November 1st, 2008
01:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Lawmaker wants to know source of leak on Obama's aunt

 Conyers called for an investigation into the leak over Obama’s aunt.
Conyers called for an investigation into the leak over Obama’s aunt.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Democratic lawmaker on Saturday asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to investigate a leak to reporters regarding the immigration status of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's aunt, suggesting the Bush administration may have been behind it.

"I was startled to read in today's Associated Press that a 'federal law enforcement official' has leaked information about an immigration case involving a relative of Senator Obama," said a letter sent to Chertoff by Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

"Even more troubling, the AP reports that it 'could not establish whether anyone at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign had been involved,' a very disturbing (suggestion) indeed," the letter said.

"This leak is deplorable and I urge you to take immediate action to investigate and discipline those responsible."

The AP reported Saturday that Obama's Kenyan aunt, Zeituni Onyango, is living in the United States illegally, even though an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago. The story cites two sources, one of them a federal law enforcement official.

CNN has not been able to independently verify the aunt's immigration status. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Kelly Nantel declined comment, saying the agency "is prohibited from commenting on any individual's status."

soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. Lee from FL

    call george bush, im sure he knows

    November 1, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Rogue Palin

    Uh, it's of course Bush and Bush II (aka mcCain). No one doubts this.

    November 1, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. cheryl

    McCain's campaign will stop at nothing to try to smear Senator Obama. It's going to work.

    November 1, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. McCain- A patriot

    Of couse he did.. I'm sure he would have asked the same for some video the LA Times has, or why Joe the plumber was investigated.

    November 1, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. spread the wealth

    GOP it's easy""

    November 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. worriedmom

    hey maybe it was the same people that investigated Joe the Plumber!

    November 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. David in San Diego

    Gee–

    A leak of legally confidential information from a politically motivated Repubican source ?

    Tell me it isn't so....

    No surprise in these Last Days for the Republicans.

    November 1, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Bruce

    While I am disturbed about this story as it is a fly in the ointment of Obama’s excellent closing campaign and a distraction from the profound challenges that face this country there are significan specifics to be recognized.

    Mexico is a country which is economically disadvantaged. Illegal aliens come to the US seeking a better standard of living and financial advancement. Kenya is a country experiencing serious political violence and this woman came to the US seeking political asylum. This is a profoundly different issue from the current immigration debate. I do hope that once he is elected, Obama will address this situation promptly and legally.

    November 1, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. JAY N.H.

    Republicans= ABUSE OF POWER

    November 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. dittohead with forty names

    You dont think an upstanding christian Republican would do such a thing do you mr.Conyers?

    November 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. rosangel..change that im waiting for

    yes stop them why nobody talks about palin abuse of power with troopergate and using the money that do not belong to her for her kids travel........this is so wrong God will speak.

    November 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Kimberly from Houston, TX

    How about an investigation into why PALIN hasn't released her medical records?

    November 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. SEIG OBAMA

    Well if anyone is old enough remember NO ONE WILL QUESTION HEIR OBAMA, any questions and you will be LABELED DISLOYAL TO DER FUER, HEIR OBAMA."the one, the billiant and all knowing one. This is all to familiar it starts out so innocent and slowly grinds to changing the Constituion and loyalty oaths and taking people away at 3am.

    November 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Joe Regis

    The hard time and the economic crisis left by the repubs are going to determine the outcome of this election on Tuesday and not the vicious and vile attacks of the repubs.

    THe people are paying attention this time around. The repubs are doomed on Tuesday.

    I can see a landslide Obama/Biden 08/12.

    November 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. lost

    if it is the truth, why it is important who leaked this out?
    the fact is the fact no matter who found it. That person should not be persecuted for finding the truth. If it is the truth.
    This is what we have right to know.

    November 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. MY FRIENDS - REPUBLI-KLANS JOA$$HN McINSANE/PAIN-LIN ARE SPREADING HATE & BIGOTRY IN AMERICA

    not suprised this is coming from the BUSH/MCSAME white house that have fundamentally trampled on the human and civic rights of everyone living in the united states.

    they are trying to stir up an "october surprise" to shift the momentum of this election to John McSame.

    NOT THIS TIME –

    IMMIGRANTS – LEGAL OR ILLEGAL HAVE RIGHTS TOO TO LIVE IN AMERICA.

    NO ONE HAS AN EXCLUSIVE RIGHT -WHITES/BLACK/HISPANICS/ASIANS TO CLAIM THAT THEY ARE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES – WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS!!!!!!!!!!

    LET THE WOMAN LIVE IN PEACE...DONT HATE ON IMMIGRANTS, YOUR FATHERS WERE ONCE IMMIGRANTS AND YOU'RE PROUD OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Obama-Biden 08

    Thank you John Conyers. Americans are tired of this kind of politics and we need to put an end to the Bush/Rove tactics.

    November 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. KLEE

    Here John & Sarah – try throwing this at Obama! Whats up when the agency is "prohibited from commenting on any individual's status" as per the Immigration and Customs – well just break the rules because we need "something" to throw in the road to see if we can make Obama stumble.....cheap shots are just that cheap shots......I live in the South – beautiful down here – but some of the stuff that comes out of the mouths of some people will just curdle your stomach.....I couldn't understand how I would live – if I weren't a white person......I would be very angry at the injustice because I already am! Martin Luther King was so right.......you've come along way baby – keep up the good work – one day – we will all live in the sun and come out of our caves!

    November 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Barry In Las Vegas

    Why isn't this lawmaker insist on finind out the source of the person doing the background check using govenment computers on Joe The Plumber?

    Oops – Joe isn't aDemocrat and isn't African American.

    November 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Sue/PA

    So what if she is here illegally..................just goes to show that being Obama's relative gave her no special treatment....keep that fact in mind.

    McCain is going to lose this race without honor........just sad.

    Make sure you vote counts...check and recheck your electronic voting machine before fully completing your vote.

    Every Vote Counts...........So VOTE!!!!

    November 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. OLD MAN SHOUTS AT CLOUDS

    Of course someone on the rethug side leaked this – how low they are & should be thoroughly investigated for this – let's see if CNN & other msm outlets run the story about who leaked it since CNN seems to be afraid to give any more negative news to the rethugs or the McSame/Pain-lin campaign -

    November 1, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Robert Bushman

    Considering BO's immigration status has been challenged I believe it significant but not determinate that he has famility in the same position

    November 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Vic

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08.

    Go Democrats!

    November 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Ed Gmerek

    This is typical of the biased News Media, unable to verify justifiable areas requiring information, problems where Obama's 'skeletons' should be exposed.

    November 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Jen, CA

    Well, of course, Conyers - it's an "inconvenient" truth, isn't it?

    And since it's about Obama, the "untouchable" one - we don't like "inconvenient" truths - so we MUST HAVE AN INVESTIGATION - and Obama has plenty of dough to pay for it!

    November 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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