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June 18, 2009

Most Transparent Administration Ever Refuses to Answer Questions on IG Firing

A new era of openness.

Norman Eisen, the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with investigators on the staff of Republican Sen. Charles Grassley at Grassley's offices Wednesday morning. The investigators wanted to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. According to Grassley, Eisen revealed very, very little, refusing to answer many questions of fact put to him. And now Grassley has written a letter to the White House counsel asking for answers.

The questions relate to a letter Eisen sent to some senators Tuesday night attributing Walpin's dismissal, in significant part, to Walpin's behavior at a May 20, 2009 board meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps. Eisen wrote that at the meeting, "Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the board to question his capacity to serve." After the meeting, Eisen wrote, Walpin lost the confidence of the Corporation Board. The White House conducted a review of the matter, and Walpin was fired. (For a detailed account of Walpin's reaction to the White House charges, see here.)

At Wednesday's meeting, Sen. Grassley's staffers wanted to know more about the White House review. "Unfortunately," Grassley writes in a letter sent late Wednesday afternoon to White House counsel Gregory Craig, "Mr. Eisen refused to answer several direct questions posed to him about the representations made in his letter."

Read the full post for the questions Eisen was asked. Given the seriousness of the charges against Walpin, you'd think the White House would be prepared to answer what are some very simple questions.

It seems Obama's behavior is something of a pattern. Turns out he's fired two IGs and leashed a third. You can take the politician out of Chicago...

(h/t: Instapundit)

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posted by Slublog at 12:27 PM

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