Be Careful When You Tell People to Read a Damning Report

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 12 2013 5:06 PM

Be Careful When You Tell People to Read a Damning Inspector General Report

107984457
(L-R) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez and National Urban League CEO Marc Morial listen to the Star Spangled Banner during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program at the Department of Justice January 11, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Jennifer Rubin offers a reading assigment, one that will reveal the problems with likely Labor nominee Tom Perez.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

I won’t revisit all the behavior of the Obama Justice Department but a nearly-300 page report has been released by the administration’s own inspector general. The IG went out of the way to be even-handed, even when there was substantial evidence of politicization. However, his conclusion — that is of the Obama Justice Department’s own investigator — is damning for those, including Perez, who have run the DOJ since 2009.

From that report:

On May 28, 2009, Jennifer Rubin of PJM sent a letter to the Division’s FOIA Office that contained 21 separate requests for records of communications from or to certain managers, attorneys, and analysts in the Voting Section on numerous topics, such as hiring decisions, travel requests, investigations, outside publication of articles, and interaction with certain advocacy groups. Hermilla told the OIG that Rubin’s request was “clearly complex” based on the number of separate requests and the likely potential for a significant volume of records.
He said that Rubin’s request was “among a select . . . 5 percent” of requests that have involved over 20 separate requests for records in his 27 years in the FOIA Office. He also said that many of the requests targeted individual attorney communications, thus raising potential personal privacy issues and issues of Voting Section enforcement sensitivity. Therefore, a “lineby-line” review of responsive materials would be required.
On October 4, 2010, Hermilla sent a letter to Rubin asking if she would consider narrowing the scope of her request to fewer than 21 items to possibly receive a quicker response. Hermilla told us that Rubin never responded to this letter.
Donovan told the OIG that the review of the sensitive material responsive to this request has been “very time-consuming.” For example, she told us that one Voting Section attorney alone had 8,000 e-mails that had to be reviewed in processing Rubin’s request. Additionally, Donovan told us that she has devoted significant time to address this broad request, but must review and process responsive materials by herself because of the sensitive personal and managerial information targeted by the request.
Advertisement

So not everything is Tom Perez's fault!

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.