Rather than use the $8 million they were given to figure out what caused the 2007 financial crisis, Republican members of the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission used their positions to undermine Democrats’ biggest response to that crisis, according to results of an investigation published this week. The probe, begun by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa into how the commission spent its money, uncovered that Republican commissioner Peter Wallison violated ethics rules by leaking confidential committee documents to a colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
The investigation also found more than 400,000 documents, including emails that Wallison sent to other Republicans about using their positions on the commission to help the effort of repealing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
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“It’s very important, I think, that what we say in our separate statements not undermine the ability of the new House GOP to modify or repeal Dodd-Frank,” Wallison wrote in an email to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, another Republican on the commission.
Together, Wallison and Holtz-Eakin were “guided by politics rather than fact-finding,” according to the report, turning their tenures on the commission into a “campaign to blame [the] economic crisis on government housing policy.”
In a letter, Wallison blasted the report and the Democratic aides who wrote it, calling it one more example of their bias.
“[A]lthough it attempts to call my conduct into question as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission—[the report] actually indicts the Commission,” Wallison wrote. “The committee staff report tried to suggest that my communications with my Republican colleagues were done for the purpose of getting them to dissent. Obviously, that was not the case; they had already decided for their own reasons that they wanted to dissent.”
Image: Kevin Dooley, via Flickr
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