WASHINGTON — The House Financial Services Committee is scheduling a hearing next month to look into allegations of waste, fraud and abuse at the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The hearing is planned for “no later than” Sept. 27 and Fannie Mae Chief Executive Timothy Mayopoulus and FHFA Director Mel Watt “will be invited to testify,” according to a press release from Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Ann Wagner, R-Mo.
The scheduling of the hearing comes in the wake of an investigation into Watt over sexual harassment allegations, as well as a court ruling that the agency’s structure is unconstitutional.
Last month a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said the court’s single-director structure improperly stops President Trump from firing the head of the agency unless there is cause.
Soon after, Politico reported that there were allegations Watt made inappropriate sexual advances toward an employee. Watt has denied he did anything illegal.
Additionally, there is a report alleging that the FHFA's inspector general, Laura Wertheimer, attempted to undercut the investigation because of pressure from Watt.
So far, members of Congress have been silent on the allegations against Watt, an Obama administration holdover whose term at the FHFA expires in January.