Banking Law

Congressman demands details behind DOJ settlements with Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase

The U.S. Justice Department recently sealed a controversial $7 billion settlement with Citigroup for its part in the mortgage-securities scandal that helped tank the economy, but a Congressman who routinely probes the Obama administration’s actions has demanded a look into the inner workings of that agreement, as well as for one last year for $13 billion with JPMorgan Chase, the Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat blog reports.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday seeking “all documents and communications” involved in the settlements. That could please various critics all along the political spectrum, MoneyBeat reports, because some conservatives believe the Obama administration has wrongfully conducted a shakedown of the banks, and some liberals complain that the DOJ has been too soft as far as pursuing cases stemming from the financial crisis.

“This is definitely the kind of thing that a lot of people would be interested in on both sides of the aisle,” Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, told the newspaper. “I see it as great information.”

Issa’s letter to the attorney general noted that the settlements’ strategy “stands in marked contrast” to guilty pleas in criminal cases brought against Credit Suisse Group and BNP Paribas.

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