March 25, 2019
If there's one liberal group grateful for the Robert Mueller report, it's probably Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). After a week in the media's hot seat, the organization is probably relieved for the distraction. But fortunately for the American public there are plenty of new revelations about the phony civil rights group to keep the scandal burning.
Late Friday, just as the special counsel's report was on its way to the U.S. attorney general, the bleeding at SPLC continued. Center president Richard Cohen, another one named in former employee Bob Moser's scathing piece for the New Yorker, was the second shoe to drop. The SPLC shake-up now includes Cohen, whose resignation hit the news wire while most Americans were heading home for the weekend. Cohen, who's spent more than 30 years at the organization and was known for his open hostility toward Donald Trump, said that he was stepping down "in order to give the organization the best chance to heal."
But healing may be a ways off for the group, who hired Michelle Obama staffer Tina Tchen to lead the internal review of the toxic culture that's turned the rich "nonprofit" on its head. Of course, Tchen -- apart from being an openly partisan choice -- has some baggage of her own. It turns out that the Chicago-based lawyer has her own controversy to deal with, including some involvement in the elaborate Jussie Smollett "hate crimes" hoax. According to news reports, his family's attorneys "enlisted" Tchen's help, hoping she would use her local leverage to intervene.
"They were 'concerned' about details of the incident and Smollett's reports to investigators being leaked and said that they wanted the FBI to handle the case. Tchen, who serves as Michelle Obama's Chief of Staff, contacted [state's attorney Kim] Foxx. 'I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,' she said in her first text which was obtained by The Chicago Sun Tribune..."
Over the next two weeks, she quietly worked with Foxx to have the case handed over to the FBI. It wasn't. Now, the labor union that represents Chicago's police officers thinks her involvement is fishy enough to ask the Justice Department to investigate. "In a letter to John R. Lausch, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote, 'private attorneys are not allowed to interfere with ongoing police investigations, particularly at the request of private individuals associated with subjects being investigated by the police.'" Surely, a woman who's the subject of an investigation isn't the best choice person to lead one. And yet, that's par for the SPLC course. Foxes seem to always be guarding the hate house.
Meanwhile, the organization's home base is looking more like a sinking ship. "On Thursday, Rhonda Brownstein, SPLC legal director and a member of its senior leadership staff, also resigned, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to the Advertiser." Earlier, more than two dozen employees had signed a letter to the SPLC board of directors, rife with "allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism." At least four former employees have come forward with experiences similar to Moser's. On the condition of anonymity, they told reporters that they were tired of the SPLC "prioritizing marketing and fundraising over civil rights work."
Like so many others, they were incredibly disappointed to learn once they got to SPLC what a "highly-profitable scam" it was. "We were part of the con, and we knew it," Moser wrote. At least now, the rest of the country is in on the racket. The next time the organization or any of the Left wing allies have the audacity to use the SPLC's hate group label, Americans will know that the designation means little coming from a place that the world now knows has its own issues with racism and bigotry.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.