FIRST ON FOX — A group of House Republicans are urging President Biden to withdraw a controversial nominee who has ties to 9/11 hijacker sympathizers.
In a letter obtained by Fox News Digital, a group of 10 GOP members who represent districts over which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals presides wrote to the president about judicial nominee Adeel Abdullah Mangi, who has garnered significant criticism from lawmakers for troubling affiliations.
The “grave concerns” raised by Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., and nine of his colleagues from Pennsylvania and New Jersey stem from 2019 to 2023, when Mangi served as a member of the board of advisers for the Center for Security, Race, and Rights at Rutgers Law School.
The center has a “deep history of amplifying antisemitic speech, terrorist propaganda, and anti-American rhetoric,” the lawmakers said in the letter.
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Adeel Abdullah Mangi (Getty Images)
“During his tenure as a board member, the Center supported efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel by pushing for the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) movement and calling for resistance in Palestine,” they wrote.
“In 2021, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey stated that one of the Center’s events sought to ‘delegitimize Israel and to push their antisemitic agenda into a mainstream discourse.’ The Jewish News Center, among other organizations, labeled a 2021 center event as ‘pro-Hamas’ and a ‘terrorist-whitewashing webinar.’”
The Coalition for Jewish Values, the Zionist Organization of America, Americans Against Antisemitism and others have thus opposed his nomination.
Additionally, the center has a record of sympathizing with radical terrorist organizations, the lawmakers said.
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Adeel Abdullah Mangi testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Getty Images)
On the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the center sponsored an event titled “Whose Narrative? 20 Years since September 11, 2001.” The event, which sought to challenge the “exceptionalization” of the attacks, included speakers with ties to terrorist organizations, according to the lawmakers.
The Republicans informed the president that Sami Al-Arian, a convicted felon who provided support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was a featured speaker. At the event, Al-Arian blamed the 9/11 attack on the United States and its support for Israel.
“As your Administration is aware, PIJ is a foreign terrorist organization and was involved in the atrocities committed against Israel on October 7, 2023,” they wrote.
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Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)
The lawmakers go on to argue that “while Mr. Mangi’s affiliation and financial support for the Center is cause for alarm, we also find it deeply troubling that he has failed to denounce the Center and its radical ideology.”
“On numerous occasions in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Mangi was given ample opportunity to denounce examples of antisemitic rhetoric espoused by the Center,” they said.
“He failed to do so in his written responses and oral testimony to the committee every single time.”
Mangi advanced out of the committee on an 11-10 party-line vote. His nomination now proceeds to the full Senate for a vote.
Mangi, a New Jersey resident and partner at the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, has been praised by Democrats for possibly being the nation’s first Muslim-American federal appellate judge.
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“Mangi is a standout figure in New Jersey’s legal landscape. It speaks volumes that his exceptional legal abilities are only exceeded by his character and unwavering commitment to fairness in the administration of justice,” Democrat Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said in a statement.
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital that “President Biden is deeply proud” to have nominated Mangi, calling him “an indisputably qualified and experienced attorney who has lived the American dream and is devoted to our Constitution and the rule of law.”
He called the Republicans’ criticisms “vile, unconscionable smears”, noting that they have “been discredited by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, among many others.”
Bates accused the GOP lawmakers of applying a “religious litmus test,” targeting Mangi for his Muslim faith – which, he noted, the Constitution “forbids.”