Joe Biden has been desperate to find facilities to house migrant families and unaccompanied minors after causing a huge flood of illegal aliens across the border.
We previously reported about how he actually made an $87 million dollar contract to house migrant families in hotels. Jen Psaki was squirming when Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson asked how did they justify putting illegal aliens in hotels when National Guard in Washington, D.C. were previously made to take their rest breaks on the floor of a cold garage.
Turns out there’s even more to the story of the hotel contract, according to the Washington Examiner.
The contract wasn’t sent out to bid as is the norm, it was a no bid contract. More troubling, it was a huge contract with an organization, Family Endeavors, who had an official on the Biden transition team, former ICE official Andrew Lorenzen-Strait.
Interestingly, Family Endeavors announced on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, Lorenzen-Strait would become its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs, meaning that he would be the organization’s liaison to the federal government. Then, within two months, Lorenzen-Strait had gotten them the contract.
“Unless certain exceptions apply, an agency must compete the contract,” said Carol Thompson, a partner with the Washington-based Federal Practice Group law firm.
The only exception, Thompson said, was in the case of an emergency, such as disaster relief. In that case, ICE would have to provide a “Justification and Approval” document explaining why it did not compete the contract; a failure to do so would likely result in disciplinary action against the ICE officials who signed the deal, and the contract would be canceled.
ICE cited “unusual and compelling urgency” as its reason.
So this is where I have a good question for Joe Biden. If he and his people are claiming it isn’t even a crisis at the border, how can it be an emergency to fit this exception?
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) who has been asking questions and looking into the deal said that he found it hard to believe that “no other vendors could have been at least considered for the award.” He wrote a letter to ICE that the Examiner obtained.
“I am gravely concerned given that ICE did not compete this contract award, that this is Endeavors’ first contract with ICE, and that the contract award amount far exceeds any previous award amounts with this organization,” Clyde wrote.
Lorenzen-Strait also had a rather significant position on the Biden-Harris transition team – he was on the DHS policy team, where he vetted political appointees for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care that unaccompanied migrant children are provided while in government custody. When he worked for ICE, his immediate boss was Tae Johnson, who is now the acting director of ICE and would have had the final say on the $87 million contract.
Another ICE official, Claire Trickler-McNulty, used to work for Lorenzen-Strait before he left ICE in 2019. Trickler-McNulty was given full authority over acquisitions and contracts despite working outside that office, a move that the first person said was “extremely unusual.”
Endeavors’s chief operating officer is Chip Fulgrum, the former chief financial officer at the DHS.
So that raises more questions about potential conflicts in such a deal beyond just the Biden connection itself.
It also seems like Family Endeavors had been involved in only smaller deals before this and didn’t have prior contracts with ICE, so this was incredibly big for them, not to mention for ICE.
Family Endeavors had had contracts with several other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Acquisition Service. However, the contracts were valued at less than $1 million, except for one that was $1.4 million. Family Endeavors took in $43 million in 2018, according to tax documents from that year. Its $87 million contract is more than double the money it took in last year. Despite its nonprofit status, its seven top executives made six-figure salaries in 2018, as much as $312,000 that year.
Clyde is demanding answers from Johnson as to how this deal came down.
Hey, “60 Minutes,” when you’re not busy making up stuff and deceptively editing videos about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis maybe you want to look at this? You know, real questions?