First it was William Jefferson’s conviction on bribery and money laundering yesterday and today we hear about testimony heard by both the House and the Senate that exposes Senators Dodd (D-CT) and Conrad (D-SD) as outright liars regarding their acceptance of sweetheart deals from Countrywide Mortgage. Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air has been all over this story and sums things up nicely:
Dodd and Conrad had to deny the allegations, though, because to admit to them would have meant admitting to engaging in a gross conflict of interest. Countrywide needed greater oversight, as was made obvious in its eventual collapse, and both Dodd and Conrad had a fiduciary responsibility in their respective positions to pursue questions about Countrywide’s viability. Instead, they sucked freebies and sweetheart deals from a company that had business within the scope of their authority. That’s corruption no matter how one slices it.
The Breitbart report says that the Senate Ethics Committee heard testimony from Feinberg on this subject as well. It’s probably too much to ask the Democrat-controlled Senate to expel two of its corrupt members or even to punish them for their corruption in any meaningful way. Voters in Connecticut and North Dakota should remember that the pair sold out their constituents for cheap mortgages — and if the Democrats don’t do anything about it, voters in the rest of the US should take a lesson on how Democrats coddle the corrupt.
Emphasis mine. Reid and Pelosi would be screaming their heads off were these 2 Senators Republicans and had been caught furthering the “culture of corruption.” They’d be demanding not only their removal from whatever committees they’re on but, very likely, their expulsion from the Senate as well. As Morrissey states, I’m not holding my breath on that one but voters everywhere should remember this. Dodd’s actions aren’t just a betrayal of his Connecticut constituents, they affected us all. Conrad’s too. They were among those who insisted right up until the foundations of the mortgage industry were crumbling out from under us that everything was fine. Now we know why. You should remember that the next time you go to the polls.
Update: Shockingly, the Senate Ethics Committee has found “no credible evidence that the Countrywide mortgages violated Senate ethics rules.” They also make a point of saying that the VIP deals “were not the best deals available at Countrywide of in the marketplace at large.”
So, unless you’re the recipient of the biggest payola a company over which you are supposed to be exercising oversight hands out, it’s not an ethics violation? Yeah, I’m sure that’ll satisfy the Dems the next time a Republican finds himself in a similar situation.