Holder In The Hot Seat, Still Can't Explain Why DOJ Censored Hip Hop Blog
from the answers-were-not-satisfactory dept
Turns out he never responded to her questions.
Of course, since then the secret proceedings in the case (which Dajaz1 was not even allowed to know about, or even have their lawyer speak to the judge) have been unsealed. Those revealed that the ICE Agent in charge of the case, Andrew Reynolds, had basically sat around doing nothing for over a year, waiting for the RIAA to finally provide the evidence that Dajaz1 had broken the law. That evidence was obviously never produced, which is why Dajaz1 eventually got its domain back.
There was another oversight hearing yesterday, and Zoe Lofgren quizzed Holder again, noting that not only did he not respond to her questions, but also highlighting the unsealed documents, which show that the original affidavit was misleading.
Holder first responds that he "believes" the seizures were legal, because the court signed off on them. Lofgren immediately challenges that, noting the incorrect or misleading information in the affidavit, and asking if he believes it's okay to censor a site for over a year and not allow the site to even be heard by the court in all that time. At that point, he at least admits that if the affidavit was "misleading" that "that would not be an appropriate basis for action on behalf of the government." He also notes that seizure is a powerful tool that needs to be used "judiciously." And then notes that if what Lofgren descrbied was accurate "that would be of great concern."
Of course, none of that comments on what actually happened here -- and it's not like this is the first time he's heard of this. Remember, he was directly asked about it last year, and had promised to look into the details. Furthermore, after the hearing, Lofgren put out a statement saying that not only did she not hear back from him after her questions last year, but "prior to this hearing my staff told his staff to tell him the question I was going to be asking so he could be prepared to answer." Clearly, he was not prepared to answer.
As Lofgren notes, "I didn't think it was a very impressive answer, and to suppress free speech for a year with secret proceedings and no probable cause is a problem. It's not the way America is supposed to be."