From what is shaping up to be the most corrupt administration in American history comes this Obombshell (Americorps - Obama's civilian army, mandatory "volunteerism"):
York (hat tip Van)
There are a number of unanswered questions today about President Obama's abrupt decision to fire the inspector general of the AmeriCorps program, Gerald Walpin. Obama sent letters to House and Senate leaders yesterday informing them that he was firing Walpin, effective 30 days from the date of the letters.
"It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General," the president wrote. "That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General."
The 30 day requirement is important because last year Congress passed the Inspectors General Reform Act, which was designed to strengthen protections for IGs, who have the responsibility of investigating allegations of waste, fraud and abuse within federal agencies, against interference by political appointees or the White House. Part of the Act was a requirement that the president give Congress 30 days' notice before dismissing an IG. One of the co-sponsors of the Act was then-Sen. Barack Obama.
The Act also requires the president to outline the cause for his decision to remove an IG. Beyond saying that he did not have the "fullest confidence" in Walpin, Obama gave no reason for his action.
There are two big questions about the president's actions. One, why did he decide to fire Walpin? And two, did he abide by the law that he himself co-sponsored?
According to Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, a strong advocate of inspectors general, Walpin received a call from the White House Counsel's office on Wednesday evening. Walpin was told that he had one hour to either resign or be fired. Senate sources say Walpin asked why he was being fired and, according to one source, "The answer that was given was that it's just time to move on. The president would like to have someone else in that position." Walpin declined to resign.
Grassley fired off a letter to the president on Thursday saying that, "I was troubled to learn that [Wednesday] night your staff reportedly issued an ultimatum to the AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin that he had one hour to resign or be terminated," Grassley wrote. "As you know, Inspectors General were created by Congress as a means to combat waste, fraud, and abuse and to be independent watchdogs ensuring that federal agencies were held accountable for their actions. Inspectors General were designed to have a dual role reporting to both the President and Congress so that they would be free from undue political pressure. This independence is the hallmark of all Inspectors General and is essential so they may operate independently, without political pressure or interference from agencies attempting to keep their failings from public scrutiny."
Grassley's version of events suggests that the White House first tried to muscle Walpin out of his job without having to go through the 30-day process. It was only when Walpin refused to resign that the White House then notified Congress of the president's intention to fire Walpin.
The bigger question is why the president is doing this and why he is attempting to do it so quickly. Senate sources now believe Obama is firing Walpin over Walpin's investigation of Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star and a prominent supporter of the president.