Updated: WH Used Clinton To Ask Sestak To Get Out Of Race, Sestak Responds

Posted: May 28, 2010 1:33 PM
A statement is expected from the White House later today on the nature of the Sestak bribe. I wonder if it will include this nugget -- a new report out that the White House that they used Bill Clinton to convince Sestak to drop his Senate bid. The New York Times quotes sources who say Clinton was contacted as early as last summer -- that would be right after Specter's party-switch.

Here's what the "anonymous" White House officials told the New York Times:
The White House did not offer Mr. Sestak a full-time paid position because [Rahm] Emanuel wanted him to stay in the House rather than risk losing his seat. Among the positions explored by the White House was an appointment to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which provides independent oversight and advice the president. But White House officials discovered it would not work because Mr. Sestak could not serve on the board while still serving in Congress.
Clinton would be a convenient scapegoat in this story, and I'm eager to see whether the President will oblige repeated requests for a full investigation.

Update: The Atlantic reportedly has the White House memo, authored by chief counsel Bob Bauer.  Click here to read the report.

Update II:  Rep. Sestak has released the following statement in response to the White House's comments from earlier today:
"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."
Sestak's statement seems to nearly word-for-word corroborate the story from the White House.  Do you think everyone is being honest here? 
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