President Obama and key members of his Democrat cabinet like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice were all among the top ten most corrupt politicians in Washington for 2012, according to an annual list compiled by the non-partisan Judicial Watch. Also on the roster were several lawmakers including two GOP congressmen from Florida and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).
The president himself made the infamous “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list due to a series of scandals and broken promises that have plagued virtually his entire time occupying the White House. Lawless behavior, regular violations of the U.S. Constitution, unprecedented secrecy, and abuse of so-called “executive privilege” to protect his senior officials all contributed to Obama’s designation as one of the most crooked politicians in the capital today.
Citing the president’s 2009 vow that “transparency” and the “rule of law” would be the “touchstones” of his presidency, Judicial Watch said the statement would get in on the first ballot if there were a “Hall of Fame” for broken promises. “Instead of transparency and the rule of law over the past four years, we have witnessed the greatest expansion of government in modern political history and, consequently, an explosion of government secrecy, scandals, and abuses of power,” the non-profit public interest watchdog explained.
Among the specifics that earned Obama the designation was a shroud of lawless secrecy that permeated the entire administration. Judicial Watch, which investigates and prosecutes official corruption, was forced to file almost 1,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and close to 100 lawsuits against the administration to find out what was going on, it said. Despite stonewalling, the group investigated elements of ObamaCare, the showering of taxpayer money on mega Wall Street banks, continued funding of the “criminal ACORN network,” and much more.
According to the Washington-based group and countless other analysts, while Obama touts transparency in public, he actually condones the routine violation of federal open records laws by his administration in an effort to conceal his activities. There are almost countless examples to prove the point.
Another series of abuses that helped put the president himself on the widely respected corruption list was the use of unconstitutional and mostly unaccountable “czars” — many of whom were lawlessly put in charge of major government policies and programs. There are now 45 such figures in Washington, and more than a few have been linked to “scandals, thefts and kickbacks, flagrant and offensive statements, conflicts of interest, and radical leftist political ideologies and policies,” according to Judicial Watch, which has been monitoring “czar” developments for years. Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones was even a self-styled communist.
Also among the reasons cited for Obama’s “corrupt” designation: multiple unconstitutional power grabs employed to advance the administration’s controversial agenda. One of the most brazen, according to former officials and Judicial Watch, was the president’s lawless attempt to unilaterally appoint a number of key officials while getting around the Senate in a corrupt process criticized across the political spectrum.
The unconstitutional use of “executive orders” to further Obama’s agenda on illegal immigration despite clear laws passed by Congress, meanwhile, was also included on the list of his corrupt activities. Finally, the president’s fraudulent and illegal use of so-called “executive privilege” to shield disgraced Attorney General Holder from prosecution over the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal also contributed to the president’s corrupt designation.
“The list could go on ad infinitum — with Benghazigate, bailouts, abusing the perks of office for luxury vacations for his family, and, of course, his personal involvement in the Solyndra scandal,” the non-profit group said in its listing. “But the bottom line is this: The federal government under Barack Obama is off the rails and out of control. And now, with Obama having been given the ‘flexibility’ of a second term, it can only be expected to get worse.”
Aside from the president himself, many of his top cabinet officials also wound up on the corruption list. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has previously appeared on the list, and Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, were both listed together. The reason: “Hillary Clinton’s and Rice’s lies about one of the most significant terrorist attacks since 9/11 are, perhaps, the scandal of the year out of this administration,” Judicial Watch noted. That scandal, however, is far from over.
As expected, Attorney General Holder — a regular on the corruption list — was on it again this year as well. He kept his spot for “shamelessly” running “the most blatantly politicized Department of Justice (DOJ) in a generation.” Plus, as The New American has documented extensively, the administration’s arming of Mexican drug cartels in Operation Fast and Furious through the Justice Department means that, as Judicial Watch explained, “it is no exaggeration that his agency has blood on its hands.”
The lies and subsequent attempt to cover-up the deadly scandal — hundreds of Mexicans and at least two U.S. law enforcement officers have been murdered with weapons provided by the Obama administration — eventually led to Holder becoming the first attorney general in American history to be held in criminal contempt by Congress. “Every day that Eric Holder remains at the helm, the Department of Justice sinks further into the abyss of cronyism, corruption, and deceit,” the organization said. “And it is well past time for him to go.” Over 120 U.S. lawmakers agree.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, meanwhile, earned his spot among the most corrupt politicians thanks to his admitted role in the “green energy” scams — especially the Solyndra scandal in which the U.S. government gave more than $500 million to a failed company and one of its key investors, Obama backer George Kaiser. Altogether, as The New American documented recently, the administration funneled billions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of wealthy Democrats and Obama supporters, who in turn gave some of the cash back via campaign contributions. More than 75 percent of the over $20 billion went to Obama financial backers, according to DoE figures analyzed by researchers.
Last but not least among Obama’s corrupt cabinet for 2012 was Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the radical pro-abortion and pro-tax funded contraception official was guilty of violating the Hatch Act by campaigning for the president in her official capacity. Violators are normally fired, but Sebelius got off without punishment after claiming she “got a little caught up in the notion that the gains which had been made would clearly not continue without the president’s reelection.”
Congress, one of the most unpopular institutions in America based on recent polls, also had its share of corrupt officials on both sides of the aisle. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) all made the 2012 list. Each of them was involved in their own scandals, but based on the evidence offered by Judicial Watch, it appears that all four of them have been implicated in major corruption.
There were also a few lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who earned a “dishonorable mention.” Along with them were disgraced general and former CIA chief David Petraeus, who was caught in an affair, and Obama’s Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, known to critics as “Big Sis,” who earned a mention by violating her oath of office to advance Obama’s unlawful amnesty agenda.
Sen. Harry Reid, meanwhile, who leads the majority party in the Senate, was among the top ten most corrupt politicians, too — again, being described by Judicial Watch as “a repeat Top Ten offender.” This year, he made the cut thanks to a variety of corrupt influence-peddling scandals — often benefiting his sons — exposed by reporters in Nevada. However, as multiple sources attest, the latest schemes are hardly the first time Reid has been embroiled in corruption scandals.
Considering the sheer volume of dirty deals, influence peddling, lawlessness, scandals, and outright violations of the Constitution emanating from the capital, it takes quite a bit for somebody to end up on the top ten most corrupt list. It appears, however, that unless concerned citizens take action, the Obama administration and members of Congress in both parties intend to continue operating a corrupt government regardless of the law or even the Supreme Law of the Land, the U.S. Constitution. And now they want your guns.
Photo of President Barack Obama: AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at
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