While much of the mainstream media seems to blame conservatives in Congress for driving liberal Democrat Barney Frank—a two-time Judicial Watch Most Wanted Corrupt Politician—out of office, the truth is that a number of corruption scandals have probably caught up with the veteran Massachusetts lawmaker who announced his abrupt retirement this week.
It was not that long ago that Frank assured his constituents that he would definitely run for re-election in 2012, mainly to defend his disastrous financial regulatory overhaul from Republican attempts to repeal it. He also said he needed to continue fighting for “full legal equality for all citizens” and to provide for the “housing needs of low-income people.”
But this week he threw in the towel after more than three decades in Congress, claiming in a statement posted on his House website that he would like to do some writing, though he remains concerned about “right-wing assaults” on his financial reform bill. Two of the nation’s largest newspapers followed up with puff pieces describing Frank as a victim of scorching partisan battles and a politician known for his sharp intellect and intense, rapid-fire delivery.
The reality is that Frank, the powerful chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has been embroiled in two of the largest financial scandals in recent history. The first is the collapse of government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack, which triggered the nation’s financial crisis. Judicial Watch obtained internal government documents proving that members of Congress, including — and perhaps especially — Frank, were well aware that Fannie and Freddie were in deep trouble due to corruption and incompetence and yet they did nothing to stop it.
Judicial Watch also obtained internal documents from the Treasury Department that prove Frank helped steer $12 million in federal bailout funds to a Boston bank (OneUnited) that eventually got shut down by the government. Frank intervened on behalf of his equally corrupt friend, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who held shares in the failing bank that also listed her husband (Sidney Williams) as a board member.
The Treasury documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit suggest Frank personally called former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson regarding a cash infusion from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for OneUnited Bank. On November 25, 2008, following Frank’s intervention, the Treasury Department awarded $12,063,000 in bailout funds to OneUnited, which is located in Frank’s district.
As if this weren’t bad enough, a mainstream newspaper reporter recently exposed Frank’s unethical relationship with the government-run mortgage giants he supposedly regulated by revealing that he got his live-in companion a job at Fannie Mae while Congress was writing legislation to improve oversight of the lender. Frank actually called up and asked that his companion be hired, according to the report, which also says that Frank aggressively defended Fannie Mae after it hired his live-in partner.