Skip to comments.Sestak special counsel gets brushoff (High crimes - just another felon in the White House?)
Posted on 05/25/2010 5:08:15 AM PDT by Libloather
Sestak special counsel gets brushoff
By JOHN BRESNAHAN & JAKE SHERMA
5/24/10 7:05 PM EDT
The Justice Department has rejected a Republican request to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations that the White House offered a job to Rep. Joe Sestak if he would drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary.
In a letter sent Friday to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) but not publicly released a Justice Department official said there was no need to have a special counsel to look into the allegations. Republicans have been pressing the issue for months, but the White House has insisted nothing inappropriate happened. Sestak himself has been the source of the allegation, stating publicly he was offered a job in order to clear the field for Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).
Sestak ended up defeating Specter in last weeks primary, but Republicans are still pushing for a full-blown investigation of the job offer allegation. Sestak has refused to say specifically what administration job he was offered, but many think it was secretary of the Navy.
In the letter to Issa, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that the DOJ could handle the allegations without creating a special counsel. But Weich gave no indication that the department was looking into the Sestak matter.
We assure you that the Department of Justice takes very seriously allegations of criminal conduct by public officials. All such matters are reviewed carefully by career prosecutors and law enforcement agents, and appropriate action, if warranted, is taken, Weich wrote in the letter, which was obtained by POLITICO. The Department of Justice, however, has a long history of handling investigations of high-level officials professionally and independently, without the need to appoint a special counsel.
Appointing a special counsel would be a significant move upgrading what has been a minor controversy to a serious investigation, because the Obama Justice Department would be devoting resources to investigating the White House.
Weichs letter was in response to an April 21 letter from Issa to Attorney General Eric Holder. Issa suggested that the Sestak job offer could be a violation of federal bribery statutes, though ethics experts strongly disagree with that assertion.
Issa says the Justice Departments refusal to appoint a special counsel undermines administration claims of openness and transparency.
You have a sitting U.S. congressman who has made a very specific allegation, numerous times that someone inside the Obama White House offered him what amounts to a bribe in order to manipulate the Pennsylvania Senate primary, Issa said in a statement to POLITICO.
The attorney generals refusal to take action in the face of such felonious allegations undermines any claim to transparency and integrity that this administration asserts.
Issa, one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration on Capitol Hill, has been trying to draw attention to the alleged Sestak job offer for months, but he hasnt been able to shed much light on the allegations beyond what Sestak and the White House have already said publicly, largely because Sestak and the White House have continuously dodged questions about any conversation.
Issa first sent a letter to White House General Counsel Robert Bauer in March, demanding information, but he never received a response. He then sent a second letter, in which he pressed Bauer for a reply and criticized White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for downplaying the issue to reporters.
And since Sestak scored his primary win over Specter, Issa has upped the ante. The California Republican said that if Sestak doesnt fully explain the conversation he had with the White House official, and if an outside group doesnt file a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, he would file a complaint with the House ethics committee a rarely used and highly confrontational move.
While he has declined to provide more information about the incident, Sestak has repeatedly confirmed that it took place.
Sestak told David Gregory on NBCs Meet the Press this Sunday that I was offered a job, and I answered that but noted that anything further was for others to talk about.
As he has since the offer was first disclosed, Sestak refused to provide additional information on what job was offered and who did the offering.
US Dept. of Justice needs to renamed the Supreme Soviet Justice Dept.
Becasue UpChuck Todd DRINKS OBAMA’S BATHWATER!!
The imposter Obama’s neo-Nazi legacy: gangsters in high places.