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mlurp 07-27-2009 08:31 PM

Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
In time maybe they all will be caught...:thumbsup
Plenty of other news at the site on the bottom.

Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 4 mins ago

WASHINGTON Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation's largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.

Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn't know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.

Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad's two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.

Robert Feinberg, who worked in Countrywide's VIP section, told congressional investigators last month that the two senators were made aware that "who you know is basically how you're coming in here."

"You don't say 'no' to the VIP," Feinberg told Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a transcript obtained by The Associated Press.

The next day, Feinberg testified before the Senate Ethics Committee, an indication the panel is actively investigating two of the chamber's more powerful members:

Dodd heads the Banking Committee and is a major player in two big areas: solving the housing foreclosure and financial crises and putting together an overhaul of the U.S. health care system. A five-term senator, he is in a tough fight for re-election in 2010, partly because of the controversy over his mortgages.

Conrad chairs the Budget Committee. He, too, shares an important role in the health care debate, as well as on legislation to curb global warming.

Both senators were VIP borrowers in the program known as "friends of Angelo." Angelo Mozilo was chief executive of Countrywide, which played a big part in the foreclosure crisis triggered by defaults on subprime loans. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company was bought last July by Bank of America Corp. for about $2.5 billion.

Mozilo has been charged with civil fraud and illegal insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He denies any wrongdoing.

Asked by a House Oversight investigator if Conrad, the North Dakota senator, "was aware that he was getting preferential treatment?" Feinberg answered: "Yes, he was aware."

Referring to Dodd, the investigator asked:

"And do you know if during the course of your communications" with the senator or his wife "that you ever had an opportunity to share with them if they were getting special VIP treatment?"

"Yes, yes," Feinberg replied.

Bryan DeAngelis, Dodd's spokesman, said Feinberg has repeatedly made allegations of special treatment that were not true.

"As the Dodds have said from the beginning, they did not seek or expect any special rates or terms on their loans and they never received any. They were never offered special or sweetheart deals and if anyone had made such an offer, they would have severed that relationship immediately."

DeAngelis also repeated Dodd's statements from last February that an independent report showed the terms received by the senator and his wife were widely available at the time.

Conrad's spokesman, Chris Gaddie, said Monday that the senator "never asked for, expected or was aware of loans on any preferential terms" and has "worked overtime to set the record straight."

"He went with Countrywide simply because they already had his financial information," Gaddie said. He added that a Countrywide official had told Conrad that "it is not unusual for them to make exceptions for good customers if they could sell the loan in the secondary market. We now know that they did sell the apartment building loan in the secondary market."

The ethics committee determines whether senators violated standards of conduct. The outcome of the investigation could hinge on whether the mortgage violated strict limits on gifts to lawmakers or ran afoul of other Senate rules. The committee typically just issues a report. It could recommend a censure vote by the Senate, but that is rare.

Feinberg could face criminal prosecution if shown to have made false statements. He was questioned closely by three of the ethics committee's six senators: Democratic Chairman Barbara Boxer of California; the panel's senior Republican, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, and Republican Jim Risch of Idaho, according to Elana Goldstein, one of Feinberg's attorneys who accompanied him to both closed-door committee appearances.

The ethics questioning was intense at times, and Boxer asked the bulk of the questions. When Feinberg described a conversation he had with Dodd, she demanded to know how he remembered it. Feinberg said he recalled Dodd saying he had to leave to make a speech.

Boxer asked whether Dodd and Conrad received VIP treatment because they were senators. Feinberg said that was not the case; they received breaks as other influential people in Countrywide's "friends of Angelo" VIP program.

Isakson, a one-time real estate executive, asked more detailed questions about the mortgage agreements' terms.

Countrywide VIPs, Feinberg told the committees, received discounts on rates, fees and points. Dodd received a break when Countrywide counted both his Connecticut and Washington homes as primary owner-occupied residences a fiction, according to Feinberg. Conrad received a type of commercial loan that he was told Countrywide didn't offer.

.............................MORE HERE..................................
AP IMPACT: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened - Yahoo! News

MrLiberty 07-29-2009 08:24 AM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
all these guys on the hill are crooks so this shouldn't surprise anyone.

Hopefully the people of Conn. will vote Dodd out of office.

I don't see congress taking a strong stand on what he did either. they might slap him on the wrist and say he was a bad boy but that's it.

cnredd 07-29-2009 01:17 PM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
I expect Reid to conduct a congressional hearings immediately?...

What?...

Dodd and Conrad are Democrats?...

Nevermind...:mad

mlurp 07-30-2009 03:45 AM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrLiberty (Post 77750)
all these guys on the hill are crooks so this shouldn't surprise anyone.

Hopefully the people of Conn. will vote Dodd out of office.

I don't see congress taking a strong stand on what he did either. they might slap him on the wrist and say he was a bad boy but that's it.

I want to see Dodd and others in front of a committee, then disgraced by being censured or worst and finally in Federal Court to stand charges....:thumbsup

And if Lady Nancy and Reid don't go along they need the same. Heck they need it too anyway for their actions of being F____k Ups.

faithful_servant 07-30-2009 01:59 PM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
If these were Reps., this story woul dbe front page news all over the country. But seeing how they are Dems. the story's being very well buried.

mlurp 07-30-2009 02:13 PM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by faithful_servant (Post 78052)
If these were Reps., this story woul dbe front page news all over the country. But seeing how they are Dems. the story's being very well buried.

A easy thing when your party has the Messiah as the POTUS... :D

You know the media is already bent over asking how much more can you give us....... The GOP is in limbo asking how in the heck we lose it all so fast...:crazy

And the Liberals putting their heads together saying lets spend it all...:D

And Congress & the Senator, screaming hold it, what are we to do, OK lets go into fake it mode.....:devil

cnredd 08-03-2009 04:17 PM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cnredd (Post 77806)
I expect Reid to conduct a congressional hearings immediately?...

What?...

Dodd and Conrad are Democrats?...

Nevermind...:mad

This is what I wrote just a few days ago...

This is why I'm the re-incarnation of Nostradamus...:cool

D.C. Power Players Get Sweetheart Loans

Quote:

Democrats are blocking a Republican effort to subpoena Countrywide documents. For now, it's not clear whether there was anything illegal about the loan arrangements or whether Countrywide was able to fend off regulations by currying favor with the right people.
Nice that CBS puts this as the VERY LAST PARAGRAPH instead of the friggin' HEADLINE WHERE IT BELONGS!!!!!...:mad

mlurp 08-09-2009 12:24 PM

Re: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened
 
Reading my stock newsletter and I find this... I might of missed this in the regular news, how about you, did anyone see a news report?

Senate Ethics Clears Dodd On Loans

Two top U.S. Senate Democrats were cleared of any wrongdoing when they received loans through a special VIP program run by Countrywide Financial Corp., though both should have exercised better judgment, Senate investigators said.

The bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Ethics said it found "no credible evidence" that either Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut or Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota knowingly sought out a special loan or treatment because of their standing.

But in both cases, letters sent from the panel to the two senators said, the lawmakers should have questioned why they were being put in the "Friends of Angelo" VIP program at Countrywide Financial, so named for former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo.

The panel said it reached the conclusion that the lawmakers didn't improperly accept a gift or seek out preferential treatment after reviewing more than 18,000 pages of documents from Countrywide, the firm's former employees and personal information provided by both Senators.
:mad:mad:mad


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