A senior Justice Department official on Wednesday offered no new information about a secret agreement reached last month with the Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (IICG) despite repeated questions from a ranking senator.
As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported Aug. 25, the settlement is worth more than $30 million and ends an investigation into IICG tax law violations that dates back to 2006. Court papers in a civil lawsuit in Texas claim IICG agreed to pay $37 million in three installments.
The IICG is connected to the Dar al-Maal al-Islami Trust (DMI), an Islamic financial institution founded by Saudi Prince Mohamed al-Faisal and which had at least two influential Muslim Brotherhood figures on its board.
The investigation into the IICG started in Boston with a domestic affiliate. The case was being handled by a prosecutor from the counter-terror section, although the settlement is believed to focus solely on tax evasion. The prosecutor, Corey Smith, wrote in January that "a settlement of the Criminal Case with [IICG] criminal counsel is likely in the very near future."
DOJ officials have refused to release the agreement or discuss it in any way. During a hearing on terror financing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said she didn't know anything about the deal, which DOJ divisions investigated it or why it cannot be disclosed.
Monaco, who leads the National Security Division, promised to get answers for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, after Grassley asked a series of questions about the deal, called a non prosecution agreement. Grassley expressed frustration, since his questions were spelled out in a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder two weeks ago.
Such outcomes often are publicized, Grassley noted, wondering why that didn't happen here. "Would it be possible because the department got a bad deal and they're trying to hide it?" he asked.
"I'm not sure if it is in fact normal practice to disclose the terms of any particular settlement agreements in that regard," Monaco said.
If there is a national security element, Grassley said, that shouldn't prevent disclosure of its contents to the committee. "We have the capacity to review classified information," he said.