Judicial Watch (JW), a Washington D.C. based non-partisan educational foundation, released some two dozen pages of emails it obtained on Tuesday revealing connections between the Department of Justice Civil Rights and Tax divisions and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
According to JW, the e-mails reveal “questionable behavior by agency personnel while negotiating for Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a July 31, 2012, “Diversity Training Event.” Judicial Watch obtained the records pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) submitted to the DOJ on September 10, 2012:
The Judicial Watch FOIA request was prompted by an apparently politically motivated shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters in August, 2012. At the time of the shooting, FRC president Tony Perkins accused the SPLC of sparking the shooting, saying the shooter “was given a license to shoot… by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations as hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy.” On its website, the SPLC has depicted FRC as a hate group,” along with such mainstream conservative organizations as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries.
The FOIA request specifically requested “any and all records concerning, regarding, or relating to the Sothern Poverty Law Center” between January 1 and August 31, 2012, including the Dees’ presentation sponsored by the Civil Rights and Tax divisions of the DOJ.
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