House sources tell FOX Business that the attorney for former MF Global chief Jon Corzine has requested additional time to make a statement during testimony he’s scheduled to give at the first of three congressional hearings on the implosion of the brokerage firm.
The request for additional time to 10 minutes from the five minutes normally allotted to witnesses is seen as an indication among staffers involved in tomorrow’s hearings that “Corzine will say what he’s going to say in his statement, and not much more.”
Some congressional staffers say they expect Corzine will dodge questions from members of the House Agriculture Committee or exercise his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination. But FOX senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says courts have made it difficult for witnesses to plead the Fifth selectively, particularly after making public comments about the matter under investigation.
A spokesman for Corzine didn’t return calls for comment.
The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday is scheduled to hear testimony from several witnesses, including Corzine, regarding the brokerage’s demise. It was Corzine who changed MF Global’s business model from a plain-vanilla brokerage firm of commodities to a risk-taking outfit not unlike a hedge fund that ultimately led to its sudden downfall last month.
A slew of securities regulators — including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as well as the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York — have launched investigations into MF Global’s demise, focusing on whether executives made false statement about the firm’s financial health prior to its bankruptcy, as well as the circumstances behind the missing money.