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Rep. Issa to SEC: Prove to me that your Goldman Sachs charge was not politically motivated

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

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Wall Street has been wondering about the timing of the SEC's fraud charge against Goldman Sachs since it landed last Friday morning -- right as the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill are trying to push through tough new financial regulatory reform that would target firms such as Goldman.

Well, now one Republican lawmaker -- Oversight and Government Reform Committee pit bull Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) -- is demanding that the SEC prove that its fraud charge was not prompted by or coordinated with the Democratic Party. He wants SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro to prove her agency's independence.

"The events of the past five days have fueled legitimate suspicion on the part of the American people that the [SEC] has attempted to assist the White House, the Democratic Party, and congressional Democrats by timing the suit to coincide with the Senate's consideration of financial regulatory legislation, or by providing Democrats with advance notice," Issa wrote in a letter to Schapiro that was released moments ago. "The American people have a right to know whether the [SEC], or any of its officers or employees, may have violated federal law by using the resources of an independent regulatory agency to promote a partisan political agenda."

Here is the information that Issa wants, and I'll just quote from his letter ("Commissioner" and "Commission" refer to the SEC.):

  • 1. State whether any Commissioner or Commission employee communicated regarding the Commission's suit against Goldman, prior to the public announcement of the suit on April 16, 2010, with any of the following:
    -- a. Any employee of the Executive Office of the President;
    -- b. Any employee of the Democratic National Committee or Organizing for America;
    -- c. Any employee of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee;
    -- d. Any employee of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; or
    -- e. Any Member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, or any employee of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

  • 2. Identify every person who sent or received any communication described in request No. 1.

  • 3. Identify all known communications by any Commission employee or employees with the New York Times or other news outlets prior to the Commission's public announcement of the suit. If you are unaware of any such communications, please certify as such and explain what steps the Commission has taken to identify any individual(s) who may have engaged in unauthorized disclosure of information.

  • 4. State whether Commission Chief of Staff Didem Nisanci or Senior Adviser Kayla Gillan engaged in any communication with any individual in the subcategories listed in request No. 1 between March 1, 2010, and the present, and identify any other member of the Chairman's staff who engaged in any such communication.

  • 5. Provide all records and communications referring or relating to the communications described in requests Nos. 1, 3, and 4.

    Issa has dug his teeth into any number of matters, from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch deal to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to the Toyota problems. This looks to be his latest crusade.

    Follow me on Twitter at @theticker.

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    By Frank Ahrens  |  April 20, 2010; 3:16 PM ET
     | Tags: Democratic, Goldman Sachs, Mary Schapiro, Politics, SEC, US Securities and Exchange Commission, United States, White House  
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    Next: DNC, Goldman Sachs, others bidding to buy Google search term 'Goldman Sachs SEC'


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    Posted by: itkonlyyyou19 | April 20, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

    Goldman Sachs has been at fault for a lot of things, but not this one:

    Posted by: ais000 | April 21, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

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