Sestak not eligible for unpaid position offered?

posted at 12:15 pm on May 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe Byron York has discovered the reason that the Obama administration released its response to the Joe Sestak scandal in a Friday document dump.  They may have hoped that no one would take the time over the holiday weekend to thoroughly parse their tortured explanation of how they offered an unpaid position to Sestak as an enticement to drop his primary challenge to Arlen Specter.  Unfortunately for them, the New York Times still had enough time to check the eligibility requirements for the Intelligence Advisory Board, the offer that Sestak hinted he got while rushing to corroborate the Oval Office spin.  Byron York catches it buried in the Times report:

In a little-noticed passage Friday, the New York Times reported that Rep. Joe Sestak was not eligible for a place on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the job he was reportedly offered by former President Bill Clinton.  And indeed a look at the Board’s website reveals this restriction:

The Board consists of not more than 16 members appointed by the President from among individuals who are not employed by the Federal Government. Members are distinguished citizens selected from the national security, political, academic, and private sectors.

As a sitting member of Congress, Sestak was not eligible for the job.  And since the White House intended for Sestak to remain in his House seat, he would not have been eligible for the board after this November’s elections, provided he was re-elected to the House.

The statement from White House counsel Robert Bauer did not specifically mention the intelligence board, but speaking to reporters Friday, Sestak said of his conversation with Clinton, “At the time, I heard the words ‘presidential board,’ and that’s all I heard…I heard ‘presidential board,’ and I think it was intel.” In addition, the Times reported that “people briefed on the matter said one option was an appointment” to the intelligence board. But the White House could not legally have placed Sestak on the board.

If that was indeed the offer, then Sestak would have had to withdraw from his House race as well — leaving him without any income.  How exactly would that have convinced Sestak to leave the race?  It sounds more like a threat than a warning.  We’ll appoint you to this board unless you play ball!

This looks more like an ex post facto attempt to shoehorn the known facts into any kind of exonerating framework than the truth.  And the ambiguous statements surrounding this release also sound like an attempt to leave as much wiggle room as possible.  Oh, we didn’t mean the Intel Board, a rebuttal will almost certainly insist.  We had a number of options in mind for Rep. Sestak.  The intel board was just a brainstorming suggestion.

But that would mean we would have to believe that the White House believed that Sestak would leave the race for some ambiguous promise of an unpaid position on a board without any specifics on what he’d be doing or the influence he would have on policy.  Maybe Sestak isn’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but why would anyone sentient enough to get himself elected to Congress in the first place even entertain such an offer as a serious proposal?  Nor is that what Sestak consistently alleged over the last few months; he said that the Obama administration had offered him a job, something specific.

If the White House thought this gambit would put the matter to rest, they have a bigger competence problem than anyone first thought.  Don’t Chicago pols get trained better than this?  Well … probably not.

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Bring on the “Special Persecutor“

J_Crater on May 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM

I hear Gerald Walpin is available.

BitterClinger on May 29, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Advice to ObaMao: Don’t drag your family into your bleeding-heart narratives unless you want them to be part of the story. “Daddy, I can see tar balls from my WH television set.”

onlineanalyst on May 29, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Thank you.

petefrt on May 29, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Why did BJ come to the aid of his enemy, Øbama?

Thereby clearing the way for Paintsuit 2012.

BuckNutty on May 29, 2010 at 12:31 PM

However the details of this story unfold, I’m convinced that this is the bottom line.

Bubba was probably put off by being approached this way, but agreed to play along because he realized the Øbama-bots were dealing him a wild card he could play later in the game.

I still don’t see what was in this for Clinton. It’s a mystery.

SlaveDog on May 29, 2010 at 12:41 PM

The opportunity to betray his enemies…

doriangrey on May 29, 2010 at 12:46 PM

petefrt on May 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

“If the White House thought this gambit would put the matter to rest, they have a bigger competence problem than anyone first thought.”

Color me surprised…

… It’s not like North Korea is preparing for war or anything.

Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2010 at 2:11 PM

… It’s not like North Korea is preparing for war or anything.

Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2010 at 2:11 PM

nothing to see here, move along…COMRADE…

doriangrey on May 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Parsing like an Obot…

Uh, it uh, took place, that is, uh, the conversation, took place, on June 30, 2009 starting at uh, 11:59:45 and ended on July uh, uh, 1, 2009 at uh, yeah, 12:00:30. Yeah, yeah, that’ll work. That’s over two months, right?

That was what I thought too and it fits right into the new Obama Math being used in Washinton now days.

Franklyn on May 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Sestak could still get in front of this by saying: “I agree with Issa, I want a Special Prosecutor and I will turn all my evidence over to the Prosecutor because I’ve had enough of this corruption and being yanked around. They made an offer, I refused, and they are going down…” then cue the Sestak for Senate commercial.

That would be pure gold.

Take some guts, too, which I don’t see around the Sestak region.

ajacksonian on May 29, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Tar Balls and company seem to be trying to confuse the issue with the second part of the law which deals with accepting an offer that involves monetary gain. The first part which they appear to be trying to ignore address offering something such as they have admitted to doing, no matter which story they want to use.

18 U.S.C. § 600 – Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity

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

Franklyn on May 29, 2010 at 4:07 PM

nothing to see here, move along…or ELSE…COMRADE…

oldleprechaun on May 29, 2010 at 4:11 PM

I think they are making all this up, but here’s a plausible scenario: Clinton did throw out the offer to appoint Sestak to the PIAB, but only temporarily, until Sestak became eligible to serve as Secretary of the Navy. So they aren’t exactly lying, they just aren’t telling the whole story.

Everyone knows this story as it stands simply doesn’t pass the smell test. They had to have offered Sestak something much bigger than the PIAB. And believe me, at that point they didn’t care about keeping him in the House because they had a huge majority in the House and it didn’t look like they would lose it. They promised Specter they would get Sestak out of the Senate race and that’s all they cared about.

rockmom on May 29, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Had Obama not appointed Eric Holder to the position of Attorney General this would probably be his Sestakgate moment. However since Holder is as corrupt if not more than Obama, nothing will come of this no matter how much the public screams, as the man said… Nothing to see here… Move along…

doriangrey on May 29, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Quite true. However (and I hate to quote Dick Morris for anything, but…) Dick Morris claims that his people tell him that the action also breaks the law in Pennsylvania, and that it can be investigated by the Penn AG, who happens to be a republican and who also happens to be running for governor. So perhaps something could happen even without action at the federal level?

bofh on May 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM

The O-machine thought they’d cover this up with the “plugging of the hole”, and “god’s visit to the region” and etc.

Instead what’ in the news, unabated:

1. Hole not plugged – video more itense than ever
2. Sestak story more intrigueing than before
3. Obama missing from Arlington – this will be even more intensified on Monday
4. Obama visit to region looked like a walk on a nice Hawaii beach…and is already forgotten

Images are very powerful. The fool not knowing why MMS’s stupid head was fired was telling for the ‘competent’ teenager.

The cleaned up beach was a big mistake. He looks in the video like finding a nice shell on the beach, rather than tar ball.

Then he goes to Chicago right after…it’s not going to be pretty.

Best of all, his rebuffing of the AZ Governor lady will hurt him the most. She has all the power over him, in any way one looks at it. She is not thin skinned, like him, and she is competent and can speak incredibly fluently, sans teleprompter. She will clean him out, in many ways.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Actually I’d like to believe the Clinton part of this thing, but something won’t let me. I simply don’t trust either the Obama administration or Clinton to tell the truth. They are both in the ‘boy who cried wolf’ category with lengthy reputations for lying to protect their own skins.

jeanie on May 29, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Who would have thought that Obama could use the marshmallow goo he has for brains, on the s’mores he’ll eat this weekend. UGH!!!

capejasmine on May 29, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Sestak better check his blue suit for stains.

profitsbeard on May 29, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Sestak better check his blue suit for stains.

profitsbeard on May 29, 2010 at 5:50 PM

He was with Monica too???? LOL

Sorry…bad joke. lol

capejasmine on May 29, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Obama, thinking the oil spill could be history, runs to the spotlight and tries to absorb tha adoration for a job accomplished. From day one……..What’s next, genius?

volsense on May 29, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Mission Accomplished.

Now that the fix has failed, is the government and the White House still in charge, as they have been since day one, Mr. President?

If yes, then does that mean the government and the White House failed, yet again, to stop the leak?

BobMbx on May 29, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Liars and their lying lies.

disa on May 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I see this oil spill turning into a Louisana gator which chases Obama out of office. Its cartoon material.

gordo on May 30, 2010 at 9:52 AM

The left is dieing a slow death and they are the only one they can claim responsibility for this condition.

The following verbiage is the lead-in to the article about how Sen. Sestack was running to replace Sen. (Spectacular) Specter, and winning. So, rather than let Mr. Sestak run and win, because the Demoncrates needed the power of Specter.

Sestak not eligible for unpaid position offered?
May 29, 2010 12:15 PM by Ed Morrissey
120 Comments » | 0 Trackbacks

The picture that accompanies the title shows President Clinton who has demanded that the final word be more appropriately changed to ‘Testicalities’ to indicate what the left needs to hold on to to make the opposition obedient.


MSGTAS on May 30, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Not only is it illegal for someone to hold positions in the executive and legislative branches simultaneously, any suggestion of it is illegal as the whole issue is illegal:

LarryG on May 31, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs: “Whatever you’ll believe is our answer.”

olesparkie on June 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM