A Washington watchdog group says it has identified a second official in the Obama administration whose family history includes an investigation by the federal government into communist activities.
Judicial Watch posted a report Friday that said Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, confirmed in a recent news conference that his grandfather appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s.
Judicial Watch said the FBI previously disclosed that “the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.”
Johnson’s family history is relevant, Judicial Watch said, “because, although Islamic terrorists keep attacking America, the cabinet official responsible for the nation’s safety has vowed to protect Muslims from the type of persecution he says his grandpa suffered under McCarthyism in the 1940s.”
Judicial Watch, which focuses on uncovering government corruption, said Johnson’s admission came at a recent event at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque attended by Judicial Watch representatives.
Johnson compared the discrimination Muslims face now, in a climate of “fear, suspicions and prejudice,” to the 1940s and 1950s, when members of Congress charged that communists had infiltrated the U.S. government while it was in a Cold War with the Soviet Union and its allies.
“In 1949, during the McCarthy era, my own grandfather was called upon to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to deny he was a member of the Communist Party and defend the patriotism of African Americans,” Johnson said at the time.
“Today his grandson is responsible for the homeland security of this entire nation.”
Judicial Watch said mosque leaders tried to keep Judicial Watch from attending the event, but the Department of Homeland Security “reluctantly intervened” after multiple appeals.
Initially, the DHS acting assistant secretary for public affairs, Todd Breasseale, told JW his agency “does not have the authority to force any private entity to accommodate those whom they do not wish to accommodate.”
But the watchdog group noted the news conference was widely promoted and featured a cabinet secretary.
The report said Johnson’s communist connection “had not previously been revealed and it certainly wasn’t mentioned during Senate confirmation hearings before he took over the massive agency created after 9/11 to keep the nation safe.”
“This was a bombshell, according to an editorial published in a Los Angeles-based newspaper dedicated to covering business, finance and economics. ‘Johnson’s family history is most troubling,’ the editorial reads. ‘As Muslim terrorism hits closer and closer to home, our Homeland Security chief views the war on Islamic terrorism as another Red scare, where Muslim terrorist suspects are Red-baited like his grandfather. No wonder this administration isn’t interested in monitoring radical Muslims for terrorist connections.'”
The report said FBI files revealed Jarrett’s father, pathologist James Bowman, “had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals.”
He also was “a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1955, Bowman moved to Iran to work, the FBI records show.”
Jarrett’s father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, “was also another big-time Chicago Communist,” the report said.