Obama Administration Linked to House-Speakership Blowup?
The reason Rep. Kevin McCarthy abruptly pulled his name from the running for the job as House speaker Thursday may be exactly as he explained – his untoward comments attributing a political purpose to a House committee investigating Benghazi.
Or it may have been something else – as speculation swirled on Thursday about an alleged affair with another member of Congress.
And if that was the case, one report is suggesting people look to the Obama administration for a level of involvement.
Because the trail could link back to the administration’s Department of Homeland Security.
It was the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross that tracked the murky path.
He reported, “An Internet address originating from the Department of Homeland Security was tied to entries made on the Wikipedia pages of North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, alleging that the two Republicans were having an affair.”
Ross qualified the report, “It is unclear if someone at the federal agency actually was behind the edits, which were first noted by Washington Free Beacon reporter Lacklan Markey. But both changes – McCarthy’s and Ellmers’ – show that a user at the IP address, 220.127.116.11, made them on Thursday.
“That address comes from DHS’ offices in Springfield, Virginia,” he reported.
The two have denied there was an affair, but the speculation peaked on Thursday when McCarthy suddenly, after expressing confidence in winning a vote for the House speaker’s role, just dropped out.
The Daily Caller said, “In explaining his bombshell decision, McCarthy said that he is now unable to lead House Republicans and referred to comments he made last week that the House Select Committee on Benghazi has caused Hillary Clinton to suffer in presidential polls.”
But on Wednesday, just hours before McCarthy’s announcement, Rep. Walter Jones sent out a letter to certain leading Republicans in the House saying the GOP ought not to let those with skeletons in their closets hold leadership positions.
“With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I’m asking that any candidate for speaker of the House, majority leader and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones wrote, the Hill said.
“Some of the most difficult times have been when our Republican leaders or potential Republican leaders must step down because of skeletons in their closets,” wrote Jones. “As members of the House of Representatives we need to be able to represent the will of the people unhindered by potentially embarrassing scandals.”
Fox News noted the release of such a letter, coinciding with the dropping out of a potential leader from a race, is extremely rare.
The Daily Caller said the Wikipedia edits, for Ellmers, read, “Elmers is alleged to have been involved in an extra-marital affair with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy since 2011.”
The IP address at DHS also was tied to edits on other Wikipedia pages, including those for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A DHS spokesman said an investigation would be done.
Marsha Catron said, “If it is discovered that a DHS employee, using government property, is irresponsible for these alleged actions, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken,” the Daily Caller said.