U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday she’s “disturbed greatly” by the INDY’s report that Raleigh lawyer Thomas Farr wasn’t truthful with her in committee hearings on the federal judgeship for which he was nominated by President Trump….
Farr, sixty-three, was picked by Trump to become a federal district judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina this year. In Farr’s response to questions from Feinstein, he said he had didn’t learn in advance of the more than one hundred thousand postcards the late Senator Jesse Helms’s U.S. Senate campaign sent to primarily to African-American voters in 1990, insinuating that they would be arrested if they voted. In his role as campaign counsel, Farr said, his first knowledge came in a complaint about the cards from the federal Department of Justice.
The Judiciary Committee voted along partisan lines in October to send Farr’s nomination to the full Senate, but no time has been set for a vote.
The Helms campaign was working feverishly in October 1990 to defeat former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, an African American. (This was the campaign that produced the notoriously racist “Hands” ad.) Farr has long said he had no role in sending the postcards. But a former Department of Justice prosecutor repeated to the INDY this week what he had told this reporter in 2009—that Farr knew about the postcards well in advance of the mailing, which implies that he misled the Senate committee about his involvement.