SCENE FROM THE UNTOUCHABLES
Reaction from around the web:
Bye Bye Lanny... (Wash Po)
"Lanny A. Breuer is leaving the Justice Department after leading the agency’s efforts to clamp down on public corruption and financial fraud at the nation’s largest banks."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a sort of good riddance on Thursday to Lanny Breuer. “Breuer was at heart of several critical failures in Operation Fast and Furious,” Issa said. “He knew about reckless tactics, failed to take seriously allegations that they were continuing, and only owned up to his failures once they were publicly exposed.”
The Long Goodbye Of Lanny Breuer... (Legal Times Blog)
In the Frontline piece, Kevin Perkins, associate deputy director of the FBI, said he and Breuer have argued "back and forth" over whether certain cases should have moved forward as criminal prosecutions. Perkins said he was at times frustrated and disappointed. But he said he accepted, as a "professional," the final decision.
Breuer/Holder failed to investigate fully.
FRONTLINE: We spoke to a couple of sources from within the Criminal Division, and they reported that when it came to Wall Street, there were no investigations going on. There were no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps.
LANNY BREUER: Well, I don't know who you spoke with because we have looked hard at the very types of matters that you're talking about.
Breuer/Holder failed to reach out to key whistle blowers.
FRONTLINE: Another criticism that has been thrown at you is that you've not done enough to go looking for the whistle-blowers that are out there. We have been able to contact a number of people who were inside the banks, doing due diligence work as contractors, who all told us that they were never contacted by the Justice Department.
BREUER: I can't talk in general about nondescript, anonymous whistle-blowers. But here's what I can tell you. Whenever I personally have been in any public setting, I've invited whistle-blowers to come forward.
Breuer/Holder worried more about the fragility of the banks than cleaning up corruption on Wall Street.
FRONTLINE: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. You talked about your use of nonprosecution and deferred prosecution agreements. And in that speech, you made a reference to "losing sleep at night over worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution." Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?
BREUER: I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case there's some huge economic effect, it affects the economy so that employees who had nothing to do with the wrongdoing of the company... If it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly, it's a factor we need to know and understand.
Lanny Breuer in his own words:
Bloomberg interviews Breuer.
Watch the whole interview, but pay particular attention at the 2:30 mark. Breuer is shocked by the question and admits "we don't know anything about that letter" before changing the subject. His answer is completely ridiculous on so many painful levels (prosecutors are supposed to investigate for chrissakes), but again this is what happens when you have criminal defense attorneys from Covington & Burling running DOJ.
No word on whether Breuer gave his famous pep talk to HSBC execs on avoiding prison.
"We are frequently on the receiving end of presentations from defense counsel, CEOs, and economists who argue that the collateral consequences of an indictment would be devastating for their client. In my conference room, over the years, I have heard sober predictions that a company or bank might fail if we indict, that innocent employees could lose their jobs, that entire industries may be affected, and even that global markets will feel the effects. Sometimes – though, let me stress, not always – these presentations are compelling."
Photo by William Banzai7...
The Crony Top Gun is named Breuer
The DOJ's fraud case pursuer
The Kleptocrat's guy
Just turned a blind eye
And Justice is now in the sewer
The Limerick King