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Dodd Spills The Beans

Sam Stein at the Huffington Post has been digging around, trying to find out exactly what happened to the amendment to the stimulus bill offered by Sens. Wyden and Snowe which would have nixed the AIG bonuses. Fingers were pointed at Senate Banking Chair Chris Dodd. But yesterday on CNN, Dodd was part of this exchange:

CNN Producer: “There’s the suggestion today being made that you received more money from AIG than any other senator. And that you were responsible for the February 11th, 2009 date. Again, I just want to get — you’re saying you had nothing to do with . . .”
Senator Dodd: “Absolutely not.”
CNN Producer: “And there was nothing you were doing that was aimed at protecting AIG?”
Senator Dodd:  “Not at all. Not in the slightest. . . . The point is when that language left the Senate I wrote, that was not included.”

Today, on CNN’s Situation Room, Dodd changed his tune and implicated the Treasury Department. He did not name Geithner personally, but neither did he say Geithner was unaware of the goings on. The bottom line: Dodd, after denying it, now admits he and the administration cooked up the language which afforded AIG some protection ( until the firestorm hit) to grant the bonuses. Geithner has been claiming a fair amount of ignorance — and certainly did not come clean on this.

TIME magazine adds in this:

Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG’s impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is 10 days before Treasury staffers say they first learned “full details” of the bonus plan, and three days before the Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG.

The ball is now in Treasury’s court once again. It seems testimony under oath is the only way this will all come out. And if  the Treasury Secretary lied or hid the ball, our modern day Alexander Hamilton certainly will be heading out the door.


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