Powerful Dem Rep stonewalls subpoena of Countrywide

We already know about two Senate Democrats -- Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd -- who received "friends of Angelo" special treatment from Countrywide, enjoying below market interest rates, while the company boomed during the property bubble caused by Fannie Mae lowering standards on mortgages. Now it develops that powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives may also have received special treatment, and is blocking attempts to subpoena records that could prove him innocent or guilty.

John R. Emshwiller reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The loans were made to Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. The panel's ranking Republican, California Rep. Darrell Issa, has been pushing to have the committee subpoena mortgage records showing who received loans through Countrywide's VIP program -- operated under former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and known within the company as "Friends of Angelo."

The mortgage documents on the loans to Mr. Towns contain a Countrywide address and branch number that correspond to the VIP program. ....

Mr. Issa said that based on his staff's investigation, he believes the names of many VIP loan recipients aren't publicly available. But Mr. Towns has turned down the Republican request to subpoena the records from Bank of America.

The WSJ has a picture of the rather large house in Florida the Rep. Towns managed to buy on his Congressional salary, in addition to the residences we must presume he maintained in Brooklyn, where he represents the 10th District of New York, and in Washington, DC.

This is the most powerful man in the House when it comes to reform and oversight, yet he won't allow his records to see the light of day, in a company near the center of the biggest financial crisis since 1929.

How many other Democrats were on the take with special treatment? Were there any Republicans? Let's find out.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Update:

Kent Conrad thinks it is outrageous that the people should find out the truth via the political process. Manu Raju of Politico reports:

In letters provided to POLITICO, Conrad has accused Issa of attempting to impugn his name in a GOP inquiry into the Countrywide mortgage scandal. Conrad said that the Senate Ethics Committee is the "appropriate forum to resolve this matter," not Issa's Republican staff on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

"It is unfortunate that you chose to damage my good name in your report without giving me the opportunity to provide my side of the story," Conrad said in the sharply worded Aug. 3 letter. "But that damage has been done. I now have the opportunity to present my case before the Senate Ethics Committee, a fundamental right you denied me." 

"Shame on you for abusing your power," Conrad said. 

Let the facts come out, and we'll see who has somethign to be ashamed of.
We already know about two Senate Democrats -- Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd -- who received "friends of Angelo" special treatment from Countrywide, enjoying below market interest rates, while the company boomed during the property bubble caused by Fannie Mae lowering standards on mortgages. Now it develops that powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives may also have received special treatment, and is blocking attempts to subpoena records that could prove him innocent or guilty.

John R. Emshwiller reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The loans were made to Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. The panel's ranking Republican, California Rep. Darrell Issa, has been pushing to have the committee subpoena mortgage records showing who received loans through Countrywide's VIP program -- operated under former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and known within the company as "Friends of Angelo."

The mortgage documents on the loans to Mr. Towns contain a Countrywide address and branch number that correspond to the VIP program. ....

Mr. Issa said that based on his staff's investigation, he believes the names of many VIP loan recipients aren't publicly available. But Mr. Towns has turned down the Republican request to subpoena the records from Bank of America.

The WSJ has a picture of the rather large house in Florida the Rep. Towns managed to buy on his Congressional salary, in addition to the residences we must presume he maintained in Brooklyn, where he represents the 10th District of New York, and in Washington, DC.

This is the most powerful man in the House when it comes to reform and oversight, yet he won't allow his records to see the light of day, in a company near the center of the biggest financial crisis since 1929.

How many other Democrats were on the take with special treatment? Were there any Republicans? Let's find out.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Update:

Kent Conrad thinks it is outrageous that the people should find out the truth via the political process. Manu Raju of Politico reports:

In letters provided to POLITICO, Conrad has accused Issa of attempting to impugn his name in a GOP inquiry into the Countrywide mortgage scandal. Conrad said that the Senate Ethics Committee is the "appropriate forum to resolve this matter," not Issa's Republican staff on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

"It is unfortunate that you chose to damage my good name in your report without giving me the opportunity to provide my side of the story," Conrad said in the sharply worded Aug. 3 letter. "But that damage has been done. I now have the opportunity to present my case before the Senate Ethics Committee, a fundamental right you denied me." 

"Shame on you for abusing your power," Conrad said. 

Let the facts come out, and we'll see who has somethign to be ashamed of.