Democrats react to Republican claims Cordray slowed Wells Fargo investigation

Mortgage & Real Estate

Democrat representatives responded to a Republican staff report that came out on Tuesday that asked the government to hold Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray accountable for causing a slow down in the massive Wells Fargo fake account scandal.

According to the report, “Due to CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s failure to honor his legal obligation to produce all records responsive to the committee’s subpoena, the committee’s Wells Fargo investigation is at an impasse. Key questions remain unanswered.”

The staff report came from the House Financial Service Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which is chaired by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., and called for possible contempt proceedings against Cordray if necessary.

To Democrats on the Financial Services Committee, the 13-page paper is “another effort to undermine the important work of the CFPB.”

“Republicans have been clamoring to weaken, impede, and ultimately destroy the Consumer Bureau since its creation,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-N.Y., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services. “The Consumer Bureau charged Wells Fargo with a record $100 million fine for opening fake accounts and yet, Committee Republicans haven’t done anything to hold Wells Fargo accountable. This report is an insult to the millions of Americans who were harmed by Wells Fargo.”

Democrats published a report in response that, according to them, debunks the Republican’s alternative facts.

Here’s a list of five statements pulled out from the staff report, along with the response from Democrats.

1. Staff report: “Wells Fargo has cooperated in full with the Committee’s investigation to date.”

Democrat response: Wells Fargo has not responded to Democrats’ multiple requests to provide Democratic staff the same meetings with Wells Fargo executives that it provided to Republican staff.

2. Staff report: As a result of the Consumer Bureau’s so-called “non-compliance with the Committee’s subpoena…the Committee’s investigation into the Wells Fargo matter has reached an impasse.”

Democrat response: Committee Republicans do not need documents from the Consumer Bureau to conduct an investigation into Wells Fargo – they can receive, and have received, documents directly from Wells Fargo. 

3. Staff report: The report faults the Consumer Bureau for not including “internal CFPB records…such as internal emails or memoranda relating to its investigation.” 

Democrat response: Committee Republicans fail to note that their September 16, 2016 document request did not ask for internal records nor communications. This report is the first time that Committee Republicans have stated that they are seeking these internal Consumer Bureau records.

4. Staff report: “…the Committee asked the Director to brief the Committee about the CFPB’s investigation. … Director Cordray replied that he would not brief the Committee.”

Democrat response: Director Cordray has repeatedly made himself and Consumer Bureau staff available to speak with, brief, and offer hearing testimony to the Committee.  In addition, Committee Republicans rejected Director Cordray’s offer to testify at the Committee’s Wells Fargo hearing. 

5. Staff report: Majority Committee staff “…conclude[s] that Director Cordray is in default of the Committee’s Subpoena.”

Democrat response: The Consumer Bureau provided over 57,000 pages of documents in response to the subpoena.  Additionally, the Consumer Bureau has repeatedly requested additional guidance from the Committee to ensure that the Committee has received all records that it requested.

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