Prolly not. Obama won't be back in Washington for another week or so, and by then he's got an outside chance everyone has forgotten this "stale" news that was barely reported. (Linky in title)
See how new politics works???
Rahm Emanuel was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac in February of 2000 by Bill Clinton, after serving as White House political director where he was a vocal defender of Mr. Clinton during the Monica Lewinski matter. He served there until leaving to run for Congress in 2001, which qualified him for $380,000 in stock and options and a $20,000 annual fee.
According to the Chicago Tribune, during his tenure the board was notified by executives of their plans to misstate the earnings of Freddie Mac: “On Emanuel’s watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.” (3/5/2009)
Oh, there's more. Way too much to quote it all. But there's a bit of Chicago-style politics that should be noted:
In Congress, Rahm Emanuel worked to pass a bailout of Fannie and Freddie, cosponsoring the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which also dissolved OFHEO. It moved their regulatory authority to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which took Fannie and Freddie under conservatorship in September 2008. The same act abolished the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) and replaced it with the FHFA.
After Mr. Emanuel was named Chief of Staff, the White House denied a Chicago Tribune Freedom of Information Act request for information on his Freddie Mac activities: “The Obama administration rejected a Tribune request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel’s time as a director.
This is not new. It has been going on for a while. Why doesn't anyone (but intense political junkies) know about it?
Humn. Let's think about this. Well, you got me, I'm flummoxed.
So, will Jane Hamsher's letter cause any reaction?
We write to demand an immediate investigation into the activities of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. We believe there is an abundant public record which establishes that the actions of the White House have blocked any investigation into his activities while on the board of Freddie Mac from 2000-2001, and facilitated the cover up of potential malfeasance until the 10-year statute of limitations has run out.
The purpose of this letter is to connect the dots to establish both the conduct of Mr. Emanuel and those working with him to thwart inquiry, and to support your acting speedily so that the statute of limitations does not run out before the Justice Department is able to empanel a grand jury.
The New York Times reports that the administration is negotiating to double the commitments to Fannie and Freddie for a total of $800 billion by December 31, in order to avoid the congressional approval that would be needed after that date. But there currently is no Inspector General exercising independent oversight of these entities. Acting Inspector General Ed Kelly was stripped of his authority earlier this year by the Justice Department, relying on a loophole in a bill Mr. Emanuel cosponsored and pushed through Congress shortly before he left for the White House. This effectively ended Mr. Kelly’s investigation into what happened at Fannie and Freddie.
Add that to this Christmas eve story:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they had received approval from their federal regulator to pay $42 million in Wall Street-style compensation packages to 12 top executives for 2009.
The compensation packages, including up to $6 million each to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's chief executives, come amid an ongoing public debate about lavish payments to executives at banks and other financial firms that have received taxpayer aid. But while many firms on Wall Street have repaid the assistance, there is no prospect that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will do so.
Hope and Change, folks.