The left-wing racial advocacy group Color of Change launched a last-minute push to discredit and exclude the testimony of a pro-voter ID advocate from Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.
True the Vote, meanwhile, fired back in a statement to The Daily Caller.
Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of the pro-voter ID group True the Vote, testifies Thursday in Lynch’s second confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Lynch once said that voter ID laws are about taking back what Dr. Martin Luther King won. Current Attorney General Eric Holder has led the Justice Department to sue various states over their voter ID laws.
Engelbrecht talked in her written testimony about how she was targeted by the federal government for her work, much like investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who also testified Thursday to accuse the Obama administration of hacking her computer.
“I’m here today because I was targeted by the government for daring to speak out. I’m here as one of thousands of Americans who have become living examples of a kind of trickle down tyranny that is actively endorsed by the current Administration and rigorously enforced by the Department of Justice,” Engelbrecht stated in her written testimony, noting that she was “subjected to more than fifteen instances of audit, inquiry, or investigation by federal agencies, including; the IRS, OSHA, ATF, and the FBI.”
But Color of Change, co-founded by Van Jones, is not having it.
“As the United States Senate moves in to confirmation hearings for the first African American woman to serve as Attorney General, Senate Republicans have called upon an ‘expert witness’ for testimony that is best known for her aggressive, racially-targeted voter suppression operation,” stated Color of Change executive director Rashad Robinson. “Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder of True the Vote, does far more to intimidate Black voters than to protect elections — and she has no place at Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearings.”
Robinson said that Engelbrecht’s past statements on voting law activist efforts (she called it “race-baiting” and one attempt a ploy to “exact racial justice on [activists’] presumed enemies) should “prohibit her from testifying on an expert panel to confirm the first Black female AG.”
“True the Vote’s history of intimidating Black and Latino voters at the polls and attempts to purge voters in our communities show the organization is not interested in protecting everyone’s freedom to vote but instead in manipulating elections to support the far right wing,” Robinson added. “That Engelbrecht is being given a platform to speak at these confirmation hearings tells us everything about the extreme agenda of the Republican senators who invited her and nothing about Loretta Lynch.”
True the Vote spokesman Logan Churchwell told TheDC that Color of Change’s attack is “unfortunate” and “inaccurate.”
“It’s absurd that an organization like True the Vote can be on the receiving end of questionable DOJ treatment for years — simply for disagreeing with the Department’s stand that black voters are ‘less sophisticated‘ than whites with respect to our favoring election integrity reforms. While it isn’t unexpected that some Department apologists on the political sideline criticize our role in the national discussion for the future of our DOJ, it’s unfortunate that they must reduce themselves to repeating allegations that have long been proven inaccurate.