- Warren’s son-in-law conducted business with the Iranian government
- Warren’s daughter got support and investment from businesses who Warren was bailing out while chairman of TARP
- Warren was in business with corporations she regulated when helping to rewrite U.S. bankruptcy laws
In the latest Drill Down, Peter Schweizer examines the network of relationships surrounding Elizabeth Warren, and how their business ties have intersected with Warren’s efforts in the public sector.
Senator Elizabeth Warren was recently criticized for shifting her position on the conflict between the US and Iran. While initially highly critical of the Iranians, the next day she struck a softer line.
Now, a politician changing their tune on an issue to curry favor with voters is nothing new. But in research for my new book, Profiles in Corruption, I made a startling discovery. As strange as it may sound, Elizabeth Warren’s family has a history of commercial and financial ties to the government of Iran.
Warren’s daughter Amelia is married to Sushil Tyagi, an Indian born civil engineer she met in graduate school. Tyagi has a cluster of international businesses. Among them, a company called Tricolor Films. According to the company’s now deleted website, part of its business model was working with “foreign governments.”[i]
Among those foreign governments? The government of Iran. In 2008, Tyagi produced a film called “The Song of Sparrows.” Who funded that film? The Iranian government. In the film’s credits, they even thank the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Airforce.[ii]
You can’t find the full credits of the film online. They’ve been scrubbed from the internet. We obtained a copy using the Wayback Machine and made a jarring discovery: the movie’s chief investors included none other than the social deputy of the State Welfare Organization of Iran and the cultural and artistic Organization of Tehran.[iii]
These two investors in the film might appear at first glance to be innocuous cultural organizations—but they are not. Both are funded and controlled by the Islamist Iranian government. The other sorts of projects these entities fund? Things like marches and posters for the anti-Semitic event known as Quds Day- where massive crowds have been known to gather, march, burn effigies and chant Death To America.[iv]
The National Endowment for the Arts they are not….
But the financial entanglements involving Elizabeth Warren’s family do not just involve her son-in-law. They also involve her daughter. Warren’s work for the federal government is also intertwined with her daughter’s profit-making ventures.
In November of 2008, Professor Elizabeth Warren got a call from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Congress was in the middle of creating a new mechanism to bail out financially struggling Wall Street firms. It would become known as TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and it would inject billions of dollars into the country’s financial institutions.
Harry Reid wanted Elizabeth Warren to run it.
So Warren went down to Washington with her daughter, Amelia, tagging along. Amelia had just started a company called Business Talent Group. She was looking for investors, board members, and clients.
Mother and daughter went to the Capitol and, as Harry Reid recalled, “did the deal.”
Warren became chairman of TARP, and as a result, met with the CEO’s of the country’s most powerful financial institutions, many of whom wanted TARP bailout money. Curiously, her daughter’s fledgling company would add advisors from the same firms. These included Robert Kindler, the Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for Morgan Stanley. His Porsche famously boasted a vanity license plate that read “2BIG2FAIL.” His firm would ultimately receive $10 billion from TARP.[v]
In other words, as Elizabeth Warren was helping steer the federal bailout, her daughter was building a business and getting support and investments from the people her mother was bailing out.
This blur between the Warren family’s personal financial interests and their government power extends to Elizabeth Warren herself. In the mid-1990s, Elizabeth Warren was hired by congress and paid by U.S. taxpayers to help rewrite U.S. bankruptcy laws.
But at the same time, and for the years that followed, Warren was paid large sums of money by the same corporations that benefitted from her rewriting of the law—corporations like Dow Chemical and Armstrong World Industries.
In court documents we obtained, Warren reveals that her work for corporations garnered her fees of close to $1,000 an hour. And she touted her work for congress as a reason for large corporations to hire her in the first place.
It’s a classic case of Washington’s lucrative revolving door, which Warren herself has loudly condemned.
Elizabeth Warren has made much of the fact that campaign contributions influence the positions of American politicians. The same can and should be said, perhaps even more so, about the financial ties of the families of politicians.
Warren has been criticized, of course, for claiming Cherokee heritage, which she says is based on ancestral lore.
But the tribe that really does matter to Elizabeth Warren is her family. And when you closely examine Elizabeth Warren’s career, you find a cluster of financial relationships that need to be exposed and understood.
I’m Peter Schweizer, and this is The Drill Down.
- “About Us,” TriColour Productions, n.d., http://www.tricolourproductions.net/aboutus.php.
- “Agents and Actors,” Thesongofsparrows.com/fa/بازیگران-و-وامل ,on Internet Archive, n.d., translated, https://web.archive.org/web/20130103002223 /http:/www.thesongofsparrows.com/fa/%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%A7%D9 %85%D9%84–%D9%88–%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C%DA%AF %D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86.
- “Qods Cultural Center Hosts Marchers of Qods Day,” farhangsara.ir, accessed on June 17, 2019, translated, https://farhangsara.ir/tabid/4166/Arti cleId/79050/ (translated); Amir Vahdat, “Protestors in Iran, Iraq Burn Israel, US Flags on ‘Quds Day,’ ” Associated Press, May 31, 2019, https://www .apnews.com/fe7f04ea375d4ff0b194c63ea22cc61e
- Vince Veneziani, “License Plate in Greenwich, CT Reads ‘2BG2FAIL,’” Business Insider, December 1, 2009, https://www.businessinsider.com/porsche-license-plate-in-greenwich-ct-reads-2bg2fail-2009-12.