Judiciary committee Republicans: It’s time for the DOJ to investigate Sestak’s job offer

posted at 6:25 pm on May 26, 2010 by Allahpundit

To my great surprise, looks like one politician bribing another actually might be illegal.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today, all seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee “urge the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Congressman Joe Sestak’s claim that a White House official offered him a job to induce him to exit the Pennsylvania Senate primary race against Senator Arlen Specter.”

The seven – Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jon Kyl or Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma – allege that the offer would appear to violate federal criminal laws, including 18 U.S.C. 600, which prohibits promising a government position “as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity” or “in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office.”…

[The seven] wrote to Holder that they “do not believe the Department of Justice can properly defer to White House lawyers to investigate a matter that could involve ‘a serious breach of the law.’ The White House cannot possibly manage an internal investigation of potential criminal misconduct while simultaneously crafting a public narrative to rebut the claim that misconduct occurred.”

Darrell Issa, who started the drum-beating about this, is calling it Obama’s Watergate and potential grounds for impeachment, and went as far this week as to threaten Sestak with an ethics complaint if he doesn’t come clean. Here’s the key federal statute, although it’s not the only one in play potentially: Karl Rove cited three criminal provisions on Monday night that could conceivably have been violated.

Sec. 600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political

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.

The defense, I assume, will be that no job was explicitly “promised,” just sort of hinted at in order to preserve plausible deniability. E.g., “Gee, Joe, it’s a shame you’re running for Senate. We were thinking about you for Secretary of the Navy in two years.” Granted, that sounds like an indirect promise, but since all parties concerned are now aligned politically and probably were smart enough to conduct this negotiation through non-recorded means, I don’t know how we’ll ever find a smoking gun. And like Byron York, I don’t know how anyone expects The One to sign off on a special prosecutor when the GOP momentarily has no congressional leverage over him. The only way that’s happening is if the media starts bulldogging him five months out from an election that’s already threatening Democratic control of Congress. How lucky do you feel?

Exit question: Assuming something happens here, who’ll be taking the fall for The One and Axelrod?

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The fact that Zero’s shills are now spouting that they don’t think the law applies (to them, of course) is pretty damning evidence in itself. Mentally twisted in a manner only a nutcase like Pelosi would find logical.

viking01 on May 27, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Exit question: Assuming something happens here, who’ll be taking the fall for The One and Axelrod?

Yeah, just like Emmanuel took the fall for “Blago-Rhama!”

You guys have been talking impeachment since before Obama took office. Prediction! This too shall fade away due to lack of substance only to be brought up later when people attack Obama for his corruption.

Tom_Shipley on May 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Wow. Look who crawled out from under their rock. Axelrod must have sent out a bulletin to the usual hacks to spam away.

viking01 on May 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Prediction! This too shall fade away due to lack of substance only to be brought up later when people attack Obama for his corruption.

Tom_Shipley on May 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM

None of it’s fading away; it’s accumulating. Otherwise you’d still be in here crowing about your guy’s 70% approval rating.

ddrintn on May 27, 2010 at 4:37 PM

What did Obama know and when did he know it?


Khun Joe on May 28, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Seems Bill C is taking the fall for O. How convenient that they had lunch together yesterday. Guess it depends on what your definition of job offer is?

Kissmygrits on May 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Finally, after all of the so called birther’s complaints and unsuccessful attempts to out the “president” because he is NOT a natural born citizen, Obama is coming down hard because of his felonious Chicago-style tactics; and due also to Obama’s infamous heavy-handed no-holds-barred campaigning for his health care plan.


Several months ago, Obama was facing certain embarrassment if his health-care plan had failed. Obama therefore campaigned hard to get every Senate vote that he could — promising ANYTHING to ANYONE that would help him. Double-crossing dirt-bag Arlen Specter crossed his own morals, his reputation, and his party to help Obama. Anything to get re-elected. So he dealt with the Devil (Obama) and it seems that the deal included the Devil trying to help get Specter re-elected at any cost.

For Obama that meant, when the time came, he would make Sestak an offer he might accept in exchange for dropping out of the primary against Specter. Note that Bill Clinton, White House Councel, Obama, and others in this fiasco are attorneys. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Talk is that patsy Bill Clinton was the one who approached Sestak to try and talk him out of running against Obama’s darling, Arlen Specter, in exchange for a high-ranking job in the White House.

What makes it patently clear that Obama and Bauer are dishonest in their reply is that Bill Clinton is NOT, as Sestak has claimed, a White House official able to fit the description given of who contacted Sestak, according to Sestak. Furthermore, you have to be an idiot to believe that the “job offer” to Sestak was simply a non-paying adviser job???? This instead of becoming a Senator with Senator’s pay and prestige? Me thinks the offer from Obama was one of a “higher” kind of job inside the White House. Can you spell f-e-l-o-n-y? Can you spell j-a-i-l t-i-m-e for Obama.

Consider that Bill Clinton is NOT a White House official. “Sestak told a Philadelphia television anchor Larry Kane he had received a job offer from the White House…” – rightpundits.com: http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=5926.

Is the Obama Administration lying? The Philadelphia Journal reported on Feb. 19, 2010, “A White House spokesman this morning strongly denied Sestak had been offered (a job) yesterday. Before the spokesman issued the denial a senior Pennsylvania Democrat yesterday said White House officials there were angered by Sestak’s account.


Today, May 28th, 2010, Obama admits there was an (illegal and felonious) offer of a high-position job made to Sestak to encourage him to leave the race (is this election tampering, too?). Actions taken by Obama are illegal and punishable by impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Although I believe that Obama is NOT the legitimate president, Congress may not need to impeach him, just merely walk his butt over to the nearest jail house.

AdrianS on May 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Lets investigate vote buying also.

allrsn on May 28, 2010 at 9:42 PM