Biden judicial nominee apologizes to Senate for not disclosing role at event with anti-Israel activists

EXCLUSIVE — A federal judicial nominee issued an apology over the weekend to senators for failing to disclose his participation at a conference with anti-Israel activists that was first reported on by the Washington Examiner.

Adeel Mangi, who is President Joe Biden‘s pick for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote in a letter on Saturday to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he “inadvertently omitted one responsive item” from his questionnaire in November 2023. The letter was addressed to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the panel’s ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Mangi, a New Jersey lawyer, has come under intensified scrutiny from GOP senators for previously sitting on an advisory board at Rutgers Law School’s Center for Security, Race and Rights, an office that hosted a 2021 event featuring a convicted terrorist fundraiser. In 2022, Mangi moderated a panel at the annual conference for the National Association of Muslim Lawyers, the Washington Examiner reported last week. His law firm, Patterson Belknap, helped sponsor the event, along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which federal prosecutors named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” of Hamas in a 2009 terrorism financing case.

“In 2022, I moderated a 50-minute panel discussion at an annual conference of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers,” Mangi told the senators in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Examiner. “The title of the panel was ‘Islamophobia in America: Losing Steam or Gaining Momentum?’ To the best of my recollection, I facilitated a discussion of the state of Islamophobia in the United States.”

In the letter, Mangi wrote that the association asked him to moderate it and he “did not recall this event when preparing” his questionnaire responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “despite diligent efforts to search my records for all potentially responsive items.”

“I do not have any notes, transcript, or recording of this panel discussion,” Mangi wrote in the letter, listing the address in Georgia for the association. “I apologize for the inadvertent omission of this event, and I appreciate the Senate’s ongoing consideration of my nomination.”

Circuit Judge Nominee Adeel Abdullah Mangi testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on judicial nominations at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The disclosure failure is the latest hiccup for Mangi’s nomination. Republicans have continued to raise concerns over his prior advisory role for the Rutgers center, the director of which, Sahar Aziz, sat on the 2022 panel at the National Association of Muslim Lawyers’s conference.

The Rutgers center equated condemnation of Hamas after the Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel to attempts to “ignore over 75 years of colonial violence and the horrific consequences born out of these decades of oppression and attempted erasure.” Both Mangi and Patterson Belknap have donated to the center, which the conservative Judicial Crisis Network group slammed in recent advertisements for hosting a 2021 event on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks featuring Sami al Arian. That individual pleaded guilty in 2006 to aiding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

At the 2022 National Association of Muslim Lawyers conference, the panel Mangi moderated also featured lawyer Samira Elhosary. She works for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, which was formed under the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

Also known as MLFA, the organization funded the defense of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a defunct charity shuttered by the U.S. government in 2001 over Hamas support. MLFA also funded the defense of al Arian.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

On Monday, Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino wrote an op-ed titled “Did Adeel Mangi Mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee?” in National Review. Severino, who was a law clerk from 2007 to 2008 to conservative to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said the nominee’s “lack of candor and transparency adds to the already compelling case against Mangi’s confirmation.”

“Kaminsky’s report details multiple points of support of Hamas in connection with conference sponsors,” Severino said. “Internal emails suggest Mangi’s proactive involvement with the panel and close working relationship with Aziz, who in 2021 solicited Mangi to donate $2,500 to the Center for Security, Race, and Rights at Rutgers Law School as it prepared to launch its anti-Israel ‘Palestine program.’ That is the organization to which Mangi served on the advisory board, and he claimed ignorance of its extremist programming during his hearing.”

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