Emails from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and others indicate pressure on Bank of America to withhold information from the public about the bank's worries about Merrill's financial condition, according to a document written by U.S. House Republicans.

The documents, which were subpoenaed by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, were cited in a staff memo for Republicans ahead of a hearing Thursday where Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis will testify.

One email shows pressure from the Fed on Lewis to stay the course on the deal, or have management removed.

In an email from Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve, speaking about Lewis' intent to exercise a material adverse change (MAC) clause to get out of the Merrill deal, Lacker said:

Just had a long talk with Ben ... Says they think the MAC threat is irrelevant because it's not credible. Also intends to make it even more clear that if they play that card and they need assistance, management is gone.

(Editing by Carol Bishopric)