Why did the White House contact Joe Sestak’s brother? Update: Bob the Fixer earns his stripes; Issa responds; Sestak statement added
Scroll for updates…the Memorial Day document dump does not end this story…
Is Bob “The Silencer” Bauer hard at work fixing the Sestak scandal for Boss Obama?
Roll Call reports that somebody at the White House dialed up Joe Sestak’s brother and campaign manager, Richard, yesterday in preparation for the “official statement” that the president promised would be released soon:
Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee in the Pennsylvania Senate race, disclosed Thursday that White House officials contacted his brother in preparation for a response to allegations that Sestak was offered a job in the Obama administration as an enticement not to challenge incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.
Faced with mounting scrutiny from Capitol Hill and accusations that such an offer might violate the law, President Barack Obama promised Thursday to have “an official response shortly on the Sestak issue.”
…Sestak said his brother and an unnamed White House official or officials spoke about “what was going to occur.” Sestak declined to identify who made the call for the administration, adding that he has had no direct contact with the White House.
Sestak called Obama a “pretty legitimate person.” He added, “But we’ll find out shortly what they have to say.”
Sestak was tight-lipped about the situation, declining to comment on whether he would agree with the White House’s take on the situation. He pledged to say more — and even to return to Washington for a Capitol Hill news conference over the weekend or early next week — once the White House had made its announcement.
“When the president speaks — or whoever speaks from the White House — we obviously will have something to say,” he said.
Kurt Bardella, Spokesperson, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, responds: “If the White House is coordinating it’s response with the Sestak campaign, as Congressman Sestak has reported, it certainly explains why the President, when given the opportunity at a nationally broadcasted press conference, abdicated the opportunity to address the issue candidly and definitively. Instead, it appears as if the White House is taking time to circle the wagons and coordinating their message. This revelation that the White House initiated a dialogue with Sestak at the same time they are preparing their public response certainly leaves the impression that there is a coordinated effort going on. Of course, if everyone just did the right thing and told the truth, the need to speculate about motive and impartiality wouldn’t be necessary.”
WaPo also reporting on the White House contact with Sestak’s brother here.
And I ask again: What did Bob “The Silencer” Bauer know, when did he know it, and how long does the Most Transparent Administration Ever plan to play dodgeball with the public?
Update: Bob the Fixer…Can he fix it?…Bob the Fixer…YES HE CAN!
White House Counsel Robery Bauer on Friday rejected claims that Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak was offered a top administration job in return for dropping his Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter .
In a memo released by the White House, Bauer says his office has “concluded that allegations of improper conduct rest on factual errors and lack a basis in law,” and runs through the various potential positions that have been reported to have been offered to Sestak, who defeated Spcter for the Senate Democratic nomination earlier this month.
Click here to learn more!
Although Bauer does acknowledge that — at the request of Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel — former President Bill Cinton did approach Sestak about being appointed to “a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board,” the memo says no White House officials went to Sestak directly and any position would have been unpaid.
The law says directly or indirectly.
And this is not just about the law. It’s about the spirit of corruption that pervades Chicago on the Potomac.
Culture of corruption…confirmed.
White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, we’re looking at you.
You know who’s laughing right now? Rod Blago.
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa responds:
Issa Statement Regarding White House-Sestak Memorandum
“We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington. It’s a status quo that extends beyond any particular party, and right now that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got, with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face…we’re up against the idea that it’s acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election.” – Candidate Obama, Night of the South Carolina Democratic Primary
WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) released the following statement regarding the memorandum released today by White House Counsel Robert Bauer addressing allegations made by Pennsylvania Senate Democratic nominee and three-star Navy Admiral Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) that someone inside the Obama White House offered him a job in exchange for his withdrawal from the PA Senate Primary race:
“After more than ten weeks of outstanding questions, the White House has offered a version of events that has important differences from what Congressman Sestak has been saying for months – that he was offered a ‘job’ by ‘someone in the White House’ in exchange for leaving the Pennsylvania Senate race.
“I’m very concerned that in the rush to put together this report, the White House has done everything but explain its own actions and has instead worked to craft a story behind closed doors and coordinate with those involved. The White House has admitted today to coordinating an arrangement that would represent an illegal quid-pro-quo as federal law prohibits directly or indirectly offering any position or appointment, paid or unpaid, in exchange for favors connected with an election.
“President Clinton and Congressman Sestak now need to answer questions about what the White House has released today – that at the behest of the White House Chief of staff, they dispatched a former President to get Joe Sestak out of the Pennsylvania Senate Primary. Regardless of what President Clinton or Congressman Sestak now say, it is abundantly clear that this kind of conduct is contrary to President Obama’s pledge to change ‘business as usual’ and that his Administration has engaged in the kind of political shenanigans he once campaigned to end.”
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
18 U.S.C. § 211 – Acceptance or solicitation to obtain appointive public office
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.
18 U.S.C. § 595 – Interference by administrative employees of Federal, State, or Territorial Governments
Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department or agency thereof, or by the District of Columbia or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or any political subdivision, municipality, or agency thereof, or agency of such political subdivision or municipality (including any corporation owned or controlled by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States or by any such political subdivision, municipality, or agency), in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
This section shall not prohibit or make unlawful any act by any officer or employee of any educational or research institution, establishment, agency, or system which is supported in whole or in part by any state or political subdivision thereof, or by the District of Columbia or by any Territory or Possession of the United States; or by any recognized religious, philanthropic or cultural organization.
Bob the Fixer is quite the fixer, isn’t he?
Here is Sestak’s statement, all nice and tidy and lawyered thoroughly to wrap things up…
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Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I’d say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.
There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families.
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