GOP asks FBI to investigate ‘collusion,’ possible obstruction of justice in Sestak case 

All the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have joined Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking GOP member of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, in writing a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller over the Joe Sestak affair.  The lawmakers urge Mueller to investigate “collusion” and possible obstruction of justice involving the White House, former President Bill Clinton, and Sestak’s brother, who was consulted during the drafting of the new White House report.

“Not surprisingly, the White House’s own report clears White House officials and former President Bill Clinton of wrongdoing,” the lawmakers write.  “But assurances by the Obama White House that no laws were broken are like the Nixon White House promising it did nothing illegal in Watergate.  Clearly an independent investigation is necessary to determine once and for all what really happened.”

The lawmakers say that the original acts, in which Sestak was offered a position in return for his leaving the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary race, could violate several federal laws.  But they are also worried by the circumstances surrounding the White House’s self-exonerating report.  ”We are equally concerned about steps taken by the White House leading up to the issuance of today’s report,” they write, “including a meeting between former President Clinton and President Obama and reports that Rep. Sestak’s brother and campaign manager was consulted on the drafting of the White House report.  The apparent collusion between the parties involved may constitute obstruction of justice.  We urge the FBI to investigate.”

The Republicans note that Attorney General Eric Holder has already turned down a request from Issa to investigate the matter.  (Holder has not yet responded to a similar request from all seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the answer is expected to be the same.)  “Despite the seriousness of these allegations, we are disappointed that the Justice Department has denied any request to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate this matter,” they write.  “That’s why we’re calling on the FBI to look into the allegations.”

“Admissions that the White House intentionally sought to manipulate the outcome of a Democratic Senate primary strike at the heart of our democracy,” the lawmakers write.  “Only a full criminal investigation can restore integrity to our election process.”

The letter is signed by Issa, along with Reps. Lamar Smith, James Sensenbrenner, Howard Coble, Elton Gallegly, Bob Goodlatte, Daniel Lungren, Steve King, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Jason Chaffetz, Tom Rooney and Gregg Harper.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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