Over two years after a somebody leaked the immigration status of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s aunt to the media just days ahead of the 2008 election, it still isn’t clear if any federal officials have been held accountable for the illegal disclosure.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act from TPM, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General searched the office’s “investigative indices” using both Barack Obama and Zeituni Onyango as search terms and found no records.
A separate FOIA request for the Office of Professional Responsibility report on the leak is pending. A previous request for that report was denied on procedural grounds.
Immigration Judge Leonard I. Shapiro, a Republican nominee, granted Obama’s aunt asylum back in May because her immigration status had been revealed, and called the disclosure of her status a “reckless” act.
Reached by TPM, ICE spokesman Brian Hale declined to comment on the report.
A DHS official told TPM in August that the investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility would come to a conclusion shortly, but that no announcement was expected to be made.
Punishments as harsh as termination or even referral for prosecution could be recommended if the Office of Professional Responsibility determined that the law was broken due to the disclosure of law enforcement sensitive information. The recommendation would be referred to Assistant Secretary John Morton, who heads up ICE.
The Nov. 1, 2008 Associated Press story that lead to the investigation cited two sources, including a federal law enforcement official.