May 25 2010
Update: Seems Marc Ambinder has news that the person Sestak spoke to on more than one occasion about the job/bribe was Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel:
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), a friend of the President and his Chicago entourage, said that Rep. Joe Sestak, the new Democratic Senate nominee from Pennsylvania, should provide a fuller accounting of his conversation with Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, ahead of the primary race.
Administration officials are hinting that the White House will formally address the matter within a few days. That could mean the disclosure of an internal investigation, or the offering of new guidelines, or a statement from Emanuel and whoever else might have talked to Sestak.
Curious, but not unexpected – end update
While I hate the ‘gate’ analogies, this one applies since it could take down Obama’s presidency. Rep Joe Sestak, a former Navy Admiral, made the following claim during the Democrat primary campaign for the PA Senate seat now held by the soon-to-be-retired Arlen Specter:
In numerous other interviews in February and March of this year Sestak confirmed he was offered a job by the White House in July of 2009 to drop out of the race against Specter. All Sestak would confirm is it was a high level job (bribe), akin to Secretary of the Navy:
Whether Sestak wants to provide more details or not is irrelevant. He admitted that a felony may have been committed because a federal employee tried to bribe him in exchange for a political favor (leaving the primary). The fact that Sestak and the White House are not providing any more details on this now admitted set of conversations (I doubt there was just one) means there is some fire behind this lame smoke screen. If everything was legal, they would be racing to the teleprompters in the WH to show their innocence.
For months we have seen the opposite. In complete Nixonian tradition, the Obama WH claims it reviewed its own actions and cleared itself. More evidence of fire somewhere burning out of control. Even some democrat leaders are calling for complete transparency.
Sestak and the White House better come clean. Because in my mind there is sufficient prima facia evidence (an admission by one of the parties) a possible criminal act took place. If Scooter Libby can be indicted for not remembering all the details of his conversations with reporters (claiming he did mention the name of a CIA employee when the reporter bizarrely claimed he did not, in an investigation into leaking said CIA employee’s name to the press) then someone is sure fire going to get indicted for this.
The White House is in full panic mode right now, because the press not only sees the smoke they sense the heat coming off the fire behind the cover up. Would a grand jury produce a ‘true bill’ (indictment) in this case? Given Sestak’s open admission and multiple reaffirmations in the media I cannot see how they couldn’t.