Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a Justice Department memo saying that he is repealing an Obama administration policy.
The policy permits money from settlement agreements that involve high-profile lawsuits to go unrelated as well as third party groups which are not related with the original dispute. Conservatives always opposed this policy saying that is just a “slush fund” for liberal organizations.
According to reports, Sessions sent a memo to 94 U.S. attorneys, in which he says that “e)ffective immediately, Department attorneys may not enter into any agreement on behalf of the United States in settlement of federal claims or charges, including agreements settling civil litigation, accepting plea agreements, or deferring or declining prosecution in a criminal matter, that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.”
He also illustrates how “When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power.”
This memo was issued few months after Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte introduced a bill that prohibits the DOJ to obligate litigants to pay money to third parties involved, as a part of the whole settlement.
“This bill is oversight and action. Congress must not tolerate Justice Department political appointees using settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends,” stated the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, continuing, “This is also an institutional issue. Once direct victims have been compensated, deciding what to do with additional funds recovered from defendants becomes a policy question properly decided by elected representatives in Congress, not agency bureaucrats or prosecutors.”
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