WASHINGTON — A key U.S. lawmaker wants to dig into the Justice Department’s internal deliberations in reaching settlements over mortgage securities issued by J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.27% & Co and Citigroup Inc.C -0.12%
Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, demanding “all documents and communications” related to the $13 billion settlement reached with J.P. Morgan last November and this month’s $7 billion deal with Citigroup Inc.
Mr. Issa has proven to be an intense partisan warrior digging for information that’s embarrassing to the Obama administration. But the new inquiry could satisfy people in both parties.
“This is definitely the kind of thing that a lot of people would be interested in on both sides of the aisle,” said Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “I see it as great information.”
Any internal documents secured by the oversight panel would provide fodder for people in both political parties.
Conservatives have criticized the Obama administration for engaging in a shakedown of institutions that haven’t been convicted of any wrongful behavior. Liberals, meanwhile, argue that Mr. Holder’s Justice Department has not been aggressive enough in pursuing cases stemming from the financial crisis.