Holder the Liar

The one good thing I figured Barack Obama would do as President was go after the shysters in the mortgage industry. Surely a Democrat as liberal as Obama would make sure that those who aided and abetted mortgage fraud would be punished, right? And last year — coincidentally, right before the election — they announced that they had brought 530 cases representing over 73,000 fraudulent mortgages and a billion in lost home value. It was just the tip of an awful iceberg, but it was something.

Oops:

The Justice Department made a long-overdue disclosure late Friday: Last year when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder boasted about the successes that a high-profile task force racked up pursuing mortgage fraud, the numbers he trumpeted were grossly overstated.

We’re not talking small differences here. Originally the Justice Department said 530 people were charged criminally as part of a year-long initiative by the multi-agency Mortgage Fraud Working Group. It now says the actual figure was 107 — or 80 percent less. Holder originally said the defendants had victimized more than 73,000 American homeowners. That number was revised to 17,185, while estimates of homeowner losses associated with the frauds dropped to $95 million from $1 billion.

The government restated the statistics because it got caught red-handed by a couple of nosy reporters. Last October, two days after Holder first publicized the numbers, Phil Mattingly and Tom Schoenberg of Bloomberg News broke the story that some of the cases included in the Justice Department’s tally occurred before the initiative began in October 2011. At least one was filed more than two years before President Barack Obama took office.

It will surprise no one who reads this blog that the Justice Department used every tactic short of extraordinary rendition to evade reporters’ questions about the program. When pressed for details of the arrests and prosecutions, they stalled delayed and obfuscating until … get this … after the election.

Oh, and they’ve done it before:

This was the second time, mind you, that Holder’s Justice Department had pulled a stunt like this. In December 2010, Holder held a press conference to tout a supposed sweep by the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force called “Operation Broken Trust.” (The mortgage-fraud program was part of the same task force.) As with the mortgage-fraud initiative, Broken Trust wasn’t actually a sweep. All the Justice Department did was lump together a bunch of small-fry, penny-ante fraud cases that had nothing to do with one another. Then it held a press gathering.

At least on that occasion, the Justice Department promptly provided me with a list of the defendants’ names and case details when I asked for them. That is how I was able to determine for a December 2010 column that the government’s Broken Trust numbers were inflated. Among the handful of cases on the list that I spot-checked, one defendant was sentenced to probation before the operation’s supposed start date. Another person on the list had no record of criminal charges. Other cases had nothing to do with any actions by the task force. The Justice Department still hasn’t restated the Broken Trust numbers — even though those statistics clearly were in error, too.

And, just in case you’re wondering about the brokers who piled fraudulent mortgages into tottering piles of securities shit and the ratings agencies that gave those tottering piles of shit AAA ratings: they have not been held responsible either.

Holder is setting records of lies and obfuscations on every issue imaginable. From Fast and Furious to mortgage fraud, he consistently and continuously misleads the American public. And yet when the Republicans tried to cite for contempt (for lying his ass off about F&F), they were branded as anti-Obama-crazed maniacs. And the DOJ is just a fraction of the lies spewed by this Administration on the subject of the law, from claiming they are winding down the War on Drugs while they ramp it up to the head of NSA lying to Congress with a straight face.

So you’ll forgive me if I take today’s announcement of changes to the War on Drugs with some salt. I love the idea of not charging low-level drug offenders with crimes that invoke harsh minimum sentences. But I don’t trust these assholes to actually do it. What I trust them to do is, shortly before the 2014 election, announce that they’ve overhauled or War on Drugs and kept non-violent people out of prison while they continue to do it.

Holder has earned that distrust. And that distrust is the biggest reason why he shouldn’t be Attorney General any more. Respect for the Rule of Law is a critical component to any functioning society. Holder has brought the Rule of Law into contempt. Enough of this.

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  1. AlexInCT

    Surely a Democrat as liberal as Obama would make sure that those who aided and abetted mortgage fraud would be punished, right?

    If you believed that for even a second, I got me a nice swamp… erm, I mean beach front real estate to sell you Hal. The biggest lie told to the masses is that the democrats will protect them from big business. The truth is that the concept of “too big to fail” was manufactured by democrats. When the stupid Boosh Admin wanted to give $350 billion of tax payer dollars to Wall Street, Pelosi, who had been in full control of the house, and thus dictated spending in Congress, doubled it to $700 billion.

    And it went higher than that from the last accounts, and it didn’t stop there either. For the last 5 years we have been told repeatedly how much of that money they got back, only they never mention that they then turned right around and gave it away to all sorts of schemes, scams, and other donkey projects that basically pissed that cash away. BTW, if you go see what year the Boosh deficit spending went batshit, and when the financial/housing crisis started, you will find something that happened in 2006 that’s directly linked to a lot of this fiscal trouble that started towards the end of 2007.

    What the democrats wanted was an excuse for them to again tweak the laws, to create an even greater incentive for financial institutions to favor them financially (more donations, or else), while leaving every bit of the failed social engineering bullshit that caused the housing implosion and the bad and predatory lending practices they blame for the collapse, in place. Remember that the two great architects of the new legal system, Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank, both featured predominantly in the original schemes and scams that allowed that runaway train to keep going. Anyone that has not seen the writing on the wall of that 2000 page monstrosity Dodd & Frank created deserves the ass rape that’s coming our way because of them. Worst yet, both of them vehemently defended that fiefdom, accusing anyone that dared to point out that what they had done was destined to blow up in our faces of being motivated by racism, as several of the people that spoke up against that fucking house of cards before it blew up found out.

    I was under no illusion that they would fix anything. What I expected, and am seeing more of, is that they, under the pretense of helping the little guy, will funnel billions to the financial institutions currently in bed with them or trying to jump in bed with them, while only exacerbating the problems. They will not find fault with anyone, unless they can tie said people directly to republicans and then make a big media spectacle of that, and it will all be for political gain: not to fix anything that’s broken. The broken system provides them with the most opportunity for graft and power.

    The rich have gotten richer, the number of poor or people with their hands out has gotten bigger, the middle class has been savaged, and in general our economic prospects are going south, under Obama. But, hey, keep pretending that the democratic party is the party of the little guy and telling us that things are great or about to get great. In the meantime the dons investigate themselves and find nothing wrong with anything. The money is blown and the people suffer, but the stealing goes on.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    Actually, lowering the punishment for offenses such as possession of controlled substances vs tossing them in jail is a revenue maker. The prison lobby won’t like it, but the local governments sure do.

    Instead of spending thousands on prosecution and incarceration, they just write you what amounts to a parking ticket. You deliberately price the ticket to be large enough to generate a profit , but not so large as to discourage paying it. Now you’ve managed to create an indirect tax on illegal drugs, and the sky is the limit.

    Next up, they’ll have chemical sensors armed with a camera and a scanner to get your phone number, and when you walk by one with a bag of weed they’ll email a ticket directly to your phone, or perhaps it’ll just show up as a bill on your phone charges.

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  3. AlexInCT

    Actually, lowering the punishment for offenses such as possession of controlled substances vs tossing them in jail is a revenue maker. The prison lobby won’t like it, but the local governments sure do.

    If the feds really want to control people’s usage of drugs, locking people up for possession of small amounts to use is stupid. Unless they are willing to do something drastic like poison the drug supply so it makes people sick or kills them, users will use. And even then the hard core people will use. The drug war is a bust. I hate the alternative because all it will be is a feel good giant bureaucracy to deal with abusers.

    If I really believed the feds could legalize this shit and then leave people to the consequences of their own choices for using, I wouldn’t mind doing that. My objection comes from the fact that I think the whole prison lobby and war on drugs is cheaper than the bureaucracy to save idiots from their own excesses once that crap is legal. Me, I am all for letting people do whatever they want. And when they overdoes, let them die. Stupid is as stupid does.

    The only drug I need is females. I never felt the need to fuck up my mind with anything other than alcohol, and even that I only did very infrequently so i could say I had. Escapism is dumb. If you need it that bad play a video game or something

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    Me, I am all for letting people do whatever they want. And when they overdoes, let them die. Stupid is as stupid does.

    That’s pretty much the foundation for the country. “Stay the hell out of my life” should be our goal, not legislating morality via prohibition of various “sins” – once you’ve made one thing forbidden to people because it’s “bad” for them, the natural thing to do is start banning everything that is “bad” for people on every level. You know, like soda pop, tanning booths, guns, and hookers.

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  5. Mississippi Yankee

    Respect for the Rule of Law is a critical component to any functioning society. Holder has brought the Rule of Law into contempt. Enough of this.

    For the record David Gregory and I are now being fitted for whip-lash collars due to the double take we both did while reading your … …..what was that?

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