A Justice Department slush fund scheme under former President Obama reportedly funneled billions of dollars to leftist activist groups in what Mike Huckabee said was “worse than a mafia shakedown.”
Republicans are making an effort to eliminate the Department of Justice practice of making donations to non-profit groups with money from settlements against corporations, Fox News reported.
“Advocates for big government and progressive power are using the Justice Department to extort money from corporations,” Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch told Fox News. “It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.”
Corporations and banks sued by the government can settle the cases by donating to third-party non-victims, like affected customers, the government, or what Republicans call a “slush fund” at the Department of Justice.
The practice was widely abused under the Obama administration, with liberal groups like La Raza and the National Urban League receiving some of the slush fund money, according to Fox.
“Somebody ought to go to prison for this,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on “The First 100 Days” Wednesday. “This is worse than a mafia shakedown.”
He characterized the fund as “a case where the liberals have played Robin Hood” and added, “They’ve stolen from the government, the taxpayers and given it to their pals.”
The former GOP presidential candidate noted that it didn’t matter if the settlement money went to a liberal or conservative group because in the end, the slush fund violates the Constitution since only Congress can allocate money.
However, the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service concluded that Congress’ power of the purse was not violated by the funds.
Virginia Congressman Robert Goodlatte and Sen. James Lankford, both Republicans, have sponsored legislation to end the practice, which investigators have found accounted for $3 billion paid to “non-victim entities,” according to Fox.
“Congress must permanently end the abuses Obama’s Justice Department exploited to use settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends,” Goodlatte said in a statement.
“Democrats thought it was an attack on Obama,” Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford told Fox News. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but one of good government. Actions settled by the federal government should go back to the federal government, back to the taxpayer.”
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