Joe Biden Claims Not to Remember Obama Fired IG Investigating Key Ally

Obama / Joe Biden
AP File Photo/Susan Walsh

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who vowed Tuesday not to fire inspectors general, claimed not to remember that President Barack Obama fired AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin in 2009 while he was investigating a key ally.

As Breitbart News noted last week, the Obama-Biden administration fired Walpin while he was pursuing claims that then-Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter and former NBA star, had misappropriated funds.

As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time:

A George W. Bush appointee, Mr. Walpin has since 2007 been the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees such subsidized volunteer programs as AmeriCorps. In April 2008 the Corporation asked Mr. Walpin to investigate reports of irregularities at St. HOPE, a California nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson. St. HOPE had received an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant, which was supposed to go for three purposes: tutoring for Sacramento-area students; the redevelopment of several buildings; and theater and art programs.

Mr. Walpin’s investigators discovered that the money had been used instead to pad staff salaries, meddle politically in a school-board election, and have AmeriCorps members perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car.

Walpin was fired, and the Obama White House claimed that he had been “confused” and “disoriented” at a meeting.

During the virtual town hall on Tuesday when Biden promised not to fire inspectors general if elected, Yahoo! News’ Dan Klaidman asked Biden about the Walpin firing. Biden claimed that he did not remember it had ever happened.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

“Early in his term, President Obama fired the AmeriCorps inspector general, Gerald Walpin, who was reportedly investigating one of his political supporters,” Yahoo News‘s Dan Klaidman said to Biden during a virtual town hall. “In retrospect was that a mistake?”

“I don’t recall that,” Biden said. “But I tell you what, I don’t ever remember the president deciding that somebody being investigated was inappropriate.”

Democrats have been crying foul over Trump’s recent firings of several inspectors general, most recently the State Department’s Steve Linick.

However, the State Department had no inspector general for the entire first term of the Obama/Biden administration.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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