At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Via Protein Wisdom comes an audio of a radio interview with one lawyer who is representing some of the lenders who aren’t bending to the President’s will in regard to Chrysler.  I’ve transcribed parts that help show what’s been going on from the bullied side’s point of view.  It’s disturbing listening if you’re a proponent of the rule of law.  All the quotes are from the lawyer.

…They bought a contract that says they get paid before anybody else does from Chrysler, and they’ve been told by the government who is in complete control of Chrysler …that despite their contractual right they do not get paid before everybody else.  So they are standing on their rights, standing on the law, trying to defend in effect what is the Constitution of the United States, to make sure they get what they’re entitled to for their investors…

…I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday.  One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House…and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight…

…We do not oppose the rehabilitation of Chrysler…What we do oppose, however, is the abuse of the bankruptcy laws to coerce first-lien lenders to subsidize the rehabilitation of Chrysler or the backstop of the obligations to pensioners and retirees beyond what they will do voluntarily…

…These clients of mine have agreed to compromise 50% of their first-lien position to help support the rehabilitation of Chrysler, contrary to what the President said yesterday at his news conference, that these people will not give to support the effort.  They have agreed to compromise 50% of what they’re owed…despite the fact of being under no obligation whatsoever to do so…

…I think everybody in the country ought to be concerned about the fact that the President of the United States…is using its power to try to abrogate that contractual right.  If the President will attack that contractual right, what right will it not attack?

He was asked about the constitutional aspect of the case:

…the right to property, the right to contract are kind of sacrosanct in this country.  I think everybody understands that when you make a deal it’s supposed to be honored, and if it’s not honored you’re supposed to be able to get protection in court.  And what is happening here, through the force of the United States government …to step in, the Executive Office of the United States government who under the Constitution is charged with enforcing the laws, to step in and try to, in effect, break the laws…I think we should all be concerned about that.  That is a Contitutional issue.

…realize that our Constitution is premised on the notion that there’s a balance between the three branches of the government, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary…what’s going to be happening here…is you’ve got the Executive Branch coming into the Judicial Branch…I think it’s important for the Constitution of the United States that people  understand that the Judicial Branch can stand independent and interpret and apply the laws as its required to do under the Constitution, in the face of intense pressure from the Executive Branch to do otherwise.

How interesting that the White House considers the press corps its attack dogs.   That just sent all past and future protestations of legacy media objectivity down the crapper.

Is America still a country of laws where contracts are respected, or are we firmly on the trail blazed by the AIG bonus debacle and cramdown?   The outcome of this case will give us further clues.

Speaking of Washington and criminality, It’s Official. TARP Is Just Theft.

Thanks to Instapundit