J. Christian Adams

John Christian Adams (born 1968)[1][2] is an American attorney and conservative activist[3] formerly employed by the United States Department of Justice under the George W. Bush administration. Since leaving the DOJ, Adams has become notable for making alarmist and false claims about the extent of voter fraud in the United States. He has falsely accused a number of legitimate voters of being fraudulent, and has published information about them online, including Social Security numbers.

J. Christian Adams
John Christian Adams

EducationHempfield Area High School
Alma materWest Virginia University
University of South Carolina School of Law

After leaving his position in 2010, Adams accused the department of racial bias in its handling of a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party; an internal review by the DOJ concluded that charges of bias were without foundation.

He was a member of Donald Trump's election integrity commission which was intended to investigate claims of voter fraud. The establishment of the commission followed through on previous discredited claims by Trump that millions of illegal immigrants had voted in the 2016 United States presidential election, costing him the popular vote. The commission was disbanded less than a year after its creation without finding evidence of significant fraud.[4]


Adams grew up in Hempfield Township in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Hempfield Area High School.[5] Adams received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from West Virginia University, then his juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1993, and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1994.[6][7] From 1993 to 1997, Adams served as counsel for Jim Miles, the Secretary of State of South Carolina.[8] In 1999, the Virginia State Bar admitted Adams.[1] Adams is an Eagle Scout.[9]

The Washington Times noted in February 2001 that Adams filed a formal ethics complaint with the Florida Bar against Hugh Rodham, brother of then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, that accused Rodham of violating bar regulations by representing people considered for presidential pardon from former president Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary Rodham Clinton.[10] Citing United States Department of Justice confidentiality rules, the Florida Bar ruled that Hugh Rodham did not violate any rules.[11] Adams responded to the Bar by emphasizing that his complaint accused Rodham of illegally taking a contingent fee to represent the two clients appealing for a pardon.[11] The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2003 that the Transportation Security Administration falsely placed Adams in a No Fly List along with other people with names like "J. Adams".[12]

In December 2007, Columbia, South Carolina newspaper The State reported that Adams called on increased oversight of the South Carolina Supreme Court in response to a controversy over the court reversing the grades of 20 who failed the bar exam.[8]

In August 2020, Trump appointed Adams to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.[13]

Justice Department Civil Rights DivisionEdit

The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division under the George W. Bush administration hired Adams in 2005.[14] In 2008, Adams was one of three federal attorneys probing Lake Park, Florida for possible bias against African-Americans being elected to town commission.[15]

In December 2009, Adams's supervisor and Civil Rights Division attorney Christopher Coates stepped down as chief of the voting division in December 2009 amid controversy over his objections to the dropping of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. Coates' testimony before the United States Civil Rights Commission supported Adams' allegations,[16] and the Commission's report that found "a cover-up of a possible racial double standard in law enforcement in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice," and, detailing "a year of DOJ’s intransigence and baseless refusals to comply with our subpoenas," that "the Department of Justice is unquestionably hostile to any serious investigation of these allegations."[17] In May 2010, Adams resigned from the Justice Department.[18]

A later internal review by the Department of justice concluded that the dismissal of some charges in the Black Panthers intimidation case was "based on a good-faith assessment of the law and facts of the case" and found "no evidence that partisan politics was a motivating factor in reaching the decision."[19]

Post-Justice Department careerEdit

After leaving the Justice Department, Adams became a contributor to Pajamas Media.[5] He has been a guest commentator for Fox News, Rush Limbaugh's DailyRushbo.com, the Heritage Foundation, Newsmax TV and other conservative media. On June 28, 2010, The Washington Times published a guest commentary by Adams in which Adams accused the Justice Department of racial bias by dropping the New Black Panthers case.[20] Subsequently, Adams accused Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of lying under oath in investigative hearings before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.[5] On July 6, 2010, Adams testified before the Commission on Civil Rights that the Justice Department's decision was driven by racial bias against white Americans.[21]

During the 2012 Republican presidential primaries in Virginia, Adams represented candidate Michele Bachmann in a multi-candidate lawsuit to add Bachmann and others to the primary ballot in Virginia.[22] Bachmann and the other candidates lost the lawsuit.[23]

Claims about voter fraudEdit

Adams serves as president of the non-profit Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a group that advocates for stricter voter ID laws, and has without evidence asserted that there is an "alien invasion" at the voting booth.[19] According to NBC News, the foundation has "spent years suing counties to force them to purge their rolls and he's published personal information online about thousands of registered voters he believes could have committed fraud."[19] Adams has described those who say there is no comprehensive proof of systemic voter fraud as "flat-earthers".[19] In 2017, Adams was chosen by President Donald Trump to be a member of Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.[19] Adams opposes automatic voter registration, saying that voter registration should require "forethought and initiative, something lacking in large segments of the Democrat base."[3]

PILF has published the information of eligible voters online, including Social Security numbers, falsely accusing them of being fraudulent voters.[19] One such voter was a U.S. missionary in Guatemala whom highlighted as a fraudulent voter in a Washington Times article based on the PILF report.[19]


  • Adams, J. Christian (2011), Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, ISBN 1-59698277-2

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "John Christian Adams". Avvo. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Markon, Jerry; Thompson, Krissah (October 23, 2010). "Dispute over New Black Panthers case causes deep divisions". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2012. Adams, 42, was assigned as the lead lawyer. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Jacobs, Ben (2017-07-11). "Controversial rightwing activist to join Trump's election integrity commission". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  4. ^ Tanfani, Simon Lewis, Joseph (2020-09-09). "Special Report: How a small group of U.S. lawyers pushed voter fraud fears into the mainstream". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  5. ^ a b c Gazarik, Richard (July 2, 2010). "Lawyer bashes Obama officials over Philadelphia voter-intimidation case". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "The Justice Department and the New Black Panthers Voting Rights Controversy". Federalist Society. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "John Christian Adams search". South Carolina Bar. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b Brundrett, Rick (December 2, 2007). "Supreme Court not off the hook". The State. Columbia, SC. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Obama's Choice: 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts, or Joy Behar?". PJ Media. Retrieved February 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ McCaslin, John (February 26, 2001), "Inside the beltway", The Washington Times, archived from the original on March 3, 2001 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link).
  11. ^ a b McCaslin 2001.
  12. ^ Gathright, Alan (June 8, 2003). "No-fly list ensnares innocent travelers". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 20, 2003.
  13. ^ "J. Christian Adams Appointed to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights". Public Interest Legal Foundation. 11 August 2020.
  14. ^ Reilly, Ryan J. "Voting Section Chief Out Amid Controversy". Main justice. Retrieved 2010-07-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Dubocq, Tom (July 20, 2008). "Feds probe possible racial bias in Lake Park voting". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on September 4, 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Foster, Daniel (September 24, 2010). "Coates Testifies at Civil Rights Commission". The Corner. National Review Online. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Race Neutral Enforcement of the Law? The U.S. Department of Justice and the New Black Panther Party Litigation: An Interim Report (PDF), US Commission of Civil Rights, December 3, 2010
  18. ^ Reilly, Ryan J. (May 18, 2010). "DOJ lawyer who brought Black Panthers case resigns". Main Justice. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "Vote fraud crusader J. Christian Adams sparks outrage". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  20. ^ Adams, J. Christian (June 28, 2010). "Inside the Black Panther case". Washington Times. p. B1.
  21. ^ Savage, Charlie (July 7, 2010). "Racial Motive Alleged in a Justice Dept. Decision". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Higgins, Tim; Millard, Mike (January 6, 2012). "Virginia's Cuccinelli Opposes Changes to March Primary Rules". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 8, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Kumar, Anita (January 13, 2012). "Perry, Gingrich lose lawsuit to get on Virginia primary ballot". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 8, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit