Transparency: Obama Wants to Shield Fannie and Freddie from Freedom of Information Act


What did you expect from the most transparent president ever? Transparency? Think again. President Obama wants to shield the government sponsored enterprises known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. If you’ve been paying attention, this should not come as a surprise.

The Washington Examiner explained that while Freddie and Fannie don’t actually write mortgages, they do guarantee mortgages with taxpayer dollars. Therefore, their books should be open for public scrutiny, since we’re the ones on the hook. Well, Obama doesn’t agree.

With those facts in mind, it is incredible to find the Obama administration claiming in federal court that Fannie and Freddie are exempt from the federal Freedom of Information Act because they aren’t government agencies. That claim was made in response to an FOIA request filed last September by Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog group, seeking documents from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie. Judicial Watch asked for all documents related to losses suffered by Fannie and Freddie on securities purchased from 17 private-sector institutions, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase.

Judicial Watch sought those documents because the FHFA claimed in a separate lawsuit against the 17 firms that losses on securities were caused by material misrepresentations the firms made to Fannie and Freddie. Finance industry experts claim Fannie and Freddie officials were more than sufficiently knowledgeable about the mortgage industry to realize the risks involved in such securities. By putting all Fannie and Freddie documents about such transactions beyond the reach of FOIA requesters like Judicial Watch, the Obama administration is making it difficult, if not impossible, for independent evaluators to determine who bears responsibilities for the losses now being covered by taxpayers. (Read More)

Does anyone in the Obama administration have the interests of the American people in mind? Draw your own conclusions.