Members of Congress are pushing for access to confidential reports filed over the past several years by a government-appointed auditor who has been sitting in on AIG deliberations.
The auditor, whose presence was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, was installed as the result of a settlement that deferred prosecution of AIG for allegedly helping financial institutions fudge their books. Deferring prosecution was the Bush administration's preference when it came to enforcing financial regulations.
"Whatever rationale there may have been for confidentiality doesn't appear to apply anymore," Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) told the Huffington Post. "If the idea was that having a government appointed lawyer sitting in the board room would make sure that AIG went forth and sinned no more, it obviously didn't work out that way."
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has requested documents.
Other Democrats in Congress are also requesting the documents, aides say, including Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
"That would be some real interesting reading, if we got everything from that mole," said Cummings, who's been chasing AIG since the initial government seizure. "We get so much incomplete information from AIG and maybe this is a way to connect all the dots."
The government should be able to abrogate whatever settlement it entered into, members of Congress argue, because it now represents both sides of the agreement. "We now own AIG. We are by far the majority stock holder. If there is a reason still for not making public what he saw and heard, I'd like to hear it," said Miller.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) agreed. "While there might be legal constraints that typically prevent at least some information from being disclosed outside the government, these extraordinary circumstances call for greater transparency. After all, AIG is now more than 80 percent owned by American taxpayers," she said.
"It was a deal between the corporation and the government," Miller said. "It was obviously intended to protect the corporation. We can waive that now since we own it. If you're 79.9 percent stockholders and you say you want to waive confidentiality, you waive confidentiality."