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Washington Examiner: J.P. Morgan the target of another fishing expedition

Oklahoman Published: October 6, 2013

No other state, and no federal agency has investigative powers as broad and as vulnerable to abuse as those entrusted to the New York Attorney General under the Martin Act. These powers are vastly more intrusive than those of a federal grand jury. One has to go back to the Star Chamber of England to find such an invasive prosecutor's tool kit.

So, it's no wonder that Schneiderman and the Justice Department can team up to deliver a gift to their benefactors by extorting an admission of liability from J.P. Morgan for the acts of Bear Sterns without having to prove wrongdoing. This is a colossal conflict-of-interest and breach of fiduciary duty. By holding out for an admission of liability as a condition of settlement, when a defendant is willing to settle, prosecutors abuse their power.

They should either prosecute to a judgment to vindicate a public interest, or settle to conserve public resources. Under no circumstances should they expend public resources to pay back the plaintiffs' bar. Yet, as is so common in Washington and Albany, these political prosecutors are not subject to the same standards they impose on others via the Martin Act, and although they should be disbarred for this, state bar ethics rules are no match for them, either.

— The Washington Examiner


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