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The Senate should reject leftist lawyer Kristen Clarke’s nomination as the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
New ethical questions help illustrate why. Clarke’s record already showed a tendency toward ideological extremism. Now, she stands credibly accused of multiple instances of providing false testimony under oath.
Clarke's extremism was already reason enough to override the ordinary deference due to a president in selecting executive branch officials. But the combination of extremism with apparent dishonesty should remove that deference entirely.
Clarke’s extremist tendencies have manifested themselves on matters of policing and race. On law enforcement, she long has stood accused of animus against the police in general. On race, she has a long history of advocacy for, or association with, black radicals and black anti-Semites and of opposing the prosecution of black vote-fraudsters.
Still, Clarke either explained away or denied some of the diciest associations or activities of which she was accused. Indeed, she blurred the record enough that she still seemed quite capable of securing grudging support from the key Senate centrists who effectively will decide her nomination’s fate.
Now, however, those attempts at blurring the record look less like Clarke exploiting gray areas and more like lies.
Clarke almost surely was fibbing when she told senators under oath that racist collegiate writings of hers were intended as satire, though the evidence strongly suggests otherwise. Also troubling was when she told Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas that a recent opinion piece of hers was intended to oppose the “defunding” of police when in the very text of her column, she wrote this: “I advocate for defunding policing operations that have made African Americans more vulnerable to police violence and contributed to mass incarceration, while investing more in programs and policies that address critical community needs.”
Now, however, the Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross has shown rather convincing evidence that Clarke lied to the Senate on two other matters. First, she said that she “did not have a speaking or other substantive role” at a controversial conference at which black radicals lauded several notorious cop-killers, such as Philadelphia’s Mumia Abu-Jamal. Ross, however, found the official conference itinerary, which listed Clarke as a moderator (a direct participant in the presentation, or, in short, a “speaker”) for a panel that included a top advocate for Abu-Jamal.
Second, Clarke told the Senate that she did not serve alongside Marxist, anti-Semitic poet Amiri Baraka on the staff of a journal on black studies. The truth is that she and Baraka together were, respectively, an “assistant editor” and a “contributing editor” for eight full issues.
Indeed, Clarke specifically recommended the journal to publish a Baraka essay that said the duly convicted Abu-Jamal was a “lynch victim” and that the Ku Klux Klan has now morphed into “the Police, with the Blue uniforms replacing the sheets and hoods.”
Again, and especially for the Department of Justice, the only thing worse than an anti-police radical is an anti-police radical who lies repeatedly under oath about both aspects of that radicalism.
Kristen Clarke is not fit to oversee civil rights enforcement. All senators who take their constitutional obligations seriously should vote to reject her nomination.
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