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Queens Chronicle

Bharara and the bankers

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has suggested that Gov. Cuomo may have interfered with the probe of the Moreland Act Commission. One must ask, however, if Bharara himself is not open to criticism.

The near worldwide collapse of the banking system several years ago was caused by one thing only: bank fraud, a real crime. A decade ago, the U.S. attorney indicted Martha Stewart on insider trading charges, to divert attention away from the Justice Department’s refusal to prosecute the banker gangsters. Similarly, today, Mr. Bharara, evidently at Attorney General Eric Holder’s insistence, has refused to prosecute banker criminals, and instead, also at Holder’s insistence, has focused on the entirely irrelevant diversion of insider trading, which is a victimless crime, assuming it is even a real crime.

The biggest scandal going on now is that, while the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Treasury inspector general have issued subpoenas for files from a JPMorgan Chase internal investigation of 90 employees who interacted with the Madoff firm, Mr. Bharara, at Holder’s insistence, is blocking those subpoenas. Presumably, JPMorgan Chase has hired Covington & Burling as its legal counsel. Does the possibility exist that when Bharara leaves government service and enters the private sector, he will choose Covington & Burling as his employer? C&B partners get at least $2 million a year. Not bad!

If Mr. Bharara is the authentic opponent of corruption he portrays himself as, let him prove it by overruling Holder and let him cease obstructing the subpoenas of both the OCC and the Treasury Department’s inspector general.

Clifton Wellman

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