The House Judiciary Committee is investigating a claim that the Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to leftist organizations through the Department of Justice.
Here’s how it worked: big banks charged with discrimination or mortgage abuse by the government can settle the cases by donating to third-party non-victims, as Fox News reports. The catch is that the settlements do not specify how the third-party groups can use their newfound money. Investigators have found $3 billion paid to “non-victim entities.”
Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Fox News, “Advocates for big government and progressive power are using the Justice Department to extort money from corporations. It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.”
Ted Frank, director of The Competitive Enterprise Institute Center for Class Action Fairness, told Fox News, “The underlying problem with the slush funds is we don’t know exactly where the money is going. Using enforcement authority to go after corporate defendants, DOJ bureaucrats are taking billions away from taxpayers to fund their pet projects overriding congressional preferences.”
Fox News noted:
In the FY16 Enacted Congressional Appropriation, Congress allotted $47 million for the HUD Housing Counseling, but the Citi and Bank of America settlements shipped in an additional $30 million in funding. The Legal Services Corporation was allocated $385 million from Congress but is getting an additional $412 million in taxpayer dollars from the third-party settlement practice . . . A sample of the left-leaning organizations benefiting from the largesse include the National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League.
The Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs released a Senate majority staff report, showing the NCRC’s “checkered history” of promoting “illegal immigration and advocating for benefits and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.”
Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma put forth the Stop Settlement Slush Fund Act of 2017; House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., submitted similar legislation in the House.