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. Shyla Swamy

    So, now are we at fault for the actions of our relatives?

    November 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. john, Missouri

    All imigrants beware! All hispanics this will befall you if you vote for McCain. Bush , McCain and Palin say they see Ammerica differently from the way other immigrants see it. One more reason to vote for Obama, so he can give everyone a chance to survive. If Mccain wins ever arnold the Swineger with his biceps will have to leave!!
    Vote wisely, Vote Obama, vote for a clean and well respected image of America abroad and a restructured economy at home.

    November 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Hopeful Democrat

    These McRepugs keep blaming Obama for other peoples shortcomings: Ayers, Wright, Kalidi and now Onyango. Remember that both McCain and Palin have been found guilty by constituted authorities of some wrong doing. Keating 5 and abuse of office. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    November 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. steven

    sad...GO OBAMA 08

    November 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Bre Kiessling

    No Hillary=No Obama how many illegal immigrants do we have in th US and we care about this one? Wow republicans really will stoop to anything just to make voting for Mccain justifiable. How about if Obama threatens to blow up some buildings then we report about it. An Aunt that might be illegal give me a break!!!! Give me some real news.

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. RoRo

    Obama did not even use his influence to help his aunt, unlike the republicans.
    He shd be commended for that!!
    If republicans play this illegal aunt immigration card they will more than the gurantee the hispanic vote goes to Obama, I dare them to try it it!!

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Joe Green

    Hey, maybe next we all get to look at her tax returns.

    Anything's is possible with Bush in the White House.

    Ask Vaierie Plame....

    Not sicnce Nixon has the power of government been so abused to "get" political opponents.

    Remember what happened to Nixon?

    Oh, right, he is the hero of the Republicans even still!

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. KLEE

    Jesus was for the poor for the rich getting to heaven was like a camel going through the eye of a needle – get it!! I wonder if Jesus had "socialist" leanings......ok Religious "Right" – your turn.

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. john, american

    If Obama's aunt is an issue then Palin's daughter having a baby out of wedlock is surely an issue. It is obvious that Obama is not as close to the Kenyan side of his family while Palin's daughter is right under her nose.

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. ed

    Why did Obama not know about his aunt situation? I find that fishy! This democrat will vote for McCain. I can not take it – Obama always lies when confroted with the truth...

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. JOE

    IF OBAMA GETS ELECTED AND THATS A BIG MAYBE MAYBE NOT, THEN ALL THE AFFERMATIVE ACTION QUOTA'S SHOULD BE ELEMINATED, THAT SEEMS ONLY THE RIGHT THING, BUT THAT WOULD MEAN THAT EVEN THE CANDIDATE WITH THE LEAST EXPERIENCE SHOULD BE LOOKED AT BUT THE JOB GOES TO THE MOST EXPERIENCED CANDIDATE SHOULDN'T IT?

    November 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. GARY

    BLAME IT ALL ON THE REPUBLICANS. YOU STINKEN DEM'S CANT TAKE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS. OBAMA IS GOOD AT BRAIN WASHING HIS MORON NAIVE PUPPETS THAT SUPPORT HIM ,AND TURN EVERYTHING AGAINST THE OTHERSIDE.OBAMA DONT TAKE RESPONSIBILTIES OF HIS ACTIONS .HE WANTS EVERYONE TO THINK HE IS RIGHT ALL THE TIME. THIS COUNTRY IS HEADED FOR A VERY BAD SCENE ,IF HE IS ELECTED.

    November 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Fix The Broken

    ed,

    You were never a democrat and you were always going to vote for McCain.

    You do not have any integrity.

    November 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Hilary

    Well, considering the Bush Administration doesn't mind leaking names of people in the CIA, I don't think this would be above their pay grade.

    November 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. No McCain

    AND WHY IS THIS NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Lisa

    The GOP is so low. I am sorry to say I grew up a Republican. I loved Ronald Reagan and the 1st Bush. I can't tolerate the direction of the party, John McCain or Sara Palin.

    If they think this will change my mind they are dead wrong. It makes me dig in even more. I have relatives on my Dad's side I have met over the years, but know nothing about them. They could be drug dealers for all I know. Give me a break. McCain is vile.

    November 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. blkkbbeauty

    I cant believe the GOP spread this ladys business around and also with the help of the media who did not even verify the story... Mccain AND Palin are a sad bunch that will stoop to any level to win this election, but mark my words once they get in they wont know what the HELL to do !! , then the will start attacking each other ....

    November 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. LindainSD

    Homeland Security...now there's the biggest OXYMORON to come out of the Bushes.

    Homeland Security...while this dept kept a close watch at airports and took away our shampoo, the financial stability and economy of the USA went down the drain. Faster than the confiscated toiletries at an airport security check

    November 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. jacq

    I think the Navy needs to release the details on McShameful's involvement in a car accident that led to either the death or injury of an individual in the car with DRUNK DRIVING McCain, we need to know the whole truth about his screw ups. What about the 120 navy personnel killed aboard ship ship, the 5 air planes wrecked due to carelessness on McCains part? LET'S GET ALL OF THE TRUTH OUT.

    November 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Jean 2

    This is very troubling. How secure are all of us, if our files or confidential information can be leaked for any reason. I could understand if this was the result of an investigation.
    I believe in laws and the enforcement of them, but when something like this happens we are all at risk.

    It is larger than any donation to the poor.

    A sick commentary on the democratic process.

    IS THIS COUNTRY FIRST???

    November 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Former PUMA

    I had an aunt here illegally from Ireland. I had no idea she was an illegal until she died. I grew up going to her home for years, went shopping with her, was babysat by her, and didn't have a clue she was here illegally. She even owned her own home. Am I a worse person because of her? I don't think so. She was here illegally, ok, so????? Treat her like every other illegal. When the ICE people find illegals, do they then go after their LEGAL family members? I really don't see how this affects Obama. He didn't help get her here, he doesn't pay her bills, he didn't protect her from immigration, so what's the point of this?

    November 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Kate

    WHERE ARE SARAH PALIN'S MEDICAL RECORDS? .. CNN YOU ARE COWARDS FOR NOT ASKING SERIOUS QUESTIONS INSTEAD GOING AFTER A POOR OLD WOMAN WHO IS HALF-SISTER OF A MAN THAT ABANDONED SEN. OBAMA .. NO WONDER CHINA IS TAKING OVER, WE,VE BECOME A NATION OF LITTLE BRAINS!!!

    November 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. ghost

    With 12 million undocumented workers in the USA who cares that one is related to a candidate?

    November 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. ED CROSS

    WHO CARES???

    November 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Dave

    Mr. Obama "takes care" of his aunt by hiding her in a slum in Boston living as an illiegal immigrant, and the Dems and the Obamanation are disgusted by how the truth was "leaked".

    If Mr. Obama wins the election, will this he the way he will "take care" of all Americans?

    November 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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