TPM Muckraker’s Zachary Roth provides an update to Bill Allison’s post on Sen. Carl Levin’s refusal to release bailout contracts obtained from the Treasury Department. As it turns out Levin may face legal obstacles preventing him from releasing the documents:
But this morning in the New York Times, a Levin aide was quoted as saying that his office would not publicly release the contracts. And a Levin spokeswoman told TPMmuckraker the same thing in an email.
What gives, we asked.
And it turns out Levin is asking the same question. When we asked why his office would keep the bailout contracts under wraps, he replied simply: “My instinct would be to release them.” He pointed out that legal restrictions might limit the dissemination of the info but said he would consult with his counsel on the matter.
It is puzzling that these contracts must be kept in confidence. What could the release of the contracts compromise? Does this have to do with protecting certain information on these companies from being exposed to competitors? I’ll be waiting on an explanation from Levin’s counsel.