GOP House Tries to Block DOJ from Funding Activist Groups Via Legal Settlements

Obama and Holder sillouette AP
Associated Press

Several members of Congress are using the omnibus bill to stop the Department of Justice from delivering corporate donations to left-wing activist groups.

These members are pushing support for the Mortgage Settlement Amendment, which would force the DOJ to stop requiring corporations, such as Bank of America and Citigroup, from making donations to liberal non-profit organizations as part of settlement orders.

The process essentially directs government money to left-wing groups without any congressional authorization. For example, under Attorney General Eric Holder, the DOJ used legal settlements with Citigroup and Bank of America to make them offer $150 million in donations to various groups, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The BofA agreement contains a provision that potentially tees up nonprofit groups for another $490 million.”

After a yearlong investigation, the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees uncovered that the DOJ requires settling defendants to donate to certain non-profit organizations approved by the DoJ. Some of those left-leaning organizations, according to the Wall Street Journal, include: “The National Council of La Raza. The National Urban League. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition. NeighborWorks America (which awards grants to left-leaning community organization groups, and has been compared with Acorn).”

For example, The National Council of La Raza – which received donations from a settlement – focuses on increasing immigration and advocating for Hispanics. The group has strongly opposed GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying he is “creating division” and its CEO said the chant “U-S-A, U-S-A” made her angry.

The congressional investigation also revealed that the DoJ, through these settlements, has funneled nearly half-a-billion dollars in the past 16 months to these and other organizations.

Breitbart News has learned that in some cases, the DOJ ordered mandatory donations that restored funding for groups which Congress had specifically cut during the formal appropriations process.

Sources also told Breitbart News that documents revealed that these activist groups which stood to gain from the donations, had previously lobbied the DOJ.

“DOJ has used these mortgage company settlements as funding mechanisms for the next generation of [radical groups] and Congress should follow House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s lead in ending this far-left funding scam,” said Rick Manning, the president of Americans for Limited Government.

The Wall Street Journal explained the process on Monday:

It works likes this: The Justice Department prosecutes cases against supposed corporate bad actors. Those companies agree to settlements that include financial penalties. Then Justice mandates that at least some of that penalty money be paid in the form of “donations” to nonprofits that supposedly aid consumers and bolster neighborhoods.

The also pointed out the legal defense likely to be used by the DOJ:

The Justice Department would make the case that this money is flowing to groups that aid the targets of supposed banking abuse, such as homeowners. But that assumes the work these groups do is targeted at actual victims—which it isn’t. It assumes that the work these groups do in housing is nonpartisan—which it isn’t. And it ignores that money is fungible. Every dollar banks donate to the housing arms of the Urban League or La Raza is a dollar those groups can free up to wage an assault on voter ID laws, or to help out Democrats.

Read the document: Duffy Marino Letter to Ryan and McCarthy on DOJ Settlements – final


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