Hartford (WTNH/AP) - An official told Congress in secret testimony that Dodd was oneof two senators to receive VIP mortgage discounts from mortgagelender Countrywide.
This latest revelation directly contradicts Senator Dodd's claimthat he received no special treatment when it came to the mortgageon his home in Haddam and another residence in Washington.
The Associated Press has obtained transcripts from a year ago ofsecret testimony before a Congressional Ethics Committee.
During that testimony, the official at Countrywide, whohandled the loan, told Congress that Senator Dodd was told from thestart he was getting VIP mortgage discounts.
Countrywide's Robert Feinberg said the senator was made awarethat, "who you know is basically how you're coming in here" andthat influential people received breaks on rates, fees and pointsas part the special program offered by Countrywide's CEO.
In an interview last June, Senator Dodd, who heads thebanking committee, told News Channel 8's Mark Davis about theallegations.
Davis: "What did you believe when they said 'you're a VIP?'"
Dodd: "Well, I didn't know. I was told afterward that it'ssort of an enhanced customer service kind of an operation but noone ever said, 'By the way because you're that, you are going toget some special treatment or deal.' As I said earlier, we went outand shopped and did what million of others have done in thissituation in the past."
Back in February, Senator Dodd made mortgage documents andmaterials available to the media.
A spokesperson for his office said, "The rates and terms theyreceived were perfectly typical at the time they negotiated forthem; they had absolutely no reason to believe that any special orsweetheart deal was being offered."
A spokesperson also said, "If anyone had made made such an offerthey would have severed that relationship immediately."
Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota was also named bythe Countrywide executive as knowing about the VIP deal.
The Ethics Committee is looking into this and determiningwhether the senators violated any standards of conduct.
Senator Dodd, in his 5th term, may be in for a tough fight forre-election in 2010 because of the ongoing controversy over hismortgages.
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