GOP uncovers slush fund bankrolling leftist pro-immigration activists
Homegrown, grass-roots leftists or ordinary parasites? That is the question that came to mind when US congressional investigators discovered in March this year that the Obama administration had funneled billions of dollars to leftist activist organisations through a Department of Justice slush fund racket.
Published: June 25, 2017, 5:18 am
“It’s clear partisan politics played a role in the illicit actions that were made,” said Republican lawmaker John Ratcliffe from Texas. He told Fox News: “The DOJ is the last place this should have occurred.”
The scheme was shrouded in secrecy with funds being funneled into a labyrinth of nonprofit fronts involved with so-called grass-roots activism. Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Fox News: “It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.” Fitton said advocates for big government and progressive power were using the Justice Department “to extort money from corporations”.
Big banks sued by the government for discrimination or mortgage abuse, can settle their cases by donating to third-party non-victims. Although the settlements do not specify how these third-party groups should use the money, critics believe banks are incentivised to donate to non-profits rather than giving it to consumers.
Congressional investigators have so far found $3 billion paid to “non-victim entities”.
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.” But it gets even worse, according to Frank. “Using enforcement authority to go after corporate defendants, DOJ bureaucrats are taking billions away from taxpayers to fund their pet projects overriding congressional preferences.”
According to Frank the money should go to the Treasury Department because the process subverts the legislative branch’s essential spending power. The Justice Department claims that money is allowed to bypass Treasury because the banks’ donations to the groups are voluntary.
Obama surrogates in the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service have concluded that the settlement agreements do not violate Congress’ power of the purse. But Franks strongly disagrees. “This is real abuse of power,” he said.
A sample of the leftist fronts benefiting from the shakedown include the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League.
A report from the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, released in 2016 revealed the NCRC’s “checkered history” of promoting “illegal immigration and advocating for benefits and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants”.
The report also found the “DOJ bypassed Congress to use a portion of the settlements to finance the administration’s housing policy”. Democrats thought it was an “attack on Obama” Republican senator James Lankford told Fox News. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but one of good government. Actions settled by the federal government should go back to the federal government, back to the taxpayer.”
The senator introduced the Stop Settlement Slush Fund Act of 2017 to end the abuses by Obama’s Justice Department in using settlements to funnel money to their leftist pet projects.
“The protests are as organic as a plastic cup,” Fitton said scornfully. “There is a massive left-wing infrastructure in place trying to protect the monstrous government created by the Obama administration.”
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