A disturbing secret that Barack Obama had been hiding for years this week came out this week when FBI deputy director David Bowdich testified before Congress.
The Daily Caller reported that Bowdich testified that the Obama’s Justice Department directed the FBI to drop more than 500,000 names of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Fugitives from justice are banned from buying firearms, but the exact definition of a fugitive of justice has been up for debate between the FBI and the ATF. While the FBI considered a fugitive of justice to be someone with an outstanding arrest warrant to be a fugitive, the ATF defined it as any person who has an outstanding arrest warrant and has crossed state lines.
This dispute was settled just before Obama left office, as his Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel sided with the ATF’s interpretation. Donald Trump’s DOJ has since defined a fugitive as a person who went to another state to dodge criminal prosecution or evade giving testimony in criminal court, and implemented the Office of Legal Counsel’s decision.
This meant that around half a million fugitives were removed from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
While testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about law enforcement’s faulty response to the Parkland shooter, Bowdich was asked about the removal.
“That was a decision that was made under the previous administration,” Bowdich testified. “It was the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel that reviewed the law and believed that it needed to be interpreted so that if someone was a fugitive in a state, there had to be indications that they had crossed state lines. Otherwise they were not known to be a fugitive under the law and the way it was interpreted.”
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