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Contempt charges loom over CFPB director

The Committee on Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives is recommending possible contempt proceedings against Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray over the agency's alleged noncooperation with the House investigation into the Wells Fargo & Co. accounts scandal.

An official report released by the committee June 6 cited Cordray's "failure to honor his legal obligation to produce all records" in response to the committee's subpoena for the agency's records of its Wells Fargo branch sales investigation. The report states that the CFPB did not provide the committee "a single internal record" and instead only provided information already obtained from Wells Fargo and the OCC.

Due to the CFPB's actions, the committee claims that its Wells Fargo investigation is at an "impasse," with key questions still unanswered. This includes the substantiation of Cordray's testimony to the committee that the CFPB engaged in supervisory activity regarding Wells Fargo's branch sales practices prior to May 8, 2015.

As such the committee staff recommends that the Chairman — Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas — "takes steps, up to and including preparing for possible contempt proceedings against Director Cordray should they prove necessary, to enforce the [c]ommittee's [s]ubpoena in order to obtain the records and information" needed to complete the investigation into Wells Fargo.