7/31/2009

Even after finding out that Dodd and Conrad got special treatment, Dems refuse to subpoena records

If the Republicans refused to subpoena financial records when there were other Republican politicians are already implicated, there would be real howls. Let's see whether this gets any major play. From the AP:

House Democrats have declined to subpoena available records that might reveal whether other members of Congress got discounted VIP mortgages from subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. similar to the sweetheart deals given Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.

Republicans say they are willing to risk that the records now held by Bank of America may show that GOP lawmakers were also "friends of Angelo" who got preferential terms on personal mortgages at the behest of then-Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

Countrywide, after losing billions of dollars on defaulted subprime loans that triggered last year's financial crisis and the consequent recession, was taken over by Bank of America a year ago.

Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he has other work to do on the causes of and fixes for the financial crisis and will not interfere with other investigations of the VIP loans.

Towns' committee in recent months has focused on how much pressure the Federal Reserve and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson put on Bank of America to take over brokerage giant Merrill Lynch, another financial company with losses in the billions of dollars.

The senior Republican on Towns' committee, California Rep. Darrell Issa, has been trying for months to get Towns to subpoena Bank of America for Countrywide's records. He said in an interview with The Associated Press that he asked Towns again this week to issue the subpoena. . . .

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