Sestak White House scandal called 'impeachable offense'
'It's Valerie Plame, only bigger, a high crime and misdemeanor'
Posted: May 25, 2010
8:45 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn
© 2010 WorldNetDailyIf a Democratic member of Congress is to be believed, there's someone in the Obama administration who has committed a crime – and if the president knew about it, analysts say it could be grounds for impeachment.
"This scandal could be enormous," said Dick Morris, a former White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, on the Fox News Sean Hannity show last night. "It's Valerie Plame only 10 times bigger, because it's illegal and Joe Sestak is either lying or the White House committed a crime
"Obviously, the offer of a significant job in the White House could not be made unless it was by Rahm Emanuel or cleared with Rahm Emanuel," he said. If the job offer was high enough that it also had Obama's apppoval, "that is a high crime and misdemeanor."
"In other words, an impeachable offense?" Hannity asked.
"Absolutely," said Morris.
The controversy revolves around an oft-repeated statement by Rep. Sestak, D-Pa., that he had been offered a job by the Obama administration in exchange for dropping out of the senatorial primary against Obama supporter Sen. Arlen Specter
Sestak said he refused the offer. He continued in the Senate primary and defeated Specter for the Democratic nomination.
But Karl Rove, longtime White House adviser to President George W. Bush, said the charge is explosive because of federal law.
"This is a pretty extraordinary charge: 'They tried to bribe me out of the race by offering me a job,
'" he said on Greta Van Susteran's "On the Record" program on the Fox News Channel. "Look, that's a violation of the federal code: 18 USC 600 says that a federal official cannot promise employment, a job in the federal government, in return for a political act.
"Somebody violated the law. If Sestak is telling the truth, somebody violated the law," Rove said. "Section 18 USC 211 says you cannot accept anything of value in return for hiring somebody. Well, arguably, providing a clear path to the nomination for a fellow Democrat is something of value.
He continued, citing a third law passage: "18 USC 595, which prohibits a federal official from interfering with the nomination or election for office. ... 'If you'll get out, we'll appoint you to a federal office,' – that's a violation of the law."
Staffers with Sestak's congressional office did not respond to WND requests for comment. But the congressman repeatedly confirmed that he was offered the position and refused and that any further comments would have to come from someone else.
"I've said all I'm going to say on the matter. … Others need to explain whatever their role might be," Sestak said on CNN this week. "I have a personal accountability; I should have for my role in the matter, which I talked about. Beyond that, I'll let others talk about their role."
That's not fulfilling his responsibilities, Rove said. He said Sestak needs to be forthcoming with the full story so "the American people can figure out whether or not he's participating in a criminal cover-up along with federal officials."The Obama White House has tried to minimize the issue
"Lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak, and nothing inappropriate happened," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has stated.
Gibbs told the White House press corps, "Whatever conversations have been had are not problematic."
And on CBS' "Face the Nation" he said, "I'm not going to get further into what the conversations were. People who looked into them assure me they weren't inappropriate in any way."
But the administration also is taking no chances on what might be discovered.
According to Politico, the Justice Department has rejected a request from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., for a special counsel to investigate and reveal the truth of the controversy.
The report said Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich confirmed no special counsel would be needed. But the report said Weich also gave no indication that the Justice Department actually was looking into the claims by Sestak.
"We assure you that the Department of Justice takes very seriously allegations of criminal conduct by public officials. All such matters are reviewed carefully by career prosecutors and law enforcement agents, and appropriate action, if warranted, is taken," Weich wrote in the letter.