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Countrywide confirmation: Self-dealing Towns

| Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

Thank goodness U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., announced in April that he's retiring. That spares taxpayers more of his doubling down on self-dealing, through which he not only obtained discounted mortgages but kept that fact from the public, too.

His conduct reveals the full ugliness of the congressional scandal involving Countrywide Financial Corp.'s “VIP program.” The newly issued final report on the scandal from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., provides official confirmation of details long known publicly.

The final report says Mr. Towns obtained Countrywide VIP loans worth $182,972 for a Florida vacation home and $194,540 for his Brooklyn residence, says The Associated Press.

It also says that three years ago, as Mr. Issa's predecessor as chairman of that same committee, he altered terms of a subpoena he had issued to exclude loans made to House members and aides — including his own. And that he refused to issue another VIP-loans subpoena for several months before furor over August 2009 media reports about his VIP loans forced his hand.

A second subpoena issued by Issa as the committee's chairman brought to light what Towns kept hidden. Yet, incredibly, Towns maintains he received no preferential treatment.

That suggests he's enamored of not only self-dealing, but self-deception, too. His retirement can't come soon enough.

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