Articles Tagged with Department of Justice

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justice-2060093_1920-300x200Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned effective immediately. Sessions’ Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker, has been named as acting attorney general in his place. Sessions was a champion of civil asset forfeiture—he reinstated a federal forfeiture program that had been restricted by Eric Holder, his predecessor. Without Sessions at the Department of Justice (DOJ), there is uncertainty over the future of this program.

Sessions faced bipartisan opposition for his championing of civil asset forfeiture. “I’m amazed these people don’t get it. We had a reform in early 2001… relieved some of the concerns from our libertarians,” said Sessions in 2017. The Obama administration, he continued, “actually curtailed this program for the last several years, but we’re going to keep it out there. And as long as we can, we will be doing it.”
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In April, Sheriff Butch Conway of Gwinnett County, Georgia, bought a new car for his commute to work. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is completely black and has tinted windows and black wheels. There’s no question: it looks super-cool. With a 707-horsepower engine, the Hellcat is said to be the fastest sedan ever to be made. It cost $69,258.

The problem? Conway purchased it through his office using proceeds from civil asset forfeiture.
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The Department of Justice has suspended the federal civil asset forfeiture program in Palmview, Texas while it investigates potential misappropriation of funds.

Palmview, a town of 5,500 people, received about $47,000 in funds in 2017 from the DOJ’s Equitable Sharing Program. This is a tiny amount compared to fund received by larger cities in the state. Last year, law enforcement agencies across Texas received $29 million from the program. These funds, however, are at the core of the city’s corruption investigation.
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