EXCLUSIVE: Exposed Richard Cordray Texts Contain Worrying CFPB-Lobbyist Connections
Text messages obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) show director Richard Cordray’s communications with Clinton donor and lobbyist Eileen Mancera.
The Daily Caller exclusively broke news of Richard Cordray’s likely illegal use of a private device for communications with other CFPB staffers last month, concealing his messages from FOIA requests.
Documents exclusively obtained by TheDC show that Cordray used a private device for communications and seemingly did not back them up or copy an official device, thus attempting to conceal them from public view. Now, it seems Cordray was attempting to use a private device to conceal his messages–to conceal communications with high-level lobbyists and donors.
An analysis of Cordray’s text messages with other CFPB staffers, obtained via a FOIA request, show him communicating with then-CFPB staffer Rohit Chopra, directing him to talk to Eileen Mancera. Chopra is also a former senior fellow at the John Podesta-founded, George Soros-funded, Center for American Progress (CAP). (RELATED: George Soros, Big Banks And Google Fund Anti-Trump Resistance Group)
The first message, from Cordray to Chopra, reads, “I would appreciate if you could do me a favor. A lawyer I know in Florida has a colleague who spent several weeks lobbying in the Florida legislature honey she’s relating to student loans. He thinks she has some useful perspective that would be worth shari” (rest of message is cut off).
Chopra responds, “Of course,” then says, “Eileen’s phone number didn’t come through…”
Then, Cordray sends him a message that is redacted with a “(b)(6),” meaning its private information, presumably Mancera’s phone number.
Chopra responds saying, “Got it, thanks.”
Then Cordray says, “Eileen Kotecki Mancera, apparently. I have not met her before.” Finally, Chopra says, “Spoke to her briefly, she was tied up but grateful to hear from me and that she would reach back soon.”
All texts can be viewed in this spreadsheet.
Mancera, also known as “Eileen Kotecki” or “Eileen Kotecki Mancera” is a lobbyist with longtime ties to the Democratic Party. Mancera’s bio at Kayne Anderson, where she currently works, reads in part:
Prior to joining Kayne Anderson in 2016, Mrs. Mancera was the managing director of business development at Venor Capital Management in New York. Prior to Venor, Eileen was the managing director of investor relations for Morgan Creek Capital Management, where she led institutional initiatives for the marketing group. Additionally, she founded Juniper Capital Group in 2001, a registered broker/dealer placement firm that raised capital in the alternative investment space including private equity, venture and hedge fund strategies.
Before joining the financial sector, Eileen spent 15 years in public service as a political fundraiser and strategist. Her most recent role in the public service space was serving as the national finance director for Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000. Eileen is a former board member of High Water Women, Women Thrive and NY NASP boards.
Mancera is also a prominent Hillary Clinton donor, and has been listed, along with others, on a list of “Hillblazers,” or someone who has raised $100,000 or more for her 2016 campaign.
Mancera has popped up in the press before. In a (now deleted) Bloomberg article from years ago, she is mentioned:
After raising more than $1 billion for Democratic candidates, Eileen Kotecki transformed herself into a marketer for hedge funds and private-equity firms, eventually racking up more than $6.5 billion in sales.
Within weeks of wrapping up the 2000 campaign, Kotecki’s own attorneys said later in a lawsuit, she had begun “seeking to exploit” an “impressive network of contacts” gained in part from “extensive experience as a political fundraiser” to sell investment services to public pension funds and endowments.
She also pops up in an article for Internation Business Times (IBT):
Pension officials are bound by strict fiduciary statutes to base their investment decisions purely on financial considerations — not political calculations or personal relationships. Yet one job of many placement agents is to leverage personal relationships to help their clients obtain pension investments–regardless of whether those investments are the most prudent for the particular pension fund.
The lucrative placement agent business has drawn in an array of powerbrokers and celebrities who have little financial experience but who can open doors — from Democratic fundraiser Eileen Kotecki to onetime New York Comptroller H. Carl McCall to former NFL star Lynn Swann.
Mancera has made a career out of using personal and political relationships for financial gain. And she was in communication with Rohit Chopra and Richard Cordray, members of a powerful government bureaucracy about student loan policy.
Mancera’s communication with CFPB about student loans occurred in May 2015.
Then, in 2016, Mancera joined Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, a firm which would be clearly affected by student loan policy, as they are a self-described “premier investor in the off-campus student housing sector,” that has “developed and/or sold more than $3 billion in student housing communities encompassing more than 50,000 beds across 46 universities in 25 states and Canada.”
This news comes as Richard Cordray’s future looks increasingly uncertain. In a USA Today op-ed, Ben Sasse called for Cordray’s firing, and the watchdog group Cause of Action Institute has expanded on TheDC’s reporting to further publicize Cordray’s possibly illegal behavior.
It is not clear if President Trump is able to fire Cordray at will, but he can, however, be removed with cause.