Countrywide Probe is Chance for Ethics Committee to do ‘Something Significant’

Edolphus Towns photoIt appears that four current members of the United States House of Representatives received loans via the VIP program of Countrywide Financial Corporation. Once again the motives of the former giant mortgage institution have been brought into question. Where they trying to peddle influence with these loans?

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and he has been investigating the VIP program for a number years. Issa reportedly learned about the four loans after issuing a subpoena to Bank of America. Countrywide was purchased by Bank of America in 2008 and was at the forefront of the financial crisis that came to a head that year. At one point Countrywide was the nation’s largest mortgage lender.

In 2009 the Security and Exchange Commission brought a fraud suit against a number of former executives of Countrywide including its former chief executive Angelo Mozilo. …

Surprise, Surprise: Senate Ethics Committee Clears Dodd, Conrad

Dodd photoAssociated Press reports:

The Senate ethics committee cleared Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad of breaking rules by getting mortgages through a VIP program, even as it scolded them Friday for not being more careful to avoid the appearance of sweetheart deals.

Apparently, the Committee was so proud of its work that it released its decision on a Friday afternoon in August. This will do nothing to undermine the reputation of both the House and Senate Ethics Committees as laughingstocks.

AP continues:

The Select Committee on Ethics told Dodd of Connecticut and Conrad of North Dakota in separate letters that it found “no substantial credible evidence” after a yearlong investigation that their mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp. broke Senate gift rules. The two influential Democrats got their mortgages through a VIP program for those designated as “friends” of then-Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

We should acknowledge a debt of gratitude to …