Hidden in the News: One Obama Official Vindicated as Another Falls

By David North on April 10, 2019

One Obama-era immigration official must be saying (if only to himself) "I told you so," while another faces an ongoing investigation by federal officials.

This all can be discerned by a careful reading of an April 5 Washington Post article headlined: "DHS tech manager admits stealing data on 150,000 internal investigations, nearly 250,000 workers".

Neither of the people of interest is the "DHS manager" in the headline, a bit player named Sonal Patel, who pleaded guilty April 4 to a federal charge of stealing a "database managing 150,000 internal investigations and containing data on nearly 250,000 DHS employees", according to the article.

Does this mean that 60 percent of the whopping total of current and former 250,000 DHS employees is under investigation? I doubt it.

Patel handed off the information not to some foreign power, but to one of two once-feuding DHS executives. The data went to "Co-Conspirator 1", suspected by the Post to be a "former acting DHS inspector general" who was not named by the paper, but whose resume sounds very much like that of Charles K. Edwards, who was the acting DHS IG for a while during the Obama era.

Edwards, it is alleged, used the information in creating a contract proposal to his former employers.

If Edwards is in trouble — or in trouble again — it must come as a bit of relief to Alejandro Mayorkas, once head of USCIS and later deputy DHS secretary. Mayorkas had publicly tangled with the acting IG. As we wrote at the time:

Edwards, frankly, has a mixed record. On one hand, he led the IG's office when it issued a scathing report on the tendency of USCIS, under Mayorkas, to stretch toward "yes" decisions on questionable immigration applications as described in this CIS blog. I found his report both commendable and gutsy.

On the other hand, as this CNN report indicates, Edwards has been accused of nepotism for hiring his own wife to work at the IG's office, for having his staff write his PhD dissertation for him, and for using federal travel funds to attend the PhD classes while claiming to be visiting IG field offices.

He was getting his PhD at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, which has an unimpressive US News rating of 191.

Mayorkas, who has kept out of the news, is currently a partner at the big DC law firm, WilmerHale.