A second government official has come forward saying the White House tried to influence his testimony concerning a wireless broadband project backed by a Democratic donor that military officials fear might impair sensitive satellite navigation systems.
Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, told The Daily Beast he rejected “guidance” from the White House’s Office of Budget and Management suggesting he tell Congress that the government’s concerns about the project by the firm LightSquared could be resolved in 90 days, a timetable favorable to the company’s plans.
“They gave that to me and presumably the other witnesses,” Russo said. “There is one sentence I disagreed with, which said that I thought the testing could be resolved in 90 days. So I took it out.”
Russo said he objected to that language because “I have low confidence that we can complete all of the testing in 90 days.” He estimated that such testing would take at least six months. Russo called the White House efforts to alter his testimony “guidance rather than pressure.”
Russo’s comments come just days after four-star Air Force Gen. William Shelton, who heads U.S. Space Command, told Congress in a classified briefing that he felt pressured by the White House to change his testimony about the same project to make it more favorable to the company.
Issa to launch probe of Obama actions on Solyndra, LightSquared
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that his committee plans to investigate government loan programs to private corporations in light of allegations of improper dealings between the White House and failed energy company Solyndra and wireless start-up LightSquared.
“I want to see when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers… it wasn’t because there were large contributions given to them,” the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday morning on C-SPAN.
- White House offered “guidance” to second witness in LightSquared inquiry (hotair.com)
- Megyn Kelly Speaks With LightSquared Founder And ‘Democratic Donor’ Philip Falcone (mediaite.com)