Where There’s Smoke There’s Louis Freeh

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Gary Cameron / Reuters

Louis Freeh, the trustee for MF Global Holdings, testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the collapse of MF Global in Washington April 24, 2012.

The story of former FBI director Louis Freeh is an odd one. Freeh was openly hostile to Bill Clinton, the President who appointed him, and later trashed Clinton in a book for allegedly selling out an FBI terrorism investigation in Saudi Arabia so he could solicit a donation for his presidential library from a Saudi prince. Then, a few years after leaving the FBI, Freeh went to work for a different Saudi prince, this one accused of engineering a billion-dollar corruption scheme. More recently, Freeh has reportedly been subpoenaed as part of a federal investigation into the source of payments made to him and several other former government officials for advocating the removal of a controversial Iranian opposition group from the State Department’s list of designated terrorist groups.

And now it turns out that Freeh is mixed up in yet another controversy: the nation’s former top G-Man has drawn attention in his role as the official trustee managing the bankruptcy of John Corzine’s notorious failed investment firm, MF Global. On Capitol Hill today, Freeh was grilled by Senators about reports that he had discussed awarding bonuses to executives who oversaw the brokerage’s collapse.

Any one of these data points would look awkward, to say the least, in isolation. Taken together, they paint a fairly vulgar picture.