Republicans on the Senate and House Judiciary Committees are calling for an investigation into allegations that the Justice Department wrongly abandoned a case against the New Black Panther Party and has adopted a policy to ignore voting rights violations against white victims.
Senate Judiciary Republicans sent a letter Friday to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the committee, requesting a hearing and House Judiciary Republicans wrote President Obama on Thursday asking him to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to launch an investigation.
A spokesman for Leahy did not return a message left on his cellphone Saturday. The White House did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The requests come as the bipartisan and independent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights continues its yearlong investigation of the allegations. Earlier this month, the commission, which has a conservative majority, called on the Justice Department to investigate its civil rights division after a former employee, J. Christian Adams, now a conservative blogger, testified that supervisors in the division instructed attorneys to ignore voting rights cases that involved black defendants and white victims.