Skip to comments.Linda R. Monk, J.D. - Rahm Is Done: Itís a Crime, Stupid!
Posted on 05/29/2010 8:51:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Rule Number One: When reporting a political story that may involve criminal conduct, read the relevant law first.
Leading media outlets have stated flat-out that there was nothing illegal about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel asking former president Bill Clinton to offer Rep. Joe Sestak a position on a federal commission if he stayed in the House, rather than challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary. Politics as usual, they say. Everybody does it. A New York Times editorial dismisses the story as Unintelligent Design, the Washington Post weighs in with its own assessment that this is not a scandal. Not a crime. Not even into an ethical gray zone.
The media consensus is that the White Houses only crime was (surprise, surprise) stalling reporters about their questions in the first place. David Gregory fumed about this on Hardball, Chris Matthews concurred, and MSNBCs Ed Schultz even blamed Sestak for not coming clean sooner. Said WaPo: The unnecessary coverup, it turns out, is always worse than the non-crime.
But its obvious that none of these folks have read the specific law involved. I, too, was entirely prepared to dismiss Rep. Darrell Issas (R-CA) allegations of impropriety as politically motivated exaggerations. The guy doesnt exactly have a great track record, as a litany of bizarro actions proves.
But then I read the law. Its about electioneering, not federal bribery per se. But its a felony, and it still counts:
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.
Specter himself brought this law into play when during the primary Sestak raised the issue of the White House offering him a job. So it cant all be blamed on the Republicans. Heres what Specter told Andrea Mitchell in March:
There is a specific federal statute, which makes it a bribe to make an offer for a public office. When I was district attorney, if somebody came and told me that, I would say, well, name names. Name dates. Name places. Thats a very serious charge. Its a big black smear without specification. Im telling you there is a federal crime, punishable by jail. Anybody who wants to say that ought to back it up.
So theres the current Democratic (see Republican) senator from Pennsylvania stating on the record that such action is a crime. The White House was on notice then that the media would be looking for smoking guns.
Yet the memo released by the White House counsel on May 28 to defend Emanuel never addresses this specific law, although it is clearly the statute in question. Instead, the counsels office raises defenses that are obviously not relevant to the language of the statute, namely that the position offered Sestak was not paid. The electioneering law is very broadly written, prohibiting any benefit, paid or unpaid. The counsels memo also repeatedly refers to discussions between Clinton and Sestak, with the implied defense that a discussion is not the same thing as a promise. Thats where I think the legal horse is buried, and any investigation would focus. However, the law also says that the promise can be made directly or indirectly. This means, to me, that it can be implied as well as overt, and that it can be made through third parties. That means Emanuel would be as guilty as Clinton for the violation.
Here we go again. Are we back to what the definition of is is? Thursdays photo op with President Obama and former President Clinton was not exactly reassuring. One of the reasons I voted for President Obama is that I wanted the nation to be free of the cloud of impropriety that follows the Clintons like Charlies Browns friend Pigpen. So when Obama filled his administration with former Clintonistas like Rahm Emanuel, I held my nose.
If Emanuel has any integrity himself, he will resign as soon as possible and make any legal defense, if he has one, as a private citizen. Known for his combative ways, Emanuel should have no qualms about falling on his own sword. The nation is facing an unprecedented combination of crises: the Wall Street meltdown, the Great Recession, and the worst oil pollution in human history that may well destroy the Gulf Coast. President Obama needs to be focused on the needs of the nation, not mired in the scandals of his staff. This is no time for another Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame affair.
As for President Obama, I think his worst offense was hiring Emanuel in the first place. Joe Conason said it best in Salon: Obama should take the Sestak maneuver as an early warning against placing too much trust in his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, whose arrogance will surely cross a line someday if it has not already.
Of course not. Remember, he won.
Prosecutorial disgression. “No Controlling Legal Authority”
I will bet that everyone is glad that Spector jumped ship!
They are throwing Rahm to the sharks.
It's that simple.
Obviously, his supporters have yet to notice that their king has no clothes on.
Pretty soon, Obambi will run out of people to throw under the bus! Then what?
Then he’ll start throwing citizens under the bus.
Wait a minute! This is a simple Story...Why is everybody or let me rephrase that most are accepting the Story about Clinton calling Sestak for 60 seconds on a unpaid job offer as a fact?... IMHO it didn’t happen, it’s a cover story and it’s already falling apart with the revelations that the job of Presidential advisory board member was an ineligible job for Sestak anyway!!
THE WH BOTCHED THE COVERUP! GET IT GUYS?
The President of the U.S. appoints the Board members anyway ,So Clinton getting involve makes little sense! and BTW even if this is supposedly done all the time on the edge of legality ..Nobody offers UNPAID JOBS TO CONGRESSMEN FOR THEIR VOTE OR POLITICAL ACTIONS!!!!
THIS IS NIXONIAN ALL OVER!
Like that, but with more hissing and rabies.
Juris Doctor (Law Degree)
Look, Rahm is not the electioneering guru, Axelrod is. Rahm didn’t do any of this without clearing it.
Even so, It is implausible that any of this happened without Obama’s knowledge or approval. Implausible.
Doctor of Jurisprudence (the intials are for the Latin, but I'm not sure what the exact words are.) This means she has a Doctorate in the Law.
oops. I think that might be “Jurisprudens.” erk...
This is one of those "if you believe" moments.
If you believe that this was done without Obama's approval, then you would have to believe that Emanuel or Axelrod have made other offers of appointments without Obama's approval. And if that were true, it would indicate that Obama has delegated an amount of Presidential prerogative unseen in history. And then, the questions would cascade like rain regarding other political decisions, and would make people ask: Well why is Obama the President if he won't make his own selections, appointments, and policies.
“What’s a J.D.?”
Juris Doctorate aka law degree.
. . .and Rahm is foremost a Clintonite isn't he ?
He also knows where a lot of bodies are buried so to speak.
The moat is being built around the Oval Office.
BTW, all 3 year law degrees from accredited schools are technically doctorates (ie, JDs).
It is the tried and true “everybody does it” defense.
On the other hand, we have seen that crimes can be defined without the convenience of the facts fitting a statute. The entire Valerie Plame affair beginning with the moral outrage of the same newspapers that now acquit the Obama administration of a very obvious violation of statute, and continuing with the prolonged and unnecessary investigation of the special prosecutor Fitzpatrick after he had become convinced that no crime had been committed, can best be described by the commonplace, "an investigation in search of a crime."
All of these miscarriages were driven by the media.
When a society steps down from the pursuit of justice to the service of polls, the lapse ultimately becomes moral and ultimately very destructive, even mortal. Symptoms of this moral threat to the polity are found in the very newspaper articles which exculpate the Obama administration. These pundits dismiss Republican concerns with resort to relativism. "Everybody does it" or, "it is just about sex," are throwaways which to the unwary or uninstructed seem to be dismissive of the alleged criminal behavior as inconsequential, but a keen observer sees that this approach is really destructive of the rule of law. It is destructive of a political system which operates free of corruption. It is a breeder cell of cynicism. It is a cancer on our civil society.
By the logic of those who dismiss this case, Governor Blagojevich should be heard at trial in his own defense to raise the claim, "everybody does it," or, "it is just politics," or "it is no worse than the Obama administration." Then we can have a trial about whether it is worse for Governor Blagojevich to seek money for selling a Senate seat or for the Obama administration to buy a Senate seat. If we decide that the Obama administration offered a job where no money was involved then we can acquit the Obama administration and convict Gov. Blagojevich. Or better yet, if the New York Times decides that for us, the matter can be decently closed out.
Let us write right into the law the concept that relativism is always a good defense and have done with these old-fashioned pretensions of justice.
They may try this - but Rahm could not offer ANYthing with the approval of the "WON"
Rahm may be offered a cushy whatever to play the martyr, but it cannot be allowed to stand...
the "WON" is seriously 'thin skinned' and cannot stand anyone opposing, disagreeing or critizing him. There are a lot of dangerous balls in the air right now that could crash down on his head - Blaggo's trial starts in a week or so, the Sestak thing and the one everyone seems to want to forget, the Romanoff bribe - that names the name and the job offer.
And now all the fingers pointing at him over his handling of the Gulf crisis - and so on.
He may snap -
It’s just the Chicago way, what’s the problem?
I just don’t think Rham will fall on the sword for anyone...he’ll make sure many go down with him if it comes to that...
The author is a Kool-Aid drinking fool. He thinks Barry0 is somehow different than all the ideological hacks he has hired. He also thinks they will care more about the country than their own skins. All evidence points in the other direction.
A JD just means you graduated from law school. It’s more like a masters degree than a doctorate.
Emanuel... integrity... hilarious.
All good points. One of the main purposes in making the vast web of laws we have is that virtually everyone is guilty of something. That gives the people in power the ability to enforce the law selectively. Your example of Scooter Libby going to jail for what he said in an interview with the FBI (not for the crime being investigated) with the media braying at his heels while Obama operatives are proactively exonerated for a rather clear felony to pins dropping in the media is a good example of that.
Rahm Emanuel ? take it like a real man and resign.
Isn’t he already doing that on a daily basis?
Ain’t nobody fallin’ on any swords or gettin’ thrown under any buses. The next play is to simply say “we’re done talking about it, we’ve said all we’re going to say; move on.” Just like Pelosi did with her CIA “problem” (that had so many people saying she was “toast”). Media provides the pass, and it’s back to business as usual.
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.You do have to interpret a decision by Sestak not to run for Senate as a political activity or "opposition to any candidate" - namely Sestak himself - but otherwise the statute is pretty clear. And encompassing.
If only the Attorney General knew about this . . .
>>Then hell start throwing citizens under the bus.<<
He’s been doing that since Day One! What happens when he runs out of citizens to throw under the bus? Probably move to China.
Conspired one might say.
“But its a felony, and it still counts”
It only counts if it was done by a conservative.
Hypocritical liars! The job of the press is to report the truth without bias. Treat the story the same regardless of party (I know; fantasy). FoxNews and other 'fair and balanced' media should make a story of the excuse-making liberal media over this Sestak coverup. I have a two-word reply to this incredible line from the Wa(com)Po(st) ....
But then I read the law. Its about electioneering, not federal bribery per se. But its a felony, and it still counts: 18 U.S.C. § 600 Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity.
Okay, not to nitpick BUT I wish all the reporters would be more specific as looking for "18 U.S.C. § 600" in the US Code will give you heartburn.
Why - because that's not the correct, full, citation of the pertinent section of the US Code, its incomplete. I was going nuts searching my copy of the US Code yesterday. The FULL citation is:
Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 29, Section 600:Everyone is leaving OUT the Part 1, Chapter 29 part. And you kinda NEED THAT if you actually have the full US CODE on file to search from.
Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity.
And a further nitpick. That section of the US Code has been AMENDED quite a few times. And again, everyone is looking at the ORIGINAL LAW. Not the amendments. And those changes are a full page on the FindLaw website. I'm NOT saying the Changes to the Original Law don't make it a crime, I don't have the time to play Lawyer again or now, I have to work soon and 'play Engineer'(1).
I'm just saying, come on everyone (MSM) let's get specific people.
(1) Mechanical not Train
Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Whoever solicits or receives any thing of value in consideration of aiding a person to obtain employment under the United States either by referring his name to an executive department or agency of the United States or by requiring the payment of a fee because such person has secured such employment shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. This section shall not apply to such services rendered by an employment agency pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency of the United States.
Anyone know why the above would not apply instead?
two more words: Rod Blagojevich