Assistant Attorney General Admits On TV That In The US Justice Does Not Apply To The Banks

Tyler Durden's picture

Those who watched Frontline's special on why nobody has been prosecuted on Wall Street titled appropriately "The Untouchables" didn't learn much new. The rehash of ideas presented is what has been well known for years - namely that when it comes to prosecuting Wall Street criminals nothing will ever happen, because as Bill Gross tweeted " Its not Republican in politics. Its not Dem in politics. Its money in politics" and all the money in politics comes from Wall Street, which happens to be the ultimate ruler of the United States of America, pushing levers here and pulling stringer there to give the impression the constitutional republic is still alive. It isn't - this country has become an unchecked despotism of those in charge of money creation and who control capital - just the thing Andrew Jackson warned against. One thing we did learn, was courtesy of Assistant Attorney General Lenny Breuer who made it very clear that when it comes to the concept of justice the banks are and always have been "more equal" than others. He does so in such shocking clarity and enthusiasm that it is a miracle that this person is still employed by the US Department of Justice.

To wit from the transcript:

MARTIN SMITH: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. And in that speech, you made a reference to losing sleep at night, worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution.




MARTIN SMITH: Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?


LANNY BREUER: Well, I think I am pursuing justice. And I think the entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given case, I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect — if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand.

In other words, no criminal charges can be levied against anyone who engaged in the crimes leading to the great financial crisis of 2008 because, get this, the implications of pursuing justice may have destabilizing implications!

In other words, the banker threat of Mutual Assured Destruction has metastasized from the legislative, where in 2008 Hank Paulson demanded a blank check from Congress to spend it on whatever he wishes, "or else...", and has fully taken over the Judicial, where there is Justice for all... and no "Justice" for those who are systemically important.

Ted Kaufman summarizes:

TED KAUFMAN: That was very disturbing to me, very disturbing. That was never raised at any time during any of our discussions. That is not the job of a prosecutor, to worry about the health of the banks, in my opinion. Job of the prosecutors is to prosecute criminal behavior. It’s not to lie awake at night and kind of decide the future of the banks.

Alas Ted, it appears it is.

Frontline's conclusion was perfectly expected: "to date, not one senior Wall Street executive has been held
criminally liable by the Department of Justice for activities related to
the financial crisis

We now know why: it is because of people like this:

Lanny A. Breuer was unanimously confirmed as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division on April 20, 2009.
As head of the Criminal Division, Mr. Breuer oversees nearly 600 attorneys who prosecute federal criminal cases across the country and help develop the criminal law. He also works closely with the nation’s 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in connection with the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters in their districts. Mr. Breuer is a national leader on a range of federal law enforcement priorities, including financial fraud, health care fraud, public corruption, and violence along the Southwest Border. He has also been a leading voice on policy issues related to criminal law enforcement, including the scope of prosecutors’ discovery obligations in federal criminal cases and sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenses. Mr. Breuer regularly testifies before Congress on the Administration’s policy initiatives and advises the Attorney General and the White House on matters of criminal law.  Mr. Breuer also serves as the Department's representative on the Atrocities Prevention Board, which President Obama announced in April 2012.  For his work as Assistant Attorney General, the National Law Journal named Mr. Breuer a "Visionary" in the Washington, D.C. legal community, and he was recently ranked sixth on Ethisphere’s list of The 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.


Mr. Breuer began his legal career in 1985 as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, where he prosecuted violent crime, such as armed robbery and gang violence, white collar crime, and other offenses. In 1989, he joined the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, where he worked until 1997, when he joined the White House Counsel’s Office as Special Counsel to President William Jefferson Clinton. As Special Counsel, Mr. Breuer assisted in defending President Clinton in the Senate impeachment trial.


Mr. Breuer returned to Covington in 1999 as co-chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group, where he specialized in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation and represented individuals and corporations in matters involving high-stakes legal risks. He also vice-chaired the firm’s Public Service Committee. At Covington, Mr. Breuer developed a reputation as one of the top defense lawyers in the country.

Full Frontline episode for those who missed it:

Watch The Untouchables on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

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ParkAveFlasher's picture

"Nobody move or the global economy gets it!"  [cocks hammer on printing press]  "It's loaded, I says!"

Cursive's picture


I guess the Mel Gibson attempted suicide ploy from "Lethal Weapon" works in real life.


ParkAveFlasher's picture

Gary Busey's albino villain was his finest work since the Buddy Holly Story. 

I liked the followup with the South African moving his crates of Kruggerands around the world on a boat.  That guy was ZH material. 


caconhma's picture

Selective justice is NO justice. This is that simple.

The USA has become a lawless country. It is that simple.

How long will it last? Nobody really knows but this house will come down very hard. The rotten foundation supporting this monstrous mountain of filth, lies, and corruption is about to collapse.


To people who think it can last forever, I can say: Remember the Soviet Union?


yrbmegr's picture

I missed the part where the dude said, "I don't pursue justice because it's too expensive."  Can somebody point me to that part?

Groundhog Day's picture

The bankers have "unlimited" get out of jail free cards....Bernanke hands those out like lolipops to club members

AGuy's picture

Banker Immunity: "Can't Touch Me"  [Family Guy]


CynicLaureate's picture

It's not a get ouf of jail "Free" card if you have to pay millions in bribes, er, campaign contributions.

But with the revolving door policies, you can still come out ahead on "Get out of Jail Arbitrage".

mt paul's picture

get out of jail for

[ fill in the blank ] card

Renewable Life's picture

Which ironically is why that POS Boehner is "raising" the debt ceiling again too!! It will ALWAYS go back to TBTF banks and the "Lehman lesson" which scared these one party, globalist fucks to the core of their being in 2008!
These Davos cocksuckers have completely taken over the Western word, destroyed it, and now are just playing musical chairs with our dead carcuses! But until the Chinese are ready to assume the throne, which they aren't, this bullshit will continue and accelerate towards critical mass!
I've never seen a bigger bunch of pussies, then these GOP cocksuckers! Jesus just stop the bullshit lying and fake ass tough talk, and bend over! People are starting to get so pissed off at the hypocrisy, it's going to get violent! Obama at least fucking says it like he sees it, he believes in higher taxes, big spending across the board, and entitlements for all! These POS Republicans look you in the face everyday, say they are going to stop spending, hold the line, not raise your taxes, shut the fucking government down if needed, then do the fucking opposite over and over again!! Which makes me hate these fuckers in the GOP more then anyone or anything else!!

Chupacabra-322's picture
Insight: Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks

(Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who's Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows. 

The firm, Covington & Burling, is one of Washington's biggest white shoe law firms. Law professors and other federal ethics experts said that federal conflict of interest rules required Holder and Breuer to recuse themselves from any Justice Department decisions relating to law firm clients they personally had done work for.



?Criminals protecting Criminals in the Global Criminal Cabal Crime Syndicate.  Little do these fearful vermin know and understand is that Street Justice will and always prevails.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."
- Thomas Jefferson

Lewshine's picture

In other words, TOO FAWKIN BIG TO PROSECUTE!! Welcome to the Banana Republic of the INSANE!!! We are held hostage by these Kleptocrats - And these mice feces who work on their behalf.

The Juggernaut's picture

But street justice remains.  Viva la Revolucion

CH1's picture

But street justice remains

Street justice is ugly, volatile, and counter-productive. Just leave the slave system and let it fall of its own weight.

If we don't play their game, they starve.

donsluck's picture

Agreed. It isn't healthy to betray your own morals and take on the personality of your enemy. Personal health is the most important thing.

Seer's picture

"La Revolucion is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But... every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La Revolucion is not a goddess but a whore. She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect."

- Jack Palance, as 'Jesus Raza', in, 'The Professionals' (1966)

bania's picture

Ripple Effect Defense!

nonclaim's picture

Ripple's Believe it or Not.

Dr. Engali's picture

The best attorney general that plenty of hookers, blow, and fiat can buy.


Who needs to waste money a criminal defense lawyer  when the attorney general will do that for you? 

DaveyJones's picture

Exactly. Notice what side of criminal experience they are reaching for. Says it all. The bad guys have handled all the angles now including the judicial branch. The fact that they openly admit this means a number of things: They know how universal this problem is, they have absolutely no intent on correcting it, they know it will only get worse and, most important, they continue to use terrorist like fear factors to jusitfy their own systemic crime. I've been practicing criminal law for 22 years and they are, by definition, aiding and abetting the worst financial criminals we have ever experienced.     

fonzannoon's picture

"The fact that they openly admit this means a number of things: They have successfully changed the rules and won the game. They know they have won the game. They can't contain their happiness. They are laughing out loud about it. They don't give a shit if anyone else knows they cheated. They are correct in assuming no one gives a shit.

I think it also means that we are gonna hit the wall at 100mph eventually because there is no slowing this bitch down now.

Dr. Engali's picture

It's absolutely insane. I keep thinking that nothing can surprise me and that I've seen everything , and yet......

NoDebt's picture

They convinced Congress and the Federal Reserve they were too important to fail (not that the Fed required much convincing), you think they can't lean on a lowly assistant atty. general?

Not like the AG's office hasn't publicly declined to prosecute other nasty stuff the last few years.  You expected more from this administration's AG office, perhaps?  I find it a refreshing admission of how they actually think.  Get it out there.  Let people be horrified (or not).  I take is as confirmation of what many of us have suspected for some time.

All animals are equal.  But some animals are more equal than others.

DaveyJones's picture


ah history, never learned, usually repeated. 

Blues Traveler's picture

The people learned nothing and forget everything

centerline's picture

Makes one wonder if we are truly rocketing forward on nothing more than sociopathic egos that are making shit up on the fly based on the same premise of mutually assured destruction (e.g. calculated plays to game the system further without being the straw that broke the camel's back per se).


WillyGroper's picture

They've trashed the planet with their plunder so that it's not fit to sustain life. I can only hope that I am still alive to see that 100mph grease spot.

centerline's picture

The writting is on the wall.  Has been for some time now.  The corruption in the system is self-reinforcing at this point.  Anything and everything will be done to keep the train on the tracks... until we run out of tracks.

fonzannoon's picture

I used to read these articles with shock and anger. I used to pass them along and reference them in conversation, almost excited to wake someone else up. I was greeted with shrugs and "what can you do about it?"

Now I shrug and say the same thing. Mission accomplished TPTB.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Get up and fight, kid, because Mickey loves ya.

Seer's picture

Not hitting it head-on doesn't mean that one is apathetic.

"You never change anything by fighting the existing. To change something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete."

- Buckminster Fuller

There's work to be done.  Let go of the shore.

Seer's picture

It's Al Qaeda's (Muslims') fault!

Anyone think that perhaps others around the globe have been seeing this for some time (LONG time) now?

Speak out and you get silenced/shot/droned.

unrulian's picture

grass is green,

 sky is blue,

 nothing to see here,

bankers fuck-you

buzzsaw99's picture

Justice? He doesn't even know what that means. May his tongue rot out of his head.

EscapeKey's picture

He's not really the problem.

He's the symptom.

buzzsaw99's picture

He's a symptom alright. A puss filled carbuncle that is a symptom of the DOJ et al sitting on their fat asses surfing porn all day.

EscapeKey's picture

I don't disagree. He's a 100% sleazy whore, willing to do indescribable acts on fellow man, as long as his own compensation is acceptable.

He's walking slowly through poorly lit areas of law, looking for his next trick.

TheVirginian-HGWT's picture

What a piece of bankster garbage. A stooge.

NEOSERF's picture

Congratulations to our masters...they have officially and now publicly created what we suspected all along - they have created an industry above the law.  Nothing to see here, move along

EscapeKey's picture

I wonder if that's what the French elite thought, leading into 1789.

fonzannoon's picture

There was no facefart and america's next top piece of shit in 1789 to keep the populace occupied.

MachoMan's picture

Sort of...  the issue here is actually one of the safeguards of our legal system, prosecutorial discretion.  In a normal situation, prosecutorial discretion is necessary to provide a safeguard against overzealous members of law enforcement or, at the most extreme, as a nullification of unjust law or of unjust application of otherwise just law.  Simply put, if it works as intended, it protects many people from unnecessary and unjust prosecution.

The problem?  Well, there are a few...

First, local governments have become financially dependent upon the federal government and cannot stand on their own two legs.  As a result, there is incredible pressure on prosecutors (whose salaries are paid by local governments) not to rock the boat or otherwise bite the hand that feeds.  This lack of financial independence impairs the proper functioning (checks and balances) of the judiciary.  [moral hazard]

Second, prosecutorial discretion is inherently a double edged sword...  prosecutors are the last line of defense before filing a lawsuit against people in situations where justice does not warrant prosecution...  that said, it also allows prosecutors to not bring lawsuits in instances of apathy, laziness, and unfamiliarity with the subject matter as well as corruption...  when prospective defendants effectively hold a gun to society's head (or allege that they do anyway), then prosecutors are free to heed their warnings (allegations).

Third, inherently, lawyers generally have NO familiarity with business concepts, let alone complex financial transactions.  I mean, literally, most of the folks pumped out of law schools have undergrads in non-business majors, e.g. basket weaving, philosophy, english, et al. (yes, you can major in basketweaving and still go to lawschool).  Further, the amount of discovery against a major corporation on a complex financial issue is many, many multiples of a homicide, et al.  As a result, they REALLY tend to shy away from prosecution of financial crimes... 

The only safeguard we have to the misuse of prosecutorial discretion is the ballot box, either directly (local) or indirectly/appointment (some federal positions)...  and the ballot box has become a useless gesture in most regards.  I don't believe a writ of mandamus would get anyone anywhere on the issue either...

Seer's picture

"The only safeguard we have to the misuse of prosecutorial discretion is the ballot box, either directly (local) or indirectly/appointment (some federal positions)...  and the ballot box has become a useless gesture in most regards. "

Clearly this is a nice "thought."  Nature's ballot box operates a little differently.

"Men argue, nature acts." - Voltaire

To think that it would never come to this is a bit naive.  As soon as the notion of perpetual growth on a finite planet collapses paper will become meaningless: paper money AND paper laws.  We're going to become much more PHYSICAL.

SeanJKerrigan's picture


Finance is merely the first international industry of many to find themselves above the law. The written word exempting them from all prosecution it now being codified. How long until it enshrined in stone? Assuming we are not already there, very soon.

PaperBear's picture

Would it be a silly question to ask the regulators how they allowed such a situation to develop ?