See also today's articles:"The Silence of the Sestak: The Big Me involved?; Update: WH memo released," by Ed Morrissey, HotAir
by Phil, The Right Side of Life
As one Democrat Senator thinks that Obama will “pay a political price” for the Gulf oil spill, Mr. Obama began circling the proverbial wagons on a leg-growing story in the press: he finally broke silence on the Sestak scandal.
The actual quote:
“There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak matter,” Obama said, when asked about the issue by Fox News at the president’s press conference. “I mean shortly — I don’t mean weeks or months. … I can assure the public that nothing improper took place.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, claims in an email reported by TheHill that this could be Obama’s Watergate (excerpted):
The campaign e-mail says the allegations would amount to three felony charges of bribery and corruption.”Congressman Sestak has continued to repeat his story whenever asked without varying from the original version. The White House however has arrogantly and wrongly assumed that they can sweep this matter under the rug,” Issa, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, says in the e-mail.
“This may be the way business is done in Chicago, but it’s not the way things are done in our nation’s capitol [sic] and I am intent on getting to the bottom of this.”
We’ve already heard what former Clinton advisor Dick Morris had to say, and Bush advisor Karl Rove went further:
One of two things is true, you can’t have two things true. One or the other is true. Either Joe Sestak is lying and he was not offered a position in the administration in return for getting out of the primary.
You know he’s a liar, in which case not worthy of public service.
Or, he’s telling the truth, in which case somebody inside the White House committed a felony. 18usc211 says that, a government official cannot promise a job in return for anything of value and it has a long list of values.
Saying to a member of Congress if you drop out of the primary and give a free ride to the general election for our Democratic nominee in return for which we will give you a government job, is clearly receiving something of value. The value is a clear path to the nomination of your favorite candidate…..
What he in essence is saying is that there’s a felon inside the White House and I am going to stonewall and protect that individual. He has an obligation to tell. Either you’re a liar, Joe Sestak, or you’re protecting a felon.
Here’s 18 U.S.C. Sec. 900:
Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Recall also that Article 2, Section 4 of the US Constitution specifically mentions “bribery” as a specifically impeachable offense:
Section. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
RedState went on to recount how Admiral Sestak was offered (by someone) a “high-ranking” job (“Navy secretary?” received a “no comment”) and that Obama advisor David Axelrod essentially said that the White House had looked into the allegations and that the White House found nothing improper.
Or something like that.
Sestak doesn’t want to go into any more detail or he’ll risk his candidacy for the Senate, but he’s not backing down from what he says he knows. And apparently the White House won’t go into any more detail because someone has to take the fall for this thing, and everyone knows it. Taking time to come up with a formal response will subsequently move this political issue in the legal arena, thereby making the chess moves necessary — in theory — for both the Administration and Sestak to maneuver through, at least until after the mid-term elections.
Yet, in a similar case out in Colorado, the White House flatly denies any wrongdoing at all. According to NewsMax:
Allegations that the White House offered Joe Sestak a job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate race echo an earlier report of a job offer to candidate Andrew Romanoff in Colorado.
On Sept. 27, 2009, the Denver Post reported that the Obama administration offered Senate candidate Romanoff a position if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.
The paper said the job offer, which specified particular jobs, reportedly was delivered by Jim Messina, Obama’s deputy chief of staff. One position the Post cited was a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency. …
The White House denied that Romanoff had been offered a job.
“Mr. Romanoff was never offered a position within the administration,” said White House spokesman Adam Abrams.
Nevertheless, the Denver Post disclosures may have worked against Bennet.
“People in Colorado have an adverse reaction to the external forces coming down and telling them how to think,” said Colorado state Rep. Kathleen Curry, a Romanoff supporter.
The casual observer can clearly see that the Obama Administration is flatly denying the latter, but hedging on the former. If nothing is amiss, you come straight out and admit it, else you’ll forever have to maneuver around it until something or someone — such as a potentially majority-changing election — stops you.
This won’t end well.
-Phil (Email: phil [at] therightsideoflife [dot] com)