Pathetic with a capital P.
(Politico) — Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed Tuesday that on his watch the Justice Department decided not to prosecute a key leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. However, confirming a report last week on this blog — Holder noted that Bush-era officials also made an earlier decision not to proceed with the case.
“The decision that was reached in this administration was the same that was reached in the Bush administration — a determination made that for a variety of reasons, looking at the facts and the law, a prosecution would not be appropriate. A review was done of that decision in this administration and the conclusion was reached that that earlier decision was an appropriate one,” Holder said in response to a question at a wide-ranging briefing for reporters.
Holder said the “decision wasn’t necessarily about CAIR as it was about a guy, an individual.” The attorney general did not name the person in question. However, in a letter to Holder earlier this month, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) said the decision pertained to CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad and came over the objection of Dallas-based federal prosecutors handling the investigation.
Evidence those prosecutors presented at the trial of officials of another non-profit Muslim organization, the Holy Land Foundation, suggested that Ahmad attended a 1993 meeting that prosecutors contend was a support meeting for Hamas and involved plotting opposition to the Middle East peace process.
CAIR has denied any connection to Hamas or involvement with terrorism. Efforts to contact Ahmad for comment, including through the California CAIR chapter he remains on the board of, have been unsuccessful.
Holder told reporters Tuesday that the recent decision to decline prosecution was made by “career folks looking at the evidence.” However, a Justice Department spokesman clarified moments later that the decision was made by senior officials who are not career, but political appointees. Pajamas Media has reported the decision was made by the former head of the National Security Division, David Kris.
Holder said he did not make the decision about whether or not to prosecute the CAIR official. “As attorney general, some folks think that my hands are in every decision that’s made, especially those they disagree with, but that is not the case,” the attorney general said.
Note: Awesome job by Patrick Poole breaking this story!