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. Common Sense

    I second Fix The Broken's comment-

    Ed you indeed were never a democrat and if you could jump from Hilliary or Obama to someone like McCain you were always a republican.

    November 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. CANADIAN CLUB

    JOE McCAIN, THE BROTHER OF JOHN McCAIN, TELLS THE COPS ,AND A 911 OPERATOR TO " F.CK OFF', AND HE WAS PART OF THE CAMPAIGN. WHICH IS THE MORE SERIOUS TRANSGRESSION? WHAT BEARING DOES AN AUNT HAVE ON OBAMA'S PLATFORM. PALIN'S HUSBAND TODD, TOYED WITH AN ALASKAN SEPARATIST GROUP,.. NOW THAT'S A LOT MOE DANGEROUS.

    November 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Kim

    CNN, I've been posting here for months. Every post I have is awaiting moderation–Why. Please tell us so we can avoid this happening all the time

    November 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Andrew

    Nothing the Bush/Cheny White House does should surprise anyone. You want to talk about constitutional issues? These guys use that document like a hand towel.

    November 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. arlene, CA

    another desperate attempt for distraction. Who cares ? We have millions of illegals here no one seems to care. Three more days, repubs will be trying everything. Obama said to expect it, but it will not work, not this time. Obama /Biden

    November 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. MARY, OLDER WHITE LADY OF NJ FOR PRES. OBAMA

    WELL SAID JDM!!!

    LOOK AT THE WAY THEY TRASHED JOHN KERRY'S MILITARY RECORD IN 2004!!!

    JOHN MC CAIN DOES NOT SUPPORT FUNDING FOR OUR TROOPS OR AMERICA.

    AMERICA I DON'T THINK THAT WE SHOULD SUPPORT MCCAIN/PALIN ON 11/04/2008!!!!

    STAY FOCUSED AMERICA!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!

    November 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. SnsforObama

    I thought the family members were off limits to be used in this election. What does his Aunt have to do with his running for president. When did I log on to Fox News.

    November 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. lily

    Yes, the question to be answered by the media and REAL journalists is WHO in the federal government broke the law and where does that leak lead from and to?

    It is quite transparent 72 hours before the election that this is a political hit job and any credible journalist with intellectual curiosity should be interested in breaking open this story. Will we now see the REAL questions and hopefully answers reported? Will journalists present the other side to this story? We're waiting...

    November 1, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. MikeH

    So why does this ticker remain open to comment, and the one about Palins campaign in Florida with no written reference to McCain gets closed after like 75 posts?

    CNN, your moderators are showing their secret pro-Republican operative bias again.

    November 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Jose

    Boo, hoo, hoo. Come on, we did not send you to Washington to complain about who said what, we sent you to do your jog. So Mr. Congressman....do your friking job. If she is here illegaly, then she needs to be deported.

    November 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Jim in Asheville

    It is entertaining and sad at the same time. So Mr. Conyers is troubled by a leak of private information during a hard-fought campaign. Big surprise. One is left to wonder why he wasn't the least bit concerned when Ohio officials went digging through Joe the Plumber's private records.

    The two-party system has failed us for decades. Time for real change, not the phony stuff from the empty-suit socialist Obama and the past maverick of decades ago McCain. We need four or five viable parties and real (sound biteless) debate with coalition building results. Too bad the republicrats have locked out other parties.

    November 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Kathy

    You have got to be kidding me!!! Surely they are not going to defend this woman!! She has no business living off the backs of hard working tax payers. I don't know who leaked it, but I sure applaud them. Let's take our country back. NOBAMA

    November 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. dave

    FASCINATING; AND, QUITE TROUBLING. I READ FIRST ABOUT THIS
    ON THE BBC WEBSITE. THIS FOREBODES TRUE SURPRESSION DURING AN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. anyone WHO DARES ASK OR TELL ABOUT OBAMA IS QUICKLY RUN TO GROUND. HANG ON FOLKS; THIS WILL BE ONE SCARY RIDE....YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR.....

    November 1, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. 1st time voter

    Ed & Co – And you don't think McCain and Palin LIE!

    Sad so many folks with a tunnel vision – that's why the country is in this state! Lost cause and hope....for this nation.

    November 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Netty

    Wow – they found an illegal half – aunt of Obama's. But noone nailed the illegals that took over THREE planes on 911 !!!!! Homeland security needs a roadmap. The most dangerous person invoved in this election is the one who has NEVER spoken – Todd Palin, – who believes in Alaska's independance from the US. Yeah – he belongs near the White House ! By the way, it's been months since I saw McCain wearing a flag lapel pin – guess he doesn't need to prove how patriotic he is.

    November 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. EX REPUBLICAN

    I wouldn't put anything past these cowardly republicans. They will do anything to deceive this nation.

    November 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Joan

    McCain and Palin have reached the bottom of the pit. Everyone knows that they will scrape at the dirt – anyone's dirt but their own – does Palin forget her past??? She has quite a few misdemeanours but seems to think that she is squeaky clean!!!

    McCain and Palin start looking at yourselves instead of dishing up any liquid fertilizer you can find to allow you entrance into the Whitehouse.

    Joe the Plumber (who McCain thinks is an American Hero) is not a plumber and also seems to owe back taxes. That is only a beginning!!! I am sure that there could be dirt to be dug up just there!!! Maybe look deeper into your own past McCain.

    Why do you not concentrate on the important thins McCain – like economics – but, then, I forgot you do not know anything about economics!!!

    Grow up Republicans – children have more common sense than you do.

    November 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. latanya B (CA)

    Just another nonsense to get the American people distracted!!!! who cares about whether or not Obama's aunt is legal? Get with it America our country is in dire distress economically. Let's stay focus on change and not the same Bush, Palin. and McCain's policies. Vote, vote, vote, vote, foe Change!!!!!!!!! I agreethat McCain is losing and he constantly smears Obama. If I were a republican i would be so ashamed of my party and vote Democrat for integrity, unity, and the american people.

    Go Obama and the American people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Kathy

    So, an old African woman prefers the high life in the squalor of a Boston slum over rape, torture and death in her own country.....Read about Kenya recently? She donates a huge portion of her meager wealth – She has values we all should admire. I hope her asylum claim is approved, and she gets invited to the White House.

    November 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Slider

    Yeah, right, Conyers.

    Obama's auntie's status was so sekrit, that even he didn't know about it.

    Yeah, right.

    Blame McCain all you want, but McCain didn't put her in a book.

    Make sure that factoid goes into one of your useless, voluminous investigations, Conyers.

    November 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. American Expat

    Truly despicable act! This means that 1st Amendment rights to privacy aren't honored in this country! I hope they find out who leaked this information and throw the book at them! I'm afraid that if McCain is elected- well maybe we should throw out the Constitution because they won't uphold the principles! Sad day! Obama's aunt should be compensated in some manner for her private affairs being exposed!

    November 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Why no blog on the Cheney endorsement of McCain and Palin??? The reasons for his endorsement are most telling of how they will continue the failed policies of Bush especially in foreign affairs and should be made known to voters.

    Just because the man is down is no reason for the socalled "fair and balanced" CNN should not be reporting ALL the breaking news!!

    November 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. annette

    CNN where is your "fair" reporting on this wonderful surprise, that Dick The Shooter endorced McSame today?????????????????? You remember you did not want to carry Mr. Obamas 1/2 hour the other night cuz you want to be fair, joke. get out of the bag, it is beginning to stink.

    November 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    i thought that the families were off limits?

    well since they're not now...they should investigate wheather sarah palin gave birth to trigg, bristol's medical records should be realeased...and why haven't palin released those medical records yet?

    there's something shady about todd palin too...i think he should be investigated.

    November 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. spaniard (AL)

    I applaud Obama for withstanding such brutal attacks form McCain-Palin time & again. Every possible denigrating thing has been said to Obama that can be, but he (Obama) still chooses not to comment on Palin's daughter's baby out of the wedlock & some such useless & completely meaningless crapp for the country's future. I wonder what would have McCain/Palin done if Obama/Biden had a daughter in a similar scenario. McCain/Palin are nothing but regulars like you & me (or politicians at best). Only a man such a stature as Obama is fit to lead this great country called America.

    November 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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