Joe Biden’s embattled nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Phillip Washington, is withdrawing his nomination, sources told Reuters.
Washington’s withdrawal comes after he was outed earlier this month by Senator Ted Cruz during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for being named in multiple search warrants in an ongoing criminal public corruption investigation.
Senator Ted Cruz addressed Biden’s pick for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and addressed the fact that he was under investigation. Cruz went on to say that Washington was the first nominee he could recall who was entangled in an ongoing public corruption investigation while their nomination was pending.
“Unfortunately, the problems with Mr. Washington’s nomination don’t end with his lack of aviation experience. There are also serious concerns regarding outstanding allegations that Mr. Washington engaged in misconduct during his time as the head of the Los Angeles Metro. He has been named in multiple search warrants in an ongoing criminal public corruption investigation, and he’s been the subject of multiple whistleblower complaints,” said Cruz during the confirmation hearing.
“One search warrant was executed just last September, not very long ago. It contained allegations that Mr. Washington pushed forward lucrative no-bid contracts to a politically-connected nonprofit to run a sexual harassment hotline that was hardly ever used, and that he did so in order to stay in the good graces of a powerful politician on LA Metro’s board. The allegations are the kind of local corruption sadly we see far too often across this country, in both parties.”
“But a whistleblower who exposed the details of this alleged pay-to-play contracting scheme claims to have been retaliated against by Mr. Washington. After Mr. Washington left the LA Metro the agency settled these claims with the whistleblower for $625,000. I practiced law for a long time. you did as well. A $625,000 check is not a nuisance check. It’s not a “go away” check. It’s indicative that there’s a real there, there. Whistleblowers don’t get settlements for more than a half a million dollars if their claim is baseless.”
Sen. Cruz added that nobody from Biden’s regime contacted the California Attorney General’s office regarding Washington’s ongoing involvement in the investigation.
“Even more amazing, when my staff spoke with the California Attorney General’s office, the AG’s office told us that at the time they spoke they were not aware of anybody from the White House, from the FBI, or from the Senate who had even contacted them to ask about Mr. Washington’s ongoing involvement in the investigation. That’s truly stunning. That is, frankly, just not caring.
“It’s inexplicable to me that a president, that a White House would choose to nominate someone who is materially involved in a current ongoing public corruption investigation. Just imagine how damaging it would be to the FAA if Mr. Washington were confirmed and then months later he were to find himself indicted for public corruption. That would do real damage to an agency that needs serious trust in leadership.”
Sen. Ted Cruz to Biden FAA pick Phil Washington: “You’re the first nominee I can recall who is currently entangled in an ongoing public corruption investigation right now while your nomination is pending. This investigation involves an alleged pic.twitter.com/DfirGix8Ja…
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 1, 2023
According to Reuters, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed Washington’s withdrawal late Saturday.
Buttigieg claimed the Republicans’ “attack” on Washington was the reason for the decision to pull out.
“The partisan attacks and procedural obstruction he has faced are undeserved, but I respect his decision to withdraw and am grateful for his service,” Buttigieg wrote on Twitter.
The FAA needs a confirmed Administrator, and Phil Washington’s transportation & military experience made him an excellent nominee. The partisan attacks and procedural obstruction he has faced are undeserved, but I respect his decision to withdraw and am grateful for his service.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) March 26, 2023
Another official told Reuters “an onslaught of unfounded Republican attacks on Mr. Washington’s service and experience irresponsibly delayed this process, threatened unnecessary procedural hurdles on the Senate floor, and ultimately have led him to withdraw his nomination today.”
TGP’s Joe Hoft reported that the FAA is a mess and in dire need of a competent leader to help the federal agency turn around its bad name and fix its many problems.
Tucker Carlson reported that there were signs of sinister links to wrongdoing that recently shut down the country’s air traffic for a couple of hours on an early January morning causing thousands of flights to be delayed.
This, and delays over the holidays, are real concerns. A lack of pilots due to airline vaccine mandates is also a problem. The entire agency needs an overhaul.
This is why it is so bizarre that Biden and Schumer would continue to support Phillip Washington to lead the agency.
Washington had no aviation experience until recently when he left the LA Metro and moved to Colorado to oversee the Denver International Airport.
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But the more serious issue with Washington is that he was recently included in warrants looking into crimes at the LA Metro when he was there.