The liberal network MSNBC is working overtime to defend the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) nominee who represented convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Debo Adegbile, Obama’s pick to head the civil rights division in Eric Holder’s DOJ, has been staunchly defended by groups including Media Matters for America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Bar Association. Adegbile might face a Senate committee vote Thursday.
The Daily Caller reported Dec. 29 that Adegbile represented Abu-Jamal during his tenure as acting president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) in 2012. The following year Adegbile left LDF, which still serves as Abu-Jamal’s legal counsel.
“Whoever [defends Abu-Jamal] either doesn’t know or has chosen to ignore the facts of the case, which overwhelmingly support his conviction and guilt,” said a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, which strongly opposes Adegbile’s nomination, noting that the Obama administration has been in contact with the Fraternal Order since Adegbile’s past became a national media issue. The widow of Abu-Jamal’s victim Daniel Faulkner said she is “outraged” by Obama’s nomination and wants to testify during Adegbile’s confirmation process.
Adam Serwer’s editorial for MSNBC.com attacked conservatives for criticizing Adegbile’s record, arguing that Supreme Court Justice John Roberts once defended a mass murderer.
“The conservative campaign against Adegbile recalls an effort during Obama’s first term to attack Justice Department officials as terrorist sympathizers because they had successfully represented Gitmo detainees,” Serwer wrote.
“Adegbile’s nomination could come up for a committee vote as early as this week. Adegbile is likely not the last attorney to be nominated by either party who will face scrutiny and opposition based on having represented a hated client. It’s a partisan game,” Serwer wrote.
MSNBC commentator and BET and The Grio writer Zerlina Maxwell chimed in that GOP attacks on Adegbile are “Ridic” and “a disgrace.”
“These are the hardest cases, but our commitment in the Constitution is to follow these rules even in the hardest cases,” Adegbile said at his confirmation hearing when asked about his Abu-Jamal defense.