There are a few questions out there that are political classics. They follow presidents and other high-ranking officials around, just waiting for the right time to appear. Those questions — What did you know? — and — When did you know it? — have a way of causing intense heartburn, but for those questions to start popping up when Barack Obama has only been on the job for less than a year and a half shows that even the liberal media is getting tired of Obama’s tactics.
As noted by The Hill, “Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday requested that the Obama administration appoint a special prosecutor to probe allegations it offered Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job to stay out of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary.” If such an allegation turns out to be true, it is ILLEGAL:
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the members say the alleged offer could have violated federal laws that prohibit the “promise of employment or other benefit for political activity.”
“The allegations in this matter are very serious and, if true, suggest a possible violation of various federal criminal laws intended to safeguard our political process from the taint of bribes and political machine manipulation,” they wrote.
Sestak, the candidate who beat Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democrat Senate primary, had previously mentioned that he was offered a job to stay out of the race. This was at a time when party-switching Specter was in the White House’s good graces. As The Hill reports, “Sestak confirmed his claim on the Sunday talk-show circuit last weekend, but declined to elaborate further.”
Host Joe Scarborough doesn’t quite get it right when talking about the media aspect of this story. Yes, the White House is stonewalling, but the press corps IS asking questions. As long as the White House continues to say nothing, the questions will only continue. And they should, because this is not the first time the Obama administration has been accused of trying to illegally influence political activities, such as stepping in during the process of picking the Senate successor in Illinois to fill Obama’s Senate seat.
As noted in a story on FoxNews.com, the tension between the White House and the press corps “may be reaching new heights.”
The press secretary also shut down questions a day earlier about Rep. Joe Sestak’s claim that the Obama administration offered him a job in exchange for dropping out of the Senate Democratic primary race against Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak, who did not take the alleged offer, won that race last week but has not been willing to elaborate on his allegation in media interviews.
Gibbs and other officials haven’t shed any light on the subject either.
“I don’t have anything to add to what I said in March,” Gibbs said Thursday when the topic was broached.
So, what did White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs say in March? He said the Sestak issue was “not problematic.” That sheds a whole lot of light on the situation.
You can count on one thing: this story will not go away. Chicago politics has a way of leaving debris, and as reporters and legislators shift through the wreckage, Obama and company might not like what they find.