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Obstruction of Justice
A new investigation by the Environmental Working Group and the National Black Farmers Association reveals that the U.S. Department of Agriculture withheld nearly three out of every four dollars in a $2.3 billion landmark civil rights settlement with black farmers. The historic agreement was intended to quickly pay back black farmers for decades of unequal treatment when they applied for USDA crop loan programs. Instead, the new investigation found, USDA treated farmers as legal adversaries by contracting with US Department of Justice lawyers, who spent at least 56,000 staff hours and $12 million contesting individual farmer claims.