Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va claims he has discovered a “smoking gun” email exchange that proves Obama’s Justice Department purposely prevented giving out settlement payouts to conservative organizations.
All the while, the DOJ was purposely awarding funding to liberal groups instead.
“It is not every day in congressional investigations that we find a smoking gun,” said Goodlatte, who is also the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday. “Here, we have it.”
“While Eric Holder was U.S. attorney general, the Justice Department allowed prosecutors to strike agreements compelling big companies to give money to outside groups not connected to their cases to meet settlement burdens. Republican lawmakers long have decried those payments as a “slush fund” that boosted liberal groups, and the Trump DOJ ended the practice earlier this year,” writes Fox News. “But internal Justice Department emails released Tuesday by Goodlatte indicated that not only were officials involved in determining what organizations would get the money, but also Justice Department officials may have intervened to make sure the settlements didn’t go to conservative groups.”
One of the emails in question is from July 2014 where a senior Justice Department official expressed concern about giving funding to a group that does “conservative property-rights legal services.”
“Concerns include: a) not allowing Citi to pick a statewide intermediary like the Pacific Legal Foundation (does conservative property-rights legal services),” writes the DOJ official. Then he recommended the funding be given to another group and wrote: “we are more likely to get the right result from a state bar association affiliated entity.”
In an effort to halt this unfairness in the future, Trump’s DOJ is putting an end to these “slush fund” payouts.
The Justice Department “will no longer allow prosecutors to strike settlement agreements with big companies directing them to make payouts to outside groups, ending an Obama-era practice that Republicans decried as a “slush fund” that padded the accounts of liberal interest groups,” writes Fox News.
“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,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in June.
Goodlatte has applauded Sessions’ move to end these donations but believes an additional measure should be put in place.
Goodlatte is also sponsoring the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017 and included the emails while making a speech to the House.
“This bill is oversight and action. Congress must not tolerate Justice Department political appointees using settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends,” said Goodlatte about the bill in June. “This is also an institutional issue. Once direct victims have been compensated, deciding what to do with additional funds recovered from defendants becomes a policy question properly decided by elected representatives in Congress, not agency bureaucrats or prosecutors.”
This week Goodlatte exposed further proof of why the measure is needed to make sure to stop the abuse of power in the future.
“Aiding their political allies was only the half of it,” said Goodlatte. “The evidence of the Obama DOJ’s abuse of power shows that Tony West’s team went out of its way to exclude conservative groups.”
“The internal documents show that a deputy for former Associate Attorney General Tony West — who now serves as executive vice president of government affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary for PepsiCo Inc. — asked colleagues about settlements in negotiation,” writes Forbes.
“Can you explain to Tony the best way to allocate some money to an organization of our choosing?” said the official in a November 2013 email.
In the past, former DOJ officials have rejected the notion that the department would unfairly determine which organizations would receive these settlements.
“In 2015, however, Geoffrey Graber, who oversaw the Justice Department’s big banks settlements, told Goodlatte during a congressional hearing that the department “did not want to be in the business of picking and choosing which organizations may or may not receive any funding under the agreement,” writes Fox News.
“But internal DOJ documents tell a different story,” said Goodlatte on Tuesday. “They show that contrary to Graber’s sworn testimony, the donation provisions were structured to aid the Obama administration’s political friends and exclude conservative groups.”
Author’s note: Again, this proves the Obama administration was plagued by political corruption. These emails show that officials were unfairly giving settlements to groups that they saw as allies. This isn’t the first time the Obama administration has been caught unfairly targeting conservative groups. Remember when the IRS purposely scrutinized groups with “Tea Party” in their name?
Editor’s note: This is corruption in law enforcement at the national level, with full knowledge and approval of President Obama. They preyed on companies who were at a severe disadvantage since they had already admitted guilt, and who might be subject to more severe penalties if they refused to donate to liberal causes. As we have asked before – why is nobody talking about this?