Judicial Watch Files FOIA Lawsuit Against US Treasury, Did Barney Frank Overstep His Authority?

Tyler Durden's picture

Our activist friends over at Judicial Watch are just getting started. Recently, they filed a lawsuit against the US Treasury to "obtain records related to evaluation procedures used by the government to determine which financial institutions received funds from TARP. The focus of the inquiry is a potentially iniquitous $12 million cash injection provided to Boston-based OneUnited Bank, at the urging of Barney Frank.

The original FOIA had been filed on January 23, 2009, and here were the primary items of information sought:

Judicial Watch concludes:

As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Congressman Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator" and Treasury granted the funds.

"TARP has created a whole new form of earmarking, where politicians lobby to receive mass cash infusions for special interests in their states. OneUnited Bank did not appear to be a suitable candidate for federal assistance until Barney Frank intervened and shook loose a $12 million TARP grant. The American people deserve to know if Congressman Frank's intervention improperly colored the decision to give precious tax dollars to his hometown bank," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Zero Hedge welcomes this initiative to expose ever increasing and costly behind the scenes dealings, especially of a variety that should be made public under the auspices of the Freedom Of Information Act. The implications, such as the ensuing fallout if it is indeed demonstrated subsequent to the disclosure gleaned from this lawsuit that Barney Frank acted improperly, should hopefully be grounds for elimination of ongoing kickbacks arising from the abuse of taxpayer funding to prop the fringes of the Zombied financial system. As has been the case with Colonial, Guaranty and Corus, the perpetuation of the viability fallacy lasts only so long, and the final cost to the US taxpayer is not only much greater in the end, but carries the acute risk of impacting confidence in the financial system - the very thing that the FDIC and comparable organizations has been trying to foster since the crisis began.

hat tip hedging in

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Harbourcity's picture

Barney Frank is a professional politician and needs to go.  There should be limits on how long anyone can serve in any political position.  Does any even half believe Barney Frank cares about the US taxpayer and is not in bed with a half a dozen interest groups? 

Cheeky Bastard's picture

in bed with a half a dozen interest groups

dude; LOL

SV's picture

Barney is like Teflon-Don... he's had all sorts of issues like hiring male prostitutes, then have them as aids (not like HIV), etc.  He'll get a hall pass for this too.  Viva Culture of Corruption!

Project Mayhem's picture

He also sounds like Donald Duck.   This is reason enough to fire him imo

VegasBD's picture

Single Term Term Limit. Elimates all career politicians and bring people from the community to DC. Doing whats right for the country would trump doing whats needed to get relected.

mtremus's picture

Confidence in this financial system.  You must be joking.  Look around, the system is crumbling right before our eyes.

lizzy36's picture



Sqworl's picture

What a waste of my taxpayer money.. As if, anything will come of this???  Dodd's VIP loot from Angelo...They don't eat their own..

Sardonicus's picture

yore spel chekkar is brokun

MinnesotaNice's picture

lol... but it must be hard to get all of these postings up in a timely manner so they are relevant to the issues at hand...  so we can cut him some slack

Anonymous's picture

Paging Mr. WallStreetPro2.....

Anonymous's picture

could someone explain to a novice like me how in the f*ck stocks and long bonds are hitting highs of the day at the same time?!?!?

MinnesotaNice's picture

From 1970 to 2007 the terms earmarking, special interests, and 'in bed with ...' perhaps adequately described the situation.  But I think we have moved to a full-fledged oligarchy where our politicians have truly been captured by large companies... and the politicians are at the weaker end of the power gradient between the two.  The bravado and verbosity that we see in congressional hearings typify this... and demonstrate the lack of actual power our politicians have at this point against the large corporations... they are fearful of the large corporations can financially wield against them, esp. during re-election. 

Howard_Beale's picture

And in 1960, we had Eisenhower's exit speech--warning of the military-industrial complex-- taking us back yet another decade. Just remember this quote from Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas in 2008 who believes the scientific community is divided on the issue of evolution: "You don't have to pass an IQ test to be a senator". He hangs out on C street.

MinnesotaNice's picture

And what is it with this "C Street"... I think the public is starting to associate Christian fundamentalist politican with strange sex scandal.  You read about "The Family" and "C Street" on Wiki... and it looks even more pervasive and concerning... and odd.

iphone's picture
iphone (not verified) Aug 18, 2009 3:14 PM
D.O.D.'s picture

I think we should move back to the old way of paying politicians, they don't get paid until their term ends, and after a review.. It just makes more sense...

Anonymous's picture

Nothing will happen. The appetite for prosecution of fraud is at it lowest point in american history.

Anonymous's picture

I'd like to see Barney Frank in jail. He is on the top of the list of people responsible for this financial crisis. If I remember correctly he helped push legislation that would fine banks for not lending to non-creditworth borrowers. In addition, he recently wrote letters to Freddie and Fannie encouraging them to relax their 105% mortgages and start writing mortgages for 120% of the value of the home as well as lowering the creditworthiness of the borrowers.

But hey, maybe if we just hope and cheerlead hard enough the ponzi scheme will be reinflated.

Anonymous's picture

Barney Frank reflects the worst in politicians...

“I’ve always said the American dream should be a home – not homeownership,” said Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and one of the earliest critics of the Bush administration’s push to put mortgages in the hands of low- and moderate-income people.

Pardon me? I don’t think so.

Barney Frank in 2003:

So let me make it clear, I am a strong supporter of the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in housing… I believe that we, as the Federal Government, have probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing and to set reasonable goals.

Barney Frank in 2005:

You’re not going to see the collapse that you see when people talk about a bubble and so those of us on our committee in particular will continue to push for home ownership.

Anonymous's picture

iphone need we bring his personal life into this, me thinks there is adequate material from his congressional life.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

A $12 million TARP grant??  A grant does not need to be paid back.  Now I really feel victimized.

ewmayer's picture

Wongtime Congwessman (and Chaiw of the House Financiaw Sewvices Committee) Bawney Fwank impwicated in yet anothew awweged confwict of intewest? How compwetely appawwing and inappwopwiate fow a pewson in such a powewfuw position.

Milton's picture

Waste of time.

Where's the $185 Billion that went to AIG?

Anonymous's picture

tar and feathers in the steps of the Capitol are too kind for Mr Fwank

Ich bin ein whatever's picture

I have about as much respect for Barney Frank as I do for Steve "I must be an economist because I play one on TV) LIESman.

How in the hell does this human waste of space keep getting elected year after year?  Did he drug the water of the people in the state of Massachusetts, so they would keep electing his sorry ass?


Ich bin ein whatever's picture

I have to respond to my own post.

In case I offended anyone from Massachusetts, I am from the state of Connecticut, which I call the state of confusion.

Only a confused electorate would keep sending Chris Dodd's equally sorry ass back to Washington again and again and again and again....

I think there's something in the water here too.