Issa: Four more Friends of Angelo in Congress

posted at 10:05 am on December 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

With Congress about to wrap up its year-end business and head home for the holidays, there probably won’t be too much news made on Capitol Hill until next month.  Why not conduct a whodunit instead?  House Oversight chair Rep. Darrell Issa resurrected the Countrywide Financial influence-peddling scandal by informing the Ethics Committee that four current members received sweetheart deals on loans through the infamous Friends of Angelo program that sent former Senator Chris Dodd into retirement … perhaps to the Irish mansion he now owns:

Four current members of Congress took part in the controversial VIP program run by Countrywide Financial, the now defunct mortgage lender, according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Issa made the disclosure in a letter he sent Friday to Reps. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the chairman and ranking member of the House Ethics Committee.

Congress has been rocked by revelations of insider trading on stocks and commodities in recent weeks.  Consider this the old-fashioned kind of insider trading, where Representatives and Senators receive unique deals from regulated industries as a means of increasing the firm’s political influence through increasing the bank accounts of politicians.  House ethics rules prohibit any such transactions that give members a better deal than the public gets offered, but that only counts if the Ethics Committee decides to do anything about it.  In the Senate, the full reaction of their ethics panel was that Dodd and Kent Conrad “should have exercised more vigilance.” Ow, Mommy, that hurts!

But who are the four?  Rep. Edolphus Towns, who is the ranking member of Oversight and Issa’s counter on the panel, has already admitted to getting sweetheart deals from Countrywide, but claims he didn’t know that he was being treated better than the public:

Issa did not name the four members who received the loans in his letter to Ethics, but Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the former chairman of Oversight and Government Reform, has acknowledged receiving two loans through the VIP program. Towns has stated that he was not aware of his inclusion in the program, known as “Friends of Angelo” within Countrywide. This is a reference to Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide’s former CEO.

Everyone who got the Friends of Angelo treatment claimed that they had no idea they had been specially treated, but that’s absurd.  First, the entire point of a “Friends of Angelo” program is to make sure that the friends know they’re friends — otherwise, why bother?  Second, who gets a mortgage without checking the market prices for the best deal?  Are we to believe that Dodd, Conrad, Jamie Gorelick, and now Towns and the other three yet-unnamed FoA members just took the first loan they were offered without making sure that the terms were as favorable as they could get?  That’s sheer nonsense.

Who are the other three current members of the House who got special deals from the now-defunct subprime lender that cost American taxpayers billions?  I’d bet that … the Ethics Committee makes sure we never find out.


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Except for Issa and a few others…

Akzed on December 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

“I” am a Friend of Angelo!

steved95 on December 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM

I see a race card being played in 5….4….3

cmsinaz on December 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Don’t worry, I’m sure Congress will make a law protecting themselves from this… they love to do that in so many other areas, like insider trading, OSHA regulations, and a slew of other minor things that they inflict on the population but deem themselves unworthy of having to do.

That is BOTH the D and R party, plus the socialist “Independents”.

Name the names.

Let the chips fall where they may.

ajacksonian on December 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM

There is most likely a few repubs on the list for cover but the record will show that FM/FM was a huge dem slush fund. Nail them all to the wall!

DanMan on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Rep. Edolphus Towns, who is the ranking member of Oversight and Issa’s counter on the panel, has already admitted to getting sweetheart deals from Countrywide, but claims he didn’t know that he was being treated better than the public:

And William Jefferson didn’t know that pile of CASH was in his freezer either.

tootired on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Who are the other three current members of the House who got special deals from the now-defunct subprime lender that cost American taxpayers billions? I’d bet that … the Ethics Committee makes sure we never find out.

Would you bet $10K?

Seriously, I’d bet that at least one of the other 3 is on the Ethics Committee.

Steve Eggleston on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Steve Eggleston on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Or on the banking and finance committee. Or the committee to oversee Freddie/Fannie/Ginnie.

ajacksonian on December 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I am already so over this….Issa has a full plate — no question — but when are we going to see any real Accountability from all these investigations?

CoffeeLover on December 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Heh, heh. This could be a great bluff, because beyond the three or four Issa knows of, this could smoke out others to do pre-emptive denials.

Western_Civ on December 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I heard some Korean died.

docflash on December 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I am already so over this….Issa has a full plate — no question — but when are we going to see any real Accountability from all these investigations?

CoffeeLover on December 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Here’s my bold and brash prediction: we won’t. And that is something I’d bet $10,000 on.

gryphon202 on December 19, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Why anyone would want to give the State more power is beyond me.

Anyway, looks like there are new fees that benefit Fannie and Freddie at the expense of the plebes in the latest Social Security defunding bill passed by the Senate.

forest on December 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Linda Sanchez is a member of the Ethics Committee?? Seriously?? Well, I guess that explains a lot, actually.

Eren on December 19, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Newt got paid by Angelo so his name should be on this list too.

jrfromdallas on December 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Friends of Angelo, why stop there. I’d like to know how many members of Congress, their families, and staffs have NOT taken advantage of insider knowledge for financial gain or special privileges.

The entire federal government is giant, steaming pile of turd, and if there were any justice left in America every single one of them would be put in the dock and ordered to come clean.

Bishop on December 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Ya think they might go to jail like William Jefferson or Charley Rangle?
Oh…wait!

KOOLAID2 on December 19, 2011 at 10:43 AM

The three are probably Repubricrats. Mr. Issa; has a duty to reveal their names. But it is time to hold on to the massive majority. Come out with it Darryl.

democratsarefools on December 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Ya think if we get a crew of Hot Air posters…go to DC…grab them…tar and feather them, and carry them around on a rail in front of the media…we would only maybe get…. censured?

KOOLAID2 on December 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Heh, heh. This could be a great bluff, because beyond the three or four Issa knows of, this could smoke out others to do pre-emptive denials.

Western_Civ on December 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Yeah… At first I was thinking, “What gives, Issa? Cat got yer curlies?? Just do it, man… name the names!”

Then I thought that for him to launch this little grenade could be like sending your favorite setter out into the brush ahead, just to flush the quail… … … … Sometimes, when you know there’s one or two birds hiding in the cover, once you send the dog in, you get a whole “explosion” of birds flushing and scrambling for new cover.

The trick is to be quietly patient until the birds flush, and then to be ready to bring your sights in on the targets quickly enough to drop them in flight.

Never occurred to me before, to wonder if Rep. Issa is a bird-hunter in his off-hours. What are the chances his mad-skilz on a skeet-range are better than BHO on the links?? Enquiring minds…

“Cogito, ergo TEA Party!” ~ DeepWheat

DeepWheat on December 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Linda Sanchez is a member of the Ethics Committee?? Seriously?? Well, I guess that explains a lot, actually.
Eren on December 19, 2011 at 10:39 AM

No kidding.

Buy Danish on December 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

So I’m wondering what must be done to give the Ethics Committee some teeth? It seems to be a vast, swirling, scum sucking hole of sleeze – and it NEVER resolves anything.

joecollins on December 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

There is most likely a few repubs on the list for cover but the record will show that FM/FM was a huge dem slush fund. Nail them all to the wall!

DanMan on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

GOP or Dem–release the names. They deserve our contempt.

BuckeyeSam on December 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Issa needs to get F & F sorted and be quick about it !

Sandybourne on December 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

My guess is that Issa is letting out just enough with ALL of these investigations until Jan 2013 then the fun and games really begin. Me thinks we’ll see a whole slew of rats fleeing the sinking ship before that time, you know like sudden retirements – Bwaney Fwank comes to mind and I think we’ll see more, Yum!

D-fusit on December 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM

There are so many sewer rats in congress clogging the sewer it’s no wonder the place stinks.

they lie on December 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Are we to believe that Dodd, Conrad, Jamie Gorelick, and now Towns and the other three yet-unnamed FoA members just took the first loan they were offered without making sure that the terms were as favorable as they could get?

Sure, just like Democrats who don’t READ legislation before signing it, these bozos SIGN mortgage papers without reading them.

GarandFan on December 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

“Paging Sarah Palin. Paging Sarah Palin. Please pick up the white courtesy phone in the lobby. Your country is calling”

The one and only politician that is willing to run on this theme; cleaning up the crony capitalism and influence dealing in Washington. The one and only that can. All the rest are tainted in one form or another.

Tarnsman on December 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

October surprise?

Kissmygrits on December 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Romney blind trust, not so blind.

Schadenfreude on December 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Yep, our democratic system is the best thing out there…

originalpechanga on December 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM

FoA should all go to jail. But that will never happen.

rjulio on December 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I’d have a lot more respect for Issa if he would simply name the four.

kens on December 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM

We need to clean out all corruption out of Congress regardless of side of aisle. It will only happen if the people rise up in mass even against their own party if necessary! These guys are lining their pockets at the country’s expense.

Christian Conservative on December 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Newt may have gotten money from from the crooks but he was not in office at the time and has been out for many years. There was no conflict of interest. He was a consultant not a lobbyist but even if he was that is not even unethical for a private citizen. The crooks at that time were technically innocent because they were not even charged much less proven guilty.

dunce on December 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I am already so over this….Issa has a full plate — no question — but when are we going to see any real Accountability from all these investigations?

CoffeeLover on December 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I agree aswell, there has been no accountability, no one has been charge with anything making all these investigations seem useless and huge waste of time. I want to see these criminals pay for their crimes, Democrat or Republican, there must be consequences.

RiCkY.D. on December 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Insider trading, sweetheart deals, OK

Saying “Merry Christmas” to your constituents, a no-no

Got it.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 19, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Couldn’t the documents get leeked? It seems they always do when a Republican is going to take a hit. READ Gretchen Morgenstern, “Reckless Endangerment” All laid out in black and white. Since she is a reporter for the New York Times you can even give it to your liberal (commie) friends.

AgentRose on December 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM

“Paging Sarah Palin. Paging Sarah Palin. Please pick up the white courtesy phone in the lobby. Your country is calling”

The one and only politician that is willing to run on this theme; cleaning up the crony capitalism and influence dealing in Washington. The one and only that can. All the rest are tainted in one form or another.

Tarnsman on December 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

+1000

MJScanlonOH on December 19, 2011 at 5:01 PM

D-fusit on December 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM

This is what I think as well. Get everything in place with all of these scandals and when the time is right…..RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!

hoosierma on December 19, 2011 at 7:16 PM

“Paging Sarah Palin. Paging Sarah Palin. Please pick up the white courtesy phone in the lobby. Your country is calling”

The one and only politician that is willing to run on this theme; cleaning up the crony capitalism and influence dealing in Washington. The one and only that can. All the rest are tainted in one form or another.

Tarnsman on December 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I appreciate your enthusiasm, but how could she mount a run now? Wouldn’t she miss getting her name on most of the ballets?

cptacek on December 19, 2011 at 8:51 PM