FACTCHECK.ORG CAPITULATES – Admits Error In Obama Kenyan Citizenship Analysis.
[ED – UPDATED 4:20 PM – Factcheck.org endorsed analyst caught scrubbing false data after original publication of this report. See update below with screenshots. We have retained a copy of the original cached web page.]
Our Aug. 29, 2008, Ask FactCheck item asking whether Obama has Kenyan citizenship… stated that Obama did have dual citizenship as a child but that it expired as an adult. But Leo Donofrio, a former lawyer, argues that we got the year wrong. He’s right about that, and we have corrected the item.
Initially, we said that Obama’s citizenship expired in 1982, on Obama’s 21st birthday. In fact, however, the Kenyan Constitution provides a two-year window during which one can decide which citizenship to keep. So, President Obama’s Kenyan citizenship expired on Aug. 4, 1984, not 1982, as we had initially reported.
We regret the error.
It’s not that they simply “got the year wrong”, it’s that they misconstrued the statute which required a deeper analysis in order to comprehend how to arrive at the proper date.
Unfortunately, they made another factual error above; I am not a former lawyer. I am currently a lawyer with an active, pristine law license in the state of New Jersey. I expect Factcheck.org to correct the defamatory statement.
Factcheck.org also incorrectly implied that I’m mixed up in the birth certificate issue. I am not. For those who don’t know the history of my blog, I’ve been asking a genuine legal question which stipulates Obama was born in Hawaii:
Since Obama admits he was a dual citizen governed by British law at birth, how can he be considered a natural born citizen of the US?
As to this question, Factcheck.org alleges a conspiracy theory. But where is the conspiracy? The US Supreme Court has never issued a ruling defining “natural born citizen”. I have taken a position on this issue. Others take the opposite position. If taking a position thereto is a conspiracy theory, then their position must be the opposite conspiracy theory.
FACTCHECK.ORG or FACTREFER.ORG?
Instead of addressing the legal question raised head on, Factcheck.org affirmatively adopted the viewpoint of another blogger whose credentials are unknown:
“We agree with his take on Donofrio’s argument.”
Factcheck.org was publicly humbled by the complexity of the statute they misconstrued, and so they should be referencing attorneys who will stake their public reputation upon interpretation of these laws. If not, then how can Factcheck.org be a genuine “factchecking” resource? Their proxy blogger has never provided evidence he is an attorney with professional qualifications to proffer accurate analysis of these difficult legal issues.
Bar exams exist for good reason – legal complexity.
– My name is Leo C. Donofrio. I am currently a lawyer fully licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey and the federal courts since 1991.
– I graduated from St. John’s University, School of Law with a J.D. in 1990.
– I passed the New York Bar Exam., the New Jersey Bar Exam. and received a high enough score on the Multistate Exam. so that Washington D. C. has waived my need to take their Bar Exam.
BOGUS LEGAL REPORTING ENDORSED BY FACTCHECK.ORG
The legal analysis provided via proxy to their readers is juvenile, uneducated and wrong. For example:
Because KIA 1963 removed citizenship of the UK and Colonies to the new Kenyan citizens, 1.—(1) above does not apply, and Barack Obama did not become a “British Subject” under this clause.
This is word hopscotch. Read the codes for yourselves. All UKC citizens who became Kenyan citizens under the Kenyan Independence Act of 1963 (KIA) simultaneously lost their UKC citizen status AND simultaneously gained the status of British subject under “2.-(1)(a)” of the KIA which states:
2.-(1) On and after the appointed day, the British NationalityActs 1948 and 1958 shall have effect as if-
(a) in section 1(3) of the said Act of 1948 (which provides for persons to be British subjects or Commonwealth citizens by virtue of citizenship of certain countries) there were added at the end the words ” and Kenya ” ;
That’s the KIA talking not Leo Donofrio. The Factcheck.org endorsed analysis continues:
However, adding Kenya to the list in (3) may well have granted him “Commonwealth citizenship“. (One may argue the equivalence of the two, but I prefer to keep the terms separate.) I have reservations about this because the Kenyan Constitution does not permit dual citizenship for adults which would seem a contradiction for someone like Barack Obama Sr.
The above expresses “reservations” as to whether President Obama became a Commonwealth Citizen in 1963 when Kenyan citizenship was bestowed upon him by virtue of an implication that the Kenyan Constitution would not permit Obama from obtaining Commonwealth citizenship.
That is absurd.
All they needed to check was Section 95(1) of the Kenyan Constitution:
95. (1) Every person who, under this Constitution or an Act of Parliament, is a citizen of Kenya… shall, by virtue of that citizenship, have the status of a Commonwealth citizen.
“Reservations”… are not possible.
Factcheck.org has endorsed an opinion which argues the Kenyan constitution prevents Commonwealth citizenship while it specifically provides for it.
The entire report is filled with this sort of Dr. Seussian hooplah as follows:
Donofrio perhaps will claim that the British Nationality Act…and he might argue then that…
These are bogus claims I will never make. It also attributes errors made by other attorneys to me. Nothing listed in the full paragraph from which the above are culled will be part of my forthcoming report.
This bogus jumble is purposely confusing, false, legally defamatory, contradicts itself and does not deserve the respect of my attention. This will be my final response to anything written by their proxy, the Dr. Seuss of legal analysis.
[ED: Updated 09.04.09 4:20 PM – Since I published this report earlier today, the bogus analysis endorsed by Factcheck.org has now been scrubbed due to the thorough rebuttal above. Here is the Google Cached version containing the original as quoted above. (I’ll take it as a compliment.) Here are the before and after screenshots:
THE US NEEDS TO HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THE PRESIDENT
There exist multiple legal mechanisms which have the potential to establish that President Obama is a citizen of Kenya, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Nations and the Republic of Indonesia.
I will explain these in separate and individually published parts of a forthcoming report. Unfortunately, information available in the public domain cannot answer these questions. We need to hear from President Obama.
Since the President has admitted to being a British citizen at birth, and we know he became a citizen of Kenya in 1963, he needs to tell the American people whether he retains any foreign nationalities. We have never heard from the President on these complex issues.
Hearing from bloggers who do not have any legal authority to speak for him settles nothing. It simply causes confusion and that very confusion testifies to the desperate need for clarity and guidance by the President. Is he going to be a transparent leader, or will he continue to make believe we have no right to know?
If the President is confused and unsure of his legal status, then he ought to say so.
If he is not confused, he ought to explain. This is because the average citizen can’t comprehend legalese and the myriad of complex possibilities these foreign statutes generate.
President Obama is an experienced orator and legal scholar. A graduate of Harvard Law School and former law professor can certainly speak for himself. It’s about time he does. He works for us. He is our public servant.
[Ed. While I’m proud of my WSOP Circuit Championship ring photo currently making the rounds, it was taken in March 2008 and doesn’t represent the way I look today. Below is a recent photo.]