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Rep. Issa calls for congressional hearing on white supremacists

VISTA, Calif  – The House Judiciary Committee should conduct a hearing to examine the attacks in Charlottesville, recent displays of white nationalism and their impact on civil rights in America, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, said Thursday.

In a letter to the committee chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, Issa wrote that “we have a duty to more fully understand what led to these terrible events and the persistence of these hateful, extremist ideologies.”

A woman was killed and around 20 other people hurt in clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters on Saturday. The fatality and most injuries occurred when a car plowed into a large gathering. Police identified the driver as a 20-year-old Ohio man who, according to his former high school history teacher, had a keen interest in Hitler and Nazi Germany.

“While Congress cannot legislate respect, decency, or acceptance of others, we have an obligation to use our platform to lead our country forward on these matters,” Issa wrote. He called for the full Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction on civil rights issues, to hold a hearing on Charlottesville when Congress goes back into session next month.

The congressman from northern San Diego County, who is of Lebanese descent, noted that the Attorney General’s office plans to conduct a federal civil rights investigation and the House Homeland Security Committee has scheduled a Sept. 12 hearing to examine the events from the perspective of domestic terrorism.