Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested a hearing to investigate alleged racial bias within the Department of Justice, according to a letter sent Friday to committee chairman Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE (D-Vt.). 

The request came in relation to a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party that was prosecuted in January 2009 as a civil action, then dismissed for two of the three defendants the following May. An injunction was issued for the last defendant. 

House Judiciary Republicans also moved for further investigation on Thursday, urging President Obama in a letter to direct Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderComey's book tour is all about 'truth' — but his FBI tenure, not so much James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide Eric Holder headed to New Hampshire for high-profile event MORE to appoint a special prosecutor for the case. 

Holder and the DOJ’s Civil Rights division have become targets of criticism on the right for their handling of the case, which arose in November 2008 after two NBPP members were photographed dressed in paramilitary uniforms standing in front of a Philadelphia polling place. One of the two was holding a nightstick. 

In Friday’s letter, the Republican senators quoted former DOJ prosecutor J. Christian Adams, who in testifying before the Commission on Civil Rights on July 6 said that political appointees within DOJ had overruled the consensus of department attorneys that prosecution should continue against the NBPP. 

“If these alarming allegations are true, the Civil Rights Division is actively engaged in widespread politicization and possible corruption,” the letter read. 

An investigation by the Commission on Civil Rights has been under way since fall 2009, although the Republicans' letter to Leahy accuses the DOJ of obstructing a probe by “refusing to honor the subpoena” for Christopher Coates, the former DOJ employee who was head of the Voting Rights section.   

“It is imperative that you [Leahy] schedule a hearing immediately so we can determine the validity of these claims and whether DOJ, as Mr. Adams testified, ‘abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens,’ ” it concluded.  

The Judiciary committee Republicans are Sens. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: Why does Scott Pruitt still have a job? DOJ announces M grant to cover costs associated with Parkland shooting ‘Morning Joe’ host: Trump tweeting during Barbara Bush funeral ‘insulting’ to US MORE (R-Ala.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump struggles to get new IRS team in place Romney forced into GOP primary for Utah Senate nomination Romney won't commit yet to supporting Trump in 2020 MORE (R-Utah), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care Juan Williams: GOP support for Trump begins to crack This week: Senate barrels toward showdown over Pompeo MORE (R-Iowa), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John CornynJohn CornynRand's reversal advances Pompeo Joe Scarborough predicts Trump won't run in 2020 Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller MORE (R-Texas), and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks MORE (R-Okla.).