Richardson withdrawal leaves cabinet gap
New Mexico governor insists he will be cleared in a grand jury probe
NBC News and news services
updated 8:43 a.m. ET, Mon., Jan. 5, 2009
WASHINGTON – The Cabinet that President-elect Barack Obama picked on a fast track has an unexpected opening, with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Obama’s choice for commerce secretary, withdrawing under pressure of a federal investigation into how his political donors landed a lucrative transportation contract.
Richardson’s withdrawal, first reported by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, was the initial disruption of Obama’s Cabinet process and the second “pay-to-play” investigation that has touched Obama’s transition to the presidency….