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Hullabaloo


Friday, September 16, 2016

 
Warren for the win

by digby



















Elizabeth Warren wants to apply the Clinton Rules to Wall Street executives:
Elizabeth Warren hasn’t left the financial crisis behind—she wants the FBI to hand over the records of its investigations into criminal behavior at Wall Street banks before the crash.

And she says she has grounds to do so after federal law enforcement officials gave extraordinary public access to their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server.

Eight years ago today, the financial markets seized up after the bankruptcy of the investment firm Lehman Bros. You’ve probably noticed that there have been no criminal prosecutions of bank executives in the wake of that crisis.

That is true despite the fact that the federal commission authorized to investigate the crisis referred nine individuals to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, as well as executives at Fannie Mae, Citigroup, AIG and Merrill Lynch. None were charged.

Fourteen corporations were also referred for criminal prosecution. The end product was civil settlements, with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citibank paying billions to settle claims that they lied about the quality of mortgages in bonds they packaged.

Normally, the discussion would end here. But this year, in an unusual, unrelated decision, FBI Director James Comey released interview notes and a summary of his agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal e-mail server, despite his agency’s decision not to charge her with any crime.

The revelations became a public spectacle but did not reveal any new information suggesting illegal behavior. Yet bank executives whose companies lied to customers have not had their “I do not recall” depositions put before the public.

It won't happen of course. In fact, it shouldn't because it's wrong for the FBI to release those interviews and work papers in cases where the justice department doesn't indict. We don't do that because it's a way to smear someone with a bunch of information from a police investigation that never gets challenged or litigated in a court of law the way it's supposed to be. Even that lying Hillary Clinton was entitled to that but we know how that works.

Warren cleverly turns the tables on the FBI which both shows how they broke the rules for Clinton but played by the rules for Wall Street fat cats. it's a nice little jiu-jitsu. Coming from Warren, a hero of the progressive left, it's an especially clever turn.