White House Staff Cut Short Interview Regarding Conflicting Statements Made About Firing of Inspector General

December 22, 2009

How is This Different than Bush-US Attorney Firings?

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Continuing the investigation into the removal of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Inspector General Gerald Walpin for conducting an investigation that found significant wrongdoing and allegations of sexual misconduct by President Obama’s good friend Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) has sent a letter to former Michelle Obama Chief of Staff and current CNCS Senior Advisor Jackie Norris to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation and agree to be interviewed regarding the conflicting sequence of events that led up to Walpin’s removal, including a previously undisclosed meeting between Norris and then-CNCS Board Chairman Alan Solomont – now the President’s nominee to be Ambassador of Spain.

“Try as they might, this investigation is not going to disappear and we will continue to press the White House for answers until the truth comes out,” Issa said.  “The removal of an IG who was conducting an investigation of one of the President’s staunchest allies is no different than when President Bush fired a number of U.S. Attorney’s for political reasons igniting a chorus of criticism and concern – the question is – where is the outrage now that President Obama is doing the same thing?”

In the letter to Norris, Issa notes that, “Throughout our investigation of Mr. Walpin’s removal, the White House has repeatedly communicated that the President was not motivated by inappropriate political reasons.  The White House has averred that you had no role whatsoever in the President’s decision to prevent your testimony.  If the information provided by White House officials is true, it follows that no colorable claim of executive privilege should impede your cooperation with the Committee.”

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