Fed engaged in "cover-up" of BofA-Merrill deal-lawmaker

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve sought to hide its extensive involvement and concerns about Bank of America Corp's BAC.N acquisition of Merrill Lynch amid the latter's worsening financial condition, a top Republican congressman said on Wednesday.

“The committee has already learned that Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve made inappropriate threats to fire Bank of America management unless they went ahead with the ‘shotgun wedding’ that was the Merrill Lynch acquisition,” Rep. Darrell Issa of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said in a statement released to Reuters.

“The Federal Reserve also engaged in a cover-up and deliberately hid concerns and pertinent details regarding the merger from other federal regulatory agencies,” the statement said.

The committee has obtained a number of emails and documents from the U.S. central bank about its behind-the-scenes role in the merger, according to sources familiar with documents. (Reporting by Julie Vorman and Kim Dixon, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)