Since Kristen Clarke was nominated to lead the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, RNLA has highlighted concerns with her record including inconsistencies with her testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon have uncovered another inconsistency in Clarke's testimony:
Clarke told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that she merely provided "logistical support" for a 1999 Columbia University conference, "Black America vs. The Prison Industrial Complex." But an itinerary from the conference shows Clarke moderated a panel on alleged human rights violations in the prison system. . .
Clarke said last week in written responses to a question from Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) that she "did not have a speaking or other substantive role at the conference," which was hosted by Columbia University's Institute for Research in African-American Studies on April 23, 1999. She doubled down during her April 14 confirmation hearing.
The itinerary tells a different story. It shows Clarke moderated a panel on alleged human rights violations in the prison system. One of the panelists was Linda Thurston, whom Clarke introduced as a cofounder of Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, was sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His case became a cause célèbre for social justice activists who believe he received an unfair trial.
NEW: Kristen Clarke moderated a panel at a conference where cop killers were praised as political prisoners.— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) May 4, 2021
Clarke told Senate last week she had no speaking role at the conference
My first for @FreeBeacon https://t.co/qSBr2TxHR7
This revelation comes after emails were discovered last month contradicting another portion of her testimony:
President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division circulated an essay from self-proclaimed Marxist poet Amiri Baraka defending cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and referring to police officers as members of the Ku Klux Klan, according an email from her days at Columbia University. . .
Clarke testified at her Senate confirmation hearing last week that she was unfamiliar with the Abu-Jamal and Shakur cases and that she only provided logistics for Marable’s conference. . .
Clarke’s handling of Baraka’s article about Abu-Jamal suggests she had some familiarity with the convicted murderer’s case. It also suggests that she thought the material was acceptable for publication in a journal and for use at an academic conference.
As the Washington Examiner's Editorial Board notes in an editorial entitled "Senate should reject radical, unethical Kristen Clarke for top civil rights post," these inconsistencies in Clarke's testimony should be disqualifying:
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.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on whether to advance Clarke's nomination to the full Senate in the coming weeks.