Two Dems Back Republican Push for Countrywide VIP Subpoena

ABCNews' Matthew Jaffe reports:

A House panel's contentious battle over issuing a subpoena to obtain documents about a controversial Countrywide program took a turn Thursday night when two Democratic members on the committee supported the ranking Republican's request to proceed with the investigation.

Rep. Paul Hodes, D-NH, and Rep. Mike Quigley, D-IL, wrote to House Oversight & Government Reform committee chairman Ed Towns, D-NY, and Darrell Issa, R-NY, informing the panel chiefs of their desire to issue a subpoena.

"We write to you today to request that the committee initiate an investigation into Countrywide Financial's "Friends of Angelo" program, and if it was used to gain influence over federal officials," Hodes and Quigley wrote. "We believe that to properly conduct this investigation, the committee needs to gain access to all documents related to the program that Countrywide used to provide preferred status to certain customers."

In recent weeks, Issa has vehemently argued for Towns to issue a subpoena, but Towns has refused to do so. Issa then attempted to call a committee vote on the subpoena, but a bizarre sequence of cancellations and lock-outs has prevented the California lawmaker from bringing the panel to a vote.

More HERE

The new support of Hodes and Quigley, a Republican committee aide told ABC News, now gives the GOP the necessary votes to pass the subpoena measure, assuming they can manage to bring it to a vote.

"Ranking member Issa fully supports the outline that Reps. Hodes and Quigley have outlined," said Kurt Bardella, the spokesman for Issa. "He believes it is a blueprint for a fair and comprehensive investigation that will uncover the full scope of Countrywide's efforts to buy influence."

Issa has fought to gain documents on the murky Countrywide program, which he has said was used to give sweetheart deals to federal government officials and members of Congress who worked on housing policy in an effort to gain their support.

More HERE

Democrats have called the GOP's push for a vote a political stunt to embarrass two prominent Senate Democrats, Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad, who received special VIP loans from the lender. Dodd chairs the Senate Banking committee and Conrad the Senate Budget committee.

Countrywide, once the nation's largest home mortgage lender, collapsed in 2008 in the midst of the subprime mortgage meltdown. In June, the company's former CEO was charged by the Securities & Exchange Commission with civil fraud and insider trading, making him the highest-profile official to date faced with federal charges stemming from the financial crisis. More HERE

-Matthew Jaffe

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Prince performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.Prince performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Photo
PHOTO: Iraqi Kurdish female fighter Haseba Nauzad, 24, and Yazidi female fighter Asema Dahir, 21, aim their weapon during a deployment near the frontline of the fight against Islamic State militants in Nawaran near Mosul, Iraq, April 20, 2016.
Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters
PHOTO: A man uses an electronic cigarette in this undated file photo.
Martina Paraninfi/Getty Images
PHOTO: President George H.W. Bush and his son President George W. Bush have no plans to endorse Donald Trump, their spokesman told ABC News.
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage/Getty Images; Tom Pennington/Getty Images; David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: A wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alberta., On May 4, 2016. Alberta declared a state of emergency Wednesday as crews frantically held back wind-whipped wildfires.
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press/AP