A new report slams the Obama administration for “politicizing” the Department of Justice by funneling fines slapped onto big banks into the coffers of left-wing groups.
Peter Schweizer, the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) and author of the book “Clinton Cash,” discussed the GAI’s new report called “Follow the Money: How the Department of Justice Funds Progressive Activists,” during a Tuesday interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
“It’s a big deal for everybody, and of course the losers are the American people and the integrity of our system.”
In the report, the GAI detailed its discovery of how the Justice Department took over $600 million in fines levied against major financial institutions for various crimes and used the money to help fund leftist groups – instead of granting the funds to the parties injured by the banks.
“What [the Justice Department] will actually do is offer banks in some cases a seven to one deal. If you make a $1 donation to this charitable organization that we decide, this charitable group, you get to wipe away seven dollars of the fine that you owe to the Department of Justice,” Schweizer told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham. “It’s a big deal for everybody, and of course the losers are the American people and the integrity of our system.”
Schweizer outlined what the policy looks like in practice. GAI analyzed the actions of financial institutions, including Wall Street firms, investment banks, and Bank of America. When the Obama administration’s Justice Department slapped these institutions with fines as “acts of restitution” for crimes they may or may not have committed, much of the money was given to left-wing groups.
“And so what this means is that victims are not getting paid — that the money’s actually going to these left-wing groups that are engaging in things like ‘get out the vote’ efforts, primarily among what they call ‘progressive communities,'” Schweizer told Ingraham. “So it’s politicizing the Department of Justice and it’s taking money that is supposed to be going to victims and diverting it and using it for political purposes.”
Describing the relationship between the liberal elite and the big banks as a “love-hate relationship,” Schweizer said that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the “progressive activists” still want “their pound of flesh.”
“So it’s kind of an extortive relationship, and a lot of this occurred under Barack Obama, and it really is a reflection of his roots as a quote-unquote ‘community organizer,'” Schweizer said. “A lot of these groups are community-organizing entities that have large budgets and they go into communities around the United States and they identify what are called quote-unquote ‘progressive voters.’ They get them to vote, they get them to get them registered to vote, and they engage in all kinds of political activities.”
Ingraham noted Democrats have a track record of success in their “get out the vote” efforts — especially when they bend or break the rules.
“Well, so they do what — frankly, as far as the get out the vote effort and the registration — what Republicans should be doing. But I don’t — I just don’t see the type of organization on the Republican side that I do on the Democrat side,” Ingraham said. “But Republicans have to do more of that — without the unethical part of it, of course.”
“Well, that’s right. And remember that this is money that is ostensibly going for people who were victimized by the banks,” Schweizer responded. “[The banks] engaged in fraudulent activity or, you know, their charges — they’re often charged with racial discrimination in their lending practices. A lot of times I don’t think that’s actually legitimate. But set that aside for a moment. That’s the ostensible purpose of these legal actions, the Department of Justice is saying.”