The Federal Investigation of Goldman Sachs: A Coup for Dems?

The good times just keep on rolling when it comes to Goldman Sachs, Democrats' newly minted villain in the Wall Street reform drama.

After the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Goldman two weeks ago, and after senators on a Banking subcommittee grilled Goldman execs in a 10-hour hearing just days ago, it has now come to light that the Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation of the financial firm.

One liberal group is already declaring victory.

The investigation, being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, was spurred by a criminal referral by the SEC, according to the Associated Press. But it comes after Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH) circulated a letter calling on DoJ to investigate.

The Progressive Campaign Change Committee, a liberal group that pushed for Democratic senators to sign a letter backing the public option just months ago, picked up on Kaptur's push and circulated a petition of their own over the last 10 days. As of now, 61 House members have signed onto Kaptur's letter, and over 143,000 individuals have signed onto PCCC's petition.

Kaptur and PCCC presented the letter to the Justice Dept. outside the DoJ's office in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

PCCC spokesman Adam Green sent an e-mail to supporters this morning declaring "Victory...Justice Dept opens criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs."

Whether or not the letter and petition had anything to do with DoJ's decision to investigate--according to the AP, they didn't--the investigation is being celebrated nonetheless. One would assume it's a good thing for Democrats, on its face: as they try to pass financial reform, Democratic senators have criticized Goldman in TV appearances since the Senate Banking subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. The DoJ investigation will keep Goldman in the public eye for a few more news cycles.