November 1st, 2008
01:09 PM ET
5 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. Bas

    Of course it was leaked for political reasons.

    November 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Nate Hussein

    How low will the repugnants go? Hopefully after tuesday, they'll go away!
    Obama/Biden '08

    November 1, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Gary

    Todd Palin running free around the WhiteHouse scares me a whole lot more than Obama's Aunt.
    Het Trig, who's your Mommy?

    November 1, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. AmericadowntheDrainMcCain

    GOP tactic. Is the public supposed to be outraged at his aunts presence here in the USA to the point where we don't want to vote for Obama? It amazes me at the level of narrow minded attacks on Obama. any informed person can see right through this rubbish but the sad fact of the matter is that most of America refuses to even get informed.

    November 1, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Jadie

    We don't have to look too far. What a mess the Republican party has become. I doubt I'll ever trust any of them again....not even for local dog-catcher.
    OBAMA?BIDEN

    November 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Tom, KS

    It's funny though how the Government waited until this weekend to release this info. Clearly Bush is trying to make waves for Obama in hopes of knocking him off stride so close to the election. By keeping it under the radar until now, the story won't develop enough to be anything but an outlandish headline. I hope we aren't fooled again!

    November 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. spread the wealth

    cnn-virginia obama 51 mccain 44 undecided 7 hu??? 51+ 44=95,will that not make it 5% undecided cnn??? stop tryin to make it seem tight cnn!!

    November 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. votenow

    these sort of tactics are to be expcted from the repubs campaign. the should concentrate on the real issues, better yet start to repair the damage they have done, and that will become apparent after they loose the elections.

    November 1, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. California Voter

    What about the "leaks" on Joe the plummer?

    November 1, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. A Well Educated Woman

    Figures, what will it be tomorrow?

    November 1, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Alissa in Kansas

    I think we all know this has got Bush/McCain written all over it.

    November 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Dave

    Republicans are desperate to distract attention from the real issues.

    November 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. LT for Obama

    I have read some interesting comments on this subject of the illegal aunt on a different blog.

    First of all, there is not evidence that Obama knew this woman was here on an expired visa nor is there any of his knowledge of her financial situation, yet so many who want to lay blame put this all at his feet. You all have to keep in mind that he has only met her a few times in his 47 years on this earth. His Kenya family is quite large.

    One comment that really pisses me off is that people keep talking about him giving his Kenyan family money to help out. Two things here, he does not really know these people and there are far too many of them for him to be helping out everyone. Secondly, where is the OUTRAGE about Cindy McCain who let her sister on her father's side get completely cut off without a look over her shoulder when their father died. She claims to be an only child but has two sisters she grew up knowing and acts like they don't exist. Talk about hypocrisy.

    November 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Obama for President!!!

    This is more Rethuglican tactics that will BLOW UP in there face!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Cathy

    Everyone knows that the Bush administration would do anything to try to help his sidekick, John McCain, win this election. Not this time Bush and McBush! Enough is Enough! Eight years is Enough! It is time for a positive change and the American people will speak on Nov. 4. Enough Said!

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    November 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Jo-Ann

    Wow....anything to make Obama look bad...We the peopel are sick of this kind of stories....It's not going to stop people from voting for Obama....

    OBAMA WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THESE UNITED STATES!!!

    November 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. weneedstrongleadership

    First the tip off of the Ashley Todd information to try and smear Obama, now this. McCain you sir are a disgrace to not only yourself but to the american people. McCain you and Palin aren't even wearing your flag pins anymore, just another sign that you have turned your back on the American People.

    November 1, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. DB25

    Gee, could it be a Bush political appointee from Homeland Security? Duh.

    November 1, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. 3D

    Here we go and here they come . . . trying to stop the Obama freight train. Keep trying!

    November 1, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Memarme

    GO MCCAIN AND PALIN!!!!!! NO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Alexander

    Maybe there should be laws against reporters using information that they know can only be given illegally – and when the intention behind leaking it is so obvious. Or maybe it should just be in the reporters moral DNA?

    November 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. j

    Just get her legal status if she qualifies or send her back to Africa. Geez!

    November 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Virginia Voter

    I voted early for Obama/Biden. I'm sick of this gutter politics from the GOP.

    November 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. MaryJane

    I have no clue and have no responsibility over what happens to my extended family. I can only control who lives under my roof.

    This leak shows that there's a hole in the US Dept of Homeland Security process. Tells much about how they track people with visas. After denying her application for asylum, why wouldn't they follow up to ensure she had left the country?

    I'm still voting for Obama and if the GOP thinks this is going to change people's mind, they have another thing coming. No more stealing of the White House, sorry!!

    November 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Susan

    We are concerned that Obama has known this from the beginning. This concerns us as Democrat voters.

    November 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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