Tom Perez has defeated Rep. Keith Ellison in the race to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee, but donâ€™t rest easy: Perez also has a concerning record and chose Ellison as his deputy chairman.
When he was the assistant attorney general of the Justice Departmentâ€™s Civil Rights Division, he included Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and their allies in discussions about counter-terrorism training and investigations and laws punishing alleged â€œhate speechâ€ against the religion of Islam. Muslim and non-Muslim critics of such Islamist groups were not a part of Perezâ€™ outreach on these issues.
Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor responsible for locking up the â€œBlind Sheikhâ€ behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, rightly pointed out at the time that the result of excluding the Islamist groupsâ€™ rivals is that officials like Perez â€œare making these Islamist groups into the representatives of Muslims in the United States.â€
In 2012, Perez wouldn’t answer what should have been a very easy question posed by Rep. Trent Frank (R-AZ) while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the ConstitutionÂ :
â€œWill you tell us here today that this Administrationâ€™s Department of Justice willÂ neverÂ entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech againstÂ any religion?”
His answer was a series of stammers and assertions that it was hard to answer. (See Â shocking video below:)
Then, as Secretary of Labor, Perez continued to give groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) a platform while excluding the other side. In May 2015, CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo Amr Ruiz was invited to take part in a roundtable with Perez about immigration and wage issues.
Keep in mind, Perez invited a group that FBI policy officially prohibits from being involved in outreach programs.
Counter-terrorism investigator Joe Kaufman has followed Ruiz and CAIRâ€™s Florida branch closely, documenting their radicalism and links to other Islamist extremist entities here and here.
Ruiz appeared on Newsmax TV with me in March 2016 where he made the ridiculous statement that there have been no terrorist networks in America since 2001. You can watch the segment here. He subsequently told Newsmax he would not appear on the show with me ever again.
The good news is that enough Democrats took Ellison’s record seriously to stop him from becoming the DNC chairman, to the point that prominent Democrat Alan Dershowitz said he’d leave the party if Ellison won.Â However, Ellison is still the deputy chairman and Perezâ€™s record leaves much to be desired.
As deputy chairman, Ellison is still positioned to make the DNC adopt the talking points of Islamist groups like CAIR.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.orgâ€™s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.