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Republicans take on Corzine after bankruptcy of MF Global
Jon Corzine appears before a House panel on Dec. 8. Jon Corzine appears before a House panel on Dec. 8.

Jon Corzine appears before a House panel on Dec. 8.

By Erin O'Neill December 23, 2011

Jon Corzine left elected office two years ago. But as the fallout from MF Global’s bankruptcy continues, Republicans are paying attention to the former Democratic governor and senator of New Jersey.

In the past two weeks, PolitiFact New Jersey checked three claims from Republican lawmakers and groups about Corzine, who was the CEO of MF Global when it collapsed this fall. Two of the claims were in response to House and Senate panels subpoenaing Corzine to testify on Capitol Hill. The other linked Corzine’s recent Congressional testimony with past praise from President Barack Obama and his administration.

A Senate precedent

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is the ranking member of Senate Agriculture Committee, one of the Congressional panels that subpoenaed Corzine to testify about MF Global’s bankruptcy and the $1.2 billion in customer money that disappeared as the firm failed.

Following the committee’s vote on Dec. 6 to force Corzine to appear before a Senate panel, Roberts said in a Fox Business News interview that "it's the first time, I think, in history where a former senator has been subpoenaed to testify before his former colleagues."

The Senate historian’s office found one instance where two former senators were subpoenaed to testify before a House committee, but knew of no precedent with Senate committees.

We rated the statement True.

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Congress never acted?

The day after Corzine testified before a House committee, state Sen. Michael Doherty put out a news release criticizing Congress for taking so long to hold Wall Street accountable.

"Following the catastrophic, cascading collapse of major investment banks on Wall Street in 2007, which caused the current global economic recession, the United States Government held no one accountable," Doherty (R-Warren) said. "Nobody was prosecuted, no hearings were held and no reforms were implemented.
"It is obvious to everyone on Main Street, from the Occupy camps to the Tea Party, that Wall Street is broken. Yet only yesterday did the U.S. Congress take any action."

High-profile Wall Street executives have not been prosecuted. But Doherty’s argument that federal officials took no action after the financial crisis is wrong.

Numerous public hearings were held and a financial reform law known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted.

Doherty’s statement got a False.

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New light shed on past praise

Using clips of Corzine’s testimony in Congress earlier this month and other video, the National Republican Congressional Committee put together a web ad highlighting the links between Corzine and the Obama administration.

In the ad, Vice President Joe Biden says "he’s the smartest guy that I know, in terms of the economy and on finance, I really mean this."

A video of Biden in May 2009 shows the vice president was clearly talking about and praising the financial prowess of Corzine, then New Jersey’s governor.

We rated the statement True.

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Republicans take on Corzine after bankruptcy of MF Global