(UnitedVoice.com) – It didn’t take long for the DC swamp to get back to its old ways. In 2017, Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended a controversial Obama program that many deemed corrupt. The program allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors to force companies to give settlement money to outside groups instead of paying victims or the government.
Guess who received the money?
When Sessions ordered a halt to the program, he said settlement funds should go to the victims, not to “bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power.” Obama Attorney General Eric Holder started the program.
What Was the Slush Fund?
In 2017, the House Judiciary Committee investigated the IRS’s actions because they were blackballing conservative groups requesting non-profit status. Internal Justice Department records revealed an unknown “slush fund” of nearly $1 billion. At one point, there was nearly $3 billion in settlement money before its discovery. Immediately, suspicions of corruption and misdeeds were raised regarding the administration of the DOJ under Holder.
In the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, financial institutions, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and others, made legal settlements with the DOJ over mortgage securities that caused an economic meltdown. Even Volkswagen was in on the action after agreeing to a settlement with the DOJ. Instead of the settlement money going to victims, liberal groups received donations at prosecutors’ “request.”
Of grave concern, DOJ documents revealed that prosecutors did all they could to ensure conservative organizations didn’t receive a single penny from the settlement funds.
In 2017, Republicans introduced a bill to ban the practice of “donating” money to outside groups as part of a settlement agreement, but it never became law.
Biden Orders Review to Overturn Trump-Era Order
It’s difficult to understand why Biden wants to overturn the rule meant to prevent organizations from getting money at the whim of a prosecutor, and distributing it to political organizations, let alone ones only the prosecutor approves.
In an Executive Order titled, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, Biden directed the “slush fund” program to be reviewed for reinstatement. The way it’s slipped into the EO is reminiscent of how Congress buries and hides agendas, so the public never knows about them. It’s a little harder to do as President than as one of 100 Senators.
In an article written for the Federalist Society, Senior Legal Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, Paul Larkin, argues it’s “improper and unlawful” and Constitutionally barred, according to the Appropriations Clause. He concluded that the program was an illegal and unethical workaround to the Antideficiency Act and Miscellaneous Receipts Act.
The swamp is back, full of swamp things to do its bidding.
Stay tuned for potential revelations of upcoming swamp activity in the days, months and years ahead.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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