Barack Obama’s insurgent leftist legacy continues to unravel as the Trump administration pulls evermore bricks out of his big ‘blue wall’.
This week Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended the federal practice of mandating a slush fund for leftwing groups, a slick practice that became commonplace under Obama.
When corporations settled financial suits with the Department of Justice, part of the settlement include ‘donations’ to non-profit groups.
And those mandated donations went to leftist groups like ACORN to the tune of hundreds of millions.
It was essentially a federal shakedown wherein corporations were given leniency on fines if they forked over the donations.
And now it’s all ended. Good riddance.
Here’s more from Redstate…
In the past few years, it has become common for the federal government to require, as part of financial settlements in cases, defendants to donate money to specific charities.
For example, earlier this year we learned the Department of Justice arranged a settlement with Citibank and Bank of America that required these corporations to “donate” $150 million to “community development groups” similar to ACORN. The donations earn “double credit” against the banks’ obligations, so $150 million erases $300 million in fines.
In early 2016, we learned that the Bank of America donated more than $60.1 million to various charitable funds and nonprofit groups, as part of a $16.6 billion settlement with the United States. Here’s the best part (for Bank of America)—for every one dollar the bank gives, the bank is credited with $2 toward its financial fraud settlement with the Justice Department. The federal government argues that these donations are “voluntary” and thus are not funds that the bank should deposit to the Treasury. However, if the bank does not make the “voluntary” donation, that would violate its plea agreement with the Department of Justice. The grateful recipients of Bank of America’s largesse are organizations that support the present Administration.
Bank of America is not alone. Citigroup signed a similar agreement, giving least $10 million in “community relief” to a government-approved list that (coincidently?) are Democratic-friendly nonprofits. It pays to have friends in high places.
We find ourselves in a situation where the federal government can claim to the public that it is settling a case for, let’s say, $1 billion, but the federal coffers never see this money. Instead, the settlement is wiped clean when the corporation gives half of it to political supporters of the party in power.
Not only do these settlements provide a piggybank for leftwing groups — ACORN, for instance, was a beneficiary of the Bank of America deal — they are actually an attack upon the Constitution, as they serve as a way of shifting federal funds outside the appropriation process. Plus the potential for abuse is tremendous and inescapable. A defendant can’t choose which charity to fund; the prosecutor in the case make that decision without any public disclosure of potential conflicts they may have. And, of course, the taxpayer is screwed. Money that should be going into the federal treasury to fund projects paid for by tax dollars is diverted to private hands.