July 25, 2013

Thursday Hillary Bash - Family Scandal Edition

In the news today, President Obama's nominee to be the number two man at Homeland Security is facing an investigation involving a company run by Anthony Rodham - Hillary Clinton's brother.

This is all very, incestuous when you look at the details (pardon the pun). Via NBC,
President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the Homeland Security Department’s No. 2 official is under investigation over alleged intervention to obtain approval for a company run by a brother of Hillary Clinton to participate in a program that provides U.S. visas for foreign investors, according to an email the department’s inspector general sent to lawmakers Monday night and obtained by NBC News...

The probe is based on allegations that Mayorkas personally intervened to win an approval for Gulf Coast Funds Management, a financing company headed by Clinton’s brother Anthony Rodham, after USCIS officials rejected its application, according to an aide to GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, who had received internal USCIS emails about the matter from a department whistleblower.

Gulf Coast has received media attention in recent months over its partnership with Greentech, an electric car company run by Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia...

The emails obtained by Grassley's office, which were shared with NBC News, show that, after winning approval to participate in the foreign visa program, at least one of the visas sought by Rodham's firm was for a vice president of Huawei Technologies, a Chinese telecommunications firm that has been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee over claims that it is closely tied to the Chinese intelligence services. Huawei Technologies has denied such charges.
While that trail involving Mayorkas, Rodham, McAuliffe (a long time Clinton ally) and the Chinese VP of Huawei Technologies which is rumored to be involved with the Chinese intelligence services is not directly tied to Hillary Clinton, there sure are a lot of people she knows involved with this news. And given the spate of scandals erupting out of the White House, and the departures of Clinton at State and Napolitano at Homeland Security one has to wonder why the White House is allowing these sort of mistakes - Mayorkas' nomination - to continue to happen? Is the vetting process that bad? Have they not learned from previous failed vetting attempts going all the way back to late 2008?

Or is it something else?
The email indicates that the FBI's Washington field office, which was conducting a background investigation of Mayorkas on behalf of the White House, was informed of the probe by the inspector general in June. The White House announced the president's intent to nominate Mayorkas on June 27. The aide to Grassley said GOP senators want to know why the White House moved forward with the nomination when a probe into his conduct was under way.
The White House knew and moved ahead. Is it possible that the White House wanted this scandal to take the front page away from the other scandals? After all, this is just a bad vetting problem for the president and previous vetting problems have not seemed to cause his job approval any significant damage. This probe could potentially lead to Hillary Clinton, and that would certainly deflect a lot of the firepower directed at the president's current spate of scandals and possibly allow him to do more as efforts were turned to focus on what is highly regarded as the next Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. One has to wonder if the president might not even secretly be gleeful about the negative attention Clinton would get as a result of this.
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