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Elizabeth Warren turns the tables on FBI over investigation notes

Senator Elizabeth Warren.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren is turning the tables on the FBI.

The Massachusetts senator sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey Thursday demanding he release notes and other documents the bureau has on its investigations into individuals accused of contributing to the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

Her argument: The FBI broke its longstanding practice of keeping its investigation notes private when it released dozens of pages of documents related to its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. The FBI did so, Warren notes, claiming it was in the “public interest” to be more transparent in that particular case.


“If Secretary Clinton’s email server was of sufficient ‘interest’ to establish a new FBI standard of transparency, then surely the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis should be subject to the same level of transparency,” Warren said. After all, she noted, millions of Americans lost wealth, jobs, and homes during the financial crisis.

The implication being: Clinton’s e-mail server did not cause such widespread suffering.

Warren made her name in national politics blasting the big banks and their executives for their role in causing the 2008 market meltdown. And she hasn’t let up, continuing to demand blast high-ranking administration officials and bank regulators about why no big bank executives or other individuals have gone to jail for their actions in the lead up to the crisis -- a major sore point on the left.

Warren’s latest salvo in this battle was sparked by the release earlier this year of new documents from the federal panel convened to investigate the causes of the crisis. Warren said her staff found that nine individuals were referred to the Department of Justice because the panel found evidence of possible serious violation of federal laws. Yet, Warren lamented, not a single one of those nine were indicted or brought to trial.


She wants to know why.

In addition to the letter to Comey, Warren asked DOJ’s Inspector General to conduct “an investigation of the DOJ investigations” into those referrals.

Don’t expect this to be the last you hear from Warren on the matter. She may be broadening her portfolio, but she clearly isn’t abandoning her role as the Senate’s most vicious Wall Street watchdog.

Victoria McGrane can be reached at victoria.mcgrane@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @vgmac.