- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
GOPers press for background check records of Homeland aide tied to scandals
Top congressional Republicans want the Obama administration to turn over background-check records on the Department of Homeland Security’s new chief of staff, Christian Marrone, citing ethics questions tied to a Pennsylvania political scandal.
The Republican lawmakers — in a letter sent Tuesday to Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson — questioned whether the administration had properly vetted Mr. Marrone, who served as a Pentagon political appointee in the Bush and Obama administrations but previously worked as aide to Pennsylvania state Sen. Vince Fumo.
Mr. Marrone testified in 2008 as a star witness in the trial of Mr. Fumo, his estranged father-in-law, admitting under oath that he spent much of his time on a government salary overseeing the opulent renovation of Mr. Fumo’s Philadelphia mansion. He also testified that he and other aides did political work for Mr. Fumo while drawing a state paycheck.
“Given the department’s vital mission to keep our nation secure, it is absolutely essential that appointees to senior positions receive a thorough vetting,” the three lawmakers said.
In the court case, Mr. Marrone testified that after leaving Mr. Fumo’s staff, he held onto emails from his time in the office that he kept locked in a safe for his own “protection,” fearing he could one day end up in court.
Mr. Marrone, who did not require immunity to testify, blamed the culture of Mr. Fumo’s office and said he was just doing what he was told while on the stand.
“That was the culture of the office,” Mr. Marrone testified. “You did what Vince told you to do. There were no boundaries.”
Homeland Security officials have defended Mr. Marrone, citing his years working in the Pentagon in a variety of high-level jobs. He was one of only a few political appointees asked to remain after the changeover from the Bush to the Obama administrations. An adviser to former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, he took a job at defense contractor 3M in 2011 and later joined the aerospace industry trade group AIA. He started at the Homeland Security Department this month.
“During their time together at the Department of Defense, Secretary Johnson was impressed with Mr. Marrone’s integrity and management abilities, and he will be a strong addition to the management team at Homeland Security Department,” Mr. Boogaard said in a statement earlier this month to The Times.
In their request to Mr. Johnson in a letter Tuesday, the Republican lawmakers called for the Homeland Security Department to provide all documents relating to any background check of Mr. Marrone and Mr. Johnson’s involvement in vetting his chief of staff.
The lawmakers also seek emails and other documents concerning Mr. Marrone’s vetting and any concerns about his security profile.
“Given the public reports that call Mr. Marrone’s background into question, the public deserves to know whether the department has been diligent and thorough in its review of his candidacy,” the lawmakers wrote. The lawmakers also said the Homeland Security Department had “refused to answer even the most basic questions about the testimony and role of Mr. Marrone” in connection with the charges against Mr. Fumo.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Thompson plea raises questions about his old accounting firm
- Judge dismisses KBR's attempt to divert legal bills on sickened troops in Iraq to taxpayers
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Fate of Alex Cho, cooperator in bribery case, uncertain after Justice Department reneges on promises
- Ex-Time executive gets ethics waiver to communicate with press
Latest Blog Entries
Kelly Riddell covers national security for The Washington Times.
Before joining The Times, Kelly was a Washington-based reporter for Bloomberg News for six years, covering the intersection between business and politics through a variety of industry-based beats. She most recently covered technology, where her reports ranged from cybersecurity to congressional policymakers.
Before joining Bloomberg, she was a management consultant and ...
- Search for missing Malaysian airliner widens as mystery deepens
- Missing Malaysian airliner: 'There isn't anything that isn't strange about this'
- Kidnap, torture lead man to prison, not divorce
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Hill watchdog Grassley blocked by administration privacy claims
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Redskins bypass big splash - for now - as free agency period begins
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again