Washington (CNN) – Shortly before the 2008 presidential election, the illegal immigration status of then-candidate Barack Obama’s aunt was leaked to an Associated Press reporter. The leaker of that information did not go unidentified, a newly released investigative report shows.
Under questioning, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement employee admitted telling a “rumor” to a reporter about Zeituni Onyango’s immigration status – she had been denied asylum at the time and was facing deportation.
An immigration judge would eventually give her legal status allowing her to stay in the United States.
The inquiry found the ICE employee called the reporter on October 31, 2008, only a week before the election won by Obama. The employee’s name was redacted from the report.
The investigation found that the employee disclosed an individual’s immigration information without authorization, attempted to mislead investigators that his contact with the reporter was only social, and that he misused government property in leaking the information.