Alleging Favoritism, House Conservative Targets President Obama’s Aunt For Investigation

A conservative House Republican is seeking an investigation of the immigration case of a woman who is related to President Obama.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants Obama’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, to testify at a Thursday hearing regarding the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review

In a letter to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law, King says he wants to invite Onyango to testify as the Republican witness at the Thursday session.

King alleges that Onyango may have gotten preferential treatment in seeking asylum because of her relationship to the president.

An immigration judge recently granted Onyango asylum, overruling an earlier judicial determination ordering her deportation.

“In order to better determine whether favoritism played a role –- especially because Ms. Onyango had been earlier turned down for asylum and ordered deported in 2004 before her nephew became president –- the Subcommittee needs to hear from Ms. Onyango herself. Therefore, I will invite her as the Republican witness on the second panel at Thursday’s hearing,” King says in his letter to Lofgren.

“While I understand that asylum proceedings are generally confidential, Margaret Wong, Ms. Onyango’s attorney, has clearly courted press attention regarding this matter,” King adds. “In fact, I assume that the press learned that Ms. Onyango received asylum because of comments to the media made by Ms. Wong. Therefore, Ms. Onyango has made herself a public figure and should have no hesitation about appearing before the Subcommittee. Further, in order to facilitate Ms. Onyango’s appearance before the Subcommittee, I request that you and Chairman Conyers authorize the Committee to reimburse her travel expenses.”

The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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