Rep. Issa to question Mozilo on Countrywide VIP program
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., uncovered documents linking former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo directly to a VIP program for government officials and lawmakers.
Issa is working with Mozilo's attorneys at Irell & Manella to schedule questioning over the program, according to a letter provided to HousingWire. Since 2008, Issa pushed the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate the "Friends of Angelo" Countrywide program and uncover which lawmakers allegedly received heavily discounted mortgages in return for access.
Following last year's subpoena of Bank of America (BAC), which acquired Countrywide in 2008, several congressmen were found to have received the VIP home loans, including Reps. Howard McKeon, R-Calif.; Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.; Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y.
Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. and Kent Conrad, D-N.D. were linked the program prior to the subpoena.
Each congreeman said they never knowingly received the loans, and all, thus far, avoided discipline from any ethics committee.
Issa already conducted two interviews with former Countrywide employees involved with the VIP program as part of his investigation.
"Documents obtained by the committee show that former Countrywide Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo personally referred government officials and other individuals positioned to benefit the company into the VIP program, known internally as 'Friends of Angelo,'" according to the letter.
A spokesperson for Irell & Manella did not immediately reply to requests for comment.