WASHINGTON — Former Fannie Mae Chairman James Johnson, who ran the three-member committee helping Sen. Barack Obama select a running a mate, resigned today after were questions were raised about his ties to one of the largest subprime lenders.

Johnson had been under fire after a Wall Street Journal article revealed that he had received special rates on three home mortgages totaling $1.7 million because of his friendship with former Countrywide Financial Corp. Chairman Angelo R. Mozilo.

Johnson presided over the government sponsored enterprise that buys mortgages and repackages them into securities during a period when Fannie Mae's accounting practices came under considerable scrutiny.

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