From THINK PROGRESS:
Last week, ThinkProgress revealed that Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) hired Peter Haller, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, as one of his top aides. Haller, who adopted his mother’s maiden name in 2008 and had escaped public scrutiny until now, coordinated an Oversight Committee letter to regulators demanding that they justify new Dodd-Frank rules impacting investment banks like his old employer, Goldman Sachs. After publication of our story, the Project on Government Oversight discovered more of Haller’s Oversight Committee letters, again on issues directly related to Goldman Sachs.
ThinkProgress has now obtained more evidence that suggests that Haller’s employment under Issa is more akin to a bank lobbyist than a public servant entrusted with protecting the public interest. In May, GOP members on the Oversight Committee invited Professor Elizabeth Warren, then a special advisor working on the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to testify about the new agency. The hearing quickly became a media sideshow, with Republican lawmakers trying to trip Warren up and embarrass her. One congressman, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), became infamous overnight for berating Warren and accusing her of lying about her scheduling with the committee. It turns out that Haller, again carrying water for financial corporations afraid of new regulations, was behind the scheduling controversy at the heart of the McHenry confrontation with Warren.
According to e-mail correspondence obtained from Judicial Watch, Haller oversaw the scheduling of the Warren testimony. According to Flavio Cumpiano, a congressional liaison for the CFPB, Haller reportedly changed the time of the hearing at the last minute, then misled Warren staffers by promising to end the testimony by 2:15 pm that day.
McHenry seemed to have a mission that day. As Crooks and Liars blogger Karoli pointed out, before the hearing started, McHenry appeared on CNBC and accused Warren of lying about the nature of her advice to the consumer protection agency. The scheduling controversy at the hearing appears to be little more than a cover for McHenry to smear Warren as untrustworthy.
(Video at THINK PROGRESS link)
Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein has hired a high-profile defense attorney, Reuters reported shortly before the market closed on Monday, sending the shares down sharply. Blankfein is not facing any civil or criminal charges, but various government agencies, including the Justice Department, are inquiring into the role Goldman Sachs played during the mortgage meltdown.
Update: Goldman has confirmed that Blankfein has hired a defense lawyer.
Goldman fell 4.7% on Monday to $106.51, with almost the entire drop coming in the final 20 minutes of trading after the news broke. [...] The stock’s at a new 52-week low.