Senator Elizabeth Warren wants the FBI and Justice Department to explain why no bankers were prosecuted for the financial crisis of eight years ago.
She says FBI Director James Comey should follow the example he set in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. He commented on the case publicly and revealed details about it to Congress.
“If Secretary Clinton’s email server was of sufficient ‘interest’ to establish a new FBI standard of transparency, then surely the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis should be subject to the same level of transparency,” Warren wrote in a letter to law enforcement officials on Thursday.
She wants the agencies to explain why they didn’t act on the recommendations from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to prosecute a slew of top Wall Street executives and firms.
The commission was charged with investigating the cause of the 2008 financial meltdown. It recommended prosecuting Robert Rubin, a former Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration who was a top executive at Citigroup, as well as the former CEOs and chief financial officers of Citi, insurer AIG, Merrill Lynch and mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae.
In addition, Warren said the commission recommended actions against 14 Wall Street firms including Citi, Fannie, Merrill and AIG, as well as Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, UBS, Societe General, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Moody’s, Washington Mutual and Lehman Brothers.
Some of those firms reached civil settlements with authorities, but none faced criminal charges.
“The outcome of the referrals by the FCIC to the DOJ represents an abysmal failure,” said Warren. “It means that key companies and individuals that were responsible for the financial crisis and were the cause of substantial hardship for millions of Americans faced no criminal charges. This failure is outrageous and baffling, and it requires an explanation.”
Many of the commission’s records were released earlier this year by the National Archives, and Warren said her staff found the prosecution recommendations by working through those thousands of documents.
Thursday is the eighth anniversary of Lehman’s bankruptcy, which helped trigger the financial meltdown.
The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from CNNMoney.