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Sen. Dodd Took Up to Six VIP Countrywide Loans, Says Oversight Committee
National Legal & Policy Center ^ | August 24, 2010 | Alana Goodman

Posted on 08/24/2010 10:06:13 AM PDT by jazusamo

Dodd photoSen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) received up to six sweetheart home loans from Countrywide Financial, even though he has only publicly admitted to accepting two special deals, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The revelations were brought to light by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, raising questions about a previous Senate ethics committee investigation into Dodd’s dealings with Countrywide that just disclosed information about two of the loans.

In 2008, Dodd was accused of accepting two very favorable home loans in 2003 from Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo, through the bank’s “Friends of Angelo” program. The program offered VIP mortgages to “influential” individuals, like Dodd, a five-term senator and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

While Dodd admitted to accepting two favorable home loans from the now-defunct Countrywide, he said he did not believe the dealings were improper or in violation of Senate ethics rules.

But Countrywide loan officer Robert Feinberg said that Dodd knew he was receiving preferential treatment from the bank. “People are referred into that [‘Friends of Angelo’] department as ‘very important people.’ You're told that your loan is priced from Angelo…[the department] has to give them a sense of importance and explain the reduction of fees and the rate as a result of being a ‘Friend of Angelo’,” Feinberg told the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 10, 2008.

After a year-long investigation into Dodd’s acceptance of below market-price home loans, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics dismissed the complaints against Dodd in 2009, saying that there was “no substantial credible evidence” that the senator had violated any ethics rules.

The committee admonished Dodd to use “more vigilance in your dealings with Countrywide in order to avoid the appearance that you were receiving preferential treatment based on your status as Senator.”

However, neither the committee nor Dodd revealed that he had received well more than two preferential loans from the bank.

Investigators on the Senate ethics committee also cleared alleged “Friend of Angelo” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) of any wrongdoing in the same case, despite evidence that the North Dakota Senator and budget committee chairman had also received VIP treatment from Countrywide.

Alana Goodman is NLPC's Capitol Hill Reporter.

Related:

Surprise, Surprise: Senate Ethics Committee Clears Dodd, Conrad



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abovethelaw; conrad; countrywide; cultureofcorruption; democratcorruption; democrats; dodd; ethics; nlpc; noaccountability; notransparency; senate; specialdeals

1 posted on 08/24/2010 10:06:17 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

I’m surprised there was an obligation to repay.


2 posted on 08/24/2010 10:09:33 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: jazusamo

Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty


3 posted on 08/24/2010 10:10:08 AM PDT by bmwcyle (It is Satan's fault)
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To: jazusamo

mortgagate


4 posted on 08/24/2010 10:11:30 AM PDT by FrankR (It doesn't matter what they call us, only what we answer to....)
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To: FrankR

Yikes!


5 posted on 08/24/2010 10:13:47 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: Raycpa; bmwcyle; FrankR

Little wonder he decided to spend more time with family, better that than a federal slammer.


6 posted on 08/24/2010 10:15:48 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

bttt


7 posted on 08/24/2010 10:16:04 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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To: jazusamo

Sue - PRAHZE, sue - PRAHZE, sue - PRAHZE!!!

- Gomer Pyle


8 posted on 08/24/2010 10:18:03 AM PDT by DustyMoment
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To: jazusamo; All
"Sen. Dodd Took Up to Six VIP Countrywide Loans, Says Oversight Committee"

Home Buyers Dodd Deal

9 posted on 08/24/2010 10:18:30 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: jazusamo

Why is he not in jail ?


10 posted on 08/24/2010 10:20:36 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: musicman

I’m actually curious what his rates were for these things. I read that he saved $75K over a 30yr mortgage, but I still want to know to compare it to my own very nice rate from ING.


11 posted on 08/24/2010 10:20:51 AM PDT by whattajoke (Let's keep Conservatism real.)
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To: jazusamo

Mr. Feinberg’s department was charged with making sure those who could influence Fannie and Freddie’s appetite for risk were sufficiently buttered up. As a Banking Committee bigshot, Mr. Dodd was perfectly placed to be buttered.

******

As to Mr. Dodd, Mr. Feinberg says he spoke to the Senator once or twice and mostly to his wife and that like other FOAs Mr. Dodd got “a float down,” which means that even after he had a preferred rate, when the prevailing rate dropped just before the closing, his rate was reduced again. Regular borrowers would pay extra for a last-minute adjustment, but not FOAs. “They were aware of it because they were notified and when they went to the closing they would see it,” Mr. Feinberg says, adding that he “always let people in the program know that they were getting a very good deal because they were ‘Friends of Angelo.’” All of this matters because Mr. Dodd was one of those encouraging Fan and Fred to plunge into “affordable housing” loans made by companies like Countrywide.


12 posted on 08/24/2010 10:23:59 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: jazusamo

Just another democrat pig at the trough. Nothing to see here.


13 posted on 08/24/2010 10:27:46 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: whattajoke

The thing that blows my mind is from the Senate ethics angle by being on the Banking Committee, he had to know he was breaking or skirting ethics rules.


14 posted on 08/24/2010 10:28:31 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Retirement of a congressman/person in the face of impropriety (accepting payoffs/bribes) should lead to the loss of all benefits. No congressperson or any other politician should be immune from prosecution even if they retire. Currently, they are all pretty much above the law.
15 posted on 08/24/2010 10:28:46 AM PDT by drypowder
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To: jazusamo

And while Dodd has recently said that he was unaware of any special treatment, Feinberg told Congressional investigators that Dodd (as well as North Dakota’s Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad) was told “who you know is basically how you’re coming in here.”

The House committee staff report concludes, “Senior Countrywide officials and lobbyists openly and explicitly weighed the value of relationships with potentially influential borrowers against the cost to Countrywide in terms of forfeited fees and payments.” To put a finer point on it, the report shows an e-mail from a Countrywide Managing Director who says, “I’m usually in favor of settling on the side of the borrower with political influence.”

Bank of America has said that the bank has relevant Countrywide VIP documents and is ready to provide them to a Congressional committee if the committee will simply subpoena them. However, both House and Senate Democrats have so far refused to issue the subpoena.

Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, offered HUMAN EVENTS these thoughts:

“We’ve been working for more than a year on this investigation. It’s not about one particular lawmaker or targeting lawmakers. It’s about uncovering a scheme which targeted lawmakers for the purposes of affecting public policy. The guilt or innocence of Senators Dodd or Conrad is not for us to say, and it’s not the focus of our investigation. You would think, however, knowing these documents do exist, that they would be among the first to want them to be released so that they can clear their names. We have at our disposal the ability to uncover the full scope of this program. For reasons I cannot explain, Democratic leaders in Congress refuse to get the proof that can answer all these questions — proof which is literally one subpoena away.”

Dodd’s dalliances with Countrywide were not his first stroke of good luck in real estate. In 1994, he also got a sweetheart deal buying an Irish cottage from Edward Downe, Jr., a friend of Dodd’s who had pled guilty to felony securities fraud and insider trading charges. Dodd’s cottage more than tripled in value in a few years. But Downe was probably not too upset about not owning such a rapidly appreciating asset because in 2001 Dodd bypassed the usual Justice Department procedures, going directly to then-President Bill Clinton, who, on his last day in office, gave Downe a full pardon.

As if these two examples weren’t enough to prove Dodd’s lack of fitness for his job, we also have his involvement in putting protection for the infamous AIG bonus payments in an amendment to the so-called “stimulus bill.”

On a Tuesday in March, as the Chicago Tribune noted, “Dodd had said he was not a member of the conference committee that crafted the compromise bill and said the exception had not been in the bill as he drafted it. But late Wednesday, Dodd admitted he had been involved in the change.” The bonuses, which included $165 million to the financial products unit which was primarily responsible for the company’s collapse, may have been protected by law in any case. But Dodd’s actions ensured they would be paid — with taxpayer money.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33003


16 posted on 08/24/2010 10:29:09 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: jazusamo

He’s a democrat. Corruption is a resume enhancer. He’ll rise rapidly within the ranks of the democrat party.


17 posted on 08/24/2010 10:29:40 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (Annoying liberals is my goal. I will not be silenced.)
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To: jazusamo

Good grief. Dodd and Barney Frank were trading influence at every turn.


18 posted on 08/24/2010 10:31:59 AM PDT by rod1
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To: jazusamo

Senate ethics panel takes new look at Countrywide loans
By Susan Crabtree - 08/12/10 06:00 AM ET

The Senate Ethics Committee is re-examining the participation of senators and staffers in a controversial VIP mortgage-lending program at Countrywide Financial Corp, according to a source familiar with the panel’s activities.

If new information is discovered about Dodd’s and Conrad’s loans, any potential ethics committee investigation would encompass the new material and also could ensnare other senators’ offices. Besides the loans listing Bennett’s office as their employer, 18 others identified “U.S. Senators” or “U.S. Senate” as their place of employment,according to Issa’s letter to the ethics committee.

“The pervasiveness of discounted loans and preferential treatment for Senate employees sheds new light on the purpose and policies of Countrywide’s VIP program,” Issa wrote. “Furthermore, a high concentration of VIP borrowers in specific Senate offices is prima facie evidence that Countrywide strategically targeted Members positioned to help the company during a critical period.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/113849-senate-ethics-panel-takes-new-look-at-countrywide-


19 posted on 08/24/2010 10:33:21 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
For reasons I cannot explain, Democratic leaders in Congress refuse to get the proof that can answer all these questions — proof which is literally one subpoena away.”

That figures, Reid and the Good Ole Boys covering for the crooks.

Thanks for the post.

20 posted on 08/24/2010 10:37:10 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Dodd’s a scumbag. Back in early seventies, he was involved in an accident with my then teenage gf. They exchanged info. When she called Dodd to tell him extent of damage, he denied knowing anything about an accident. Only when my gf said she had a witness, which she did, did he come clean.
Showed his true character.


21 posted on 08/24/2010 10:39:40 AM PDT by dmzTahoe
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To: Raycpa

There is no, zero, nada evidence he ever paid anything against the loans. They were sham transactions administered personally by the Countrywide CEO who had no interest in collecting payments other than business favors.


22 posted on 08/24/2010 10:40:39 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Greetings Jacques. The revolution is coming)
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To: kcvl

Issa has been a thorn in the Dems side, good for him, this may not be over yet.


23 posted on 08/24/2010 10:41:20 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: dmzTahoe

Thanks for relating that, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Anyone that’s willing to forfeit their integrity in one matter will not hesitate to do it in others.


24 posted on 08/24/2010 10:44:38 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: dmzTahoe

A worthless human being.


25 posted on 08/24/2010 10:48:42 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: jazusamo

He’s one of those that comes to mind when I read Vince Flynn’s “Term Limits”.


26 posted on 08/24/2010 10:52:00 AM PDT by crosshairs (Celebrate diversity. Own a variety of firearms.)
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To: bert

I was wondering if Dodd actually made payments, or if Countrywide set up some sort of dummy company which paid monthly mortgage payments for their ‘friends’.


27 posted on 08/24/2010 10:55:55 AM PDT by FreeStateYank (I want my country and constitution back, now!)
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To: dmzTahoe
When she called Dodd to tell him extent of damage, he denied knowing anything about an accident.

Sounds like he was practicing for the day when he would deny knowing that Countrywide gave him special treatment.

Scumbug is too good a word for Dodd.

28 posted on 08/24/2010 11:00:37 AM PDT by freespirited
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To: jazusamo

State Media covering the Senators back side!


29 posted on 08/24/2010 11:07:03 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: jazusamo

Wow!

it only took them 3 years to count to 6


30 posted on 08/24/2010 11:14:42 AM PDT by Mr. K (Physically unable to proofreed (<---oops! see?))
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To: jazusamo

A BIG part of Nazi Pelizi’s most ethical Congress in history.


31 posted on 08/24/2010 11:15:29 AM PDT by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is the 4th of July, democrats believe every day is April 15)
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To: Mr. K
it only took them 3 years to count to 6

Excellent way to put it! It's really pathetic.

32 posted on 08/24/2010 11:17:24 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: dmzTahoe

That’s a story worth repeating.


33 posted on 08/24/2010 11:21:48 AM PDT by Churchillspirit (9/11/01...NEVER FORGET.)
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