Lawmakers question Holder on bank settlement proceeds

House Republicans are raising new questions about how outgoing Attorney General
 Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements Obama endorses Warnock in crowded Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy MORE reached financial settlements with two big banks, suggesting the proceeds are being directed to “politically favored” groups.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteNo documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself USCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction MORE (R-Va.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) sent a letter to Holder on Tuesday, requesting information about the recent Department of Justice settlements with Bank of America and Citigroup.

"It seems that the alleged victims are not the primary beneficiaries of these multi-billion dollar settlements," Goodlatte and Hensarling wrote.


"Instead, the terms in the Justice Department’s two latest settlements look less like consumer relief and more like a scheme to funnel money to politically favored special interest groups."

DOJ officials in July reached a $7 billion mortgage-lending settlement with Citigroup over the firm’s alleged role in the events that preceded the national housing collapse of the late 2000s.

About a month later, Justice officials reached an estimated $16 billion settlement with Bank of America.

The terms of both settlements include requirements that banks make millions of dollars' worth of donations to housing and activist groups.

Goodlatte and Hensarling call the conditions "unprecedented" and say they are
 concerned the banks will make donations to liberal groups as opposed to giving consumers relief.

"The settlements appear to serve as a vehicle for funding activist groups rather than as a means of securing relief for consumers actually harmed," they wrote in the letter.

The lawmakers are asking for more information in a response letter by Dec. 9.