Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questions US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in a recent hearing about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) failure to produce documents regarding its foreign operations in Mexico, the mismanagement of US resources sent to foreign countries, and ongoing efforts to hold Venezuela accountable for crimes against humanity.
Watch video below.
Transcript of Sen. Grassley's questions posted below.
Oversight of DEA’s Foreign Operations in Mexico
We learn a lot when we’re talking about money, and we’re talking about money today. I want to start with this fact that [former Mexican Secretary of Public Security Genaro] García Luna was convicted January 17th. He worked with the drug cartels in Mexico and I’m trying to get some information.
I’m worried about U.S. funds being misused to enable human rights violations. On February 22nd, I sent a letter to the DEA and FBI requesting documents about their relationships and knowledge of this corrupt Mexican official. When can I expect the documents that I requested from the Justice Department?
I did get a letter from the Justice Department confirming receipt of my letter, but we want those discovery files, and we don’t have any problems with the defense counsel for García Luna letting us have them. So when may I receive those discovery files?
Properly Managing Resources to Foreign Countries
The Justice Department can give Ukraine disgorged assets from Russian criminals under the December 2022 Omnibus appropriations bill. In the past, the United States gave funds to foreign partners who supported major criminal cartels. What is the Justice Department doing to ensure that these disgorged funds don’t end up in the hands of bad actors like we had with the experience in Mexico under [the Merida Initiative]?
What’s the process for providing that information to the State Department [if you find that bad actors are receiving the funds]? And I assume you would be willing to provide it to the Congress of the United States. What is that process?
Venezuela’s Crimes Against Humanity
In 2009, then-Vice President Biden told Russia, “It’s time to press the reset button.” Given we’re having our second hearing on Russian war crimes in Ukraine, I think we can all agree that that was a big mistake. Like Russia, the United Nations has accused the acting Venezuelan government of crimes against humanity. President Biden has again “pressed the reset button” and unfrozen $3 billion in Venezuelan assets and allowed Chevron to drill for oil [in Venezuela].
Does the Justice Department still consider Nicolás Maduro a fugitive of U.S. Justice and, if so, does the Justice Department still commit to pursuing his arrest?
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