Texas congressman latest named in Countrywide VIP probe
Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, was the fourth House member named in a recent probe into the Countrywide VIP loan program. Following a subpoena of Bank of America (BAC), Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chair of the House oversight committee wrote a letter to the ethics committee in December, signaling four members were connected to the "Friends of Angelo" program and allegedly received cheaper home loans in exchange for policy influence. California Republicans Howard McKeon and Elton Gallegly acknowledged earlier in the month they were two of the four, and Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., has been linked to the program. All four deny knowingly taking sweetened loan packages and said they would cooperate with the investigation. A spokesperson for Sessions said in a statement Tuesday that the Texas representative specifically asked Countrywide not to extend him any special benefits on his mortgage. "Everything about his experience suggests that his simple request was honored and that he was treated like every other customer," the spokesperson said. "Congressman Sessions welcomes providing any details requested by any House committee about this loan, which no longer exists." This week, Issa will hold interviews with two Countrywide executives suspected of being involved with the program. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.