As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Category Archives: Scandals

NYTs: Obama Curbing Power of Watchdogs

The openness administration is curbing the ability of agency inspectors general to investigate Obama officials, writes the right wing, rabidly anti-Obama, pro-Ted Cruz New York Times.

According to the Times:

“The bottom line is that we’re no longer independent,” Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, said in an interview.

The restrictions reflect a broader effort by the Obama administration to prevent unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information — at the expense, some watchdogs insist, of government oversight.

Justice Department lawyers concluded in a legal opinion this summer that some protected records, like grand jury transcripts, wiretap intercepts and financial credit reports, could be kept off limits to government investigators. The administration insists there is no intention of curtailing investigations, but both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed alarm and are promising to restore full access to the watchdogs.

I’m sure the press will be just as outraged as it would have been had the nefarious George W. Bush done the same thing.

White House: Hillary Cherry-Picked Emails? No Problem!

Here’s how to think of the Hillary Clinton email saga.

It’s difficult, in a way, because emails are not tangible things. They’re a form of organized electricity. Lighter than air. Like thoughts that can float away, or in this case, be erased in an instant.

To better understand what she did, let’s go back to a time before there were emails. Let’s go back to the Reagan administration. And let’s imagine if Reagan’s first Secretary of State, Al Haig, instead of archiving written memos sent to him by other administration officials, brought them all home. And then, when someone found out about it, he went through them and turned over 30,000. And then he got his fireplace roaring and burned 30,000 others, claiming they had nothing to do with official business.

What would Democrats, and many Republicans, be saying about that?

Mrs. Clinton had no particular reason to erase her email server. It’s a piece of electronic hardware. It doesn’t start to bulge and take up more space around the house if it has emails on it. The only reason to erase it is that she didn’t want people to see what was on it.

Now we find out that she didn’t, as you might have expected, turn over all the work-related emails. What’s more, some were edited by her staff

None of this, somehow, is any problem at all for the Transparency White House.

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden

Kevin Corke of Fox News, who in his short time at the White House has already established himself as one of the best cross examiners in the briefing room, wasn’t letting White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest get away Monday with the usual buck-passing to Hillary’s staff. The conversation made for some great TV.

One sample will show you why Corke presents a problem for the White House:

CORKE: “While she worked for the president, those emails were public record. They’re supposed to be maintained. All of them. Turns out they weren’t. They were on a private server. Which was against what the president asked her to do. And then after the fact we all find out she had her team, or her staff, pick and choose which ones that she said were available. Can’t you see how that’s a problem?”


Here’s the full exchange.

What is the Openness Administration Hiding?

It seems to be hiding a lot of things in a lot of places.

In what must be the most under-reported story of the past year, some two thirds of the inspectors general in the government think the administration is stonewalling their lawful efforts to oversee government activities.

Three of them testified Tuesday before the House Oversight Committee, newly chaired by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Many others were in the room.

In an August 2014 letter to Congress, 47 Inspectors General from across the administration – including major agencies like the Department of Commerce, the Department of HUD, the Department of Labor, and NASA -supported specific complaints by their fellow IGs in the Peace Corps, EPA and DOJ about foot dragging and lawyer-driven end-runs, and suggested the practice is pervasive.

We have learned that the Inspectors General for the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency (in his role as Inspector General for the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board) and the Department of Justice have recently faced restrictions on their access to certain records available to their agencies that were needed to perform their oversight work in critical areas. In each of these instances, we understand that lawyers in these agencies construed other statutes and law applicable to privilege in a manner that would override the express authorization contained in the IG Act. These restrictive readings of the IG Act represent potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.

the issues facing the DOJ OIG, the EPA OIG, and the Peace Corps OIG are not unique. Other Inspectors General have, from time to time, faced similar obstacles to their work, whether on a claim that some other law or principle trumped the clear mandate of the IG Act or by the agency’s imposition of unnecessarily burdensome administrative conditions on access. Even when we are ultimately able to resolve these issues with senior agency leadership, the process is often lengthy, delays our work, and diverts time and attention from substantive oversight activities. This plainly is not what Congress intended when it passed the IG Act.

Can anyone imagine if the Bush administration were accused of such stonewalling, what a firestorm there would be?

Here is panel member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) discussing the problem last night with Greta Van Sustern.

“I think in some instances, they are hiding things” said Gowdy, who said agencies that don’t cooperate with their IGs should have their budgets cut.

Holder Rejects Whitaker Racism Charge

In an uncomfortable turn of events, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, a close Obama friend, rejected a charge by Chicagoan Eric Whitaker, a close Obama friend, that a federal corruption case involving former Whitaker associates was tinged by racism.

“Almost everybody who’s been indicted or scrutinized has been African American,” Whitaker said last week, suggesting that the U.S. prosecutor, who technically works for Holder, was conducting a “selective” investigation.

“I have no evidence that there’s a basis to that claim,” Holder said.  “I am familiar with the prosecutors who brought those cases, and I’m pretty confident that the bringing of those cases, the investigation of those cases, was done on a non-race based basis.”

The charge got Whitaker out of testifying as prosecutors backed away from forcing him to talk once he played the race card.

Obama Buddy Eric Whitaker “Stonewalling” Investigators

Longtime Obama friend Eric Whitaker is said by prosecutors to be stonewalling an investigation into a Chicago corruption case and is in danger of being labeled a “hostile witness,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Whitaker served as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2003 until 2007. He has not been charged with wrongdoing, but taxpayer money… Continue Reading

Lerner Lost Email Witness Held from Congress Until After Election

A Treasury official who may have knowledge of how IRS official Lois Lerner’s lost emails got lost won’t be available to testify to Congress until after the voting is done. According to The Furnace blog over at the Blaze: House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of… Continue Reading

White House Doctors Transcript of Obama Remarks

Updated 1:33 pm ET Updated 11:14 am ET. The White House Monday left a potentially embarassing phrase out of the official transcript of the president’s remarks, altering what is supposed to be a verbatim rendition and, unless it was a mistake, effectively lying to the American people. The odds, of course, of something harmful being the… Continue Reading