Biden Gives DOJ Green Light to Resume 'Slush Fund' Payouts to Liberal Groups
The Trump administration ended the practice following a 2017 memo
Joe Biden has called on the Justice Department to reinstate the Obama-era practice of allowing prosecutors to make settlement agreements, which resulted in defendants paying liberal groups instead of victims.
The Trump administration ended the practice following a 2017 memo from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions reflected in the Justice Department's manual.
"When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power," Sessions said in 2017.
A bill known as the "Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017" would have made the practice illegal.
Then-Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who sponsored the bill in the House, said in 2017:
"Congress must permanently end the abuses Obama's Justice Department exploited to use settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends."
But the bill did not become law.
Sessions-era DOJ policy did, however, become an official agency rule that went into effect in December 2020.
The rule allows for limited exceptions for "an otherwise lawful payment or loan that provides restitution or compensation to a victim," situations where "a trusted third party" is required to deliver funds due to concerns over foreign corruption, payments for legal or other professional services related to the case, and payments that are otherwise "expressly authorized" by a statute or regulation.
Neon Nettle reported earlier this week that Biden was planning to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would kill off thousands of jobs.
The plan has been confirmed by multiple news sources., despite being unconfirmed by the Biden team.
The decision is already delighting advocates of the so-called “Green New Deal.”
However, the move is a kick in the teeth to Biden’s own political allies in the trade union movement, who had backed the pipeline for the thousands of American jobs it would create.
Meanwhile, Biden's amnesty plan will also grant U.S. citizenship to all illegal aliens who are able to prove they were in the United States illegally on January 1.
A description provided “by transition officials” to the Washington Post said:
“To qualify, immigrants must have been in the United States as of Jan. 1, a move meant to blunt any rush to the border."