the longtime head of the Civil Rights Commission. Schlozman's comment was, "Y'all will appreciate Tanner's response."

Talking Points Memo reports that although the author of the "black and bitter" remark, John Tanner, is now working for the Alabama Law Institute, his salary is still being paid by the Justice Department for "racially charged" work involving the redrawing of legislative districts.

Under Schlozman's influence, the voting rights division neglected civil rights in favor of upholding discriminatory laws and pursuing bogus allegations of voter fraud that were used to purge voting roles.

"Perhaps the Division will name an award for me or something," Schlozman wrote when he departed in 2006 to become the US Attorney in Missouri. "How about the Brad Schlozman Award for Most Effectively Breaking the Will of Liberal Partisan Bureaucrats."

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast Jan. 13, 2009.

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