Judicial Watch Sues Treasury Department for Records on Communications with Failed Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Treasury for all communications between Treasury components Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Office of Financial Research (OFR) and the failed Silicon Valley and Signature banks (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of the Treasury (No. 1:23-cv-01397)).
Both banks were forced into failure by the Biden administration in March.
The Biden administration’s actions in attempting to resolve the bank failures will cost tens of billions of dollars, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) estimated.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after Treasury failed to respond to March 14, 2023, FOIA requests.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, established by Title I of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010, is tasked with monitoring the stability of the U.S. financial system. However, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton and former Judicial Watch client Vern McKinley previously warned, “[T]he Financial Stability Oversight Council clearly is incapable of providing either financial stability or oversight. It should be eliminated.”
(On April 26, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, along with Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga, and Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy Subcommittee Chairman Andy Barr sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in her capacity as Chair of the Oversight Council, demanding it provide information previously requested more than a month prior from its meetings immediately following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.)
The Office of Financial Research was created, according to its website, to promote “financial stability by delivering high-quality financial data, standards and analysis” in support of the FSOC and its member agencies.
In its 2022 report to Congress, the Office of Financial Research states that it found “overall threats to U.S. financial stability were elevated compared to last year. The 2022 report discussed how the systemic risk landscape was elevated as financial institutions faced more uncertainty from rising inflation, tight credit conditions, and the geopolitical landscape.”
“Massive bank failures induced by the Biden administration have rocked our economic system,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people deserve to know the details of the costly interventions and government takeovers of Silicon Valley and Signature Banks. That Judicial Watch has had to sue for basic information about this banking crisis suggests the Biden administration has something to hide.”