South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is considered by many to be a viable candidate who could end up securing the 2020 Democratic nomination.
But less than a week after the FBI raided the offices of an authority that he oversees as mayor, Buttigieg just got hit with news that could end his 2020 presidential campaign.
Conservative watchdog group Judicial watch filed a lawsuit against Buttigieg’s administration on Tuesday for records regarding the creation of identification cards meant to assist people in the U.S. illegally.
In a press release, Judicial Watch alleges that these cards were created by La Casa de Amistad, a local not-for-profit corporation, likely in coordination with Buttigieg’s office.
On Dec. 16, 2016, the South Bend Tribune reported that, “A nonprofit Latino advocacy group … unveiled a new identification card it hopes will make life easier for undocumented immigrants who live in [South Bend]. La Casa de Amistad Inc. are the creators of this SB ID.”
Buttigieg reportedly worked “closely with La Casa de Amistad, South Bend’s main Latino outreach center … and the nonprofit’s executive director, Sam Centellas,” to create a “Community Resident Card … created and distributed by the group — a private organization — not the city.”
“Buttigieg’s part to make it all work was to sign an executive order requiring local services and institutions — like law enforcement, schools, the water utility and libraries — to accept the card as a valid form of identification,” the paper noted.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after Buttigieg’s office failed to respond to a records request sent last month for emails between Buttigieg, members of his staff, and officials of La Casa de Amistad regarding the Community Resident Card program.
Wonder why? Is Buttigieg trying to hind something?
Was his office personally involved in using taxpayer money for these cards that only helped illegal aliens, who broke the law to enter the country in the first place?
The lawsuit comes less than a week after the FBI raided the South Bend Housing Authority in a law enforcement action that raises several bombshell questions about Buttigieg and his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Federal and local authorities haven’t released much information, but several local residents told local news outlet WSBT that they “aren’t surprised” that Buttigieg is caught up in what appears to be a massive scandal.
Residents said it didn’t come as a shock that favoritism is common at the authority — which Buttigieg is responsible for as the city mayor — and that it’s poorly managed.
Check out the WSBT report here:
— WSBT (@WSBT) July 31, 2019
In response to the raid, Buttigieg released a statement that attempted to distance himself from the authority’s operation.
“Earlier today the Mayor’s Office became aware through local media reports of today’s law enforcement action at the Housing Authority. While the Housing Authority is not part of the City administration, the Mayor is concerned and will be closely following the situation,” the statement read.
It added: “The Mayor is in touch with the Board of Commissioners and has asked that they keep him informed on what they learn from federal officials. In the meantime, he has offered the City’s assistance to help ensure residents are not negatively impacted by this situation. He has been advised that normal operations will continue.”
There are several issues with Buttigieg’s statement.
For starters, the housing authority is “not part of the city administration.”
The South Bend mayor — which is Buttigieg — is responsible for appointing the housing authority’s board.
Buttigieg coincidentally forgot to mention that and tried to act as if none of this was his fault or connected to him.
Secondly, as WSBT reported, Buttigieg is well-aware that the authority has been in bad shape under his leadership.
In 2015, he replaced the authority’s entire board after years of mismanagement.
So all of the current board members involved in the FBI raid were appointed by Buttigieg.
But now that Mayor Pete is running for president and has a shot to secure the Democratic nomination, he’s trying to deflect and act as if he has no connection to the FBI raid.
The South Bend Housing Authority offices were abruptly closed Wednesday, as FBI agents appeared and went through the office for unknown reasons. https://t.co/3sdegxqEjm
— Christian Sheckler (@jcsheckler) July 31, 2019
In less than two weeks, Buttigieg has been smacked with an FBI raid and lawsuit.
This is not a good sign for any mayor, especially not one running for president.