FactCheck has denied the President’s allegations that Romney was an outsourcer based on info that Romney did not really leave Bain in 1999 as he claimed but rather in severed ties in 2002, because FactCheck said Romney wouldn’t dare have lied on his federal financial disclosure forms or he would be guilty of a federal felony.
The Obama campaign complains that we got a key fact wrong in our June 29 article, “Obama’s ‘Outsourcer’ Overreach.” We strongly disagree. We find the Obama campaign’s evidence to be weak or non-existent, and contrary to statements Romney has made on official disclosure forms under pain of federal prosecution.
The Obama complaint claims we erred in saying Mitt Romney gave up active management of Bain Capital in early 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, insisting we were then wrong in saying Romney was not responsible for shipping U.S. jobs overseas.
In fact, if the Obama campaign were correct, Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999.
This explains why FactCheck took Romney at his word. A federal felony.
Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”
Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.
So, let’s get this straight. In 2003, Romney filed on his Massachusetts financial disclosure that he was still the 100% stock holder of Bain in 2002 and was paid for being a “Bain executive” in 2001 and 2002.
Yet, on federal forms, Romney certified that he left active management of Bain in 1999.
Add into the mix Bain’s own filings with the SEC during the three years in question that claim Romney as the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.” The Romney campaign says this is just a technicality, but it clearly violates what the candidate certified on his federal forms.
But if it’s evidence we are looking for either way, where’s the evidence that Romney really left? All we have is his word. The actual SEC filings of two companies (Bain and Stericycle) and Romney himself contradict this claim.
David Corn of Mother Jones disclosed that Romney was on a Bain “management committee” during these years, and also shows that Romney was signing documents for Bain. In addition, yet another company, Stericycle, filed with the SEC listing Romney as an active participant:
Documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney’s exit from Bain.
And then Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo stepped up with his own evidence that Romney was actively involved in Bain during the time period in question, in both July of 2000 and February of 2001, Romney said his principal occupation was Managing Director of Bain:
I’ve found yet more instances where Romney made declarations to the SEC that he was still involved in running Bain after February 1999. To the best of my knowledge, no one has yet noted these.
The documents go into different aspects of Romney’s ownership of various Bain and Bain related assets. But in both Romney had to say what he currently did for a living.
Here are two SEC filings from July 2000 and February 2001 in which Romney lists his “principal occupation” as “Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.”
We have two different claims from Mitt Romney from state to federal disclosures, and SEC filings from Bain and Stericycle that don’t back up his federal disclosure forms. In addition, Romney’s own declarations to the SEC contradict his federal disclosure forms.
Mitt Romney should disclose his taxes so that this matter can be fully vetted and explained. If FactCheck is worth their salt, Romney should be investigated for a federal felony. Investigated doesn’t mean guilty, but there are clear conflicts within the above documents that require further scrutiny. Right now, his claims that he was only technically involved are hard to believe, unless Stericycle, Bain, and Mitt Romney himself were lying to the SEC.
It behooves us to acknowledge that were you or I to lie to the SEC, we’d be in deep trouble.