The FBI, in a rare response to rampant rumors on the Internet, said it is not investigating Alaska Gov. Sara Palin on public corruption charges.
“Normally, we don’t confirm or deny those kind of allegations out there. But, by not doing so, it just casts her in a very bad light,” said FBI Special Agent Eric Gonzalez, who confirmed for CNN the statement he made to the Anchorage Daily News. “There is just no truth to those rumors out there in the blogosphere.” Gonzalez told The Los Angeles Times that there was “no wiggle room” in his comments for any kind of inquiry. The speculation began almost immediately after Palin’s unexpected announcement on Friday that she would step down as Alaska’s chief executive with 18 months left in her term. Palin, who was John McCain’s surprise vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election, said she already knew she would not seek a second term and decided against being a lame duck governor for the next 18 months. She also said too much time and taxpayer expense were going toward fighting ethics investigations, and that the mainstream media were continuing with unfair attacks on her and her family. Some analysts think Palin will seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and that her resignation is intended to free her to prepare.
Conservatives react to announcement
Successor: Palin is Alaska’s greatest gift to U.S.
Palin stepping down this month
Immediate reaction to Palin’s resignation among fellow conservatives was not positive. Karl Rove, the “architect” of George W. Bush’s successful presidential campaigns, said the resignation left many of Palin’s fellow Republicans “a little perplexed.” “It’s a risky strategy,” Rove told “Fox News Sunday.” “Astounding,” was the pronouncement by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and conservative columnist George Will said Palin was declaring herself a quitter. “The one that rings most hollow is she doesn’t want to put Alaska through the terror of [her] being a lame-duck governor,” Will told the ABC program “This Week.” “If she is just weary of it, one can understand that. Still, she made a contract with them [voters] to serve out her term. And she said, in her own words, she now is a quitter.” “How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it’s about country,” Palin said in a statement attributed to her on her Facebook page. “And though it’s honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make. But every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it’s right for all, including your family.”