Former Attorney General and federal judge, General Michael Mukasey said President Barack Obama “violated” the the law when he fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin without following Senate statutes.
As background, IG Walpin investigated AmeriCorp and found they misused $75 million of taxpayer funds. That’s not all, he implicated Obama’s friend and former NBA star, Kevin Johnson who is currently the Mayor of Sacramento, California for diverting funds from AmeriCorp and more. Walpin’s report went to Congress, the White House [counsel Greg Craig] telephoned Walpin and gave him one hour to resign or be fired. Walpin refused to resign. The reason for the firing given by the White House: Obama lost confidence in Walpin. That ridiculous statement does not meet Senate statutes.
This week we learned that an ethics committee has investigated Gerald Walpin’s actions and cleared him of overstepping his authority. Walpin has sued and wants his job back.
Back to Mukasey: Speaking at the Federalist Society Walpin was asked to introduce the General. Here’s what Mukasey had to say:
“Gerry served as an inspector general until he was not
only unceremoniously, but in any reasonable view of the law, unlawfully
removed from that position, something he has chosen not to suffer but
to fight, as he usually does against injustice,” Mukasey declared.
Mukasey praised Walpin for his lawsuit challenging his firing and noted
that the former IG is pursuing the case “at considerable expense to
himself but, I would add, with the support of his friends.”
Back in June when Walpin was fired for doing his job a bit too well, and a bit too inconveniently for Barack Obama, who is exceedingly fond of AmeriCorp, many came to the defense of the Inspector General:
A letter signed by a former Republican U.S. attorney general, a former
Democratic White House Counsel, and 144 other prominent lawyers is
challenging the White House’s claim that fired AmeriCorps Inspector
General Gerald Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented.”
“We have known Gerald Walpin as a leading member of the New York bar for many years,” said the letter signed by former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former
Clinton White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum. “Many of us have seen him
and heard him speak, including at this month’s meeting of the Second
Circuit Judicial Conference and last week’s meeting of the Board of the
Federal Bar Council.”
A tidbit of news broke on this story yesterday: An “agency” directed by the White House, erroneously e-mailed White House documents to the acting Inspector General, Kenneth Bach, who took Walpin’s place. Thirteen minutes later, an “agency” spokeswoman emailed Bach, said those documents were not to come to you, please shred immediately and let me know when you have complied. Bach followed the orders! and did the shredding! The documents pertained to Gerald Walpin’s firing.
This is a case that should interest all Americans. We have Inspectors General for a reason. They do not work for the White House, for a reason. IGs are apolitical. They “inspect” government agencies. They look for waste, theft, fraud and misconduct of any kind. In this case Gerald Walpin did his job in an excellent manner, and his efforts should have saved taxpayers huge sums of money. The White House handling of Mr. Walpin is shameful. Congress needs to fix it, because this process is broken.
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