Monday, June 22, 2009

This Story Has Legs!

The Inspector General scandal is absolutely "growing legs" and Robert Stacy McCain continues to be all over it. The story is the subject of several editorials around the country this morning.

The Washington Times reports, as we learned late last week, that the FBI has opened an investigation into the AmeriCorps story:

The FBI has opened an investigation into a Sacramento program formerly run by a close ally of President Obama's, giving credence to the IG's work.

The president fired Mr. Walpin June 11 after Mr. Walpin filed two reports critical of Obama friends. The highest-profile of the two reports focused on misuse of funds at Sacramento's St. Hope Academy, then run by former NBA star Kevin Johnson before Mr. Johnson was elected Sacramento's mayor in November. Mr. Johnson was a frequent stump speaker for Mr. Obama during last year's campaign and has claimed in TV interviews to be particularly good friends with first lady Michelle Obama.

The Las Vegas Review also has an editorial which also points out that Obama co-sponsored the law that prohibits just the sort of thing he's just done:

The White House tried to fire Mr. Walpin last Wednesday night. That could be a violation of the 2008 Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the president to give Congress 30 days' notice, plus an explanation of cause, before firing an inspector general.

Does President Obama have the right to remove an inspector general? Sure -- despite that new law, intended to put limits on that power, which was co-sponsored by, um ... U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. Was the Walpin firing the right thing to do? Heck, no. Barack Obama is covering up for a prominent supporter caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

The law the Review is referring to was sponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill last year to protect inspectors general from partisan firings. Presidents can't just say they have “lost confidence” in an Inspector General; the new law requires him to explain the actual reason for a firing and to allow Congress 30 days to investigate the claims.

The Kansas City Star quotes McCaskill: “This reform isn’t about Obama; it’s about keeping future auditors independent and free to prepare critical reports without political pressure.”

As this all broke, you may recall, Obama said just that he'd "lost confidence" in Walpin. When pressed, and reminded of the law that he co-sponsored, he then tried to make the case that Walpin was senile and displayed dementia in a meeting. This doesn't work because the entire nation has seen Walpin in one interview after another in which he displays no such thing.

Enter FBI.

Stay glued to The Other McCain on this one because Stacy is like a dog with a bone on this story. His latest update says, "Meanwhile, at 1:30 a.m. Monday, I've just made an executive decision to go down to Capitol Hill again today and talk to more sources. There is no substitute for old-fashioned shoe leather. Just show up unannounced and buttonhole your source. It's an infallible method. Make a nuisance of yourself until they figure out that they need to start calling you, or else you'll be back again bugging them tomorrow."

Somehow, this clip seems appropriate:

See also this story on NRO today for the backstory.

(Artwork from Carol at No Sheeples Here)

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