Lots of news this week with the Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing underway and the breathless anticipation of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony slated for tomorrow. Which is why this action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions has largely slipped under the radar.
A couple months back I wrote about The Department of Justice’s Slush Fund.
The Working Group was created within the Justice Department in 2012 as a means of prosecution and punishment for those perceived to be responsible for the financial crisis of 2008. With the full weight of the Department of Justice behind it, the Working Group reached multi-billion settlements with virtually every major bank in America.
According to a Congressional Committee Report – Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016:
“A year-long Committee investigation has revealed that the DOJ is pushing and even requiring settling defendants to donate money to non-victim third-parties. Donations can earn up to double credit against defendants’ overall payment obligations, while credit for direct relief to consumers is merely dollar-for-dollar. What is more, documents show that groups that stood to gain from these mandatory donations lobbied DOJ to include them in settlements. DOJ has funneled third-party groups as much as $880 million dollars in just the last 2 years. These payments occur entirely outside of the Congressional appropriations and grant oversight process. What is worse, in some cases, DOJ-mandated donations restore funding that Congress specifically cut.”
Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino both accused the Justice Department of using “settlements to funnel money to activist groups instead of consumers.”
Committee Chair Goodlatte sent a letter to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. In it he noted several items:
“A Judiciary Committee investigation has revealed that, in just the last two years, DOJ has directed nearly $1 billion to activist groups, entirely outside of Congress’s spending and oversight authority”
“DOJ has used the [$2 billion Volkswagen] settlement to fund the [Obama’s] Administration’s electric vehicle initiative after Congress has twice refused to pay for it.”
“The Judgement Fund’s use to pay the interest in a recent settlement with Iran has also raised concerns.”
Some of the groups who were recipients of money originally intended as restitution for homeowners:
“The National Council of La Raza. The National Urban League. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition. NeighborWorks America (which awards grants to left-leaning community organization groups, and has been compared with Acorn)”.
Obama’s Justice Department has taken proceeds that were intended to benefit homeowners harmed during the 2008 financial crisis – nearly $1 billion per Congressional records – and used these settlements to directly fund left-wing political organizations – their political allies.
Thankfully, after near-fruitless attempts by Congress, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has put a stop to this shameful practice with the following memo:
I have written about the DOJ before, notably in the The Injustices of Obama’s Justice Department. Actions taken by the Obama Justice Department have sometimes beggared belief. And don’t forget that the FBI – and its non-prosecution of Clinton – fall under the DOJ’s jurisdiction and control. The FBI is an agency of the DOJ. The Attorney General is the FBI Director’s boss.
It’s gratifying to see that there is some semblance of actual justice back in the Justice Department.
As Jeff Sessions noted in a statement:
“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people—not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power.”
The Russian headlines and Congressional distractions continue. Meanwhile, positive developments continue to occur – unnoticed or ignored by the MSM.