All seven Senate Republicans on the judiciary committee have written Attorney General Eric Holder calling for an independent counsel to investigate the alleged bribe. They cite 18 U.S. Code Section 600, which forbids the offer of any government job "as consideration, favor or reward for any political activity" or "in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office."
If Sestak was offered a high government post to get out of the Pennsylvania race, it would appear an open-and-shut case that a felony was committed by someone high in the White House.
When CNN's John King suggested that such an offer "marches up into the gray area, perhaps the red area of a felony, it is a felony to induce somebody by offering them a job," White House adviser David Axelrod did not disagree with King: "If such things happened, they would constitute a serious breach of the law."
However, Axelrod assured King, "when the allegations were looked into, there is no evidence of such a thing."
And who looked into the allegation that a bribe was offered to Sestak and found "no evidence" of White House wrongdoing?
The White House counsel's office.
Sorry, but this will not do. For when White House Counsel John Dean investigated the staff role in Watergate for President Nixon, he, too, found them all innocent.
Nor is this a trivial matter. For if the offer was made by a White House staffer and involved the post of secretary of the navy, serious questions arise for all involved.
Why did not Sestak, a congressman and admiral, report it? Has he not taken an oath to uphold the law?
Second, who made the offer? For any offer of secretary of the navy cannot credibly be made without the complicity or approval of the president, Barack Obama, who alone can nominate to that position.
Third, who in the White House counsel's office conducted this investigation? And, as it does not involve confidential legal advice to the president, but the determination of a possible felony, we have a right to know what the White House counsel's office was told, and by whom. Was President Obama interviewed?
Holder should immediately alert the White House counsel's office to gather and preserve all files, records of interrogations and e-mails related to an investigation that exonerated, or perhaps whitewashed, the White House.
Before voters go to the polls, especially before they choose a senator in Pennsylvania, this smelly deal needs to be aired out.
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