The Ed Show | January 25, 2013
>>> tonight, this week we've told you about a profound failure of justice. in its documentary "the untouchables" the pbs show "front line slow shows that no ceos have faced charges following the economic collapse . whistle-blowers all reported fraud was going on and supervisors looking the other way. the obama justice department has investigated these banking practices and they have come up with nothing. lots of unanswered questions remain, and now the man responsible for these investigations, assistant attorney general laney brewer has resigned. well, brewer went on record in a speech at the new york bar association . martin smith asked brewer about that speech.
>> in that speech you made a reference to losing sleep at night, worrying about what a lawsuit might result in. at a large financial institution .
>> is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?
>> well, i think i am pursuing justice. i think the entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. but in any given case, i think i and prosecutors around the country being responsible should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if i bring a case against institution a, and as a result of bringing that case, there is some huge economic effect, if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly, it's a fact that we need to know and understand.
>> and i am joined tonight by mike papantonio , host of "the ring of fire" radio show and former president of the national trial lawyers association. good to have you with us tonight.
>> how are you.
>> this documentary place and lanny breuer resigns. i don't know what the connection is. what do you make of it?
>> should have followed the dots a little bit further. the very reasons that lanny breuer resigned should be some of the reasons that eric holder should be thinking about. ed, this is a simple case to understand. what eric holder and breur had in front of them, bank organizations that pleaded that pleaded guilty to moneylaundering for drug cartels and terrorists. they paid the fine. they knew people had to make the decision. but even after they plead guilty , brewer would go after none of the people involved. people commit crimes. there is case after case like that.
>> why hasn't the department of justice been more aggressive? and is there the possibility of a deal between the obama administration and wall street ? your thoughts.
>> well rahm emanuel was out collecting money from wall street in the first cycle, collecting money from wall street for that first election, he was telling people that the man behind the curtain, president obama , who was running for president at the time, when he was talking tough about getting tough with bankers and actually cleaning up the culture of banking, that he wasn't really -- wasn't serious. and in the end, what ended happening, rahm emanuel collected a lot of money from wall street , but the administrative policy of not going after these bankers is what we were left with. it is impossible to believe that crime after crime that took place, trillions of dollars stolen, and we had an eric holder running this entire program. eric holder was making the calls. it wasn't lanny breuer . and you have to ask yourself were people above eric holder making these decisions. it's very clear. ronald reagan was faced with the same thing in the s & l crisis . you know what he did? he threw 700 bankers in prison for a crime that is far less than what we have seen here because ronald reagan believed that crime should be punished. that's the only way you clean up the culture of crime.
>> so is holder incompetent?
>> i don't think he is incompetent. i think he simply -- listen, he comes from -- he coming from covington burling. it's a very conservative corporate defense firm . look, these are people who have represented banks. they represented morgan stanley . they represented bank of america . they represented halliburton, kbr.comes from a culture that is used to defending corporate criminals , not prosecuting them. you know what? that all flows from the top, ed. if you have somebody in charge who has that mentality. look, lanny breuer was also from covington burling. you really should start with people who want to prosecute criminals, not people who have made their entire career, built their entire career around defending them.
>> you are convinced from what you've seen that there is more than enough evidence for them to go after one of the big guns on wall street ? and they're getting off scot-free?
>> completely. i was a prosecutor. any prosecutor -- my prosecutor that looked at these facts would say could we make a case? absolutely. we at least begin with wiretaps. we would have special grand juries . we do would do all the things that a prosecution effort looks like. and you know what? why is it we can go after rico, we can rico a mobster group and we wiretap them and have special grand juries and do witness interviews, but with these folks on wall street .
>> we were unwilling to do that with billionaire wall streeters.
>> well, i'll tell you who is paying for it. we're paying for it, the taxpayers. what they did to the economy put it into the tank and it was big stimulus package that had to pull us out of the tank. we're still doing that right now. i wish the doj would go after these folks and give some answer. i think that frontline documentary is outstanding. mike papantonio , good to have you with us tonight. thank you so much. that is "the ed show."