Senator Hatch Vows to Bring Banksters to Justice!

Via Think Progress. Who knew? Senator Orrin Hatch is “going after” the evil bankers who stole our money. Or he will, sometime after the Republicans have 60 votes in the U.S. Senate. “If we had 60 votes, we could change a lot of things,” he said.

QUESTIONER: Clearly the bankers lied to this end, to get tens of billions of dollars in federal money and then celebrated their fraud by giving large bonuses to themselves. They are literally bank robbers. My question to you is, why are you not calling for their arrest [...] and to have them tried and put in jail because of their fraud?

HATCH: Well, I will be calling for it, if we can prove criminal action. I think there are some people who are committing criminal action, no doubt about it. Look I’m not happy with this Wall Street bill [...] it’s just another way of controlling our lives. Do you wanna know what’s good about it? Nothing. Wanna know what’s bad about it? Everything. [...]

QUESTIONER: Senator, I have a follow-up question. I don’t think you get it, sir. We’re angry at the bankers, I don’t want to hear all this about the government, and the difficulty. It’s the criminal activity of the bankers that is destroying our economy, and the world economy, and if you could just stand up to them? [...]

HATCH: [...] If they commit crimes, they oughta go to jail. We are going after that. I’m a member of the Judiciary Committee, I am going after them!

That’s the kind of strong personal commitment to justice that we all want to see in our elected representatives. Go get ‘em!

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  1. #1 by Ken on July 11, 2010 - 8:07 am

    A corporation cannot commit a crime. Only people in the corporation can. therefore, it should be the people themselves that are brought to justice.

  2. #2 by Uncle Rico on July 11, 2010 - 8:40 am

    A corporation cannot commit a crime. Only people in the corporation can.

    Actually, that is not true. One example pertinent to the BP case here.

  3. #3 by marshall on July 11, 2010 - 10:53 am

    So corporations are people but can’t commit a crime? And my head spins…

  4. #4 by Ken on July 11, 2010 - 11:41 am

    What I mean is that often times when executives in a company commit crimes it is the corporation itself that is brought to trial and not the people themselves. The individuals are not held personally accountable but instead the corporation itself is held responsible. If a CEO allows crime to occur or commits crimes themselves then it is they who should do time in prison and not just the corporation itself that is held responsible.

  5. #5 by Larry Bergan on July 11, 2010 - 1:27 pm

    Gee, I haven’t seen Orrin that angry since the last time the Democrats were in power. We better give the Republicans a 60 seat majority so he can relax again.

  6. #6 by Ken on July 11, 2010 - 5:45 pm

    Many companies take illegality as just another cost of doing business. Why give up billions in revenue when the cost may only be millions in fines?

    We need to put the fear of God into corporations that not will the entire corporation be shut down but everyone responsible for the illegal activities lose every penny they have ever made and be imprisoned for a very long time.

    It will only take one or two high profile examples to set law breaking corporations right and when the cost to benefit ratio is just too high to risk law breaking we will see dramatic change.

  7. #7 by Richard Warnick on July 12, 2010 - 5:32 am

    The feds put Martha Stewart in prison (a very nice prison), it seemed primarily for the purpose of making an example of a high-profile CEO. Now she’s more successful than ever.

    Oliver Stone has a “Wall Street” sequel coming to theaters in September, which begins with an unrepentant Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) getting out of jail. I hope the script makes the most of that premise.

  8. #8 by cav on July 12, 2010 - 8:52 am

    I think another part of the lesson of Martha AND Iraq was: If you’re weak (and we know it), then you get plowed under. There’s a level of cowardice needed when beating up on a woman – about the same as staking your heroics on NOT weapons of mass destruction.

    Of course, I’m assuming ‘they’ (like the weapons inspectors and the intuitive but, dare I say correct DFH’s) knew of the absense of WMD. (There are those uninformed, invested and plain old warmongers, whose feargaming needed such an adventure).

  9. #9 by Richard Warnick on July 12, 2010 - 9:05 am

    They didn’t even get Martha on insider trading. The most serious charge was “securities fraud,” based merely on the fact she claimed to be innocent (this was portrayed as a scheme to mislead investors). Fortunately, the judge threw that out. She was convicted of lying to the FBI. Which wouldn’t have happened if she had simply refused to cooperate with the investigation.

    The only other high-profile CEO conviction I can think of was the former head of Enron Jeffrey Skilling. He got 24 years in federal prison.

  10. #10 by Larry Bergan on July 12, 2010 - 10:33 am

    I’m not sure about the details of it, but the Supreme Court, (yes that one), made a vote in favor of Jeffery Skilling – and was based directly on his case – very recently which I guess is going to give him another chance to have his case reviewed, because the same ruling gave a hero of mine, (Don Siegelman), the same chance because of the similarity of the two cases.

    You don’t think Skilling was told this would happen beforehand, do you?

  11. #11 by Uncle Rico on July 12, 2010 - 1:15 pm

    Larry- you’re referencing Skilling v. United States that was decided by the Supremes on June 24, 2010. I haven’t read the decision (113 pages with concurring and dissenting opinions) , but I understand it limits the applicability of the “honest services” doctrine to quid pro quo style wire fraud cases (i.e., essentially bribery and kick back cases). I also understand that several of the justices didn’t think the ruling went far enough (i.e., they would have invalidated the “honest services” provision of the federal statute in its entirety due to vagueness).

    Happy reading.

    -Rico

  12. #12 by Doug on July 12, 2010 - 3:49 pm

    What is not noticed is that the questioner referred to a July 1st article at Bloomberg.com that revealed for the first time that the banksters lied to the Senate. Hatch was no doubt sitting there!

    See: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-01/fed-s-maiden-lane-made-taxpayers-junk-bond-buyers-without-congress-knowing.html

  13. #13 by Larry Bergan on July 12, 2010 - 4:04 pm

    Thanks Uncle Rico, that’s the one.

    All I need to know about Skilling is that he and his employees were laughing about the misfortunes of Californians and hoping to make some big time cash out of it. That isn’t a crime, but apparently other things that aren’t as serious ARE. It’s upside down world again.

    On the other hand Don Siegelman is a stand up Governor who wanted to give kids in his state a free education and because Obama hasn’t changed the corrupt nature of his prosecutors or done anything about Karl Rove, he will probably face more jail time.

  14. #14 by Richard Warnick on July 12, 2010 - 8:31 pm

    Thanks for that link, Doug!

  15. #15 by Larry Bergan on July 12, 2010 - 9:35 pm

    Hey travelers:

    What do you think is going to happen first: piss tests for the entitlementarians or justice for the bankers?

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