23 December 2009

Talk About the Odd Couple

I'm talking about Jane Hamsher Grover Norquis. who have jointly penned a letter calling for the Attorney General to investigate Rahm Emanuel's activities at Freddie Mac, as well as his role while in congress in obstructing investigations there, with the likely goal of pushing any revelations about his activities beyond the 10 year statute of activities.

Her bill of particulars:
  • That while on the board at Freddie Mac, Emanuel signed off regarding gross financial irregularities.
  • Participating in actions by Freddie Mac to make illegal in-kind contributions to politicians in the form of hosting fundraisers, including one Rahm Emanuel.
  • Writing a law allowing the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) to fire its inspector general by dissolving the organization and replacing it, as well as the the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
    • It should be noted that the Obama administration has refused to appoint a new IG to its successor organization, and the Obama administration has refused a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Freddie claiming that, the report from the fired IG was "commercial information".
Now, I understand that Grover Norquist is an bad guy, but you get coverage by getting a diverse coverage for such things, as Hamshire makes clear when she looks at some similar efforts, such as the CAF letter to delay confirmation of Bernanke until there was an audit of the Fed, which was signed by a diverse group of people including, Chris Bowers, Dean Baker, Mark Calabria, James Kenneth Galbraith, Matt Kibbe, Grover Norquist, Phyllis Schlafly (WTF?!?!?), Robert Weissman, and John Whitehead. (Neanderthals in italics)

I've always known that Rahm is intellectually corrupt, his actions. During the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as his time head of the DCCC show a real hostility to anything but the most corporate of corporatist Democrats, and he has always exhibited a tremendous hostility to liberals.

Now appears that he may be legally corrupt too, but I don't think that Obama would get rid of him short of an indictment, because the President thinks that he needs Rahm to keep the DFHs* in line.

*Dirty F%$#ing Hippies
Full letter after break:

December 23, 2009

Attorney General of the United States of America
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder:

We write to demand an immediate investigation into the activities of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. We believe there is an abundant public record which establishes that the actions of the White House have blocked any investigation into his activities while on the board of Freddie Mac from 2000-2001, and facilitated the cover up of potential malfeasance until the 10-year statute of limitations has run out.

The purpose of this letter is to connect the dots to establish both the conduct of Mr. Emanuel and those working with him to thwart inquiry, and to support your acting speedily so that the statute of limitations does not run out before the Justice Department is able to empanel a grand jury.

The New York Times reports that the administration is negotiating to double the commitments to Fannie and Freddie for a total of $800 billion by December 31, in order to avoid the congressional approval that would be needed after that date. But there currently is no Inspector General exercising independent oversight of these entities. Acting Inspector General Ed Kelly was stripped of his authority earlier this year by the Justice Department, relying on a loophole in a bill Mr. Emanuel cosponsored and pushed through Congress shortly before he left for the White House. This effectively ended Mr. Kelly’s investigation into what happened at Fannie and Freddie.

Since that time, despite multiple warnings by Congress that having no independent Inspector General for a federal agency that oversees $6 trillion in mortgages is a serious oversight, the White House has not appointed one.

We recognize that these are extremely serious accusations, but the stonewalling by Mr. Emanuel and the White House has left us with no other redress. A 2003 report by Freddie Mac’s regulator indicated that Freddie Mac executives had informed the board of their intention to misstate the earnings to insure their own bonuses during the time Mr. Emanuel was a director. But the White House refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request from the Chicago Tribune for those board minutes on the grounds that Freddie Mac was a “commercial” entity, even though it was wholly owned by the government at the time the request was made.

If the Treasury approves the $800 billion commitment to Fannie and Freddie by the end of the year, it will mean that under the influence of Rahm Emanuel, the White House is moving a trillion-dollar slush fund into corruption-riddled companies with no oversight in place. This will allow Fannie and Freddie to continue to purchase more toxic assets from banks, acting as a back-door increase of the TARP without congressional approval.

Before the White House commits any more money to Fannie and Freddie, we call on the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department to begin an investigation into the cause of Fannie and Freddie’s conservatorship, into Rahm Emanuel’s activities on the board of Freddie Mac (including any violations of his fiduciary duties to shareholders), into the decision-making behind the continued vacancy of Fannie and Freddie’s Inspector General post, and into potential public corruption by Rahm Emanuel in connection with his time in Congress, in the White House, and on the board of Freddie Mac.

We also call for the immediate appointment of an Inspector General with a complete remit to go after this information.

We both come from differing political ideologies. One of us is the conservative head of a transparency foundation, and the other is the publisher of a liberal political blog. But we make common cause today out of grave concern for the future of our country in the wake of corruption-riddled bailouts. These bailouts continue to rob Main Street to benefit Wall Street, and, because of that, we together demand the resignation of Mr. Emanuel, a man who has steadfastly worked to obstruct both oversight and inquiry into the matter. Rahm Emanuel’s conflicts of interest render him far too compromised to serve as gatekeeper to the President of the United States.

We will lay out the details further below, and are available at your earliest convenience to meet with you directly.



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