The Boston Herald reported on Monday that the Massachusetts State House Post Audit and Oversight Committee has now received 500 pages of Tsarnaev family welfare records from the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance.
State Representative David Linsky (D), the committee chairman, stated, “I can assure members of the public that this committee will actively review every single piece of information we can find because clearly the public has a substantial right to know what benefits if any, this family or individuals accused of some horrific crimes were receiving.”
“We also have an obligation to the public to make sure that only those who are legally entitled to receive these types of benefits continue to receive those types of benefits,” Linsky said.
The committee met for only ten minutes on Monday, but Linsky told the Herald “he plans to call officials from the state’s Department of Transitional Assistance to testify at a future meeting either this week or next.”
According to the Herald, Linsky acknowledged that the committee “has not released the vast majority of [the 500 pages of documents] to the public, citing a privilege DTA is asserting under state law.” Linsky’s committee has also asked for documents about benefits received by the Tsarnaev family from the Massachusetts Medicaid office.
The Herald had previously reported on extensive welfare payments made to the Tsarnaev family by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance in the decade since their arrival in the United States on a travel visa in April 2002.
In October 2002, shortly after receiving political asylum in the United States, Anzor Tsarnaev and his wife Zuebiedat Tsarnaeva began receiving food stamps for their entire family, including sons Tamerlan and Dzokhar. The food stamp aid continued for two years until November 2004; the benefits resumed for another two year period almost five years later, beginning in August 2009 and ending in December 2011.
Anzor Tsarnaev recieved Aid for Families with Dependent Children in 2003, 2009, and 2010.
Breitbart News’ report on Sunday was the first to point out that Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaeva, received food stamp and AFDC welfare benefits between September 2011 and November 2012, during which time her husband Tamerlan would take a six-month trip to Russia in 2012.
On Sunday, a DTA official told the Herald “the agency was conducting its own investigation into whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family ever notified DTA about his extended trip to Russia and has since expanded its probe to include a full history of the benefits received by the entire Tsarnaev family, including the brothers and their parents.”
Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr told his WRKO audience on Monday that he was sure there were more documents about the Tsarnaev family’s welfare benefits to come. Breitbart News phoned Chairman Linsky for comment on the likelihood that his committee will receive additional documents about the Tsarnaev family from the DTA, but as of the time of publication of this story had not received a response.