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. Anonymous

    How low will John McCain and Sarah Palin stup? It's very sad that they can't address the issues, their whole platform is bash Barrack and find something negative so they can get a vote, HOW SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    How can John McCain consider himself a maverick with this kind of performance. The respect I had for Senator McCain is now gone, I even gave him the benefit of the doubt when he picked his running mate Sarah Palin, but his campaign since that has been horrible!!!!!!!
    When he looses this race he can only blame himself and Sarah Palin.

    November 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Karen - Missouri

    Oh you can bet it was McCain or Bush! That's what's so disgusting about the Republican politicians of late. Bush couldn't control leaks while dealing with Iraq and now McCain can't control his own campaign.

    and the press is just as guilty. They KNOW about the confidentiality so why didn't they check this out first? I say go after the media person and the AP for even considering airing the info.

    Besides, why was she denied political asylum?

    November 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. BBB

    And they sink lower and lower....

    November 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. The Tax Payer Revolution begins Nov 4 (Producers vs. Moochers and Looters)

    Let's demand to know who may have leaked info on Obama's aunt's immigration status, but actually requiring Barack Obama to produce physical proof (ie an actual paper birth certificate) that he is even Constitutionally-eligible to RUN for the office of POTUS, let alone hold the office, why that's simple racism!

    A constitutional crisis is brewing over this man and it may very well split this country in two. Granted, the media that is ignoring and pooh-poohing this issue is the very same media that said, "John Edwards is NOT messing around on his cancer stricken wife and it's shameful that anyone is even alleging it." Nothing to see here... move along... these aren't the droids you're looking for...

    November 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Joel Parkes

    Anything the Bush/McCain/McCarthy team does won't surprise anyone anymore. that's why they are getting the boot.

    November 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Chris in PA

    The lowest of low.

    How low can they go?

    How can anyone consider voting for McCain/Palin?


    November 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. KansasGirl

    Why is this leak deplorable? The only deplorable thing here is, why am I supporting an illegal? Send her back home.

    November 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. rob

    good luck in finding out. If the bushies leaked it, you think they'd admit it. Me thinks not. Fascism reigns supreme in the republican party.

    November 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. N V Shipman

    I can't understand why the Govenor of California would support the Bush/McCain policies after putting his state employees on minimum wages. Instead of worrying about Obama's skinny legs, he should be concerned about the forced economic genocide he has placeed upon his state workers. Based on his actions he really deserves the name of terminator 08.

    November 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. d

    Bush again! Man they will do anything to win.

    November 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. nelley

    on nov 4,2008. Amercia please choose "HOPE over FEAR".........

    November 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Steven Albretsen

    This is political sleaze at its worse! any media company that
    shows this should be ashamed.

    November 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. cheryl

    Glad to know that somebody has some brains! Whoever leaked this information for the Retrash party should be fired on the spot! As I stated before, if you do the crime you should do the time!

    Obama & Biden all the way!

    November 1, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Bebe

    I pray they find out who is responsible for this leak. I hope the aunt is in a safe place because they showed pictures of where she lives. That's terrifying knowing how some people feel about OB.

    November 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. David

    It's half-aunt, not aunt. I know CNN doesn't care about details.

    November 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Jacklyn, NC

    People and this is the America that we are suppose to love so dearly. I don't think so. Why should we have any allegiance and pledges of a one-of-a-kind nation which is WHITE people are the chosen ones, well if this is the case, NO THANKS AMERICA!

    November 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Voting anything but Republocrat

    I have been coming to America ever since 1975. I always come and go," – from the CNN article expressing Obama's ignorance on her immigration status. So she can afford to travel back and forth across the Atlantic but needs my tax dollars to afford housing? Gee... I'm so glad I could help the poor woman out after she overstayed her welcome.

    Even if Obama doesn't know anything about all these people he hangs out with and even is related to, doesn't that ignorance scare the crap out of anyone else? How can he know how to help people he doesn't know when he doesn't seem to notice anything about the live, feelings, and motivations of the people he DOES know?

    Oh yeah, I remember. He's going to give you money you didn't earn by raising taxes on people who already pay 5-20% higher tax rates than you. What a freakin hero.

    November 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    That's IS a good question! By the way, IF his aunt IS here illegally, wouldn't INS pick her up?

    The far-right-hate-lies-fear-and-division mongers of the Republican party, will do and say anything!

    What a SHAME that the media did not investigate the story before it appeared in the headlines. What about the "federal law enforcement official" who was one of the AP "sources" who is this guy? And IF this "federal enforcement law official" knows that Sen. Obama's aunt is here illegally WHY hasn't she been deported???????????????????


    November 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. California Gold

    She may also not be Obama's aunt.

    November 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. IF, Portugal

    Guess this is the best the McCain campaign or one of its supporters could come up with as a late October surprise. Lame... and even if true how on earth does this reflect on Obama? Obviosuly if it's true and he had been aware of it, he'd have dispatched his aunt for a long vacation somewhere. Grow up...

    November 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Alex ednie

    Are Americans really going to re-elect Bush and company ?
    Isn't anyone thinking back there ?
    Bush inherited the largest budget surplus in the history of the country and is leaving with the largest deficet in the history of the country.
    If America re-elects Bush/Mcbush
    You deserve it.
    The only real terrorists are Americans
    That country is going to implode.
    God bless America

    November 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. cheryl

    One more thing. Out of millions of campaign donations from all the people ing this country, this was the only womans name they came up with? And I have swamp land to sell you in FL!

    November 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Beth, NY

    Where was this guy when Joe the Plumbers' tax records were looked into and leaked? These Obama supporters are becoming Nazis-suppressing everyone who does not agree with them-like they did by kicking certain news reporters off the plane.

    November 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    i'm with u on this one Rep. Conyers...and that's why we can't vote for another's very sad, though...really!!!...but it's hardly surprising, if u ask me...i mean, we've been waiting for an "October Surprise" and here we have it...BTW, pls go out and vote, good ppl...we don't need to tolerate this anymore...

    Pls don't shut me up, MODERATOR...

    Obama/Biden 08.


    November 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Rod in nc

    This should not be a shock or surprise to anyone. Pres. Bush used terror alerts to to create fear to redirect views and attention from his policies. Tricks are used to gain an advantage, like a lot of this homeowners under water! Instead of protecting us, they blamed us, and then said- we should have read the fine print. Sounds alot like the patroit act to me

    November 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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