So, this is no surprise via Byron York:
Congressional investigators looking into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin have discovered that the head of AmeriCorps met with a top aide to First Lady Michelle Obama the day before Walpin was removed.
According to Republican investigators, Alan Solomont, then the chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, had denied meeting with Jackie Norris, at the time the First Lady’s chief of staff. But recently-released White House visitor logs show that Solomont met with Norris on June 9 of this year (as well as on two earlier occasions). President Obama fired Walpin on June 10 after an intense dispute over Walpin’s aggressive investigation of misuse of AmeriCorps money by Obama political ally Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California.
After being presented with the visitor logs, investigators say, Solomont explained that he met with Norris to discuss Corporation business but did not discuss the Walpin matter. When pressed, Solomont said he might have made an offhand comment, or a mention in passing, about the Walpin affair, but that he and Norris did not have a discussion about it.
Solomont’s explanations have left both Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Charles Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, frustrated and vowing to continue their investigation of the Walpin matter. In a letter to Solomont, sent Friday, Issa wrote that he has “serious questions about the veracity of your…testimony.”
The latest development in Blago-gate is no surprise, either:
Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers want the FBI to give up details of interviews conducted last year of President Obama, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and others as part of the investigation into the former governor.
In a Friday filing, Blagojevich attorneys also asked for information regarding first lady Michelle Obama. However, a source said late Friday that the FBI never interviewed the first lady.
Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers want the FBI to give up details of interviews conducted last year with President Obama (from top left), Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel. A source said Friday, the FBI never interviewed the first lady.
Then-President-elect Obama, Emanuel and Jarrett sat down with the FBI about a year ago — just after Blagojevich was arrested on charges of trying to sell Obama’s recently vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Obama revealed he was interviewed in a report he made public last December.
The defense request, filed in federal court, asks for “notes, transcripts and reports” of interviews with the Obamas, Emanuel, Jarrett and union chiefs Thomas Balanoff and Andy Stern.
Wherever there’s a Chicago-flavored stench, Michelle Obama’s name and those of her closest Windy City confidantes are sure to follow.
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