Documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, show that the Obama White House played a role in the controversial firing of former U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod. The administration had previously denied any involvement in her resignation.
Shirley Sherrod resigned in July 2010 over allegedly racist comments she made in a NAACP speech four months earlier. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch indicate that White House officials helped draft, and approved, language used by the Secretary of Agriculture in announcing the acceptance of Sherrod’s forced resignation, despite former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs denying any White house involvement.
The documents consist of internal emails between the USDA employees and White House staffers who crafted a public response to the growing controversy over Sherrod’s dismissal. After it backfired, Gibbs denied White House involvement and placed blame on the USDA.