November 1st, 2008
01:09 PM ET
10 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. JJ

    I hope that narrow minded people would realize that if Obama knew this he would have done everything possible to get it corrected. Now everything has been thrown at this man and yet nothing can stick. Vote for change not for hate. McCain is a really of hate and not change. Even the Republicans is bringing down their VP so now Go Figure. Republicans are a bunch of idiots.

    November 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Joan , Ontario

    This is a half-sister to Obama's father who he saw once and was estranged from his whole life. He has seen her a few times in his life and they are documented. Obviously if he had known she had problems, he would have helped her. Maybe she thought she had solved the problem. The allegation is that she "may" be in the US illegally. Shouldn't this have been verified that she really was until it was published? Don't you find it disturbing that a law official gave this private information to a newspaper just three days before the election? Doesn't something smell a bit fishy here? They have to find and disclose who leaked this. Any American can have private information leaked if this is the case.

    November 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. George

    Don't really care about his aunt's citizenship status. Are you responsible for everything that all your relatives do?

    November 1, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Coherent1

    I love it! The GOP is peeing all over itself with fear that Obama will become the 44th President of the United States of America. Thanks to the historical nature of Obama's bid for president and Bush's lack of leadership, American's have have been really listening and focusing on their choice of elected officials. America's eyes are opened and can now see the lies and deceit that's been used to keep us divided and in the dark. Thank you, GOP, for continuing with you foolishness during this campaign season! The people can finally see that the emporer has on no clothes. Your naked boodies have been exposed! I just have one more reques: Stop hiding behind the Christian title! You do no justice for true Christians. You've caused us to look foolish and to look like hypocrites. You shame the name of Jesus with your hypocrisy and the Pharisee is your idol. Nevertheless, much love to you and see you in the year 2024!

    November 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Emily

    I think it's absolutely ridiculous that a candidate's family members are used as evidence against the candidate. Let's face it- unless that candidate had anything to do with it, which Obama did not in this situation, then why on earth does it matter?! If he had been harboring his aunt illegally, that might be something of contention, but he was not even aware of her living situation. He didn't intervene on her behalf to keep her here- bottom line.

    November 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Rotten Mind

    ok, so this is the way Democrats want to hide the truth ?

    Hang on Mr Right. Obama has mentioned about this Aunt in his book, and also said she lived in Boston, its so public.

    Like Obama's Aunt, there are several thousands illegals who have given money to Obama campaign, and they all should be in Campaign records.

    November 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Rashid Kalidi

    Hold the Press..!

    I'm still waiting for Sara Palen to get back to Katie Couric with an example of John McLame voting for increased regulation of banks & wall street.. 😛

    I also would love to hear more about John McCain as Chairman of the I.R.I. giving almost $500,000. to the P.L.O. c/o of Rashid Kalidi... 😀

    But he didn't ever meet him and doesn't know him...?

    Hey John ! When can I pick up my Check 🙂 ? LOL 😛

    November 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. wanda


    November 1, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Tony

    CNN=McCain smear machine

    I am sure the moderator will delete this.

    November 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. JIM HAWK


    November 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. JDW

    Hey ed. Nice try but no democrat would vote for McCain.

    November 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Tim from Texas

    Joe the plumber not having a license is on the public record. As is his tax status. Immigration cases are not. One set of records is legal to look at. One set of records was illegally leaked. That is what is different. It's simple.

    November 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. mark

    wow this is ridiculous so what if obama aunt is here illegally does that affects the economy,education,health care give me a break mcain and pailin is very hungry for power and desperate.. you go desperate house wives obama all the way...

    November 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Rotten Minds

    you decide..

    being friends with radicals, dining & wining with them, sitting in same room for decades. Thats what Obama did all his life till recently.
    He even likes Aiyers, who praise the killer of Robery Kennedy.

    On other side, did McCain dine, sat in boards, went to Church with any of the guys his name is linked to ?

    November 1, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Jacques Rougier

    I supose Obama was 8 years old at the time his aunt came to USA.

    November 1, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. mb

    This definitely should be cleared up by Monday evening. Even if the United States Supreme Court is involved.

    November 1, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. It sound and act like a Duck

    Why is it that plain blank brained people, have to blame anyone, that is public information. I mean anyone who has homeland security should know, who is legal and who is not. This is a way to find out. It could of just been a neighbor, but no you demobrains, have to blame the current Administration, or Joe the plumber, for gosh sake, your taking this way to far. And not only that you liberal are getting a little to arrogant, please enjoy your posting on any site, when your choice of obama IF he win, will be monitored and told to get off the bus!!! He has the audacity and thinks he can walk on water. Lord help us!!
    Obama is a socialist.simple.

    November 1, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Stu-Florida

    I am so ashamed of McCain and the Republican Party. I wonder just how many scouts are presently out there lifting every rock for something, anything on Obama. Their actions are deplorable, their tatics are offensive to all Americans. This has gone beyond disgusting.
    Instead of using his resources to come up with concrete plans or ideas he just keeps trying to dig up dirt with all of his little shovels.

    Think of it this way, America. On Wednesday Nov. 5th, think of it as Christmas. With Obama you'll get the new 12 speed bike you always wanted (Obama) and the coolest sweatshirt from Hollister (Biden)... with MCCain you get the old used, fat tires, rusted fenders, fat torn seat bike and with Palin you get a new pair of socks... ouuuu, Thanks

    November 1, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Great

    CNN dirty politics as usual:

    Mc Cain keating 5, Pailin ethics violation who in their right mind would vote for them.

    November 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Joe in Michigan

    It might be intersting to see how much retribution comes down the pike when President Obama takes office in January. My bet is that all these repubijokers will hide like fleas. One always gets caught up with sooner or later and my bet is that these crooks and liars will get their just rewards. A campaign that rides on sleaze is like a bush in the Whitehouse. While talking about sleaze, why did the McStupid campaign accept millions from the gambling cartel in Vegas? When it comes to socialism, McStupid is one for spreading his wifes" wealth around like he's in Vegas. Isn't odd the he goes to Vegas so much?

    November 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Obama-Biden 2008 and 2012

    NO WORRIES, Rep. John Conyers. If this news is an attempt to put some kind of negative light on Sen. Obama, then I have some news to report also: IT WILL NOT PREVAIL !

    You [ Barack Obama], are from God and have overcome them [the enemy's attacks, schemes, and plots ] , because the one [God] who is in you [ Barack Obama] is greater than the one [the enemy ] who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4

    No weapon forged against you [ Barack Obama] will prevail, and you [ Barack Obama] will refute every tongue that accuses you [ Barack Obama] . This is the heritage of the servants [ Barack Obama] of the LORD, and this is their [ Barack Obama] vindication from me," declares the LORD. – Isaiah 54:17

    " I [ God ] will send my terror ahead of you [ Barack Obama] and throw into confusion every nation you [ Barack Obama] encounter. I [ God ] will make all your [ Barack Obama] enemies turn their backs and run." – Exodus 23:27

    They will fight against you [ Barack Obama] but will not overcome you, for I [God ] am with you [ Barack Obama] and will rescue you," declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 1:19
    The Lord will rescue me [ Barack Obama] from every evil attack and will bring me [ Barack Obama] safely to his heavenly kingdom. – 2 Timothy 4:18

    11 For he will command his angels concerning you [ Barack Obama] to guard you [ Barack Obama ] in all your ways; 12 they will lift you [ Barack Obama ] up in their hands, so that you [ Barack Obama ] will not strike your [his] foot against a stone. 13 You [ Barack Obama ] will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you [ Barack Obama ] will trample the great lion and the serpent. – Psalm 91:11-13

    I have given you [ Barack Obama ] authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you [ Barack Obama ]. – Luke 10:19

    It's time for the American people to get it right and NOT vote for McCain-Palin, instead vote for change. It's time for this country to turn the page and seek a new and better future for ourselves and our children.It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    Obama-Biden are the wiser and stronger team to solve the crucial challenges we have in this nation and abroad !


    November 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Tony


    November 1, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Diane in Wis

    Wow what a mess!!! Republican as myself and family became Democrat and already voted for Obama, I am ashamed to say i belonged to the republican party and I wish I hadn't voted for Bush, but whats done is done! I am now a democrat and have been out knocking on doors and calling for Obama! I see no gain for McCain in bringing the aunts status!! Another slander from McCain & Palin! I am a hispanic and ask all my Hispanic people to Vote for the right candidate Obama Si se puede!!!

    November 1, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Eli

    The immigration status of Obama's Kenyan aunt can be released, but Gov. Palin's medical records can't be?!?

    November 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Tony

    HEY ED!




    November 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17