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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Reprinted with permission from The American Prospect.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump criticized Wall Street bankers for their excessive political influence and attacked hedge-fund managers for getting away with “murder” under the current tax code. “The hedge-fund guys didn’t build this country,” Trump said on Face the Nation. “These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.”

Now, however, Trump has tapped Steve Mnuchin, a 53-year-old Wall Street hedge-fund and banking mogul—and, since May, his campaign-finance chair—to be the nation’s secretary of the Treasury.

Trump’s earlier rhetoric aside, it’s actually a good match. Both Trump and Mnuchin earned their first fortunes the old fashion way: They inherited them. Trump took over his father Fred’s real-estate empire and expanded it through questionable business practices. Mnuchin, also the scion of a wealthy and well-connected family, graduated from Yale in 1985, started his career as a trainee at Salomon Brothers and soon wound up working at Goldman Sachs, where his father Robert had been a general partner.

Both Trump and Mnuchin have run businesses accused of widespread racial discrimination and other predatory practices. They both represent the excessive wealth and greed of the billionaire developer and banker class. And both men have hedged their political bets, donating big bucks to Democrats as well as Republicans.

While Mnuchin ran OneWest Bank, based in Pasadena, California, the lender engaged in a variety of predatory practices that government bank regulators scrutinized and trial judges condemned. As Treasury secretary, Mnuchin would no doubt be one of the Trump administration’s key advisors in trying to dismantle the 2010 Dodd-Frank law strengthening regulations on the financial industry, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which in its short life has already protected hundreds of thousands of consumers from bank abuse.

Mnuchin jumped on the Trump train when many Wall Street executives were wary of the New York developer, not only because of his faux anti-Wall Street rhetoric but also because of his cavalier comments about renegotiating the America’s debt with other nations, which revealed Trump’s erratic understanding of global trade and diplomacy.

When he began his campaign, Trump pledged to self-fund his presidential bid. After the Republican primaries, Trump backed off that promise. Instead, he tapped Mnuchin as his finance chair to draw on his Wall Street contacts to raise money from fellow financiers. At the time, Mnuchin pledged to raise $1 billion for Republicans and the Trump campaign, but he never came close to raising that amount.

Mnuchin will be the third former Goldman Sachs executive to serve as Treasury secretary in recent years, following Robert Rubin the Clinton administration and Henry Paulson in the Bush administration. Mnuchin will be joined in Trump’s inner circle by another Goldman Sachs alum, Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief and Trump campaign chair whom Trump named as his chief strategist and senior counselor.

Mnuchin worked for 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where he eventually became an executive vice president. At Goldman, Mnuchin saw how the bank could profit from the 1980s savings-and-loan crisis by buying up cheap assets, repackaging them, and selling them off. According to The Wall Street Journal, he left in 2002 at the age of 39 “with a reported $46 million stake in the bank.” He was recruited by his Yale roommate, Eddie Lampert, to join ESL, a hedge fund, as vice chairman.

A few months later, he jumped to SFM Capital Management as its CEO. Within a few months he changed jobs again, leaving SFM to co-found Dune Capital with his former Goldman colleagues Daniel Neidich and Chip Seelig. Mnuchin is now CEO of Dune Capital Management, a hedge fund has had business dealings with Trump. Dune Capital was part of a group of lenders for the construction of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. In 2008, Trump filed suit against Dune and the other lenders on his then unfinished Chicago skyscraper, “plunging the project into legal turmoil,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

The 2008 financial crisis inspired Mnuchin to return to banking. According to Bloomberg News, Mnuchin was watching TV in his New York office when he saw a story of customers lined up outside a branch of California’ s IndyMac bank, trying to pull their money out. “This bank is going to end up failing, and we need to figure out how to buy it,” Mnuchin told a colleague. “I’ve seen this game before,” he said, recalling how bankers had enriched themselves after the S&L crisis.

In 2009, after the bank collapsed, Mnuchin assembled a group of investors (including computer capitalist Michael Dell, financier George Soros, private equity investor Christopher Flowers, and hedge-fund titan John Paulson) to buy IndyMac Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as part of a sweetheart deal. They renamed it OneWest Bank and kept its headquarters in Pasadena.

The FDIC had taken over IndyMac—one of the largest banks to collapse during the Wall Street-induced mortgage meltdown—in July 2008. It had specialized in high-risk variable-rate mortgages and loans that didn’t require much documentation, including the income and credit history of borrowers.

The Mnuchin group paid FDIC $1.6 billion for the bank, far less than the value of IndyMac’s assets. The FDIC was so desperate to unload IndyMac that Mnuchin and his colleagues were able to obtain, as part of the purchase deal, a so-called “shared loss” agreement from the FDIC, which reimbursed these billionaires for much of their costs for foreclosing on people unlucky enough to have mortgages from IndyMac.

Within a year, the group that The Los Angeles Times called a “billionaires’ club of private financiers” had paid themselves dividends of $1.57 billion. In other words, the FDIC took much of the risk by subsidizing the bank’s troubled assets, while Mnuchin and his colleagues pocketed the profits.

Under Mnuchin’s leadership, OneWest engaged in a laundry list of predatory practices, including robo-signing and peddling reverse mortgages to senior citizens. In a July 2009 deposition, a OneWest vice president admitted that bank employees robo-signed 6,000 foreclosure-related documents per week. She admitted to not reading the documents before signing them, not knowing how the records were generated, and not signing in the presence of a notary. OneWest also engaged in “dual tracking,” the process in which a mortgage lender processes a homeowner’s request for a home loan modification while simultaneously putting the homeowner through the foreclosure process. In September 2013, a San Luis Obispo County couple won a seven-figure settlement and title to their two houses from OneWest when a judge determined the bank had engaged in dual tracking.

As part of its arrangement with the FDIC, Mnuchin’s group agreed to participate in a mortgage-modification program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Instead, OneWest engaged in aggressive foreclosure practices. According to a survey of homeowner counselors conducted by the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), a watchdog group, OneWest was one of the worst offenders in terms of failing to offer loan modifications to consumers facing foreclosure. By 2011, the Office of Thrift Supervision, a federal bank regulator, had accused OneWest of engaging in “unsafe or unsound practices” in its handling of foreclosures and its serving of residential mortgages on behalf of other lenders.

The CRC—a nonprofit organization that pushes banks to reinvest in low income communities and communities of color—determined from Freedom of Information Act requests that the FDIC had already paid out over $1 billion to reimburse OneWest for the cost of over 35,000 foreclosures in California and an unknown number in other states. CRC also estimated that the FDIC will eventually pay out another $1.4 billion for the costs associated with even more foreclosures in the future.

OneWest opened its doors with 33 branches and roughly $16 billion in assets. Mnuchin engineered its growth by purchasing two other failed institutions—First Federal Bank of California and La Jolla Bank—getting the FDIC to agree again to additional “loss share” arrangements so that the owners had little to lose. After these purchases, OneWest had 73 retail branches and $26 billion in assets. It also serviced billions of dollars of mortgage loans on the behalf of third parties, such as Fannie Mae. In multiple surveys of California housing counselors, OneWest was ranked among the worst mortgage servicers in the state.

Mnuchin and his OneWest colleagues were happy to enrich themselves at the government’s expense, but when it came to their customers, they displayed little mercy or compassion. In 2009, according to The New York Post, a judge called OneWest’s behavior “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive” when it tried to foreclose on a New York family. The judge branded the bank’s conduct as “inequitable, unconscionable, vexatious, and opprobrious.”

Also in 2009, OneWest had the locks changed on the home of a Minneapolis woman in the middle of a blizzard, even after the company sent her a letter stating, “You expressed concern that at the end of the redemption period … you and your mother will be evicted from the property. … Rest assured, that will not take place due to the rescission of the foreclosure sale.”

The bank made a tidy profit on each foreclosure. “On bad loans, OneWest, which bought many of the loans at 70 percent of par value, gets the cash from a foreclosure,” according to The Los Angeles Business Journal, “and is also reimbursed [by the FDIC] up to 95 percent of the difference between the original loan value and the foreclosure sale amount.”

OneWest’s foreclosures were located disproportionately in communities of color. A CRC and Urban Strategies Council analysis of One West’s 35,877 foreclosures in California, from April 2009 to April 2015, found that 68 percent occurred in ZIP codes where the non-white population was 50 percent or greater.

But foreclosures are where OneWest’s interest in those neighborhoods appears to end. Only two of OneWest’s 73 branches are located in low-income areas. It makes few small business loans to businesses with annual revenues under $1 million—the kind of operations common in low-income and minority areas.

CRC executive director Paulina Gonzalez called OneWest Bank “a leader in foreclosing on seniors,” many of whom have reverse mortgages—loans that provide cash payments to help homeowners realize value from the equity in their homes, and become payable when the borrower dies or moves—insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Using another Freedom of Information Act request, CRC determined that OneWest’s reverse mortgage servicing subsidiary, Financial Freedom, was responsible for 39 percent of the foreclosures on FHA-insured reverse mortgages since April 2009.

CRC estimates that Financial Freedom only services 17 percent of the reverse mortgage market. In other words, Financial Freedom is foreclosing on reverse mortgages at about twice the rate that one would expect, given their share of the market.

Inevitably, these rapacious practices became the target of protest and public opposition.

In 2011, OneWest tried to evict Rose Gudiel, a 35-year-old government employee, from her one-story house in La Puente, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles. Guidel, her father (a warehouse worker) and her brother cared for her disabled mother in the small house they purchased in 2005.

They made steady mortgage payments until 2009, when one of her brothers died unexpectedly and the family lost his income. The family was two weeks late on the next mortgage payment. The Gudiels then spent over a year attempting unsuccessfully to get the bank to modify the loan—even though their income had long since recovered after another brother moved in with them. Then the bank started foreclosure proceedings.

“I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I worked hard so that I can own a home,” said Gudiel at the time. “And now Steve Mnuchin and OneWest are taking my dream away.”

But Gudiel said she would refuse to leave if the Los Angeles County Sheriff tried to evict them. She was joined by her neighbors, friends, and supporters from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (a community organizing group) and the Service Employees International Union.

“[The bank] kept saying we can’t do anything. Your case is closed,” said Gudiel. “Our stand was, ‘No, we’re not leaving. This is our home. We worked hard for it and we’re just not going to leave.’”

In August 2011, Gudiel and her allies organized a sit-in at OneWest’s Pasadena headquarters. In October, in the midst of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Gudiel and over 200 supporters marched up the winding, hilly roads of Bel Air to the front gate of Mnuchin’s $27 million mansion, where they carried signs, blew whistles, and chanted in English and Spanish, demanding that Mnuchin and OneWest end the eviction proceedings and let Gudiel and family buy back their home. The protests garnered widespread media attention and forced OneWest to relent. OneWest and Fannie Mae authorized a loan modification that allowed the family to stay in their home.

In July 2014, Mnuchin arranged to sell OneWest to the CIT Group for $3.4-billion—more than double what he and his fellow investors paid for the bank five years earlier. CIT Group, a holding company that owned a Salt Lake City-based online bank, wanted to buy OneWest for its low-cost deposits and its network of Southern California retail branches. The consolidated bank now has assets of about $60 billion, ranking it among the nation’s 40 largest banks.

The CRC led an unsuccessful campaign to thwart the merger unless the combined bank pledged to expand its investments in low-income and minority neighborhoods. Over 21,000 people signed petitions against the merger, and over 100 organizations joined the effort to stop it. This groundswell of opposition forced the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to hold a rare public hearing in February 2015.

At the hearing, the CRC pointed out that, like OneWest, CIT Group is no stranger to corporate welfare. It pocketed $2.3 billion from U.S. taxpayers through a Troubled Assets Relief Program bailout that the bank never paid back because it went bankrupt in 2009. Amazingly, CIT Group told its shareholders that it intends to use the bankruptcy to reduce its federal tax bill, thus cheating the taxpayers twice.

Despite OneWest’s and CIT Group’s troubling track records, the Federal Reserve approved the merger, while the OCC granted a “conditional approval,” and required that the merged bank improve its draft plan to invest in underserved neighborhoods, as required by the federal Community Reinvestment Act. Nearly two years after the merger was first announced, however, “California communities are still waiting to hear about CIT Group’s reinvestment plan,” said CRC executive director Paulina Gonzalez.

“There’s nearly $5 billion in corporate welfare between these two huge banks,” Gonzalez said. “This merger is the poster child for enriching the 1 percent on the backs of the rest of us.”

Under the terms of the acquisition, CIT agreed to pay Mnuchin $4.5 million a year for three years as the merged bank’s vice-chairman. Because he relinquished that post in March 31 of this year, Mnuchin was given a $10.9 million severance package, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In CIT Group’s most recent annual report, the bank disclosed that it had received multiple subpoenas in 2015 from the Office of Inspector General at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) related to the servicing of reverse mortgages by Financial Freedom.

After Trump appointed Mnuchin as his campaign-finance chair, CRC’s Gonzalez said that “HUD should release more information about its investigation of OneWest’s subsidiary.”

Mnuchin has dabbled in Hollywood, producing American SniperMad Max: Fury Road, and Suicide Squad, but his sojourn into the entertainment world was also marked by controversy. Last year, Mnuchin resigned as co-chair of Relativity Media shortly before the Hollywood studio filed for bankruptcy. In a story in Variety, some creditors accused Mnuchin of having a conflict of interest because Relativity Media—which had received financing from OneWest Bank while he served as the bank’s chairman—repaid $50 million of those loans right before it went bankrupt.

Like Trump, Mnuchin has showered politicians in both parties with donations, though in recent cycles most of his money went to Republicans. Mnuchin has also spread some of the wealth he earned from his government-subsidized banking fortune to a wide variety of charities. Before their 2014 divorce, Mnuchin and his wife Heather were stalwarts in the high-society world of philanthropy in both New York and Los Angeles, attending and hosting star-studded balls and parties to support their favorite causes.

CRC’s Gonzalez noted the contradictions in Mnuchin’s two roles as philanthropist and as bank executive: “There is a sad irony in the image of Steve Mnuchin as a philanthropist, compared to the reality of Mnuchin as the leader of a bank responsible for foreclosing on tens of thousands of American families and senior citizens,” she said. “Steve Mnuchin was greatly enriched by OneWest Bank and now CIT Group, but those banks did little to serve the needs of ordinary families and working-class communities.”

IMAGE: Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary-designate, arrives at Trump Tower in New York, November 29, 2016.   REUTERS/Mike Segar

Peter Dreier teaches politics and chairs the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His latest book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).

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105 responses to “Steve Mnuchin: Evictor, Forecloser, And Our New Treasury Secretary”

  1. Sand_Cat says:

    I wonder how many of those Trump hard-liners voted for him out of anger at being screwed by this guy.

    • Dominick Vila says:

      It is sad day in America when 21st century gangsters, whose records are not too dissimilar from those of Al Capone, are put in charge of our Treasury, our economy, and our well being.
      It almost seems incredible to even think that so many American consumers support, or are indifferent, to the dismantling of the Consumer Protection Act, to the repeal of regulations designed to prevent another economic meltdown, and support the nominations of people determined to do exactly what contributed to the 2008 economic debacle. Let’s hope another Obama is there four or 8 years from now, when the economy and our fiscal integrity are once again on the verge of collapse. If not, we better hope for another FDR.

      • charleo1 says:

        That’s because their is no one that knows more, or is any surer, or more vocal about it, than the biggest idiot in the room. Thus, we have become a Country of both idiots, and arrogant know it alls. And now, we have a leader that represents that.

        • Dominick Vila says:

          We have also become a country with people with unrealistic expectations, who refuse to make an extra effort – let alone sacrifices – to overcome the challenges that prevent them from getting a good paying job and get ahead. For some of those around us, it doesn’t matter that carbon emissions are not good for our environment. Their grand pappy was a miner, and they want to be miners to. It doesn’t matter that robotics have reduced the need for assembly line labor. That what they want to do, and that’s all that matters.

          • dpaano says:

            Wait until they see that the Trumpster can’t get their jobs back because those jobs no longer exist! At least Hillary had a plan to get money from Congress to retrain the unemployed so that they could get jobs in the new manufacturing businesses….but, they didn’t listen. They wanted the “easy” way out, and they thought that Trump had that. Unfortunately, he doesn’t. You can’t put coal miners back into the mines when we no longer use coal; you can’t put assembly line people back into the assembly lines when we no longer have assembly lines, and I could go on and on! If the unemployed are so lazy that they don’t understand that they need to go back to a vocational school and learn the new jobs; then they will NEVER get decent jobs back…..and I’m not saying that to ALL unemployed people because I know some of them are doing their all to get jobs…..but most of these “angry” Trump followers that are out of work are just too lazy to see what they all need to do and nothing that Trump can do is going to change that! BTW, why don’t you trolls ask Trump and Ivanka why they don’t bring back the manufacturing of their clothing lines and jewelry lines from China and Vietnam? Don’t you think that these types of things can be made here in the good ol’ U.S.A.? I wonder if he’s going to give himself a 35% surtax on all his crappy ties and shirts that he brings back to the U.S.A. to sell? Good question, huh? It’s funny that you never hear him talk about HIS outsourcing, do you?

        • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

      • dpaano says:

        Do you honestly think we’ll last that long, Dom? I’m afraid we’ll be in a recession or the start of a major depression after the first 4 years of Trump and his cronies running this country into the ground!

    • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

      I wonder how many Crooked Hillary supporter’s are crying awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww crying awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww crying

  2. Dominick Vila says:

    The swamp that Trump promised to drain is likely to overflow in weeks to come.

  3. charleo1 says:

    So how’s that swampy drainy thing going so far? About like we said it would.
    As Trump, and his crony capitalists, war mongering generals, and snake oil sellers everywhere are now going to be hooting all the way to the bank, which will they own. To the U.S. Treasury, which they will control. So here’s to you..You poor duped tools, and fools. With your little red hats and your ‘lock her up,’ tee-shirts. All you jackasses that wanted your Country back? Well, who’s got it now? Not you, and not the people, that’s for sure. So, tell you what. Let’s turn off the lame stream media, and all of us get stinking drunk. I know I need a drink! We’ll have a good old fashioned beer hall putsch, here in the land of the Pilgrim’s pride, where our Fathers died. If for nothing else but to raise a glass to unbridled ignorance, fear, and mean spiritedness. And also to the crooks, and the greasy grifters, and accomplices that we as a Country got as a reward as a result of you all refusing to care about doing the right thing. So drink up idiots. We’ve got a lot of tomorrows in front of us to live down.

  4. Thoughtopsy says:

    “To Drain the Swamp, first we have to Fill it right to the Top. So important.
    I know the best people…. amazing people…. who will Fill the Swamp so fast.
    We’re going to Fill it so much you’re going to get tired of all the Filling.
    And…. So amazing…. Once we have all the beautiful money in the right place, then I’m going to Drain it all so fast…”
    – Pres-Elect F**kface Von Clownstick
    #DirtyDonald

    • Nice imitation of the Twitter-in-Chief.

    • Feliciajnewburn says:

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj259d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !mj259d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash259HomeMagicGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj259d:….,…….

      • The lucky one says:

        You could post the same for Trump except it would be more like diarrhea.

        • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

          Sorry wrong again my Liberal racist enemy!!!
          Trump is a real American!!! Crooked evil lying sick Hillary is crap and you beleeve her ever word …
          How does it feel to be wrong again! Lost election and Liberalism is a fraud lol

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/edf4b2aeed5d38e4a24fad4f7d21ebda560771d2c0dc3d106182ba1a110c5cee.png

          • Candice White says:

            All you racist love Trump because he is just like you, only he has money and you ignorant fools don’t.

          • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

            Liberal Democrackhead racist thug party is alive hatin on America & our Elected Presiden https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f5ec2a8fb15a75460fe8b21b59cd3f71ba279072441490fb75ad3b342f26f8b.jpg t Donald j Trump!!!

          • dpaano says:

            Nor will they EVER as long as Trump is in charge. They are going to see their taxes go up considerably, but the 1% will make all the money!

          • 788eddie says:

            I’m not saying that the GOP is a racist party, but members of the white supremacists, the KKK, and the so-called “alt.right” seem to be finding a more comfortable home in the Republican Party.

            Everyone with two eyes and half a brain can see that.

          • The lucky one says:

            I don’t know whether this guy has two eyes but it’s obvious he’s a couple bricks short of a load.

          • 788eddie says:

            Hey Lucky, I’m afraid that you’re spot-on on this one.

            “Real” sounds like one of those who would take an assault rifle into a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C. to directly investigate a child-sex ring.

            40 cards!

          • The lucky one says:

            No moron, I didn’t lose the election. I wasn’t on the ticket. “Real American” LOL. Only if you consider greed, stupidity, arrogance, narcissism, lying, immorality, entitlement, whining and a total lack of class to be fundamental American traits.

            Only about 25% of eligible voters chose Trump. that is hardly a representation of working class Americans. But Trump is very happy to have the support of people like you who he himself has labeled ignorant.

          • The lucky one says:

            We were all losers in this election but when I look at how many people are as stupid as you VERY OBVIOUSLY are I actually feel quite lucky.

            BTW You have a better chance of seeing Trump impeached than seeing Hillary in jail. Even your surrogate brain Donnie has acknowledged that she won’t be prosecuted. just another one of the many promises he has already reneged on. You better get a scorecard because your limited brain power won’t be able to keep tarck.

          • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

            We Real America are the winners Obama and liberalism got
            KO’ D and it was beautiful …watching all these Liberal idiots crying, protesting saying they will leave the country lmyassoff!!

            Crooked lying Hillary was a joke! She will be prosecuted!!!

            I know it hurts but heres a song for you cry baby! Enjoy!!!

          • The lucky one says:

            “She will be prosecuted!” I wish there was a way for us to bet on that because as with all the other nonsense you’ve spewed here you are completely mistaken, but then again imbeciles usually are.

          • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

            she will get prosecuted and crushed the Globalist, liberals and racist thugs are running scared hahahaha I luv it!!!
            You evil sick hateful Liberal Democrackhead wackos will lose everything!
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fc72321d1bac29a726763663d66fb0ae8d03483972268dd8689343dd55da9f1.jpg

          • The lucky one says:

            So do you think you’ll be out of the asylum in time for the next election?

            Yah, like you’ve ever read a book. Thomas Sowell, champion of the common people, LOL, really.

          • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

            Lol I know it hurts and you lost you can cry, protest and leave>

          • The lucky one says:

            Not going anywhere dumba$$. Somebody has to be here to put it all back together again after spoiled brats like Trump and complete imbeciles like you are done making believe you have a clue.

          • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

            You dumbass Liberal moron we cleaning up your low energy house idiot!!! We won and we will make America great….bye bye Obama lol

          • dpaano says:

            Unfortunately, the Justice Department has already informed Mr. Trump that he cannot prosecute ANYONE and they can’t either based on the facts. Hillary did nothing that is prosecutable…..she did make a mistake by using a home-based server; however, Petraeous also stated he “made a mistake” when he gave Top Secret info to his paramour! But, apparently, to Trump, that’s okay! It’s amazing how it’s wrong for Hillary to “make a mistake,” but it’s okay for Petraeus to do the same. However, Petreous was sentenced to 2 years probation and fined heavily. I seriously doubt if he’s capable of joining Trump’s little coterie because he might find it difficult to get a Top Secret clearance with the lawsuit hanging over his head! But, it DOES show how hypocritical the Trump gang is when it comes to things like this! Hillary – Bad; Petrous – okay! Interesting how that works!

          • The lucky one says:

            Trump probably thinks he can just grant him clearance. He’s had his sons nit and wit in on some briefings so intelligence and maturity is not a prerequisite.

      • 788eddie says:

        GODBlessRealAmerica#1, please stop posting selfies.

        • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

          DID THE TRUTH HIT YOUR LIBERAL SOUL…WAIT YOU DON’T HAVE A SOUL…LOL

          • 788eddie says:

            I am not a liberal; I am a registered Republican (and probably for longer than your scrawny little body has been on this planet).

            Time to adjust the meds, Real.

      • Candice White says:

        She isn’t the one spewing BS it’s you and that lying orange POS.

  5. The lucky one says:

    “Mnuchin will be the third former Goldman Sachs executive to serve as Treasury secretary in recent years, following Robert Rubin the Clinton administration and Henry Paulson in the Bush administration.”

    Pretty much says it all concerning the duopoly’s servitude to the 1%.

  6. GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

    great video!

  7. johninPCFL says:

    So, instead of “draining the swamp”, Agent Orange has poured in three more feet of sewerage – just as we suspected he would do.

  8. InGen12 says:

    Is anyone really surprised that the caliber of nominees is so low? Like attracts like, people. Trump is scorned in NYC (he only got 10% of their vote in the election) because he’s a con man. US banks won’t deal with him because he scammed them out of millions when he did the casino thing. Did anyone take note that not one real estate developer, banker or business person stood up for him and said he was an upright individual during his campaign?

  9. GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

    Crooked evil lying Hillary song awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww poor Liberals Crying, Im crying awwww im crying awwwwwwwwwwwww Crying awwwwwwwwwwwww

    • I Am Helpy says:

      Are you having a stroke?

      • GODBlessRealAmerica#1 says:

        Are you brain-hemorrhaging again….? Seek help ….

      • dpaano says:

        Helpy, it always amazes me at how these RW pundit trolls on this website keep calling Hillary crooked, evil, and dishonest…..yet, look who they put in charge of this country? Trump is the most crooked, dishonest, and evil man ever to be in politics, and he’s bringing more of the same into the White House to dismantle this entire country and all the good things that have been done in the past years! I hope that one day these trolls will realize that we were right and they are totally wrong! But, by the time that happens, it’ll be way too late for all of us!

  10. dpaano says:

    This whole story is pretty sad! What happened to Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” and get rid of these Wall Street bankers and hedge fund people? Apparently, his idea of “draining the swamp” is to move them all over to the White House! As for HUD investigating Mnuchin…..who’ll be in charge of HUD…..that’s right, Ben Carson, the one man who is so unqualified for the job that it’s pitiful! Does anyone doubt that he’ll end up just being a “puppet” for Mnuchin?

  11. stsintl says:

    In a pot of milk, cream rises to the top. In a swamp, scum rises to the top. DJT’s rise to the top confirms how Lincoln and Eisenhower’s GOP has turned in to a swamp. May God help us.

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