WASHINGTON — Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., asked Wells Fargo executives on Friday to submit to new interviews concerning its fake-accounts scandal, claiming she and other Democrats were shut out of the GOP look into the matter.
Tim Sloan, Wells' CEO, John Shrewsberry, its chief financial officer, James Strother, its general counsel, and Michael Loughlin, its chief risk officer, already participated in interviews with Republican staff on the House Financial Services Committee. A report based on those interviews is expected soon.
But Waters and her staff did not participate in the interviews, and were not notified by the GOP staff when and where the interviews were taking place.
"The countless revelations in the press of Wells Fargo’s behavior and your failure to agree to participate in interviews with Democratic staff tell me that this Committee’s investigation is far from over," Waters said.
A Wells spokeswoman said in an email that the bank has “fully cooperated with the House Financial Services Committee’s investigation,” including providing extensive documentation and answering more than 50 written and oral questions.
Jeff Emerson, a spokesman for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., said in an email that the investigation is still ongoing and the top ranking Democrat wasn’t forthcoming about her desire to be a part of the investigation.
“The ranking member was copied on a letter Chairman Hensarling sent to Wells Fargo’s vice president and general counsel on Sept. 16 asking that the bank’s corporate officers be made available for interviews,” Emerson said. “I am unaware if the Democrats ever requested to participate or if they even inquired about when they would take place.”
In her letter, Waters cited a conversation with Sloan in which he said he would look into making Wells executives available for additional interviews, but ultimately her staff hit a roadblock with Wells’ lawyers.
“I expressed my dissatisfaction with your failure to respond to my staff’s request for unrecorded interviews,” Waters wrote in the letter to Sloan. “You personally assured me that you would look into the matter. My staff again followed up with your attorneys after our call and was again told that they ‘did not have an answer.'"
Waters’ requested a response to her inquiry by March 30.