The Department of Justice is investigating Standard & Poors over its ratings of mortgage securities, The New York Times reports.
The department is reportedly interested in instances where raters wanted to give lower ratings to bonds, but were overruled by executives in the years before the financial crisis.
The investigation appears to predate the downgrade of debt issued by the United States, though that has likely added urgency to the investigation.
Ed Sweeney, a spokesman for S&P, said in an e-mail to The New York Times’ Louise Story: “S.& P. has received several requests from different government agencies over the last few years. We continue to cooperate with these requests. We do not prevent such agencies from speaking with current or former employees.”