So, who’s being dishonest?

May 22, 2010

A few months ago, Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee for the (now open) Senate seat in Pennsylvania, stated quite clearly that the Obama administration offered him a federal job if he would quit his primary challenge to (soon to be former) Senator Arlen Spector.

If true, that’s a federal crime.

California Congressman Darrell Issa (R) has been pursuing this, but hasn’t had much luck getting past the administration’s stonewalling and deflections. Now he’s put together a video compiling, on the one hand, Sestak’s assertions that the offer was made and, on the other, White House Press Secretary’s Robert Gibb’s repeated evasions:

Either one of them is lying, or the other is covering up the truth to protect his boss from scandal.

Which is it?

(via Gabriel Malor)

UPDATE: The sections of the federal code that may have been broken with the initial offer.

UPDATE II: This is getting circular. A link in the previous update leads here.


Quote of the day

November 24, 2009

R. S. McCain on the major media’s continued “hear no evil, see no evil” approach to the growing Inspector-General scandal:

Here you’ve got Johnson, accused of sexual misconduct by three different St. HOPE students, and one of the St. HOPE board members — who also happens to be Johnson’s fiancee — is trying to get the Inspector General to drop his investigation, in the middle of Johnson’s 2008 campaign for mayor. The accused sexual predador is a close friend of the president, and Little Miss Predator-Enabler is the head of D.C. public schools?

On what planet is this not front-page news?

More on IG-gate here and here.


Hope! Change! Cover Ups! The Chicago Way!

November 23, 2009

Today must be Scandal Day: first ACORN and now evidence that the White House lied to Congress about its involvement in the firing of AmeriCorps Inspector-General Gerald Walpin. According to documents released late last Friday and contrary to the fairy tale the White House told last June, there was no broad consultation or investigation conducted before the sudden decision to get rid of Walpin. Byron York of the Washington Examiner tells the story:

Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave the lawmakers a trove of new, previously-withheld documents on the affair. It was a twist on the now-familiar White House late-Friday release of bad news; this time, the new evidence was put out not only at the start of a weekend but also hours too late for inclusion in the report.

The new documents support the Republican investigators’ conclusion that the White House’s explanation for Walpin’s dismissal — that it came after the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, unanimously decided that Walpin must go — was in fact a public story cobbled together after Walpin was fired, not before.

Walpin was axed on the evening of June 10, when he received a call from Norman Eisen, the special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, who told Walpin he had one hour either to resign or be fired.  The next day, congressional Republicans, led by Grassley, objected, charging that Walpin’s dismissal violated a recently-passed law requiring the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice before dismissing an inspector general.

Pressed for the reason Walpin was fired, Eisen told House and Senate aides that the White House conducted an “extensive review” of complaints about Walpin’s performance before deciding to dismiss him.  According to the new report, Eisen told Congress that “his investigation into the merits of removing Gerald Walpin involved contacting members of the Corporation for National and Community Service [CNCS] board to confirm the existence of a ‘consensus’ in favor of removal.” But Republican investigators later discovered that during that “extensive review,” the White House did not even seek the views of the corporation’s board — the very people whose “consensus” purportedly led to Walpin’s firing.

Other than board chairman Alan Solomont, the Democratic mega-donor and Obama supporter who originally told the White House of his dissatisfaction with Walpin, “no member of the CNCS board had any substantive input about whether the removal of Gerald Walpin was appropriate,” according to the report. Only one other board member, vice-chairman Stephen Goldsmith, was even called by the White House, and that was on June 10, a few hours before Walpin was fired.  According to the report, Goldsmith told investigators that “the White House had already decided to remove Walpin and wanted to confirm [Goldsmith’s] support for the action.”

The new documents show the White House scrambling, in the days after the controversy erupted, to put together a public explanation for the firing.

Read the whole thing, as well as a companion editorial that provides a good overview of the shenanigans at play here. Clearly Walpin was not fired because he was becoming senile and unable to discharge his duties -he’s been cleared of those and other  smears– but because his investigations were uncovering embarrassing and possibly illegal conduct on the part of a major supporter of President Obama.  Apparently a determination was made to just get rid of him in contravention of the law regarding IGs, and a rationale cooked up after the fact. A rationale, I might add, that was both a lie to Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa – and a blatant attempt to smear Walpin and ruin his reputation.

The question is, how far up the chain does this go? Who authorized the lies to Congress? Who ordered the illegal firing of Walpin? Who was trying to protect Sacramento Mayor Johnson? Stay tuned for these and other questions (and, one hopes, some answers) in our next episode of Cook County on the Potomac!

LINKS: Reporter Robert Stacy McCain has also done extensive work on what’s being dubbed IG-gate. More from Sister Toldjah and Hot Air.


What’s a little sex scandal when Hope and Change are at stake?

November 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President, you now have the first open scandal of your administration! It’s a good one, too. There’s the corrupt use of public funds, trumped up charges and a smear campaign to get rid of a troublesome priest an Inspector General who asked too many questions, and even charges of sexual harassment and a cover-up thereof.  Well done. You’re a rookie president no more.

Congressional Report: Rhee did ‘damage control’ after sex charges against fiance Kevin Johnson

A congressional investigation of the volunteer organization AmeriCorps contains charges that D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee handled “damage control” after allegations of sexual misconduct against her now fiance, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star and a prominent ally of President Obama, The Washington Examiner has learned.

The charges are contained in a report prepared by Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The investigation began after the AmeriCorps inspector general, Gerald Walpin, received reports that Johnson had misused some of the $800,000 in federal AmeriCorps money provided to St. Hope, a non-profit school that Johnson headed for several years.

Walpin was looking into charges that AmeriCorps-paid volunteers ran personal errands for him, washed his car, and took part in political activities.  In the course of investigating those allegations, the congressional report says, Walpin’s investigators were told that Johnson had made inappropriate advances toward three young women involved in the St. Hope program — and that Johnson offered at least one of those young women money to keep quiet.

Read the whole thing; it goes straight back to the White House and its Chicago Way politics.

RELATED: The scandal regarding the the administration’s attempts to suborn the Inspector-General system has been brewing for several months now. Maybe this will be the incident that blows it wide open.  I wrote earlier about the connection to pork and rats and their use in recreating Cook County on the Potomac. Stacy McCain has written extensively on the war on the watchdogs. More from Ed Morrissey.

UPDATE: Iowa’s Senator Grassley, a “patron saint” of the Inspector-General program, thinks there is clear evidence of a political motive in Walpin’s firing.