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Thomas Gallatin / October 26, 2017

Obama’s DOJ Discriminated Against Conservative Groups

Obama directed billions of financial settlement funds to leftist organizations while blocking conservatives.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, several of the nation’s largest financial institutions made legal settlements with the Obama administration. Public records show that these settlement payouts totaled over $3 billion. The House Judiciary Committee, along with the House Financial Services Committee, as part of an investigation has obtained internal documents from the Justice Department showing that not only did the Obama administration steer settlement payments toward leftist groups, Obama hacks also sought to prevent any conservative groups from receiving any of the settlement funds.

This is eerily reminiscent of the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups that came to light in 2013. In an email from July 2014, a senior Justice Department official explained how to draft a mandatory donation provision to prevent Citigroup Inc. from picking “a statewide intermediary like the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF),” noting that the PLF “does conservative property-rights free legal services.” In the same email the Justice official then noted that the National Association of IOLTA Programs would be eligible for the funds because it provided “funds to legal aid organizations, to be used for foreclosure prevention assistance and community redevelopment assistance.”

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) called the documents a “smoking gun.” Goodlatte noted an email specifically identifying former Assistant Attorney General Tony West as the person responsible for directing the money to leftist organizations. “Can you explain to Tony the best way to allocate some money to an organization of our choosing?” asked a deputy of West’s in an email from 2013. Smoking gun indeed.

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “The Justice Department emails released by Goodlatte show that only approved left-wing groups were eligible for the banks to make payouts to as part of their settlements, overtly excluding those deemed to be too conservative. What’s worse, is that the settlements often gave the banks double credit if they gave money to the left-wing groups rather than paying the government. Meaning, every $10 million to left-wing groups was counted the same as $20 million to the government.”

On Tuesday, the House voted on and passed the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017.

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