All Eyes on Bob Corker as Wells Fargo scandal tour comes to Capitol Hill.
This morning, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee will grill the head of Wells Fargo over astonishing allegations that his company falsified millions of accounts, resulting in the recent firing of over 5,000 Well Fargo employees. That Wells Fargo is in the hot seat is an understatement. That the erupting scandal may have a profound effect on the 2018 elections in Tennessee will come as a surprise to voters and, especially, the state’s news media.
Sitting at the white-hot center of the controversy is our own Sen. Bob Corker. In the days and weeks ahead, Rocky Top will try to bring to our reader’s attention just how deeply involved Bob is in this situation – and not in a good way. It is a complex tale of business relationships, day-trading on steroids, staff collusion, etc. But for this morning’s hearing it is safe to say that Bob Corker will be walking on egg shells when it comes for him to question the witnesses.
While no one is expecting any particular gaffes or revelations about Corker ties to Wells Fargo at today’s hearing (that will come later), his extensive relationships with the embattled mega-bank will have regulators, investigators and politicos parsing every syllable he utters. Already under at least one ethics complaint, Corker is hovering on the edge of a scandal that could cause him to reconsider his re-election to the Senate, resulting in either leaving the Senate for a run for Governor in 2018 or even possible (forced) retirement from politics altogether. Any of those outcomes would cause the Tennessee political landscape to teeter like Hillary Clinton climbing a set of stairs.
What a change from just a few weeks ago when the state’s MSM were falling all over themselves gushing over Corker’s seeming rise within the Trump orbit. RTP said it then and we will say it again: Corker could never survive the scrutiny required to take a position in any administration and he (and Trump) knows it. And Wells Fargo is at the center of Corker’s vetting problems.
This morning’s hearing is the jumping off point for Corker’s suddenly clouded political future.
This could be huge. Stay tuned.