Williams, Toomey Criticize Obama Pick of Former Mumia Lawyer for DOJ Post

Debo Adegbile faces opposition to his nomination for Civil Rights Division.

D.A. Seth Williams and Sen. Pat Toomey have both weighed in against President Obama’s pick of Debo Adegbile to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Adegibile, earlier in his career, defended convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Juamal.

Fox News reports on statements from the two officials:

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., also opposes Adegbile’s nomination, saying his record raises “serious questions” about his judgment.




"Notably, a team of defense lawyers managed by Mr. Adegbile distorted the facts in the case for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the unrepentant murderer who took the life of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner 32 years ago," Toomey said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

Williams, meanwhile, noted in his letter to Leahy and Grassley that Abu-Jamal made every effort to turn his trial into “political theater” by repeatedly interrupting the proceedings and insulting the judge.

“Of course, in our system even a radical cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is entitled to legal representation,” his letter continued. “That does not mean, however, that those lawyers who elect to arm him in his efforts are suitable to lead this nation’s highest law enforcement offices.”

Williams' statement is particularly odd. He agrees that, under the Constitution, Mumia Abu-Jamal has the right to a lawyer. But he suggests that people who help Abu-Jamal exercise his Constitutional rights must be punished for doing so.

No one is entitled to a top Department of Justice job, of course, but unless there's real evidence that Adegbile acted improperly in representing Abu-Jamal, then Adegbile shouldn't have to sacrifice his career prospects because people don't like his client. The rule of law isn't really the rule of law if a defendant is abandoned to face prosecution by his lonesome.

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  • Ken Veith

    Apparently neither of these guys understand that you are entitled to the best defense possible. I’ll bet if either one of them needed a good defense lawyer they would want all the stops pulled. How hypocritical. They are just playing to their base.