Loretta Lynch’s Wall Street friends: What you should know about AG nominee’s finance past


Salon has the article Loretta Lynch’s Wall Street friends: What you should know about AG nominee’s finance past.

Despite all the unabashed punditry, relatively little is known by the country about Loretta Lynch, the low-profile U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, whom President Obama nominated on Saturday to replace Eric Holder as attorney general. We’ve heard about the cases Lynch has prosecuted for the government, from the police shooting of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima to public corruption cases against the likes of Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.

But what’s less known is Lynch’s career in the private sector. After reviewing her record in this capacity, it’s not that she’s openly corrupted by the forces that increasingly rule our government, so much as she’s marinated in their worldview, in their cultural milieu. To ask her to take on powerful interests in finance would be like asking someone to rat out their friends.
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Eventually, Lynch went back to run the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn for a second stint in 2010, serving there until her nomination for attorney general. But in between, she worked in corporate law and white-collar criminal defense at two mega-law firms for nearly two decades.
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To take this out of the realm of theory, let’s look at some of Lynch’s recent corporate crime actions as a federal prosecutor. She was instrumental in two financial fraud settlements, which President Obama touted in announcing her as attorney general. One was the $7 billion mortgage-backed securities fraud case against Citigroup, part of a series of high-profile settlements that amounted to public relations vehicles for the Justice Department, so they could claim to have “gotten tough” on big banks. In reality, shareholders paid the fines, the perpetrators faced no jail time, investor victims received no compensation, and the public never got the full story on the extent of the wrongdoing.

Lynch’s other major financial fraud case was a $1.9 billion deferred prosecution agreement with HSBC for facilitating money laundering for terrorists and Mexican drug cartels. Carl Levin’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations basically gift-wrapped this case for federal prosecutors in an extensive report, relating lurid tales of HSBC collaborating with some of the worst people on the planet for years. But nobody from the bank went to jail or paid any fines. Lynch’s office didn’t even force HSBC to plead guilty; the deferred prosecution agreement just imposes a fine and a monitoring process as an out-of-court settlement. As Matt Taibbi pointed out at the time, a kid caught with a few ounces of drugs will get thrown into jail for years, but a bank helping the criminals sell billions in drugs to those kids will have no trouble.

In my previous post Obama to nominate Loretta Lynch for attorney general, I voiced my suspicions based on Lynch’s employment history and her lack of record in criminal prosecutions of bank executives.  It is unfortunate, but no surprise, to see my suspicions confirmed in a more detailed look at her record.

Maybe the Democrats who stayed away from the election in droves, knew something that the few of you who voted did not know.

I  did know, or suspect this, but I voted anyway.  At least the Democrats I voted for did not directly refuse to prosecute executive crime on Wall Street as certain people, who were not directly on the ballot this time, did.

All the pretty numbers of how well the top 10% of  income earners have fared under Obama, does not cover up some ugly truths.  With this appointment, it appears that Obama is still deaf to the cries of the people he could not get to come out to vote for him.  What vote could they have cast to get his attention?

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