Yesterday we took a humorous look at an embarrassing but relatively innocuous example of the lack of vetting by the Obama administration. Later in the day, Reuters and other news agencies reported on a less-innocuous example. Barack Obama promoted the current director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Alejandro Mayorkas, to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which would put him in charge at DHS once confirmed until a replacement for Janet Napolitano is installed. The White House apparently didn’t check with the Inspector General at DHS first, as Mayorkas is the target of an investigation into potential corruption regarding investor visas:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been nominated to be the deputy secretary of Homeland Security – and who could soon run the department – is under investigation by the department’s inspector general. …
The inspector general’s office sent lawmakers an email this week informing them about allegations Mayorkas had engaged in a conflict of interest and misused his position, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The source said investigators are looking into whether Mayorkas had assisted in securing an investor visa – which had previously been denied twice – on behalf of Gulf Coast Funds Management.
And this potential corruption has a very familiar name linked to it:
Gulf Coast Funds Management is run by Anthony Rodham, the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The scandal also links to another Clinton ally, Terry McAuliffe, currently the Democratic nominee for governor in Virginia. Gulf Coast Funds was a player in GreenTech Automotive, McAuliffe’s former firm, which already has come under scrutiny for allegations of a visa-for-cash scheme. They filed a lawsuit against Watchdog.org for writing about the state of Virginia’s own investigation of the affair, and Watchdog connects the dots here:
Gulf Coast, which is headed by Anthony Rodham, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s younger brother, is a funding arm of GreenTech Automotive. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was company chairman until April, when the company abruptly announced that he had resigned four months before. He is still an owner.
The financial and political links between the two ventures has been the subject of a series of investigative articles by Watchdog.org over the past eight months. In April, GreenTech filed an $85 million lawsuit against Watchdog.org, alleging libel and saying the news organization’s reporting jeopardized millions of dollars in investments.
An email obtained by the AP said the primary complaint against Mayorkas was that he helped Gulf Coast win approval for an investor visa after the application was denied and an appeal was rejected.
According to the email from the DHS Inspector General’s Office, the investigation of the investor visa program also includes allegations that other USCIS Office of General Counsel officials obstructed an audit of the visa program by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The email did not name any specific official from the general counsel’s office.
Looks like the IG picked up where the Virginia Economic Development Partnership left off. And it also appears that the White House is just as bad as ever in vetting its appointees.