Warren slams DOJ handling of financial meltdown investigations

by Ryan Smith20 Sep 2016
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) is calling for an investigation into the Department of Justice for failing to prosecute anyone in connection with the 2008 financial meltdown. Warren called the DOJ’s failure to do so “outrageous and baffling” and “an abysmal failure.”

In a heavily footnoted, 20-page letter to the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, Warren wrote that nine individuals and 14 corporations had been referred to the DOJ by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission because of “serious indications of violation(s) of federal securities our other laws.”
So far, however, none of the nine individuals the FCIC referred for investigation has gotten into serious legal trouble.

“Not one of the nine has gone to prison or been convicted of a criminal offense. Not a single one has even been indicted or brought to trial,” Warren wrote. “Only one individual was fined, in the amount of $100,000, and that was to settle a civil case brought by the SEC. A second individual recently agreed to a civil settlement with the SEC in which he admitted no wrongdoing and paid no personal fine.”

Nor have any of the 14 corporations referred to the DOJ by the commission been criminally prosecuted.
“(The) outcome of the referrals by the FCIC to the DOJ represents an abysmal failure,” Warren wrote. “It means that key companies and individuals that were responsible for the financial crisis and were the cause of substantial hardship for millions of Americans faced no criminal charges.

This failure is outrageous and baffling, and it requires an explanation.”

Warren called for the IG to investigate the actions the DOJ took in response to the referrals.

Warren also wrote to FBI Director James Comey, requesting that he FBI release materials related to the investigations and prosecutorial decisions around the companies and individuals the FCIC referred. The request comes after Comey made the unusual decision to release records of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails to satisfy “intense public interest.”

“These new standards represent a compelling case for public transparency around the fate of the FCIC referrals,” Warren wrote. “…I can think of no matter of ‘intense public interest’ about which ‘the American people deserve the details’ than the issue of what precisely happened to the criminal referrals that followed the 2008 crash.”


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