Obama White House to Waffling Law Firm: ‘Chrysler Deal an Offer You Can’t Refuse’

By Victor Thorn

DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY, Thomas Lauria, an attorney for top creditors, disclosed in an interview on Detroit’s WJR-AM radio that the law firm Perella Weinberg Partners was being strong-armed by Obama officials in regard to the Chrysler bankruptcy offer. On May 2, he told host Frank Beckmann that “one of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and, in essence, compelled to withdraw its opposition to the [bankruptcy] deal under the threat that the full force of the White
House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight.”

The individual spearheading this clandestine campaign was Steve Rattner, head of Obama’s Auto Industry Task Force. Rattner, it must be noted, was a primary Democratic Party fundraiser during the 2008 campaign, and is now embroiled in a pay-for-play kickback scandal. He also has no experience whatsoever in the auto industry. Anyway, almost immediately, White House officials denied that any such juggernaut existed in which investors were pressured into accepting their deal.

Then, dramatically, on May 3, a post on the New York TimesDealBook blog reported that Perella Weinberg accepted the “government-proposed settlement after Mr. Obama criticized the lenders in harsh terms.” They also proceeded to “deny Mr. Lauria’s account of events.”
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