During the Obama administration, justice was the last thing the Justice Department was interested in.
Instead, the DOJ cut a special deal to take money away from people screwed over by big banks and screw them over again — giving taxpayer money to left-wing radicals who supported the Obama administration’s policies on welfare and illegal immigration.
And if critics have their way, it could land Obama in jail.
The Obama Justice Department sued several huge banksters and corporations for conspiring to hurt the little guy. For instance, in 2016 JPMorgan, CitiGroup, Bank of America, and other major international banks agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars after the government said they worked together to set interest rates for maximum profit — and maximum pain to borrowers.
But investigations have revealed that the federal government gave them a sweetheart deal: They could either pay the full amount to their actual victims, or they could pay half as much money to left-wing organizations who are cozy with the Obama administration.
Want to make half your judgment go away? Just take some money away from your victims and give some money to the president’s friends instead.
Republicans say that’s not only unjust; it’s illegal.
Under federal law, settlements from federal lawsuits are supposed to help victims, who are defined as those “directly and proximately harmed” by the alleged crime. Anything beyond that is supposed to go to the U.S. Treasury, and Congress decides how to spend that money.
Instead, the Obama administration sued their enemies and used the settlements as a slush fund to pay off their far-left allies — and pay them off big league.
More than a million dollars went to National Council of La Raza, the racist Hispanic group that believes in amnesty and Open Borders. The group — whose name means “the race” — lobbies politicians to give welfare, drivers licenses, and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
Another million went to the National Urban League, a liberal group that supports Obama’s big spending welfare agenda.
“Somebody ought to go to jail for this,” Gov. Mike Huckabee told Fox News. “They’ve stolen from the government and given it to their pals.”
Just the Bank of America settlement alone gave $412 million to legal groups that sue to get, or keep, poor people on welfare. That’s more than Congress voted to give those groups through the Legal Services Corporation.
An ongoing House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees investigation has found that, over the last two years, the DOJ gave $3 billion to “non-victim entities” – including at least a billion dollars to its left-wing friends.
Obama not only used the DOJ to hurt his enemies and fund his friends, but the money broke down the Constitution’s system of checks-and-balances.
“In some cases, these mandatory donation provisions reinstated funding Congress specifically cut,” said Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte.
In other words, former President Obama used this money like a king. So when Republicans in Congress refused to fund his green agenda for a zero-emission electric car — which consumers haven’t wanted — Obama forced Volkswagen to spend $2 billion of its settlement on the program instead.
Obama always got his way, right to the very end. That’s dangerous for democracy. And not just Republicans think so.
A former deputy Assistant Attorney in the Clinton administration said eight years ago that federal settlements can “circumvent the appropriations authority of Congress.” That is, it’s a way for the president — any president — to steal the authority of Congress and act like an unelected dictator.
Now, Congress is hoping President Donald Trump will do something to stop this Obama-era miscarriage of justice. The “Stop Settlement Slush Fund Act of 2017,” introduced by Goodlatte and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, would put an end to third-party, non-victim payments.
The bill passed the House last year and has been reintroduced this year.
Ending this illegal slush fund is one more chance for President Trump to drain the swamp created by his predecessor.
We hope he’ll take it.
— The Horn editorial team