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When It Comes To The DoJ And Wall Street, Don't Call It "Justice"

By       Message Richard Eskow     Permalink
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Two senior executives convicted in the Tyco scandal.

(Those convictions were obtained under Republican President George W. Bush, whose record of pursuing corporate crime is actually superior to Obama's at this point.)

Two brokers convicted in a municipal bond big-rigging scandal.

There's more, but you get the idea.

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Higher Authority

Of course, the Huffington Post piece could be wrong. Justice -- real justice -- could be right around the corner. The Post' s anonymous informant even said a criminal indictment might come as the result of a "Hail Mary pass."

The term "Hail Mary pass" has come to describe any action performed against near-impossible odds in the hope that a miracle will happen. Older football fans know that it was coined after Catholic quarterback Roger Staubach explained a seemingly impossible winning touchdown pass by saying "I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary."

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From the looks of things it's going to take some sort of divine intercession for justice to be done on Wall Street. The current management doesn't seem all that interested.

By Any Other Name

We thought the Administration and the Justice Department might at least try to take action. Whatever the outcome, indictments alone can discourage wrongdoing. There's a deterrent effect when wrongdoers know that they may face a jury. They may get off in the end, but even the wealthiest Wall Street executive would prefer to avoid the experience.

So why is the Attorney General, along with others in the Administration, arguing against indicting Wall Street bankers When there's a preponderance of evidence suggesting a crime was committed, it's the defense attorney's job to argue there wasn't -- or that it will be too hard to obtain a conviction. It's the defense attorney who usually meets with reporters to explain why the case won't hold up.

What do you call a Justice Department that would rather do the defense's job than its own? "Covington & Burling" is already taken. If these reports are true, the Department will definitely need that new name. But whatever you call it, don't call it "justice."


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For Ally Financial:

"Our review was significantly hindered by Ally's refusal to allow us to interview responsible personnel and its failure to provide the documentation we requested in a timely manner. At our request, Ally gave us a list of employees responsible for signing affidavits. We attempted to interview these employees to determine whether they properly processed foreclosure affidavits but were told by Ally's attorneys that we could not do so. ... Individual counsel for each of the employees objected, citing Fifth Amendment concerns -- (note to Holder Justice Department: that's the one about not testifying if your answers would "tend to incriminate you") -- and we were prohibited from interviewing them.

"Ally also failed to produce requested documents and other information in a timely manner. Therefore, we served Ally with two Inspector General subpoenas on December 6, 2010. The information and data it provided in response to our two subpoenas were incomplete ..."

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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