(PatriotWise.com)- Three House Republicans have sent a letter to the White House demanding answers on whether the Biden administration improperly steered funds intended to compensate all victims of terror attacks to a set of plaintiffs represented by a former White House official.
In February, Biden signed an executive order to divide some $7 billion in seized Afghan assets, with half earmarked for Afghan humanitarian aid and the other half going to the Taliban’s terrorism victims. But rather than placing the $3.5 billion in the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (VSST Fund), making it available to the thousands of terror victims throughout the US, Biden directed the funds to about 150 people, represented by an attorney who recently worked in the Biden White House.
The VSST Fund was established by Congress in 2015. It sets aside money to compensate victims of entities designated by the US as state-sponsors of terrorism, like the Taliban.
The lawyer who stands to “reap a windfall in attorney’s fees” from Biden’s decision, is former White House counsel, Lee Wolosky. He is representing the approximately 150 people known as the “Havlish Plaintiffs” who filed a lawsuit against the Taliban. Before he left the White House in January of this year, Wolosky was involved in the administration’s Afghanistan policy after last year’s botched withdrawal.
In their letter sent to the White House last Tuesday, Republicans Jim Jordan, Mike Johnson, and Nicole Malliotakis urged President Biden to rescind the order and distribute the $3.5 billion evenly between Taliban victims and 9/11 victims.
The lawmakers argue that Biden’s executive order “deliberately avoids Congressionally-established mechanisms” to compensate terror victims “to benefit a set of politically-connected plaintiffs and trial lawyers.”
The letter acknowledges that the White House denies that Wolosky was involved in the assets deliberations, but notes that the administration’s “apparent desire to avoid the established VSST Fund process” and its decision to steer the assets to “plaintiffs represented by a recently-departed White House official,” not to mention the size of the assets diverted “raise considerable questions.”
The lawmakers have requested all documents and communications related to the administration’s decision as well as all the documents and communications related to Wolosky’s time at the White House, including his ethics agreement.