The Courts

Kristen Clarke edited a journal alongside poet who blamed Jews for 9/11

Kristen Clarke / Getty Images • April 30, 2021 2:00 pm

Archived copies of a scholarly journal show Justice Department nominee Kristen Clarke listed on the masthead alongside an anti-Semitic writer with whom she claimed under oath she has never collaborated.

The revelation could prompt charges that she gave inaccurate answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clarke told lawmakers that she has never worked with Amiri Baraka, the Marxist and anti-Semitic black nationalist who accused Israel of having advanced knowledge of 9/11 in a 2002 poem. Both Clarke and Baraka are listed as editors of the journal Souls at least eight times over two years.

While Clarke’s denial may not technically amount to perjury, less-than-candid responses have proved fatal for other nominees of both parties. Ryan Nelson, a Trump judicial nominee, withdrew from consideration for a vacancy on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after Democrats charged that he tried to conceal bombastic writings from his college years. Goodwin Liu, an Obama nominee for the same court, withdrew after he failed to disclose dozens of speeches and articles.

In a written supplement to Clarke’s April 14 confirmation hearing, Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) asked Clarke a series of questions about Baraka and an article he wrote comparing police officers and judges to the Ku Klux Klan. The article is called “Mumia, Lynch Law, and Imperialism.” “Mumia” refers to Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for murdering a police officer in 1981.

Lee asked Clarke whether she served “on the editorial staff of a journal with Amiri Baraka.” She answered “no.”

The Washington Free Beacon reviewed eight editions of the journal in question, Souls, A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, on Taylor & Francis, the international publisher of scholarly journals. The editions were published quarterly in 1999 and 2000. In each edition, Clarke is listed on the masthead as an assistant editor while Baraka is listed as

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