Paul Jacob

Impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich goes on trial this week for allegedly attempting to sell his appointment to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. As for the Obama Administration’s failed deal to barter a federal appointment in exchange for U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) staying out of the race against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), no trial date has been set.

In fact, no charges have been filed. No serious investigation has even been launched.

Rush Limbaugh

But a crime may indeed have been committed.

Months after Rep. Sestak charged that such a deal was offered — that is, once Sestak had won the Democratic nomination — the media turned from its usual task of fluffing pillows and began to ask questions.

The White House had initially denied the charge, but since Sestak’s February admission both the administration and the representative had clammed up, giving themselves ample time to get their story straight. Now, three months later, White House Counsel Robert F. Bauer explains that yes, a deal had indeed been proffered by none other than former President Bill Clinton, and at the specific request of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

President Obama, when grilled at a press conference earlier this week, declined to tell the story himself. Instead, he burbled the same sort of strange blather as his erstwhile press secretary, Robert Gibbs, namely, “I can assure the public that nothing improper took place.”

If he could assure us that much, why couldn’t Mr. Obama simply tell the press and the people the truth?

Why? you ask. Heavens! There might have been follow-up questions.

Instead, after a two-page legal memorandum from the White House counsel, the Washington Post has already pooh-poohed any further inquiry into the matter, writing in yesterday’s editorial, “OKAY, if all the facts are out, then we would agree: Nothing inappropriate happened. . . . this is not a scandal. Not a crime. Not even into an ethical gray zone.”

Golly, aren’t you glad that’s wrapped up? Maybe the Nobel Committee should come up with a new prize for the Obama team, for not committing a crime.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.