President Barack Obama—who isn’t going away after he leaves office—just unleashed this massive whopper:
.@POTUS: “I’m extremely proud of the fact that over 8 years we have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations.” pic.twitter.com/Uv6ZVHl4H8
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 20, 2016
This is demonstrably false. Obama’s presidency has been mired with numerous scandals that would be blared on the news 24/7 if he were a Republican. But because he’s a Democrat, too many people buy Obama’s argument that his presidency has been scandal-free. Here are 11 of Obama’s scandals.
1. Operation Fast and Furious. This egregious example of a reckless government endangering lives and then scrambling to cover it up has haunted Obama for years. As Daily Wire has explained, “Operation Fast and Furious involved the Obama administration arming drug cartels and thugs south of the border as a means to undermine the Second Amendment. The program resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. One of the Islamic terrorists in the Garland, Texas, attack also used a gun that was obtained through the Fast and Furious program.”
The attempt to cover up the fatal program resulted in Obama’s first AG being held in contempt of Congress:
Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for stonewalling investigations into Operation Fast and Furious, and President Barack Obama further stonewalled the investigations by wrongly asserting executive privilege. On Tuesday, a federal judge threw out Obama’s executive privilege assertion on the grounds that the Justice Department “has already publicly revealed the sum and substance of the very material it is now seeking to withhold. Since any harm that would flow from the disclosures sought here would be merely incremental, the records must be produced.”
It has also been revealed that Joaquin Guzman, better known as the drug lord “El Chapo,” acquired a .50 caliber rifle as a result of Fast and Furious.
2. Benghazi. The terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya resulted in four brave Americans dying despite the fact that help could have been sent, but wasn’t. Requests for security prior to the attack were repeatedly denied, and after the attack Obama and Hillary Clinton falsely blamed it on a video considered offensive to Muslims. During the election, Benghazi became associated with Clinton—and rightly so—but it is also Obama’s scandal as well. It is still not known what Obama was doing that night.
3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations. In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees. Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions. Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.
Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS. It has also been reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011.
4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the AP’s case, the DOJ was investigating a story involving “a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States,” according to the Washington Post. The DOJ seized two months of phone records from the AP without informing the news outlet.
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Gary Pruitt, president of the AP wrote to Holder at the time. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”
In the Rosen case, the DOJ was investigating a story Rosen did involving North Korea and tracked “his movements and conversations,” according to Fox News, including phone numbers belonging to Rosen’s parents. The DOJ had listed Rosen as a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act in regards to the story—allegedly pressing a source for classified information. Rosen was never charged with a crime.
Fox News executive Michael Clemente called the DOJ’s actions against Rosen “downright chilling.” “We will unequivocally defend [Rosen’s] right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press,” Clemente said in a statement, per the Washington Post.
5. The NSA conducted mass surveillance against American citizens without a warrant. Thanks to leaking from former government contractor Edward Snowden, it was revealed that the National Security Agency had been conducting mass surveillance against American citizens—a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. In 2015, the NSA eventually ended their bulk data collection of phone records.
6. The Obama administration paid ransom to Iran for hostages, and lied to the American people about it. As the Daily Wire has explained, the Obama administration claimed that they were giving a total of $1.7 billion to Iran to settle a failed arms deal with the previous Iranian regime, and it just happened to coincide with the release of four American hostages. The Obama administration also didn’t reveal the details of the agreement to Congress. It was obvious though that it was a ransom deal and the Obama administration lied about it.
7. Hillary’s email scandal. Clinton’s use of a private email server that was unapproved and unsecured has been written about extensively, but it is also Obama’s scandal as well, since it has been revealed that not only did Obama know about her private email server, he also communicated with her under the use of a pseudonym. If their email exchanges involved classified information, then Obama also would have violated the Espionage Act.
8. The Environmental Protection Agency poisoned a Colorado river. The EPA breached the Gold King mine in the state and “mistakenly dug at the bottom” as well as didn’t test for pressure—both of which were mistakes that led “three million gallons of toxic mine waste,” according to The Daily Caller. The EPA has not been held accountable for this.
9. The EPA also broke federal law in promoting a regulation. The Daily Wire reported in 2015 that the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office concluded that the EPA broke the law in using Thunderclap to tout their “Waters of the United States” regulation as well as their use of “hyperlinks to the [Natural Resources Defense Council] and Surfrider Foundation webpages provided in the EPA blog post.”
10. The GSA scandal. The General Services Administration was busted in 2012 for spending $823,000 on an extravagantly decadent conference in Las Vegas, and it became a shining example of government waste. Several people in the agency were fired, with one facing an indictment. Despite the scandal, lavish spending still occurred within federal agencies under the Obama administration.
11. The Secret Service scandal. The Secret Service was caught in 2012 engaging with prostitutes during a trip to Cartegena, Columbia, with one Secret Service agent emailing another: “Swagg cologne-check/Pimp gear-check/ Swagg sunglasses-check/Cash fo dem hoes-check.” They “also left sensitive government documents unprotected in their Cartagena rooms,” according to The Daily Caller.
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12. Each time Obama issued a directive aimed at disarming certain groups, for example veterans and others who are forced to have a payee, he has violated the following law: Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.
The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.