The Blog

Another Obama Vetting Disaster

10:40 AM, Dec 30, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Josh Rogin has the story at the Cable:

Jide Zeitlin, the Obama administration's nominee to be America's point man for financial reform at the United Nations, has withdrawn himself from consideration for the job, an administration official tells The Cable.

Zeitlin, a former Goldman Sachs executive and telecom entrepreneur, had faced criticism for his business dealings related to Indian contractors and was also accused of identity fraud for an incident in which he admitted to sending an email to investors masked as coming from one of his competitors. Zeitlin testified before Congress that the email was a prank.

Rogin also hints at the the possibility that there is another scandal here that isn't financial:

But concerns about his nomination grew as rumors swirled around Washington and New York that Zeitlin was engaged in other activities that called into question his overall character and also may have included elements of identity fraud.

Specifically, one woman contacted several government offices and multiple news outlets, including The Cable, with allegations that Zeitlin had used deception to lure her into what eventually she claims was a romantic relationship. Those allegations could not be independently confirmed by The Cable. The administration official declined to comment as to whether they had been investigated as part of Zeitlin's vetting process or afterwards.

In the midst of the administration's disastrous failure to connect the dots in the case of an al Qaeda terrorist with plans to blow up a U.S. airliner, this kind of miscue pales in comparison. Still, it's sort of amazing that this administration still isn't even Googling people before they nominate them to Senate confirmable positions. All of the details on Zeitlin's financial/legal problems seem to have been a matter of public record. Who is in charge of vetting these appointments -- and why don't they have a Nexis account?