Fox News blared the headline: “‘Smoking gun’ email reveals Obama DOJ blocked conservative groups from settlement funds, GOP lawmaker says.” I’m not shocked, and I believe Rep. Bob Goodlatte is doing yeoman’s work in Congress exposing this.
This isn’t news. Everyone has known since 2009 that the U.S. government, under President Obama, was free to take every “liberty” to become the left’s ATM. From the EPA to the IRS to the corrupt State Department, Obama used the “personnel is policy” method to thoroughly debase and suborn the administrative state, and let their true liberal colors shine.
There were emails showing they didn’t like Citigroup choosing a “conservative” group like the Pacific Legal Foundation to direct settlement cash. These directed settlements in federal cases of all kinds were used to pile up cash for a variety of leftist groups. Again, no surprise.
The big story
What’s surprising is that many of the same officials are still running the government. The DOJ, Fox reported, ended the practice of these outside payments earlier in the year. Great news.
Trump, as of the end of July, had not filled 114 of 210 key agency positions–at the same point, Obama had filled or nominated all but 41. There are glaring holes in the Trump executive branch, which are being filled by government civil servants, many of whom came onboard or rose to their positions during the Obama administration.
Most heinously, the commissioner of the IRS, John Koskinen, continues to serve, despite being over the department when Lois Lerner slow-rolled and persecuted conservative political groups, then tried to vanish the records. He serves despite a long time call by GOP lawmakers for Trump to oust him.
Trump kept Obama appointee Chuck Rosenberg as acting head of the DEA, until he resigned at the end of September in protest of the president’s statements. Now career agent Robert W. Patterson is acting administrator.
You might think these are relatively minor positions, but it’s not a small issue. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson complained loudly that he had problems getting positions filled because of White House meddling and Steve Bannon’s doctrinal purity tests. When positions are not filled, career bureaucrats and Obama appointees end up making the daily decisions, leading to small adjustments and tilts.
For eight years, the Obama administration put no limits on how far the bureaucracy could go in support of its liberal pet causes, media cocktail companions, and opposition to conservatives. While Trump made a big deal of putting some names in charge of the Departments of Energy, Education, Justice and EPA, their power has been greatly curtailed by a lack of friendly underlings.
‘Smoking gun’ email reveals Obama DOJ blocked conservative groups from settlement funds, GOP lawmaker says | Fox News
“It is not every day in congressional investigations that we find a smoking gun,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said Tuesday. Republican lawmakers long have decried those payments as a “slush fund” that boosted liberal groups, and the Trump DOJ ended the practice earlier this year. Anderson said in a statement. “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,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.
Congress could flip
For the Trump administration to succeed in rolling back Obama-era excessed, it must do more than just depend on Congress to find “smoking guns.” Remember, 2018 is an election year, and Democrats have their sights on taking back the Senate. In fact, there’s a good chance that will happen. The House is less likely, but let’s say a Democrat wave somehow put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair.
At that point, all these “smoking gun” investigations will simply stop. The Trump administration will find itself fighting continual impeachment efforts–if not actual votes in the House.
All the effort the GOP, conservatives, and the Tea Party candidates spent making reforms could be in vain.