Someone from inside the Security and Exchange Commission must have leaked information about its fraud suit against investment firm Goldman Sachs to the New York Times, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) said on "Washington Unplugged" today, meaning there could have been insider trading before the suit was publicly announced.
That, among other reasons, is why Issa isinto the SEC suit.
"We simply want answers to questions, exactly the way the Security and Exchange Commission would ask if there were, let's just say, a suspicion of insider trading at some company," Issa told host John Dickerson.
Along with the fact that the Times broke the story before it was made public, Issa said he has questions about why the commission decided to announce its suit during the trading day. He's also asking whether there was any political influence in its decision to pursue the fraud charges, which were announced just as Democrats were ramping up work on financial reform legislation. Vilifying Goldman Sachs "helps push voters in the Senate that direction," Issa said.
President Obama and SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro have said outright that there was absolutely no political influence in the decision.
Still, Issa said, "The American people don't trust government. It's my job not to trust government, either."
Issa said he's not claiming anyone from the White House influenced the charges, but he said, "Somebody knew what they shouldn't have known too soon."
The congressman is also questioning the White House's involvement in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. Yesterday heto Attorney General Eric Holder calling for a special prosecutor to investigate whether the White House broke the law in allegedly promising Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak a job in exchange for withdrawing from the race.
"The president or anyone in the White House could have said to Joe Sestak, 'We're going to campaign long and hard for Arlen Specter, and it's going to hurt your political future.' That would've been hard-nosed politics, it would've been fine," Issa said today. "But to offer one of your taxpayer paid-for jobs, essentially give him something he might not otherwise have gotten in return for getting out of a race is both a bribe and a violation of the law."
Watch the full interview above, plus a discussion on al Qaeda and other international news with National Security Analyst Juan Zarate, and a look at the new $100 bill.
"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.