WSJ: Put Dodd on the witness stand

posted at 10:45 am on October 10, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

With Congress grilling Wall Street executives over the financial collapse, why not have some of the real culprits testify in their investigations?  One of them is close at hand; in fact, he’s pretending to lead the investigation while really being one of its best targets.  Senator Chris Dodd took massive amounts in political contributions from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Countrywide, while securing sweetheart deals from that same lender, all while supposedly providing the oversight that somehow missed the rotten struts under the entire subprime market.  The Wall Street Journal wonders why Dodd’s asking questions rather than answering them:

Former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld was under oath Monday when he was grilled on Capitol Hill about his role in the current financial meltdown. But if Members really want to understand the credit mania, they should also call Chris Dodd.

The Connecticut Senator has been out front denouncing the “companies that form the foundation of our financial markets,” for “their insatiable appetite for risk.” He has also decried “reckless, careless and sometimes unscrupulous actors in the mortgage lending industry” and he has proclaimed that “American taxpayers deserve to know how we arrived at this moment.” To that end, we propose he take the stand — under oath.

Dodd should get expelled first for his conflict of interest in accepting his sweetheart loans from Countrywide in the “Friends of Angelo” program.  Dodd now claims he never knew that he saved thousands of dollars in lower interest rates and fees, but Countrywide’s loan officer, Robert Feinberg, scoffs at that notion.  He personally discussed the loans with Dodd, as he did with other FOAs, to make sure he understood the bargain he was getting.

That was the entire point of the program, as Feinberg points out for the extraordinarily clueless.  Why cut Dodd a break and lose extra profit if Dodd was unaware of the deal?  It wasn’t intended to be a secret, but to butter up policymakers and watchdogs.  Jim Johnson at Fannie Mae got millions in FOA loans while he was supposed to keep an eye on the quality of Countrywide loans he was buying.  Jamie Gorelick served on the Fannie Mae board and also got an FOA loan.

Dodd sold out the American taxpayer for a few thousand dollars and a boatload of campaign contributions, and then blocked the kind of reform that would have prevented this collapse.  Dodd needs to start answering questions rather than serving as an Inquisitor to Wall Street execs, and he should be doing it from the status of an ex-Senator.


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Investigate Democrats? Are you mad? It’s the Republicans who need investigation! Reid and Pelosi said so!

GarandFan on October 10, 2008 at 12:57 PM

I actually expect that when Obama wins and gets a filibuster proof congress we’ll see our rights to dissent become illegal. They will hammer the ISPs whenever a blogger/commenter says something harmful to them (just look at how the youtube videos are pulled or sanitized when the left complains). Google is flat out in the tank for Dems and Obama, so bloggers will disappear. Rush and other conservative pundits will be forced off the air by reinstating the fairness doctrine to censor them, and sattelite radio doesn’t reach enough of an audience to keep them from becoming irrelevant. It’s going to be a long dark winter of oppression when the Dems get power. – Webrider on October 10, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Don’t forget the surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act – you know…the ones the liberals voted against? These will not only be kept intact but will then be used, ironically, against the very people who supported their passage.

Anyone whose exercise of “free” speech puts them on the Obama Radar Screen will find their phones tapped and their internet traffic monitored.

ManlyRash on October 10, 2008 at 1:07 PM

highhopes on October 10, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Holy cow, it took me forever to even find out who’s running against him. I finally had to google Defeat John Mica to figure it out. No signs or ads, I guess it must be a “safe” seat.

Cindy Munford on October 10, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Nothing to see here,Nothing at all.
This post is obviously racist.Discussing Fannie/Freddie, which was a lender to the poor and minorities,in the same thread with Chris Dodd clearly is meant to show Dodd as the slave master denigrating and oppressing those beneath him.
Pointing out how corrupt democrats led this country into the biggest economic failure/bailout in it’s history is just a distraction.
We need to talk about the real issues like Palin buying a tanning bed or getting a HWY.patrol officer who drinks on the job,threatens to kill people,and tase’s young kids fired.

Shame on Republicans for wanting to expose the truth and hold those responsible accountable.

Baxter Greene on October 10, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Anyone whose exercise of “free” speech puts them on the Obama Radar Screen will find their phones tapped and their internet traffic monitored.

Heck, don’t forget they’ll be audited, and the EPA will declare their property a wetlands, etc.
What you’ll see is Canadian style Human rights commissions. We’ll be silenced by the threat of bankrupting legal fees.

Iblis on October 10, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Has Allah or Ed or anybody, linked Chuck Schumer’s intentional comments that caused a run on the IndyMac Bank, with the collapse of Fannie and Freddie?

FiveWays on October 10, 2008 at 1:33 PM

The conspirators (including Frank, Dodd and Acorn Obama), who have bad loan stink clear up to their elbows, are not only going to skate, the MSM will portray them as the rescuers.

whitetop on October 10, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Finally, this is getting some traction. When I wrote to my congressional delegation some time ago about this issue, a RINO and two Democrats, I received no reply. I expect nothing from the WSJ article or the Democratic leadership. One thing that the Republicans, do but never get much credit for, is to remove those who stink up the Party. It would be nice if a mob descended on Dodd’s house with their pitchforks and touches and tarred and feathered the senator; that won’t happen either. To many sheep in our country; to few sheepdogs.

amr on October 10, 2008 at 2:09 PM

The American people need to let our political “leaders” know that this meltdown should be recognized as a complete breach of fiduciary duty. It must be prosecuted and any politician that trys to protect their respective party members from prosecution will be charged with obstruction of justice.

Star20 on October 10, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Dodd should go to jail!

mindhacker on October 10, 2008 at 10:07 PM

Bu bu bu but if you put Dodd on the stand you’d HAVE to put the top fund raiser from the same sources over the last four years on the stand, too. And that would take him off the election trail. You can’t do that!

God, please motivate them to do it somehow!

{O.O}

herself on October 11, 2008 at 12:41 AM

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