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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why did the White House prefer Arlen Specter to Joe Sestak, and risk corruption charges to aid him?

Was Sestak Bribed?

(The American Conservaitve) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan --

...Which brings us to Rep. Joe Sestak’s claim that he was offered an administration job if he would abandon his race against Sen. Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania. Reportedly, the job offered to the retired admiral was secretary of the navy.
On May 18, Sestak won that primary, and his charge that he was proffered a White House bribe, or deal, went viral.

So, today, Joe has a problem. And so does the White House.

For if Sestak was offered a high post in the administration to abandon his challenge to a U.S. senator endorsed by Obama, this would seem on its face a criminal violation of federal law.

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?...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

Here's a hint to the question I asked in the headline, (from an article in Commentary by Jonathan Tobin):
Despite his many other failings as a veteran political weather vane devoid of an ounce of principle, Pennsylvania’s senior senator has been a fairly reliable supporter of the Jewish state during his three decades in office. As such, he has been able to command the support of the mainstream pro-Israel community, in all of his re-election battles. Indeed, in 1992, when, in the aftermath of his tough questioning of Anita Hill, Specter had his toughest general-election challenge, his victory over Democrat Lynn Yeakel could well be credited to the Israel factor. Yeakel, a liberal Democrat whose prime motivation for running was to get revenge for Specter’s rough cross-examination of Clarence Thomas’s accuser, was defeated in no small measure because of her membership in a Presbyterian church that was a hotbed of anti-Israel incitement. Yeakel refused to disavow her pastor or the church (a lesson that Barack Obama might well have profited from when he eventually disavowed Jeremiah Wright), and Specter, with the active assistance of local pro-Israel activists, clobbered her for it and was returned to Washington.

Since then the bond between pro-Israel activists and Specter has stood the test of time...

Specter also could count on his Democratic challenger Joe Sestak’s far from sterling record on Israel. In 2007, Sestak spoke at a fundraiser for CAIR – the pro-Hamas front group that was implicated in the Holy Land Foundation federal terror prosecution. And he has signed on to congressional letters criticizing Israel’s measures of self-defense against terrorists and refused to back those bipartisan letters backing the Jewish state on the issue of Jerusalem...

If the general-election match-up turns out to be a race between Sestak and the conservative but impeccably pro-Israel Pat Toomey, Jewish Democrats who care about Israel will then be forced to choose between their party loyalty and the need to keep a Senate seat in the hands of a friend of the Jewish state. A full-page ad that appeared in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent last week lambasted Sestak for his record on Israel and asked voters to “not allow Joe Sestak to represent you in the U.S. Senate.”...
Gee, I wonder if Rahm Israel Emanuel had anything to do with offering Sestak the bribe...

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