The Senate Select Committee on Ethics found "no substantial credible evidence" that Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) or Kent Conrad (D-SD) violated Senate ethics rules in accepting sweetheart mortgage deals from Countrywide Financial, the company at the very heart of the current financial crisis.
By the way, about that phrase "Senate ethics rules": ouch, my tummy hurts from laughing.
The committee went on to congratulate the Senators for their astute financial judgment in accepting the "Friends of Angelo" bonuses while exercising regulatory oversight of the very financial institutions that were about to implode.
Conrad, for instance, received a discount of $10,5000 in fees and a unique mortgage deal in financing a little over $1.1 million.
Dodd, the powerful Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, threatened filibuster after filibuster over additional regulation of the mortgage market while accepting funds and sweetheart mortgages from the very organizations he was supposed to be regulating.
Dodd is also the subject of a Judicial Watch ethics complaint on an unrelated matter: how the Senator came to own an Irish seaside mansion while understating the property's true value on his disclosure forms.
"Disguising [the] gift [of the mansion] would provide a motive for Senator Dodd to fail to report the property's true value on his [disclosure] since 2002... By all appearances, ...Dodd used his position and influence... to intervene of behalf of his friend and convicted felon, Edward Downe Jr., and in received in turn a significant discount in the purchase of property in 2002...
...Further, it appears... Dodd failed to report this gift on his annual [disclosure], as required by law, and may have falsified his reports in the years following the full acquisition..."
In addition, it was reported in April that Dodd raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from financial services companies like Citi, Fidelity, Vanguard, and the like. Since some of these firms accepted TARP funds, it may be fair to say that when Dodd voted for TARP, he voted to put money in his own pockets.
Don't hold your breath waiting for an ethics investigation into any of these areas.
So the lesson, you tax-paying rubes, is this: Congress is above the law. And don't you forget it, peons.
Above the Law: A Handy Guide to Democrat Corruption
The Secret Garden (and Mansion) of Christopher Dodd