News & Politics

John Kerry Claims Obama 'Never Had a Whiff of Scandal' So Let's Remind Him Of Some

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

I keep thinking about the above quote whenever anyone claims that the Obama administration was scandal-free. How many more times are we going to hear people make this claim and see it go unchallenged?

During an interview on CNN on Friday, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who’s in Iowa campaigning with Joe Biden, echoed the oft-repeated claim that the Obama-Biden administration lacked scandals.

“I believe Joe Biden is the only person who has the set of relationships around the world, who has had this unbelievable breadth of experience as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and then as vice president for eight years — and in an administration, by the way, which never had a whiff of scandal,” Kerry said.

The claim went unchallenged.

This is the problem, absurd claims like that are made regularly by Obama loyalists and go unchallenged by the media.

I can’t be silent, so once again I must list a bunch of Obama/Biden scandals so that the truth about the Obama-Biden administration’s corruption doesn’t get erased. Here are ten very real and very serious scandals that are far more than “a whiff.”

10. The Senate seat for sale scandal

Before Obama even took office he was implicated in a scandal involving his soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had hoped to get a cabinet position or ambassadorship in exchange for appointing an Obama-backed individual to replace him in the Senate. Obama’s top choice had been Valerie Jarrett, and he offered to appoint Jarrett “in exchange for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services in the President-elect’s cabinet,” but she eventually opted to follow Obama to the White House as his top advisor.

To sweep it under the rug, the Obama transition conducted an internal investigation to determine whether the president-elect had done anything illegal. Naturally, they claimed everything was above board. Their investigation allegedly “affirmed the public statements of the president-elect that he had no contact with the governor or his staff, and that the president-elect’s staff was not involved in inappropriate discussions with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as U.S. senator.” But, this claim contradicts both the criminal complaint against Blagojevich and numerous documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

9. The New Black Panther Party Voter-Intimidation Scandal

In May 2009, the government was on the verge of victory by default in 2008 voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), Attorney General Eric Holder inexplicably dropped the case in May 2009. When the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigated, the Obama-Biden administration refused to respond to requests from the commission and Congress and fought subpoenas. Federal attorneys were instructed not to cooperate with the investigation and then-Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez (the current chairman of the Democratic National Committee) lied under oath about who was involved in the decision to drop the case. If this wasn’t a scandal, why did the Obama-Biden administration obstruct the investigation?

8. The Illegal Firing of an Inspector General to Protect A Sex Predator

Also in 2009, Barack Obama illegally fired Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Walpin’s only crime was that he was investigating Obama’s friend and donor, Kevin Johnson. Johnson had misused federal grant money for AmeriCorps by funneling it to his personal nonprofit group, paying for political activity, and using it to pay hush money to underage girls he’d sexually abused. When Walpin recommended charges against Johnson, Obama, in violation of federal law, fired him. An investigation by Congress into the illegal firing was met with stonewalling by the Obama White House, and the withholding of documents. The Obama White House also deliberately misled Congress about the reasons for the firing.

How exactly does breaking the law to fire an Inspector General in order to protect someone who sexually abused underage girls not count as a scandal?

7. The Green Energy loans scandal

More than fifty clean energy companies backed by the Obama-Biden administration went bankrupt or found themselves in major financial trouble. Is that not a scandal? Tell that to the taxpayers who footed the $80 billion for their “green economy” initiatives that went to companies that supported their campaign. The most well-known example of one of these companies that went belly-up was Solyndra. Solyndra received more than a half-billion-dollar loan despite the fact the Department of Energy (DOE) knew they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Obama can’t claim ignorance on this one because he and Joe Biden were both personally involved in the decision-making process to determine who got loans. Also, only companies that donated to their campaign (or other Democrats) got these green energy loans. Worse, the Obama administration stole proprietary technology from companies that weren’t picked to give it to their cronies that were.

If this wasn’t a scandal, why did the Obama administration stonewall Congress’s investigation of the matter? When House Republicans subpoenaed documents for their investigation, the Obama White House fired back by claiming their request would put an “unreasonable burden on the president’s ability to meet his constitutional duties.” Sure.

6. The Sestak job offer scandal

Barack Obama violated at least four federal laws back in 2010 by offering then-Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job in his administration in exchange for not challenging Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Specter had recently switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party, and that switch was contingent on support from Obama. Obama’s then-spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn’t confirm or deny that any offer was made, but was never asked if Obama would resign after Sestak made his bombshell allegation, even after months of the Obama White House stonewalling a congressional investigation. Nor did they ask after the Obama White House finally admitted that Sestak was indeed offered a federal job to stay out of the election, but only after Sestak defeated Specter in the primary. The media was quick to accept the White House version of events, including the “everybody does it” excuse, and they accepted the White House claim that nothing improper happened. Even Republicans lost interest in pursuing the story after Sestak was defeated in the general election by Republican Pat Toomey.

5. Obstructing Dozens of Inspectors General

Obstruction of justice was the standard operating procedure in the Obama administration from day one. In August 2014, 47 of 73 inspectors general wrote an open letter to Congress informing them that the Obama administration of obstructing investigations by not giving them full access to the information they needed to investigate properly. Such a letter was unprecedented, and the systemic corruption and obstruction of the inspectors general would have been considered an impeachable offense for almost any other president.

That letter should have resulted in the appointment of a special counsel… but Attorney General Eric Holder, who famously called himself Obama’s wingman, wasn’t going to let that happen. Neither Holder or Loretta Lynch, Obama’s second attorney general, ever appointed a special counsel, despite ample times when one should have been appointed. Obama didn’t just appoint attorneys general to lead the Justice Department, he appointed protectors to keep himself from being held accountable for corruption. The lack of outrage (thanks to lack of media attention to the scandal) emboldened the Obama administration to impose new restrictions on the investigative powers of inspectors general. Can you imagine President Trump trying to get away with that today?

4. The Fast & Furious cover-up scandal

The Obama administration sent two thousand firearms across the border to trace them to drug cartels and lost hundreds of them. That’s pretty darn bad. But it got a whole lot worse when a border agent was killed with one of those guns. In response to this revelation, the Obama administration stonewalled and obstructed the investigation into what happened. Attorney General Eric Holder falsely claimed to not know about the operation, and Obama personally obstructed the investigation by claiming executive privilege over documents requested by Congress. Not a scandal? Really? Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress in a bipartisan vote, for obstructing the investigation. What more do you need to admit this was a scandal?

3. The Benghazi attack cover-up

The terror attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, not only threatened the Obama-Biden administration narrative that they’d been crippling al-Qaeda and making progress in the War on Terror, but it also threatened their re-election. So, they lied about it. They called it a spontaneous demonstration to hide the fact it was a pre-planned terror attack and that they were grossly incapable of defending themselves from such an attack. So, when Congress investigated, the Obama-Biden administration obstructed their investigation with vigor. They attempted to excuse their obstruction by saying they were launching an internal investigation, which was a complete joke because we know how their internal investigations go. State Department employees weren’t allowed to testify, and Hillary Clinton deleted thousands of subpoenaed emails. That’s called obstruction of justice.

2. The IRS scandal

Amazingly, liberals still pretend the IRS improperly targeting conservative and Tea Party groups wasn’t a scandal. Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division at the time, admitted it happened! Not only were tea party groups improperly targeted, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, but the whole scheme was orchestrated out of Washington, D.C. There was also evidence of White House involvement. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was at the White House at least 157 times while the IRS was targeting tea party groups. Obama’s cabinet members didn’t even visit the White House that often. Some IRS employees even claimed that Obama himself requested the crackdown of tea party groups. There was certainly ample reason to suspect coordination with the White House. The IRS was also exchanging confidential taxpayer information with the White House the year Obama and Biden were re-elected.

1. The Iran Ransom scandal

A few short months after Obama had completed negotiations for the Iran Nuclear Deal, resulting in the lifting of sanctions and the unfreezing of billions in Iranian assets, the Obama administration made a shady payment to Iran of $400 million. The payment was made with foreign currency and done under the cover of night. The payment also coincided with the release of four hostages and was done completely in secret. Not even Congress knew about the payments or the hostage exchange. An investigation began, and, of course, it was met with obstruction by the Obama-Biden administration. Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to answer questions from Congress about the payments. Details of the deal weren’t classified, but the Obama-Biden administration hid key documents at a secure site to make access difficult. If this wasn’t a scandal, why did they feel they had to hide information from Congress?

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Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis