By Aaron Kesel
The recently published book The Chicken Shit Club by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, documents a massive account of corporate greed and impunity. The book alleges that the DOJ has a culture of a revolving door where Wall Street personnel become federal agents, even prosecutors, who then betray the public’s trust and their sworn duty, failing to arrest people involved in massive financial schemes.
From the synopsis of the book:
Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice.
The switching of sides is against the law, but you wouldn’t know it was because it’s so commonly done and everyone knows it.
It’s known as the revolving door act, and since its enactment in 1962, it’s been illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 207 for former government employees to influence an investigation into a “particular matter” they “participated in, personally and substantially while an employee” under the court of law.
Section 207(a)(1) permanently bans former government employees from “knowingly making, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any officer or employee of any department, agency, court, or court-martial” on behalf of any person in connection with a “particular matter” in which A) “the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest, B) the former employee participated personally and substantially while an employee, and C) that involved a specific party or parties at the time of such participation.”
One such example of this is the 50 million dollar no-bid Deferred Prosecution Agreement then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie signed to John Ashcroft his former boss and U.S. Attorney General to “monitor a large corporation willing to settle criminal charges out of court.”
In fact, at the time Christie said himself that he didn’t think it was “a problem to hire somebody who used to be your boss but no longer is.”
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The U.S. Courts.gov website has recently archived the filmed Government in Sunshine Act hearings of June 2007, where former U.S. AG John Ashcroft is quoted condemning the vendibility, specifically the U.S. AG wrote that:
Bankruptcy court corruption is not just a matter of bankruptcy trustees in collusion with corrupt bankruptcy judges. The corruption is supported, and justice hindered by high ranking officials in the United States Trustee Program. The corruption has advanced to punishing any and all who mention the criminal acts of trustees and organized crime operating through the United States Bankruptcy Courts. As though greed is not enough, the trustees, in collusion with others, intentionally go forth to destroy lives. Exemptions provided by law are denied, debtors. Cases are intentionally, and unreasonably kept open for years. Parties in cases are sanctioned to discourage them from pursuing justice. Contempt of court powers are misused to coerce litigants into agreeing with extortion demands. This does not ensure integrity and restore public confidence.
It is easy to understand why bright legal minds, such as U.S. attorneys and SEC agents become willfully blind to Wall Street racketeering. It’s greed, after all; who doesn’t want to be a millionaire and not have to worry about receiving next week’s paycheck?
All oaths of office are forgotten – to protect and serve the Constitution of the United States from enemies foreign and domestic – when justice is turned upside down by millions of dollars labeled as “Deferred Prosecution Agreements.”
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie then became the Governor of NJ and John Ashcroft became more enriched as a top exec at Blackwater.
This journalist wonders if anybody remembers what we use to call it when federal agents received millions of dollars – to “defer” investigations and prosecutions!
Image Credit: Michael D’Antuono