Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary. (Evan Vucci / AP)

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary got rich with taxpayer money in a legal but “distasteful” corporate welfare scheme in which he used dubious mortgages to aggressively foreclose on tens of thousands of families through a failed bank he bought cheap in the 2008 Wall Street crash, says California lawyer Saied Kashani.

Kashani detailed nominee Steve Mnuchin’s business activities on the KPFK broadcast of “Background Briefing with Ian Masters.”

A Republican who hopes Trump will honor his campaign promise to “shake up Washington,” Kashani obtained records of Mnuchin’s dealings while litigating the nominee’s OneWest Bank deal for California homebuilders.

“It’s ironic that this gentleman … is now against government intervention in business” when “he made his money from government intervention in business,” Kashani told Masters.

“It’s one thing to use your own money and go out there and buy foreclosed property and maybe make a profit and your own money is at risk and you’re taking the chance that maybe you make money and maybe you don’t. But it’s quite another to make a deal with the government that the government reimburses you for losing money, and in the process, foreclosing on these houses.

“I’m hoping myself—as I might say, a long-time registered Republican—I’m hoping that Mr. Trump perhaps is not aware of all these deals that happened before, and when his eyes are opened and he learns more about this information, perhaps he’ll change his mind and pull this nomination. That’s what I’m hoping, because the people who supported Donald Trump I don’t think expected him to bring in the ultimate Wall Street and government insider to be Treasury secretary.”

Listen here to Kashani’s remarks, which begin at the 16:45 mark.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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