GOP: White House can’t investigate itself in Sestak matter 

I’ve just gotten an internal Republican analysis of the White House Sestak statement.  There’s no doubt the GOP is highly skeptical of the Obama administration’s story that former President Bill Clinton was enlisted for the purpose of offering an unpaid advisory position — nothing more — to Sestak in return for Sestak’s agreement not to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary.  The GOP analysis includes three objections Republicans are likely to make in coming days:

1) The White House statement was from counsel Robert Bauer.  Bauer is the White House’s defense lawyer and cannot be expected to credibly investigate the same people he is defending.

2) The statement says nothing about how Bauer’s information was gathered.  It does not say who was interviewed, who did the interviewing, whether there are records of the interviews and whether they were under oath.

3) The statement wrongly concludes that allegations of improper conduct by the White House are unfounded because the job offered to Sestak was unpaid.  In fact, the analysis says, the federal law covering the offering of a job for political purposes does not require that the job be paid for there to be a possible crime involved.

Meanwhile, Sestak himself has released a statement that supports the White House version of events:

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.

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Staff Report

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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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