Daily Archives: February 2, 2017

Seattle council committee votes to divest from Wells Fargo over DAPL

Seattle is on track to end ties with Wells Fargo over the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline.

The Seattle City Council Finance Committee voted 8-0 on Wednesday to divest $3 billion in City of Seattle money out of Wells Fargo over the bank’s role as lender for the Dakota Access Pipeline and seek a more socially responsible bank to manage the city’s money.

A full vote by the Seattle City Council is scheduled for Monday.

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Trump Team Sent Federal Watchdogs An Ominous Message That Has People Worried


WASHINGTON ― It was a week before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and hockey fans in D.C. were watching the Washington Capitals take on the Chicago Blackhawks. The Justice Department’s top watchdog, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, was in the crowd at the Verizon Center when he received a disturbing call.

Just a day earlier, Horowitz’s office had announced that he would be examining the actions of Justice Department and FBI officials in connection with the investigation of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. FBI Director James Comey’s handling of that investigation had come under intense scrutiny, with many Democrats blaming Comey for Clinton’s election defeat.

Now, on the evening of Jan. 13, Horowitz answered a call from Inspector General John Roth, his counterpart at the Department of Homeland Security. Roth told Horowitz that he’d just been informed by the head of the Trump transition team’s Homeland Security landing team that his job was temporary.

That Trump official “had assumed that I was already in the process of looking for another job,” Roth testified before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

Horowitz, who heads the independent Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, was surprised by the call. Although the inspectors general serve at the pleasure of the president, politics aren’t supposed to come into play in the selection of these watchdogs. There is a long tradition of inspectors general sticking around through a presidential transition, and they are expected to play a crucial role in the Trump era.

“I spoke with him from the game, then got word on two other IGs who had received calls that evening,” Horowitz said.

“We were trying to figure out what was going on here,” Horowitz testified Wednesday. “I think it’s fair to say everyone was concerned.”

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JPMorgan Chase to pay nearly $800 million in final Lehman Brothers settlement

JPMorgan Chase disclosed Wednesday that it reached a final settlement agreement with Lehman Brothers, ending the failed investment bank’s lawsuit over claims that JPMorgan illegally siphoned billions of dollars from Lehman before its collapse.

JPMorgan Chase’s final settlement payout checks in at well above $2 billion.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, JPMorgan Chase will pay an additional $797.5 million to Lehman Brothers to settle all remaining “lawsuits, claims, objections and other disputes” brought by Lehman Brothers after its collapse.

The settlement ends Lehman Brothers claims against JPMorgan Chase.

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Senate Republicans unveil bill to replace CFPB director with committee

While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with the support of top Democratic Party leaders and 17 Democratic state attorneys general, is fighting in court to defend its leadership structure, a Republican-led effort in the Senate could render the legal battle over the CFPB a moot point.

On Tuesday, Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska; John Barrasso, R-Wyoming; and Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, introduced a bill that would replace the single director of the CFPB with a five-member bipartisan committee, a change the Republican Party has long pushed for.

Read on.