The Daily Muck

In an interview with the Washington Post, the outgoing head of the Securities and Exchange Commission denies any responsibility for scandals that took place during his tenure. Chris Cox told the paper that his agency doesn’t prevent banks from going bankrupt and that concerns about Bernard Madoff’s company were never reported. In light of recent failures regarding the Madoff scandal, the SEC is not investigating itself. (ProPublica)

Prosecutors in the trial of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) demanded that an appeals court allow proceedings against the congressman, who faces multiple counts of bribery, to resume. The case has been delayed by Jefferson’s appeal to the Supreme Court, which prosecutors believe is unlikely to be granted and therefore should not be holding up proceedings against Jefferson. (Washington Post)

New Orleans police will investigate claims of vigilantism in the days following Hurrican Katrina, the Superintendent of the department says. Warren J. Riley has said the New Orleans police department will “look into” a ProPublica report regarding attacks by white vigilante groups against black residents in the days following the storm. (ProPublica)Scrutiny over the revocation of a presidential pardon for Brooklyn real estate developer Isaac Toussie has revealed that Toussie’s lawyer, a former lawyer with the White House counsel office, may be responsible for bypassing the normal pardon process. Bernard Berenson has previously been involved with avoiding normal legal procedures while pushing through Vice President Dick Cheney’s legal memos regarding treatment of terror suspects (thinkprogress.org)

Lawyers for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have requested that the Illinois legislature’s impeachment panel subpoena members of President-elect Obama’s staff. Ed Genson, Blagojevich’s attorney, argued that testimony from Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, among others, would be needed to exonerate the Governor. (Associated Press)

Federal prosecutors have revealed that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wanted a cabinet post or ambassadorship in exchange for naming someone suitable to President-elect Obama as his successor in the Senate. Tom Balanoff, an Illinois union official, claims that Blagojevich, in a conversation regarding the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the seat, asked whether he might be considered for Secretary of Health and Human Services. (McClatchy)

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