Judicial Watch sues Treasury over TARP documents 

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his department have been sued by Judicial Watch as a result of the government's abject failure to abide by the law, specifically the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), concerning the Toxic Assets Relief Program and Obama administration "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg.

Last November, Judidial Watch submitted an FOIA request multiple documents concerning meetings involving Feinberg, special master for executive compensation under TARP; AIG Chairman Robert Benmosche, and New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley. As the Obama administration’s “pay czar,” Feinberg is responsible for setting compensation guidelines for the seven largest firms, including AIG, using funds from TARP.

Judicial Watch's request covered meetings among the three officials that took place Nov. 4, 12th and 17th last year.

After acknowledging receipt of the Judicial Watch FOIA and giving notice of its intent to take an additional 10 days beyond the 20 permitted by the law to respond, Treasury Department officials have provided nothing to the organization.

AIG was at the center of the economic meltdown in 2008 and has since received more than $170 billion in tax dollars. The government received in return a controlling interest in the former insurance industry giant. Geithner, who was then head of the New York Federal Reserve, helped negotiate the deal that put Washington in charge of the country's largest insurance company.

The company awarded an estimated $165 million in executive bonuses in March 2009, an action that sparked outrage in Congress and the general public.

The meetings at issue in Judicial Watch’s FOIA request took place soon after Feinberg publicly announced pay cuts and salary caps for AIG’s top executives.

“The Obama administration apparently believes that when it comes to doling out TARP funds, it’s none of the American people’s business,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The TARP disbursement process is apparently rife with corruption, cronyism and mismanagement. With trillions of taxpayer dollars on the line, it’s time for the Obama administration to open the books to public scrutiny. Treasury’s secrecy about the bailouts is an absolute scandal that is undermining our country.”

You can read the Judicial Watch suit here.

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Mark Tapscott

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