BREAKING: Bush SEC Holdovers Cite Exec Privilege In Stonewalling Congress About Madoff Scandal

by: David Sirota

Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 17:16


At a contentious Financial Services Committee hearing today about the failure of the Securities and Exchange Commission to prevent the Bernie Madoff scandal, the SEC's General Counsel cited executive privilege as reason that he and the SEC's enforcement branch were refusing to answer congressional inquiries. You can watch the video here - the executive privilege issue comes at about 5 minutes and 15 seconds into the clip.

As you'll see, SEC officials refuse to answer the committee's basic questions about the Madoff scandal, and the agency's acting general counsel, Andy Vollmer (a Bush holdover and maxed-out donor to John McCain's presidential campaign) explicitly cites executive privilege as his legal rationale for refusing to provide basic information to federal lawmakers.

Congress has a constitutional obligation to engage in basic fact finding, both in order to legislate reforms at the SEC and to publicly expose how our economy was destroyed by sharks like Madoff. Now, Bush holdovers at the SEC are using executive powers - powers that are now President Obama's - to prevent Democratic lawmakers from doing their job.

David Sirota :: BREAKING: Bush SEC Holdovers Cite Exec Privilege In Stonewalling Congress About Madoff Scandal

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Woah... (0.00 / 0)
It was always pretty damn fishy that the SEC failed to catch Madoff, in spite of being tipped off a number of times.

Methinks someone's going to jail...

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!


Uh (0.00 / 0)
The link isn't really working. After about twenty seconds it just stops.

Didn't miss much (4.00 / 1)
David's description tells the story. There's about 5 minutes of stonewalling and yelling, then Vollmer explains that they're not answering for various reasons, including executive privilege. But he's pretty reluctant to even admit that much. He also expresses a desire to protect the integrity of an ongoing investigation, which is reasonable in theory, but there's too much stink around this for him to give no information at all.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

[ Parent ]
Come on! (4.00 / 2)
Executive privilege??  Puh-leez.  These people are just incredible.  I am so sick of hearing Bush appointees evade subpoenas, inquiries, questions from Congress.  WHEN WILL WE START HOLDING THESE CROOKS, LIARS, THIEVES, AND CRONIES ACCOUNTABLE?  If they won't give straight answers and continue to waste Congress's time, can't we at least haul them in for Contempt of Congress?


not how to play nicey nicey (0.00 / 0)
but now we know how to flush out the Bush plants who are still hanging around stinking up our govt. They're the ones who won't testify, and evade answers, and invoke exec privilege .. they're history.

He needs Obama permission to claim priviledge (0.00 / 0)
 Since he did claim it, he must of had someone in the current admin. that gave him this guidance, but who ?

Pledge To Ask "The Question"

i can only think (0.00 / 0)
of a four letter word after viewing the video, JAIL, for many in the rw fascist bush admin and i hope the indictments go from the bottom all the way to the top.

You know the Republicans now are going to point the finger at Bill Clinton (0.00 / 0)
They're going to say the problems at SEC started under Bill Clinton's watch so stop blaming Bush's SEC.

He shares the blame (4.00 / 1)
He turned down Arthur Levitt's request for more funding to fully staff his department (Clinton and Lieberman teamed up on this one, if I remember correctly).

Clinton also stood passively by when Glass-Steagal was overturned, and actually signed it into law.

Lastly, he knowingly allowed Rubin to run amok, and we know that Rubin kept regulatory agencies from including derivatives in their mandates.


[ Parent ]
Glass Steagle (4.00 / 2)

Clinton was not passive. He vigorously supported Gramm Leach. Lets also remember the written warnings about Madoff started in 1994. They were ignored by both Bush and Clinton SECs. Its obvious a wealthy liberal Democrat such as Madoff had connections somewhere to avoid being investigated.

[ Parent ]
Is that even legal? (0.00 / 0)
For the counsel of an executive branch agency to go before Congress under oath(?), and claim executive protection that was never granted? Isn't that misrepresentation of some form?

Has a law already been violated?



this (0.00 / 0)
is great watching these guys squirme,
huffingtonpost also has the video up
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

whatever you think people owe you, that is what you owe people

That was pure Hollywood (0.00 / 0)
Gary Ackerman was a crusading Congressman out of central casting. Which was very enjoyable.  

Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable, and lightness has a call that's hard to hear.  

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