WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) introduced legislation to prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from directing legal settlements to third-party, non-victim groups.
Earlier this year, President Biden called for allowing the Department of Justice to resume a controversial Obama-era policy that permits prosecutors to offer settlement agreements that result in defendants paying an outside group, rather than a victim or the government. Following the financial crisis, the Obama DOJ used this practice to enter into quid-pro-quo settlement agreements that allowed banks to turn fines into “donations” to liberal activist groups. This practice was terminated by the Trump Administration in 2017.
The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act would prohibit terms in DOJ settlement agreements that direct or provide payments to third-party groups, which historically have largely consisted of left-wing organizations.
Rep. Lance Gooden said, “The Biden Administration has once again shown it will stop at nothing to fund its liberal agenda and circumvent the Constitutional role of Congress. No presidential administration should be permitted to extort companies to fund their partisan agenda and this legislation would put a stop to this corrupt practice.”
The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act is endorsed by Heritage Action, Americans for Tax Reform, Freedomworks, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Full text of the legislation can be found here.