Dan Froomkin vs. Bob Rubin
Department of "Huh?!" Goldman-Sachs vs. SEC Edition


Mike Allen blows the story. The lead ought to be: "Darryl Issa Embarks on a Fishing Expedition--for Goldman-Sachs Campaign Contributions."

But telling it as it is might reduce his access in the future:

GOP seeks SEC records on Goldman: By: Mike Allen: Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight committee, is demanding a slew of documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission, asserting that the timing of civil charges against Goldman Sachs raises “serious questions about the commission’s independence and impartiality.” Issa’s letter, addressed to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro and signed by eight other House Republicans, asks whether the commission had any contact about the case, prior to its public release, with White House aides, Democratic Party committee officials, or members of Congress or their staff. “[W]e are concerned that politics have unduly influenced the decision and timing of the commission’s controversial enforcement action against Goldman,” Issa writes. Issa implied that the timing was a bit too convenient, saying President Barack Obama’s push on Wall Street reform “neatly coincided with the commission’s announcement of the suit.”

SEC spokesman John Nester said.... "[T]he Commission doesn't coordinate its enforcement actions with the White House, Congress, or political committees. Regulatory reform has been pending for the past year. We have brought many cases..."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has dismissed the connection Issa was trying to make. “The SEC doesn’t notify the White House of its enforcement actions and certainly didn’t do so in this case," Gibbs said Monday. "[I]t’s not as if the president began talking about financial reform sometime on Friday afternoon.” And White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told Charlie Rose on Monday: “[E]verybody at the White House found out like everybody else, when it hit the news...."

The 1,000-word letter, with 11 footnotes, also demands that the SEC:

identify all known communications by any commission employee or employees with The New York Times or other news outlets.... [T]he events of the past five days have fueled legitimate suspicion on the part of the American people that the commission has attempted to assist the White House, the Democratic Party, and Congressional Democrats by timing the suit to coincide with the Senate’s consideration of financial regulatory legislation, or by providing Democrats with advance notice...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?