AUSTIN, Texas — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News here at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, says that President Barack Obama’s Attorney General nominee U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch has hurt blacks and Hispanics by not showing any “compassion” for the millions in civil forfeitures she’s seized from them and others.
“I oppose her primarily because I don’t think she’s shown any compassion, or understanding of the law, but particularly [a lack of] compassion for people who are victims of civil forfeiture. People who are victims of civil forfeiture are often poor, African American or Hispanic, and people who can’t afford an attorney to try to get the money that’s taken from them by the government,” Paul said.
Currently under civil forfeiture, they can take your money with only an accusation not even a charge or conviction—and you know what she did in New York recently? She confiscated over $100 million. They did pass a reform several years ago that once the paperwork is filed, and there’s a certain period of time, then it starts the judicial process [of whether you’d charged and eventually convicted or cleared of a crime].
To avoid that, she would take the money but never file the paperwork. The money just sat in limbo and people couldn’t even begin the trial to get their money back—it just sat there. What they do then is they threaten the people and say “we’ll give you half of it back if you’ll absolve of us of any blame.”
Just last week, Paul laid out a limited-government constitutional conservative case for reining in the power of government when it comes to civil forfeitures and other criminal justice reforms. He was speaking at Bowie State University, a historically black university in Maryland, and was frequently interrupted by applause.
Paul has been vehemently opposed to Lynch’s nomination for a month, first coming out hard against her in February.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was planning to move forward with a Senate floor vote on Lynch’s nomination as soon as this week, it could be stalled. McConnell explained on CNN on Sunday that her nomination won’t be considered until the Democrats drop their latest round of obstruction, this time of a human trafficking bill. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Democrats’ chief messenger, wouldn’t budge on the trafficking bill though. So Lynch’s nomination could be in limbo for even longer.
Current Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to stay in the job until a successor is confirmed. So no matter what Democrats say, there isn’t any risks to national security or law enforcement if Republicans slow the process.