Thursday, May 12, 2016
White Supremacist Attorney Bill Johnson Says He Has Stepped Aside as Trump Delegate
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
Attorney William Johnson, a leader of the American Freedom Party and self-proclaimed white nationalist, pauses for photos in his office in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles attorney and avowed racial supremacist William D. Johnson said he has resigned from the slate of Republican National Convention delegate candidates pledged to Donald Trump.
Johnson, who was defeated in a bid for election as Los Angeles Superior Court judge in 2008, told The Associated Press that he received an email from Trump California director Tim Clark Tuesday informing him that his name had been “erroneously listed” as a delegate.
Johnson runs the American National Super PAC, which made automated phone calls supporting Trump’s candidacy across the country, and the American Freedom Party, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a political party initially established by racist Southern California skinheads that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule.”
The Trump campaign released a statement blaming a “database error” for the inclusion of Johnson on its delegate list, saying he been rejected and removed from the campaign’s list in February 2016. It said the name has been withdrawn and a corrected list resubmitted to state officials
Johnson told the AP it had been a mistake for him to submit his name for consideration.
In California, Republican candidates pick potential delegates to the GOP’s summer convention.
The delegates are then selected based on the outcome of voting in the state’s June 7 primary.
“I was naive,” Johnson said. “I thought people wouldn’t notice, and if they did notice I didn’t think it would be a big deal.” He said his resignation is effective immediately.
Previously, Trump had drawn criticism for hesitating before denouncing former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who said not voting for Trump was “treason to your heritage.”
Johnson said he never disclosed his white nationalist beliefs in his application for the delegate slot.
“You answer the questions that they ask, and they asked, ‘What have you done to support Donald Trump?’ They didn’t ask, ‘Are you a white nationalist?” he said.
Trump “wants to build the wall (along the border with Mexico). He wants to cut off illegal immigration, and he wants to cut back on foreign trade, bring jobs back to America,” Johnson added. “We believe Donald Trump will help lead the country in a proper direction.”
Sam Mahood, a spokesman for the California Secretary of State’s Office, said the Trump campaign attempted to submit a revised list of delegates to the office Tuesday, a day after the deadline. It was rejected.
However, Mahood said state election law allows candidates to submit a list of alternates within 30 days after primary. He said it would be up to the Republican National Committee or the state Republican Party to set the process for replacing a delegate with an alternate.
Johnson, under the pseudonym James O. Pace, is the author of the 1985 tome “Amendment to the Constitution: Averting the Decline and Fall of America,” in which he advocates a constitutional amendment repealing the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and limiting U.S. citizenship to “non-Hispanic white[s] of the European race.”
The attorney generally attempted to avoid publicity in his judicial race, which he lost to then-Commissioner James Bianco by a 3-1 margin. Mother Jones, the first publication to report his inclusion on the Trump delegate slate, said he now co-hosts a radio program with Rev. Ronald C. Tan, who also injected himself into the 2008 judicial races by seeking to recruit write-in candidates to oppose six unopposed Spanish-surnamed judges.
Johnson said in a Washington Post interview that the Trump campaign was likely unaware of his beliefs.
“I was a delegate for two hours, they got inundated, and that’s probably the time they said, ‘Who is this Johnson?’ ” he said. “Nobody knows who I am. I think the Trump campaign probably knows more about me now, but you can’t hold that against the vetting people in a campaign. I didn’t emblazon on there that I’m a white nationalist. So it was an innocent mistake on the vetting person’s part.”
Johnson is the subject of an extensive biography on the website of the SPLC, which identifies and publicizes organizations it describes as hate groups, including the American Freedom Party. The SPLC’s Heidi Beirich told the Post it was highly unlikely the Trump campaign was unaware of Johnson’s background, given the extensive publicity he received earlier in the year as a result of pro-Trump robocalls to voters in primary and caucus states.
Johnson said in the calls that “[t]white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist,’ ” warned of the “gradual genocide against the white race” and complained that in the United States, “few schools anymore have beautiful white children as a majority.”
Although the Pace Amendment would have denied U.S. citizenship to anyone who was more than one-eighth “semitic,” he told the Post he is not bothered that Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married an orthodox Jewish man.
“I do think it’s better for a Christian to marry a Christian,” he said. “But that’s not my say, and it’s not Donald Trump’s say. That’s his daughter’s say.”
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company