Tag Archives: Eric Holder

Trump Administration To Release Obama-Era Fast And Furious Documents, by Mac Slavo

After years of stonewalling, the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious documents are finally going to be released. This should be interesting. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:

We may finally get some answers to the high-level Obama administration’s gun-running scandal dubbed “Fast and Furious.”  The Trump administration is promising to release the documents pertaining to that scandal that were withheld by former Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Operation Fast and Furious was the Obama-era operation in coordination with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them as they were transported into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy.

“For over six years, the House Oversight Committee has fought for additional documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. Today, the Committee finally reached a conditional settlement with the Department of Justice,” Amanda Gonzalez, spokeswoman for the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement to Fox News. “The Committee seeks all relevant facts so we can learn from the mistakes made by the Justice Department. We have a responsibility to uncover why they worked so hard to hide this information from the Committee, the family of [slain border patrol agent] Brian Terry, and the American people.”

Brian Terry was killed in 2010 by an illegal immigrant with a weapon used in the botched Operation Fast and Furious. Terry died in a gunfight between Border Patrol agents and members of a six-man cartel “rip crew,” which patrolled the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob. The cartel member suspected of killing Terry was apprehended in 2017.

Terry’s brother, Kent Terry also wants the scandal investigated.

“We need to find out the truth, exactly what happened, how it happened, why it happened,” Kent Terry said on Fox & Friends Tuesday. “We need Mr. Trump, President Trump, to unseal the documents, reverse executive privilege so that we know what happened, and that we can hold the people accountable that are responsible.”

To continue reading: Trump Administration To Release Obama-Era Fast And Furious Documents

 

Advertisements

Congress: “Too Big to Jail: Inside the Obama Justice Department’s Decision Not to Hold Wall Street Accountable” by Wolf Richter

If a bank and its executives are “too big to jail,” doesn’t that per se render it too big? From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

A galling read by the US House of Representatives.

The US House of Representatives today released the results of its three-year investigation – hampered along the way by the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury – into why HSBC and its executives weren’t prosecuted.

Empirical evidence has told us for years that in the US a bank and its executives cannot be prosecuted if the bank is big enough. We’ve come to call this type of bank “Too Big to Jail.”

Empirical evidence has also told us that a bank can do essentially whatever it wants to, given that, if caught, it may have to pay a fine that then becomes just part of the cost of doing business. Wall Street doesn’t care about fines. They’re “extraordinary items” that banks and analysts systematically exclude from their “ex-items” per-share earnings.

Fines matter under GAAP reporting. But they don’t matter in the rosy picture that Wall Street paints of the banks. And so they don’t matter.

But now comes the House Financial Services Committee and offers evidence beyond our “empirical evidence”: a 288-page report, “Too Big to Jail: Inside the Obama Justice Department’s Decision Not to Hold Wall Street Accountable.” And below is the Committee’s galling summary. Enjoy!

Too Big to Jail: Internal Treasury Documents Reveal Why Justice Department Did Not Prosecute HSBC

Washington, July 11, 2016

The House Financial Services Committee on Monday released a staff report of its investigation into the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute HSBC or any of its executives or employees for serious violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and related offenses.

The Committee initiated its investigation in March 2013. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Treasury failed to comply with the Committee’s requests to obtain relevant documents, necessitating the issuance of subpoenas to both agencies.

Approximately three years after its initial inquiries, the Committee finally obtained copies of internal Treasury records showing that DOJ has not been forthright with Congress or the American people concerning its decision to decline to prosecute HSBC.

These documents show that:

Senior DOJ leadership, including then-Attorney General Eric Holder, overruled an internal recommendation by DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section to prosecute HSBC because of DOJ leadership’s concern that prosecuting the bank would have serious adverse consequences on the financial system.

• Notwithstanding Attorney General Holder’s personal demand that HSBC agree to DOJ’s “take-it-or-leave-it” deferred prosecution agreement deal by November 14, 2012, HSBC appears to have successfully negotiated with DOJ for significant alterations to the deferred prosecution agreement’s terms in the weeks following the Attorney General’s deadline.

DOJ and federal financial regulators were rushing at what one Treasury official described as “alarming speed” to complete their investigations and enforcement actions involving HSBC in order to beat the New York Department of Financial Services.

To continue reading: Congress: “Too Big to Jail: Inside the Obama Justice Department’s Decision Not to Hold Wall Street Accountable”

Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold, by Matt Taibbi

This is how the Washington revolving door works. And no, this crime that dares not speak its name will not be “solved” by more rules and regulations. When government controls a nation’s wealth and most aspects of life, people and businesses spend a lot of money to bribe public officials. The only solution is to make government much, much smaller and severly circumscribe its powers. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

Eric Holder has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. The former attorney general decided against going for a judgeship, saying he’s not ready for the ivory tower yet. “I want to be a player,” he told the National Law Journal, one would have to say ominously.
Holder will reassume his lucrative partnership (he made $2.5 million the last year he worked there) and take his seat in an office that reportedly – this is no joke – was kept empty for him in his absence.

The office thing might have been improper, but at this point, who cares? More at issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history’s great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover, DiCaprio in The Departed-style, as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had.

Holder denied there was anything weird about returning to one of Wall Street’s favorite defense firms after six years of letting one banker after another skate on monstrous cases of fraud, tax evasion, market manipulation, money laundering, bribery and other offenses.

“Just because I’m at Covington doesn’t mean I will abandon the public interest work,” he told CNN. He added to the National Law Review that a big part of the reason he was going back to private practice was because he wanted to give back to the community.

“The firm’s emphasis on pro bono work and being engaged in the civic life of this country is consistent with my worldview that lawyers need to be socially active,” he said.

Right. He’s going back to Covington & Burling because of the firm’s emphasis on pro bono work.

Here’s a man who just spent six years handing out soft-touch settlements to practically every Too Big to Fail bank in the world. Now he returns to a firm that represents many of those same companies: Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, to name a few.

Collectively, the decisions he made while in office saved those firms a sum that is impossible to calculate with exactitude. But even going by the massive rises in share price observed after he handed out these deals, his service was certainly worth many billions of dollars to Wall Street.

Now he will presumably collect assloads of money from those very same bankers. It’s one of the biggest quid pro quo deals in the history of government service. Congressman Billy Tauzin once took a $2 million-a-year job lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry just a few weeks after helping to pass the revolting Prescription Drug Benefit Bill, but what Holder just did makes Tauzin look like a guy who once took a couple of Redskins tickets.

In this light, telling reporters that you’re going back to Covington & Burling to be “engaged in the civic life of this country” seems like a joke for us all to suck on, like announcing that he’s going back to get a doctorate at the University of Blow Me.

To continue reading: Eric Holder Comes in From the Cold

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare, by Matt Taibbi

There are reasons why the word “bankster” has become part of the vernacular. From Matt Taibbi, The Rolling Stone, 11/6/14:

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn’t take it anymore.

“It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can’t sit by any longer.'”

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She’s had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she’s kept her mouth shut since then. “My closest family and friends don’t know what I’ve been living with,” she says. “Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview.”

Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. “Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way,” Fleischmann says.

This past year she watched as Holder’s Justice Department struck a series of historic settlement deals with Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. The root bargain in these deals was cash for secrecy. The banks paid big fines, without trials or even judges – only secret negotiations that typically ended with the public shown nothing but vague, quasi-official papers called “statements of facts,” which were conveniently devoid of anything like actual facts.

And now, with Holder about to leave office and his Justice Department reportedly wrapping up its final settlements, the state is effectively putting the finishing touches on what will amount to a sweeping, industrywide effort to bury the facts of a whole generation of Wall Street corruption. “I could be sued into bankruptcy,” she says. “I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106#ixzz3IQPpgFT1