Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) has put together a detailed report on Countrywide Financial’s program of providing preferential mortgages for Washington legislators, like Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd. Reports Amanda Carpenter:
A new report showcases the lengths executives at Countrywide Financial went to in order to provide below-market mortgage rates to well-connected Washington insiders.
Countrywide’s CEO Angelo Mozilo granted sweetheart mortgages to a number of influential lawmakers including Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. E-mails obtained by government investigators show Countrywide employees often discussed the political influence wielded by “Friends of Angelo” as grounds for granting the discounts.
The 63-page report, titled “Countrywide’s Systematic and Successful Effort to Buy Influence and Block Reform” was released by Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House Government and Oversight Committee. Some of the e-mails reprinted in the report were released to the committee by former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, who is among those who have recieved preferential treatment from Countrywide. Robert Feinberg, a former Countrywide employee who assisted in processing “Friends of Angelo” loans, also provided e-mails to the committee.
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