The Department of Justice - under President Obama's direction - has purchased an idle prison in Illinois for $165-million - a move that raises significant questions about how this prison will actually be used.
We know that the purchase was made by the DOJ and comes just weeks before the election, with Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois' senior senator and the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, acknowledging "the president had to intervene and do this directly."
Here's the problem: Congress passed a law prohibiting funding to move the most dangerous detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO) to the United States. While the Attorney General claims this prison in Illinois won't be used to house GITMO detainees, it's clear that these detainees can be moved elsewhere first and then transferred to the Illinois prison at a later date. Such a scenario could evolve under the direction of Attorney General Holder.
As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, this development is troubling and represents an end-run around Congress.
Members of Congress are expressing their disapproval of the move. In fact, Virginia Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees prison funding, told FOX News: "The president says his goal is to shut down Guantanamo Bay and move the prisoners here. This gives him a great opportunity to do it, particularly right after the election."
Like others, Rep. Wolf believes the Obama Administration will circumvent Congress. Instead of directly transferring GITMO detainees to the newly purchased Illinois prison, they'd go to another prison first and then be sent to Illinois.
Will we be watching this ongoing story very closely.