New Obama appointee had role in housing crisis

October 14, 2010 07:10

Former Fannie Mae lobbyist and now National Security Adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, worked to help Barney Frank, Obama and others protect Fannie from calls for additional oversight.

By Jim McElhattonThe Washington Times


Thomas E. Donilon, who won the job as national security adviser this month, worked as a registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005 at a time the company’s officials insisted finances were sound. He also earned more than $1.8 million in bonuses before the government took over the troubled company in the wake of an accounting scandal.

Mr. Donilon’s work came under scrutiny in a 2006 report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which found that Fannie Mae lobbyists – working in an office overseen by Mr. Donilon – parlayed their ties to members of Congress to try to discredit federal regulators looking into the finances of the company.

Mr. Donilon was never accused of being complicit in accounting irregularities that prompted federal regulators to seek more than $100 million paid out to Fannie Mae’s former chairman and chief executive, Franklin D. Raines, along with two other executives.

The Washington Times reported on Mr. Donilon’s ties to Fannie Mae in 2008, when he was named as an adviser to Mr. Obama’s presidential transition team.

Mr. Donilon reported earning $3,915,319.70 during 2008 and the first few weeks of 2009 in his previous job as a law partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where his clients included Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.


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