As President Donald Trump wages war against federal bureaucrats left over from the Obama Administration, lawmakers are taking aim at this practice — instituted by former Attorney General Eric Holder — which effectively funds progressive get-out-the-vote operations by shaking down financial institutions.
A 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed from Kimberly Strassel called the program “a scheme to undermine Congress’s spending authority by independently transferring dollars to President Obama’s political allies.”
On Wednesday, Fox News named two Republicans who have submitted bills to eliminate this “shadowy DOJ slush fund” in both houses of Congress. Reporter Melissa Jacobs writes that “investigators have accounted for $3 billion paid” out through the practice:
“Democrats thought it was an attack on Obama,” said Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaking to 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.”
Lankford has introduced the Stop Settlement Slush Fund Act of 2017 while House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., submitted similar legislation in the House.
In late October, Breitbart News reported on the DOJ’s “extortion” policy, though the story gained little national traction in the final weeks of the presidential election. A study by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), titled “Follow the Money: How the Department of Justice Funds Progressive Activists,” shed light on the Obama DOJ’s de facto fundraiser for various progressive groups.