A $1 billion settlement with the “big banks” appeared to go directly to left-leaning activist organizations.
On Tuesday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte revealed that documents obtained in a separate, ongoing investigation show that former President Barack Obama’s administration directed money intended for victims of Wall Street mortgage meddling to progressive activist organizations who now form much of the “resistance” to President Donald Trump.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee mentioned, several weeks ago, that they suspected Obama’s Department of Justice had iced out conservative organizations looking for their share of the more than $1 billion legal settlement the DOJ collected from “big banks” who’d played a part in the housing crisis of the late 2000s. The DOJ required banks included in the settlement agreement to make “mandatory donations” to non-profits working on housing and property rights policies.
Yesterday, the same committee said that emails from Associate Attorney General Tony West (obtained by the Daily Wire and linked here), show West and other DOJ officials had been asking colleagues how to allocate the “slush fund” money to organizations “of our choosing,” and requesting advice on how to avoid directing settlement funds to organizations who leaned conservative.
In one email, a senior official even appears to admit that they worded a memo with a mind to “not allowing Citi to pick a statewide intermediary like the Pacific Legal Foundation” because PLF “does conservative property-rights free legal services.”
The internal discussion, Goodlate argued on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, created an atmosphere of collusion, which ensured that only progressive activist organizations like The National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League, received funds, while conservative organizations who also advocated for improved property rights policies were left out in the cold.
The National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League, of course, all went on to be key organizations in the anti-Trump “resistance,” though DOJ officials could not have known that at the time – largely because they all likely assumed Hillary Clinton would be President Obama’s immediate successor.
This discovery contradicts sworn testimony from the DOJ’s Deputy Attorney General Geoffrey Graber, who told the Judiciary Committee in February that “the Department did not want to be in the business of picking and choosing which organization may or may not receive any funding under the agreement.”