The New York Times would rather cover a Breuer chair than cover Lanny Breuer
Literally! And just like the rest of 'em. Which we'll get to. For now, what I want to know is, When is the remarkably unprosecutorial prosecutor Lanny Breuer actually going to start spending more time with his family? Because here he is explaining how Third World-style elite impunity really works in his PBS interview from "The Untouchables":
These sources said that at the weekly indictment approval meetings that there was no case ever mentioned that was even close to indicting Wall Street for financial crimes. [See Professor William R. Black, who successfully prosecuted thousands of bankster executives in the S&L crisis*]
If you look at what we and the U.S. attorney community did, I think you have to take a step back. Over the last couple of years, we have convicted Raj Rajaratnam, one of the largest hedge fund leaders. Now, you’ll say that’s an insider trading case, but it’s clearly going after Wall Street.
But it has nothing to do with the financial crisis, the meltdown, the packaging of bad mortgages that led to the collapse that led to the recession.
[BREUER] First of all, I think that the financial crisis is multifaceted. But even within that, all we can do is look hard at this multifaceted, multipronged problem. And what we’ve had is a multipronged, multifaceted response.
Yeah, multi-pronged. I like that. Jamie and Michael still "doing God's work" on the streets? Yeah? How about Lloyd? Anyhow...
So, one day after the "The Untouchables" airs, we find our Lanny on the windowsill. But he hasn't actually jumped (or been pushed (by whom?)):
Lanny A. Breuer is leaving the Justice Department after leading the agency’s [succesful, yes? No?] efforts to clamp down on public corruption and financial fraud [snort] [/snort]at the nation’s largest banks, according to several people familiar with the matter.
It is not clear when Breuer intends to leave his post, nor what he plans to do once he departs [besides making a shit ton of money from the banksters he didn't prosecute], but it is certain that the prosecutor’s days in office are winding down, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Frankly, this story seems a little bit muffled to me. Oddly, or not, there's not of lot of coverage of Lanny's strangely protracted defenestration in our famously free press (as opposed to the blogs; NC, emptywheel, FDL, Kos).
So, after that initial story in Pravda, let's see who follows up:*
1. The Times (last story January 20):
2. Bloomberg (January 17):
3. Reuters (January 2):
4. Financial Times (January 3):
5. Chicago Sun Times (in case Valerie leaked anything to Lynn, but nothing):
6. Politico (2012):
7. Politico's Manhattan office (2012):
8. Ya know, if I didn't know better, I'd say there's some kinda, oh, news blackout on this. Because here's WaPo's follow-up: "An assistant AG heads for the door." They can't even name the guy:
From today's story in Al Kamen's "In The Loop" (i.e., only, totally only of interest to Beltway Insiders so go away, go away):
DOJ moves — As expected, Lanny Breuer, head of the criminal justice division at the Department of Justice, is leaving the agency after a tenure marked by the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking controversy.
So, this is a personnel matter -- I'll just set up the lines of defense, here -- about ("Fast and Furious" (crazy Republicans (Eric Holder (not Obama (above all not corruption)))).
Move along people, move along. There's no story here!*** And stop snickering and saying "multi-pronged," wouldja?
NOTE * Of course, that was during the Reagan era, when we had the rule of law.
NOTE ** BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!! I crack myself up.
NOTE *** Man, we used to use that line all the time with the Bush administration, back in the day. Good times....
UPDATE 9. WSJ:
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, the controversial head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, is said to be preparing to step down. More here and here. (Washington Post, FCPA Blog, Firedoglake)
10. From the FCPA Blog ("The World's Biggest Anti-Corruption Compliance Portal")
Breuer will probably be best remembered by the compliance community for last year's release of the much anticipated DOJ-SEC Guidance. In a foreword to the 120-page Guidance, Breuer and then-SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami called it 'an unprecedented undertaking by DOJ and SEC to provide the public with detailed information about our FCPA enforcement approach and priorities.'
Publication of the Guidance followed several years of intense criticism from business groups and politicians who said the FCPA was unclear and the DOJ's enforcement of it unfair. ...
Breuer targeted more individuals for prosecution under the FCPA. That initiative led to the botched Africa sting prosecution. Our review of the biggest stories of 2012 said, 'Twenty-two defendants, two hung juries, three acquittals, zero convictions, and the eventual dismissal of all the indictments. The DOJ's biggest FCPA flop ever was an over-hyped prosecution that always smelled like entrapment and never should have been brought in the first place.'
Despite the setback, Breuer remained a strong champion of the FCPA and the global fight against graft. A few months ago, he said that since he took over the criminal division in 2009, the number of prosecutors working on FCPA cases had doubled.
He called anti-corruption enforcement one of the DOJ's 'signature achievements.' The United States, he said, is in a unique position to spread 'the gospel of anti-corruption' because of its enforcement record.