A growing chorus of Republican lawmakers is calling on the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel to investigate the collapse of MF Global and its misuse of more than $1 billion in client money.
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), a former FBI agent, rounded up the 64 representatives — including Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Allen West (R-Fla.) — to sign on to the letter, which points to the political entanglements of the firm’s former CEO Jon Corzine, a former Democratic Senator and Governor from New Jersey. The 64 signatories fell short of the 100 that Grimm had previously predicted.
Corzine, a former Goldman Sachs CEO, formed the financial services firm in 2010, after he lost re-election as New Jersey governor to Republican Chris Christie, a former U.S. Attorney. The letter notes Corzine’s elite political ties. He is a former colleague of Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler, who is the head of the agency that regulates MF Global, and is also a large contributor to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, the GOP lawmakers said.
“Clearly it would not strain credulity for the American people to perceive a conflict of interest when an individual raises such large sums of money for the President’s re-election campaign,” the letter states, while conceding that the lawmakers have “no evidence” that the department is giving MF Global leadership special treatment in the investigation.
MF Global filed for bankruptcy in October, with the federal probe zeroing in on the missing $1.6 billion from customer accounts. Since the department took up the case, some Republicans have questioned whether the investigation is purposely being delayed because of Corzine’s connections. Corzine has denied any wrongdoing in the collapse.
“At its core, it goes to the integrity of our justice system and it goes to the integrity of our markets,” Grimm said at an earlier press conference on the need for a special investigator.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment.
View Grimm’s full press conference here: