Monday, May 10, 2010

Goldman Sachs Senior Partner Recommended Kagan For Government Post

The former General Counsel and recent Senior Director of a Wall Street investment banking firm--Goldman Sachs--which is being investigated for alleged securities fraud in connection with its sub-prime mortgage trading, wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009 which recommended that Elena Kagan be confirmed as U.S. Solicitor General in 2009.

In his January 22, 2009 letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Arlen Specter, then-Goldman Sachs Senior Director Robert J. Katz stated the following:

"Dear Senators Leahy and Specter,

"I am delighted to write in unreserved support of the President's nomination and the Senate's confirmation of Dean Elena Kagan as Solicitor General of the United States.

"...In 1988 I became General Counsel and a partner (later, managing director) of Goldman Sachs. I served in that capacity for nearly 13 years (and as a member of the firm's management committee and partnership committee) through and beyond the time of our becoming a publicly-held corporation. Since relinquishing leadership of the Legal Department, I have continued to serve Goldman Sachs as a Senior Director.

"I have known Elena Kagan since she was appointed Dean six years ago. Throughout that period, I have worked closely with her as a member of the Dean's Advisory Board, on whose Executive Committee I have sat for the past few years, as well as in various other advisory, fundraising and teaching roles. I even have the peculiarly valuable perspective of being the father of a current student who has spent the past four years in the Law School-Kennedy School joint degree program, and he will graduate this spring.

"With apologies for its length, I wanted to begin from this recitation of background and perspective for my averring without qualification that, if confirmed, Dean Kagan will make not merely an excellent but an exceptional Solicitor General...

"...Elena Kagan is truly a lawyer in the best sense...and...I hope, she is confirmed...

"I will be delighted to respond to any questions that you or your staff may have.

"Robert J. Katz
"Senior Director."

Besides working on the Harvard Law School Dean's Advisory Committee and on "fundraising" work with the former General Counsel of a Wall Street firm accused of securities fraud, Supreme Court Justice-Designate Kagan apparently was paid $10,000 for working on some kind of Goldman Sachs advisory committee in recent years; and Supreme Court Justice-Designate Kagan also gave the keynote address at an American Friends of Hebrew University event in Manhattan that honored the former General Counsel of the Wall Street firm that has been accused of securities fraud.

The Goldman Sachs Senior Director and former General Counsel who recommended Supreme Court Justice-Designate Kagan for her current U.S. federal government position apparently recently purchased a condominium in Manhattan for $7 million; and, besides working with Kagan on the Harvard Law School Dean's Advisory Committee, has also been a member of the board of trustees of another Ivy League university, Cornell University.

Instead of appointing a Goldman Sachs-recommended lawyer and former Harvard University Law School Dean to represent the special corporate interests of Goldman Sachs and Harvard University on the U.S. Supreme Court as a Supreme Court Justice, why didn't the Democratic Obama White House just appoint, for example, some labor lawyer, some civil rights or civil liberties lawyer or some consumer rights lawyer who had no professional connection to Goldman Sachs?

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