The subpoenas were issued after the agencies failed to comply with “requests for information and documents needed to continue active investigations,” according to a committee statement. The committee had previously threatened the agencies with subpoenas if they failed to comply with the requests.
According to the committee, the Justice Department “is withholding information that would help the Committee assess whether the Dodd-Frank Act ended ‘ too big to fail’ and whether decisions are being made to prosecute or not prosecute financial institutions based upon their size, as well as information that would reveal whether the federal government retaliated against a credit rating agency that downgraded the government’s credit rating.”
The committee accused the Treasury Department of “withholding information about the prosecutions of large banks,” and claims the department “has also failed to adequately produce requested records related to the Obama Administration’s contingency planning regarding the debt ceiling.”
A subpoena was also issued to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, which the committee also accused of an inadequate response to requests for information on debt-ceiling planning.
“These agencies have failed to respond to repeated requests – one of which dates back more than two years,” said committee chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). “In light of this extraordinary stonewalling, the committee is left with no reasonable alternative but to subpoena long-overdue information. The Financial Services Committee has the duty to hold these agencies accountable to hardworking taxpayers. Since they have repeatedly refused to cooperate, subpoenas for documents are a prudent and measured approach – entirely consistent with the riles of the committee and the House, and prior precedents established by both Republican and Democratic chairmen.”
The House Financial Services Committee issued subpoenas Monday to the Justice Department and the Treasury Department over prosecutions of big banks involved in the mortgage meltdown and elements of the Dodd-Frank Act.