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Revealed: Former Goldman Sachs VP Turned Issa Staffer Supervised Scheduling Of Elizabeth Warren Incident

Lee Fang
ThinkProgress / Investigation
Published: Wednesday 24 August 2011
“Evidence that suggests that Haller’s employment under Issa is more akin to a bank lobbyist than a public servant entrusted with protecting the public interest.”
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Last week, ThinkProgress revealed that Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) hired Peter Haller, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, as one of his top aides. Haller, who adopted his mother’s maiden name in 2008 and had escaped public scrutiny until now, coordinated an Oversight Committee letter to regulators demanding that they justify new Dodd-Frank rules impacting investment banks like his old employer, Goldman Sachs. After publication of our story, the Project on Government Oversightdiscovered more of Haller’s Oversight Committee letters, again on issues directly related to Goldman Sachs.

ThinkProgress has now obtained more evidence that suggests that Haller’s employment under Issa is more akin to a bank lobbyist than a public servant entrusted with protecting the public interest. In May, GOP members on the Oversight Committee invited Professor Elizabeth Warren, then a special advisor working on the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to testify about the new agency. The hearing quickly became a media sideshow, with Republican lawmakers trying to trip Warren up and embarrass her. One congressman, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), became infamous overnight for berating Warren and accusing her of lying about her scheduling with the committee. It turns out that Haller, again carrying water for financial corporations afraid of new regulations, was behind the scheduling controversy at the heart of the McHenry confrontation with Warren.

According to e-mail correspondence obtained from Judicial Watch, Haller oversaw the scheduling of the Warren testimony. According to Flavio Cumpiano, a congressional liaison for the CFPB, Haller reportedly changed the time of the hearing at the last minute, then misled Warren staffers by promising to end the testimony by 2:15 pm that day. In the emails, Haller denies ever agreeing to 2:15. But, Haller had been informed that Warren could not go beyond 2:15:

– Monday May 23 8:43pm: Haller writes to Flavio Cumpiano, a congressional liaison for the CFPB, the night before the hearing to make “an [sic] late change to 1:00.” At 11:00pm, Cumpiano responds to figure out a better time.

– Tuesday May 24 morning: After Haller and Cumpiano go back and forth with e-mails about which time would be best, a phone conversation occurs between Haller and Adewale Adeyemo, chief of staff to the CFBP implementation team, and a schedule is set. At 10:11am, Cumpiano e-mails Haller: “Hi Peter. I understand from Wally -copied here- that you both spoke and she’ll [Elizabeth Warren] testify from 1:15pm to 2:15pm. Thanks, Flavio.”

– Tuesday May 24 afternoon around 2:15pm: McHenry, with Haller sitting behind him, accuses Warren of trying to evading the committee by trying to leave at the agreed-upon time. When Warren noted that McHenry’s aides had agreed upon the schedule, McHenry elicited audible gasps in the room by declaring Warren a liar: “You’re making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case.”

– Tuesday May 24 2:32pm: As Warren leaves the hearing room, Haller fires off an e-mail to Cumpiano demanding that he “please confirm” that he did not “confirm the end time.” Later that afternoon, Cumpiano responds by reiterating that Haller had confirmed the 2:15pm end time, and had even told Adeyemo that he would inform McHenry of the schedule during the call.

McHenry seemed to have a mission that day. As Crooks and Liars blogger Karoli pointed out, before the hearing started, McHenry appeared on CNBC and accused Warren of lying about the nature of her advice to the consumer protection agency. The scheduling controversy at the hearing appears to be little more than a cover for McHenry to smear Warren as untrustworthy.

Haller, who is visible to the C-SPAN camera in a seat near McHenry, shakes his head at Warren when she said “we had an agreement for the time this hearing” (time stamp 00:55). Watch here:


ThinkProgress reached out to Haller for comment on this story, but the Oversight Committee refused our request.

Goldman Sachs has spent millions this year lobbying on new Dodd-Frank mandates, and has sent its representatives to private meetings about the implementation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules.

The Warren incident provides more fodder to critics who say Issa has turned his Oversight Committee over to lobbyists. In comments to the press, Issa’s spokeswoman did not deny that Haller worked previously Goldman Sachs or that he covers financial issues for the committee.

Public Citizen’s Bart Naylor commented on ThinkProgress’ story last Friday, noting “Chairman Issa must take every step to ensure that his investigations are unclouded by any appearance of conflict. The next time Chairman Issa sends a scolding letter to regulators and asks that they contact Peter Haller, he should disclose that Mr. Haller worked at Goldman Sachs.”

 

 

 

 



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ABOUT Lee Fang

Lee Fang is an investigative researcher and contributing author for NationofChange. A resident of Sacramento, CA, Lee has written for the Boston Globe, The Nation, and ThinkProgress.org.

inmikqv

inmikqv

A whole lot of avoiding the

A whole lot of avoiding the truth. Dismantle this thing called the bank cartel. They have had too much time to cover up. Crooks and liars will in fact kill you to get what they want. They have no business in serving the people of the United States of America. Elizabeth Warren is the type of public servant that this country needs. Our current banking system needs to go. If Timmy wants to protect them and he has then he needs to be held accountable. NY FED president before taking the US treasury job. He is fooling no one as to where is bread is buttered. Issa, Simonyi and Geithner should all be in jail as accomplices .

The scary thing is that

The scary thing is that someone voted for this McHenry toady. And scarier yet is the fact that some idiots will probably still vote for him. What a classless jerk.

Mr. McHenry have you no shame? You definately should be ashamed of yourself and you should be appologizing and grovelling at her feet.

Despicable behaviour for the

Despicable behaviour for the nation's representatives!

I am ashamed that McHenry is

I am ashamed that McHenry is from my state. He is an ideologically driven demagogue, and a danger to the Union. What is so bad here, he made Ms. Warren out to be a liar in an open hearing when HE was the lair. She was too polite to say it, so I'll say it for her.

McHenry seems treasonous. He

McHenry seems treasonous. He should be charged with it.

We need to Prosecute this

We need to Prosecute this people and send them to prison, this clip really pissed me of. They do not represent the people or America...... What happen to Tar and Feathers on a pole, that would be a good start before prison terms.

I don't suppose there are any

I don't suppose there are any apologies to Warren anywhere in the wind now that some duplicitous identity-switching lobbyist masquerading as a Republican aide has been found to be responsible for the scheduling issues?

No?

Didn't think so.

I don't suppose there any

I don't suppose there any apologies to Warren anywhere in the wind?

Why is it that I am not the

Why is it that I am not the least, and I do mean the least, bit surprised by any of these yahoos that call themselves representatives of the people?! *$^@

And McHenry should be

And McHenry should be censured! If there is anyone with any class at all left in the federal government, this mealy-mouthed liar should be driven from Washington along with Darrel Issa and Peter Whatever-his-name-is-today.

You go, Lee Fang!!! Little by

You go, Lee Fang!!! Little by little, we will nail these cocksuckers. Hope to see you 10/6.

A couple of snakes! Snakes in

A couple of snakes! Snakes in the conGRESS! If Peter Simonyi, Haller, etc., etc. has to change his name to work for this snake of a congressman, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he is up to no good. In the criminal world, where both of them belong, this is called an alias. What name will Simonyi-Haller-? use next?

I am ashamed that McHenry is

I am ashamed that McHenry is from my state. He is an ideologically driven demagogue, and a danger to the Union. What is so bad here, he made Ms. Warren out to be a liar in an open hearing when HE was the lair. She was too polite to say it, so I'll say it for her.

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