The Washington Post broke its bad habit of treating Democrats with kid gloves on Tuesday by breaking a damaging story for already embattled presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Just a few days after Warren's claims to Native American ancestry were back in the news due to her reported apology to Cherokee Nation for her disastrous attempt to use a DNA test to "prove" that she has as little as 1,024th Native blood, the Post revealed that Warren described herself as "American Indian" in her own hand for her application to the State Bar of Texas in 1986.
"Warren filled out the card by hand in neat blue ink and signed it," the Post reported Tuesday. "Dated April 1986, it is the first document to surface showing Warren making the claim in her own handwriting. Her office didn’t dispute its authenticity."
Warren has now responded in a brief interview with the Post. "I can’t go back," the senator told the paper. "But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted."
In its follow-up report, the Post explained that it was able to obtain the previously unreported document through an open records request. The document was written in her own hand, which, as the Post noted Tuesday, is particularly damaging to her because she has largely managed to evade direct blame for past official descriptions of her as a supposed "minority."
"The Texas bar registration card is significant, among other reasons, because it removes any doubt that Warren directly claimed the identity," the Post stressed Tuesday. "In other instances, Warren has declined to say whether she or an assistant filled out forms."
Warren remained listed in the AALS as a minority from 1986 to 1995, the Post reports. "Warren also had her ethnicity changed from white to Native American in December 1989 while working at the University of Pennsylvania," the outlet adds, noting that she made the change two years after being hired.
The Post's bar registration revelation follows a report by The New York Times published Friday that Warren, apparently still attempting to do damage control after her DNA fiasco, reached out to Cherokee Nation to formally apologize for the stunt.
Warren had a "brief and private" call with Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker, spokeswoman Julie Hubbard told the Times Friday. "I understand that she apologized for causing confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and the harm that has resulted," said Hubbard. "The chief and secretary of state appreciate that she has reaffirmed that she is not a Cherokee nation citizen or a citizen of any tribal nation."
When Warren first promoted the results of the much-derided DNA test in October, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. publicly condemned what he said "makes a mockery" of tribal affiliation. "Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong," he said. "It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven."