Critics Rip White House Links to Goldman Sachs Foes concerned about ties that blind By Mary Papenfuss, Newser User Posted Apr 22, 2010 2:53 AM CDT 8 comments Comments President Barack Obama met with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein while the SEC was investigating the firm. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Newser) – As the SEC builds its case charging Goldman Sachs with defrauding thousands of consumers, critics continue to hammer at White House links to the firm. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein met twice with President Obama and twice with economic aide Larry Summers while SEC investigators probed the company. A White House spokesman says the case was never discussed with Goldman or the SEC. But the Goldman-White House ties and their potential impact on policy still troubles many critics. Obama collected nearly $1 million in presidential campaign contributions from Goldman's political action committee, workers and relatives, reports McClatchy Newspapers. In addition, several former Goldman executives hold senior positions in the Obama administration, and now Goldman is hiring former Obama counsel Gregory Craig to defend it against the SEC charges. "Almost everything the White House has done has been haunted by the personnel and money of Goldman" and triggered "suspicion that the White House was pulling its punches out of deference to Goldman and its war chest," said University of Minnesota political science Prof. Lawrence Jacobs.