Last week, Virginia’s hard-right Attorney General Jason Miyares released a “report” (in air quotes, for reasons to be explained below) which he called “the culmination of a year-long investigation into the practices of the Virginia Parole Board.” The “report” was – unsurprisingly given the right-wing Republicans who wrote it and given their intense animosity towards parole or anything to do with the Ralph Northam administration – intensely harsh and negative about Gov. Northam’s parole board, its chairwoman Adrianne Bennett, etc, etc.
Again, though, it’s crucial when reading about (or reporting on) this “report” to keep in mind (and to make clear) that this was NOT an unbiased, dispassionate, professional investigation or anything of the sort, but exactly what you’d expect from a politically ambitious right wingnut like Jason Miyares – a “junk hit piece ‘parole report’,” as Arlington/Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (correctly) explained in a Twitter thread a few minutes ago (see below for screenshots).
Also noteworthy is that Dehghani-Tafti, in her Twitter thread, called out her predecessor, Theo Stamos (who Dehghani-Tafti defeated in the 2019 Democratic primary) by name, arguing that Stamos – who, after her defeat, seemed to take a sharp rightward turn, including going to work in Miyares’ office – for attempting “to turn back progress on criminal justice reform and block release of people who are rehabilitated.” According to Dehghani-Tafti, this is actually “the second Stamos anti-reform hit piece,” with her first one “written for the Trump/Barr Justice Department” and “done in such bad faith that it was halted by a federal judge after the court found that it was biased and unethical.” Ouch. And, Dehghani-Tafti pointed out (again correctly): “Miyares’ one political goal is destroying criminal justice reform in VA & the US.”
Finally, Dehghani-Tafti concluded her Twitter thread by taking a shot at her Democratic primary opponent, Josh Katcher – who worked for Theo Stamos for 8+ years and now argues that he’s running as a reform prosecutor who will be more effective than Dehghani-Tafti. According to Dehghani-Tafti, however, Katcher “has yet to speak out against this anti-reform hit piece authored by his political mentor [Theo Stamos],” and “this should give us all pause when we consider his claims to be a reformer.” It will be interesting to see whether Katcher responds to this, and ultimately whether he’ll move to condemn Stamos for her anti-criminal-justice-reform crusade…including this latest “junk hit piece.”