WASHINGTON (3/12/13)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who is chairman of that panel's subcommittee on financial services oversight and investigations, are seeking documents detailing how federal agencies assess the impact of potential criminal and civil cases against large complex financial institutions.
The lawmakers' letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew followed Holder's recent comments that some banks may be too big for the government to effectively prosecute.
Holder testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held last week,"I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy." Holder on Dec. 19 said the Department of Justice takes financial market stability into consideration, and works with outside experts, when it determines how best to move forward with potential prosecutions or other actions.
The letter asked for any communications regarding the economic impact that criminal or civil suits, or administrative actions, taken against large institutions could have. The letter suggested these records could come from the Department of Justice, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Treasury and/or the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
The letter asked the Administration to provide the documents by March 22.
Hensarling and McHenry in the letter said the committee may hold hearings on the issue.