Did Ron Bloom lie to Congress? 

 

Ron Bloom, the former union consigliere who helped Steve Rattner bail out the auto industry from within the Treasury Department, was there in the room when auto bailout czar Steve Rattner informed the representative for Chrysler's secured creditors that the Obama administration was going to steal their property and redistribute it to the United Auto Workers.

'I need workers to make cars," Bloom reportedly said, "but I don't need lenders."

That account comes from Rattner's book, Overhaul. So does Bloom's celebratory declaration, after the auto bailout had been completed, that "I did this all for the unions!" Although supposedly spoken in jest, it was an accurate representation of what the auto bailout did -- it saved the UAW from losing a third of its remaining members or more.

Bloom, in testimony late last month before a House Oversight subcommittee, denied having uttered the line about helping the unions, despite the fact that it was recorded not only by Rattner but also by the Detroit News. Today, Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, along with two other members of Congress, sent Bloom the letter below, offering him a chance to "clarify" this potentially false statement:

Dear Mr. Bloom:

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee considers the veracity of witness testimony essential to conducting serious oversight of the federal government and how taxpayers’ dollars are spent.

We want to give you an opportunity to clarify a series of statements you made under oath before the Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending on June 22, 2011, if necessary. During that hearing, you had the following exchange with Representative Dan Burton:

Rep. Burton: Well, did you say this at a dinner? There was a dinner and it was reported by David Shepardson, Washington correspondent for the Detroit News. At a farewell dinner of the Auto Task Force held in the restaurant Rosa Mexicano in late July 2009 that you allegedly said “I did this all for the unions.”

Mr. Bloom: No I did not say that.

Rep. Burton: You didn’t say that?

Mr. Bloom: No sir.

Rep. Burton: So, you were misquoted?

Mr. Bloom: That’s correct.

Rep. Burton: Well, I’m going to call that guy up and ask him if you said that. You know that you are under oath here?

Mr. Bloom: I’m fully aware.

Rep. Burton: You made no comment like that at all?

Mr. Bloom: No sir.

Despite your five denials, two independent sources documented you saying these words. Davide Shepardson wrote in the Detroit News on November 24, 2009, that you said you “did this all for the unions.” Furthermore, Steven Rattner – your former boss at the Auto Task Force – wrote in Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry, that at a “celebratory dinner” at Rosa Mexicano on July 21, 2009, that you said “I did this all for the unions!”

It appears that either a respected reporter and your former boss in the Obama Administration have both given inaccurate accounts of your comments to the public, or your testimony was not completely truthful. Therefore, if you would like to amend or clarify your testimony for the record, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Darryl Issa

Dan Burton

Jim Jordan

This is not the first time an Obama adminsitration official has offered testimony to Congress under oath that contradicted well-documented media accounts. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood contradicted multiple media accounts, including those of Jonathan Martin of Politico and author Jonathan Alter, when he stated, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that his letter threatening to cut off Arizona stimulus funds was his own idea and that he had not spoken about it with anyone else in the Obama administration.

About The Author

David Freddoso

Bio:
David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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