September 27, 2012
Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky was singled out for attack by the Department of Justice’s public affairs team, according to newly released e-mail exchanges.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle discovered e-mails detailing the cozy relationship between the DOJ and the left-wing Media Matters.
According to the released messages, Tracy Schmaler, the director of the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs, enlisted Media Matters to “attack reporters covering DOJ scandals,” including von Spakovsky.
He explains his reaction to discovering he had been singled out for attack:
I am not sure whether to feel honored that my critical reporting on the Justice Department’s misdeeds and rank politicalization attracted such attention, or upset that my taxpayer dollars have been used to attack me personally and professionally. But there is no question that taxpayers and Congress should be upset over unethical conduct by Justice Department employees who use government resources to abuse private citizens and journalists guilty only of reporting on the department’s malfeasance.
This “enemies list” includes various other conservative figures:
In addition to me, Schmaler solicited attacks on other former Justice Department lawyers such as J. Christian Adams, National Review Online contributor Andy McCarthy, and Christopher Coates; bloggers and journalists such as Mike Vanderboegh and William LaJeunesse of Fox News; and even members of Congress such as Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Schmaler also sought an article from Media Matters attacking Judson Phillips, one of the founders of Tea Party Nation.
Not only that, the e-mails reveal that the DOJ was targeting one of its own employees:
Schmaler was clandestinely providing false information to her chosen media source to attack him while he was prosecuting cases for DOJ. This is the kind of behavior one expects from dictatorships and banana republics, not from the chief law-enforcement agency of the U.S. government.
Do you think the government should single out citizens critical of its policies?