A Trump-appointed Justice Department official is accused of using social media to weed out Trump critics from the process for awarding grants to organizations that assist victims of crime, Reuters reports. A public employees union filed a complaint to the DOJ’s Inspector General against Office for Victims of Crime director Darlene Hutchinson Biehl—who leads the division that compensates crime victims and gives grants to local governments, nonprofits, and other crime organizations.
In an Aug. 16 complaint, the union alleged that Biehl was selecting peer reviewers—or experts hired by the department to ensure grants are given in a fair manner—based on their political views displayed on social media. More specifically, Biehl is accused of looking on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to see if a peer reviewer’s immigration views lined up with the Trump administration or if the peer reviewer supported prostitution legalization. The union reportedly asked the Inspector General to look into the matter in the complaint.
“While the union cannot say with certainty that anyone was not selected as a peer reviewer because their views did not align with President Trump, we have received strong evidence that this may be the case,” the union president told Reuters. Hutchinson Biehl has yet to comment on the reported complaint.