Norman Eisen, the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with investigators on the staff of Republican Sen. Charles Grassley at Grassley's offices this morning. The investigators wanted to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. According to Grassley, Eisen revealed very, very little, refusing to answer many questions of fact put to him. And now Grassley has written a letter to the White House counsel asking for answers.
The questions relate to a letter Eisen sent to some senators Tuesday night attributing Walpin's dismissal, in significant part, to Walpin's behavior at a May 20, 2009 board meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps. Eisen wrote that at the meeting, "Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the board to question his capacity to serve." After the meeting, Eisen wrote, Walpin lost the confidence of the Corporation Board. The White House conducted a review of the matter, and Walpin was fired. (For a detailed account of Walpin's reaction to the White House charges...