July 10, 2012
Before it nearly imploded and was bought out by Bank of America during the 2008 financial crisis, Countrywide Financial used a VIP program to loan money to members of Congress as a way to influence their decision-making.
At least seven current and former lawmakers accepted loans from the mortgage company, according to a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Senators accepting the loans were Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut), who is now out of office.
House members were Buck McKeon (R-California), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Edolphus Towns (D-New York), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Elton Gallegly (R-California) and Tom Campbell (R-California), who has since left Congress.