The subject is likely to come up at U.S. Senate hearings this week to review President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee say.
Since 2008, police agencies have seized cash and property worth $3 billion, making more than 55,000 seizures, according to the Washington Post. Lynch’s office hauled in $113 million in civil forfeiture actions from 123 cases between 2011 and 2013, and a Wall Street Journal editorial described her office as “a major forfeiture operation.”
By now, the asset-forfeiture horror stories have begun to alarm not only ordinary citizens but members of Congress and high-ranking federal officials. Holder himself stepped into the controversy last week, issuing a sweeping order to stop local and state police from seizing private property without warrant or criminal charges.
Holder’s announcement was a significant move away from the predatory property seizures that have been the subject numerous recent investigative stories. But Holder is on his way out, leaving administration of the new policy in the hands of his successor, likely to be one of the enforcers of the tainted grab-and-keep system, Loretta Lynch.