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Dem Senator Received Donations Before and After Failing to Prosecute Trump Nominee’s Bank

Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has provoked criticisms over his tenure as CEO of OneWest Bank, where California prosecutors claimed in 2013 to have discovered over a thousand foreclosure law violations, but the California Attorney General Office failed to file any action against the bank.

That office was led by newly elected Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who was serving as California’s Attorney General at the time. Criticisms of Mnuchin as a nominee provoked inquiries toward Harris as to why she refused to take any action given the evidence of violations her office uncovered.

“We went and we followed the facts and the evidence, and it’s a decision my office made,” Harris told The Hill in an interview. “We pursued it just like any other case. We go and we take a case wherever the facts lead us.”

Harris’ defense was politically published, but insufficient in explaining her actions as Attorney General. Despite this seemingly unethical discrepancy in Harris’ service as Attorney General, Democrats have focused on Mnuchin while ignoring the overt corruption from one of their own that severely undermined the standing ground Democrats had to examine Mnuchin during his confirmation hearing on January 19. The Hill reported after the hearing “there was little to suggest that his nomination is in any significant danger.”

The Democratic Party has been run into the ground by its leadership to the point where they don’t have enough votes to oppose any of Trump’s nominees, and a rule they changed in 2013 stripped them of their ability to filibuster any of the nominations. Between Jimmy Carter’s presidency in 1977 to Barack Obama, only six nominees have ever failed to be approved for confirmation.
Though it is still important for Democrats to vocalize their opposition to Trump’s nominees, Kamala Harris’ indiscretions at California Attorney General have exposed an embarrassing case of corruption at the start of her career in the senate.

Coincidentally, before Harris passed on the opportunity to file action against OneWest Bank, one of its owners, prolific Democratic Party donor George Soros was pouring money into California for California Criminal Policy Initiatives.

In 2011, Harris’ former aide Lenore Anderson was hired as a campaign manager for Californians for Safety and Justice, which was financed by Soros’ Open Society Foundations reported the Los Angeles Times in 2014. “The organization operates under the umbrella of a San Francisco-based nonprofit clearinghouse, which effectively shields its donor list and financial operations from public view,” wrote the Los Angeles Times, citing that beginning in 2012 George Soros led a four-year, $16 million campaign to change California Criminal Policy, which Kamala Harris was deeply involved with as California Attorney General. Harris’ aide, Lenore Anderson, also headed another Soros’ funded organization called Vote Safe.

In 2014, Soros and hedge fund billionaire John Paulson sold OneWest for $3.4 billion.

In 2015 Soros maxed out a donation to Harris’ Senate bid.

Kamala Harris spoke at George Soros’ 2020 Vision Conference in San Francisco with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in 2015. Harris also spoke at Soros’ Democracy Alliance Conference in 2015 held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

What makes Harris’ campaign donations and her decision to not go after OneWest Bank even more suspicious is that despite Mnuchin primarily donating to Republicans, his only donation to a Democrat in 2016 happened to be to Kamala Harris.

In 2014, Mnuchin’s wife at the time, Heather Mnuchin, donated $850 to Harris’ 2014 election for California Attorney General, but gave $8750 to her 2011 election.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 9.47.07 AM

OneWest Bank donated $6500 to Harris’ 2011 election.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 9.47.48 AM

Between OneWest Bank, Soros, and Mnuchin, Kamala Harris’ campaigns and her service in elected office deeply conflicted her decision on not filing an action against OneWest Bank despite more than enough evidence to do so.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

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