Stuart Varney on Thomas Lauria v. The White House
Posted by danishova on May 4, 2009
Over the weekend we learned of allegations that the White House was strong-arming recalcitrant "vultures” (also known as legitimate “senior bondholders”) by threatening to sic the White House Press Corps on them if they didn’t change their mind and accept the Obama administration’s Chrysler agreement – an agreement which effectively screwed the senior bondholders, gave the U.A.W. an unfair share, and ignored the rule of law.
Stuart Varney of the Fox Business Channel was just interviewed by Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Varney says that while he doesn’t know that these allegations are true…
“It should be noted that the target did indeed jump on board with the president’s plan after the President demonized hedge funds.
The bottom line, Bill, is this. It’s another example of the White House, potentially another example of the White House using its enormous muscle to wade into the economic arena and have its way. Kick around private enterprise with the government, government power, coming out on top.”
Megyn Kelly went on to note that “Thomas Lauria is “no small fish”… "For someone at this level to make this kind of allegation…this is going to get big.”
And so it will.
1. Megyn Kelly just interviewed “auto-industry expert”, William Holstein, the author of “Why GM Matters”. She noted that the U.A.W. are “making out like bandits” and questions how this deal came to be structured in this unbalanced manner.
Repeating Lauria’s charge that the White House “threatened to destroy” the group he represents, she announced that Lauria has agreed to be Kelly & Hemmer’s “guest” on tomorrow’s program to explain his position.
I look forward to it Megyn!
2. I changed the headline slightly, and re-arranged the UPDATES in the interest of clarity…
3. Michelle Malkin writes about Lauria’s allegations in Chrysler and Coercion.
4. . Ed Morrissey informs us that Lauria has filed a motion, basing his claim on the Fifth Amendment.
5. Whoa! Rumor has it that Lauria’s client is not the only one who was threatened. But the threats were about more than merely unleashing the puny press corps. From Finem Respice:
What I failed to make clear was that, unlike the experience of Tom Lauria’s client, the tale of woe that has been passed to me does not have as its agent of malice the White House Press Corps, which, while certainly annoying, lacks a certain killer instinct and terror inducing reputation. Instead, the creditors to which I refer were purportedly threatened with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Moreover, the fund whose tale I am privy to is allegedly not the only entity that was subject to such inducements. There are, according to my source, two others. (h/t Hot Air commenter SkinnerVic)
6. Ha! Perella Weinberg is rumored to be the firm originally threatened by the White House. Another Hot Air commenter (“Angry Dumbo”) reminds us of Rahm Emanuel’s connection to those evil vultures:
Perella Weinberg’s founder, Joseph Perella, made Rahm Emanuel rich. In his two-and-a-half years between the Clinton White House and Congress, Emanuel made $16.2 million working at Wasserstein and Perella.
8. Tom Maguire makes the Alinsky connection here. “So where has bankruptcy law gone, and why are senior creditors getting less than junior creditors, sorry, "stakeholders"? C’mon, Obama is in charge. We don’t need to know bankruptcy law, we need to know Alinsky’s Rules.”
9. Lauria was interviewed by Megyn Kelly. His clients are not happy so his lips are zipped and he is no longer commenting on his original charge. But when asked by Megyn Kelly at the end of the interview if anything he said was untrue he said (I paraphrase):
I can’t comment. But if people keep pursuing this, which I hope they will, the truth will eventually come out.
Earlier in the interview he said (again, I paraphrase):
We were asked to submit a proposal to the “task force” which we did. Weeks went by and we got received no response. We began to see wire stories about the deal, but they wouldn’t communicate with us. We got a Congressman involved. No response. Finally we received an email that said:
We don’t negotiate with anyone who is not an official representative and we won’t talk to you.
10. Ed Morrissey reports: In an interview with Laura Ingraham, Chuck Todd admits the allegations are serious.
11. New allegations here.
The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say they were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler. One person described the administration as the most shocking "end justifies the means" group they have ever encountered. Another characterized Obama was "the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger." Both were voters for Obama in the last election.
One participant in negotiations said that the administration’s tactic was to present what one described as a "madman theory of the presidency" in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.