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Chris Dodd’s Show Trial

The Arsonist of the Credit Crisis Rounds Up His Usual Suspects

Senator Chris Dodd (D-FNMA) is convening a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee today, on the genesis of the current economic crisis. The odd thing about the hearing, as the Wall Street Journal points out, is that Dodd is only allowing testimony from witnesses who agree with his narrative — which helpfully ignores his role in the crash:

In February 2004, while Republican colleagues warned of the systemic risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mr. Dodd pronounced the mortgage market “one of the great success stories of all time.” A year later, the Connecticut Democrat voted against a reform that would have limited the size of Fan and Fred’s mortgage portfolios. Now that Fan and Fred have collapsed at a cost to taxpayers that could run to $200 billion or more, Mr. Dodd is also under fire for accepting sweetheart loans from Countrywide Financial, the subprime mortgage factory.

At today’s hearing, his mission is to weave a tale that somehow manages to avoid mentioning his own role in this debacle. That won’t be easy, but Mr. Dodd has shrewdly selected a series of witnesses who, like him, contributed to the mess, and have every incentive to point fingers elsewhere.

And wouldn’t you know it: just as he convenes a show trial to get people to look elsewhere in doling out blame, he announced that he won’t release any information about his cozy relationship with Countrywide Financial. Or that he will — just not at any time when people are still interested in it.

It’s not too late for John McCain to promise to appoint a special prosecutor to show exactly who was responsible for a mess that will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Allowing Chris Dodd and Congressional Democrats to run the investigation is like leaving the fox to guard the henhouse.

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