Obama Administration Job Scandals—Misdemeanors—or Crimes?

On this matter of offering federal
jobs to potential candidates to induce them not to run
against Senate Democratic incumbents, this White House
is drifting dangerously close to the falls.

Colorado`s Andrew Romanoff has now
confirmed that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim
Messina trolled three federal jobs in front of him, if
he would

desist and not run
against incumbent Sen. Michael

And Romanoff has produced an e-mail
where Messina presents the three-job menu, one of which
might be his, if he passed up the Senate run. Two were
with the Agency for International Development. The third
was director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

All three are

juicy plums.

Romanoff and Messina both say no
hard offer was made. And Robert Gibbs has

the press the president had no idea Messina
was talking to Romanoff about federal jobs that only
Obama can fill.

But if Obama knew nothing of the
Messina-Romanoff talks, who did? For Messina cannot
appoint anyone to anything. Has Messina`s boss, Rahm
Emanuel, been given the franchise to offer a dessert
tray of federal jobs to people he wants to keep out of
Democratic primaries?

An independent investigation needs
to be conducted to determine whether Chicago-style
politics has been introduced into the West Wing.

For in the week since

White House Counsel Robert Bauer
issued his two-page
report on his investigation into

whether Rep. Joe Sestak was offered a job
to stay
out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary, that report has
become scarcely credible.

Consider. Repeatedly, Sestak said
he had been offered a job if he would not run. The job
was widely thought to be secretary of the navy. If true,
Sestak was charging someone high at the White House with
having committed a felony: offering a federal job to
influence the outcome of a federal election.

What made the issue combustible was
that only Obama can appoint the navy secretary. Though
no one suggested Obama made the offer, the White House
denied any offer had been made.

When Sestak won the primary, the
media began to press. Sestak stonewalled, repeating only
he was offered a job and turned it down.

Came then the report of Bauer,
which purported to clear up the conflicting statements.

What had happened, we were told,
was that President Clinton, at the behest of Rahm,
called Sestak to urge him not to run against Arlen
Specter, but to stay in the House, adding that Joe might
serve on the president`s Foreign Intelligence Advisory

Sestak hastily confirmed that this
was the "job"
he had been offered—in a one-minute exchange in a single
conservation with Clinton.

No one else, says Sestak, contacted
him with any offer any time.

Bauer`s report appeared to put the
matter to rest. For PFIAB is a non-paying advisory
board. Thus, Sestak had not really been offered a job,
and even the seat on the PFIAB board had been but a
suggestion by Clinton.

The story has now begun to crumble.

First, a seat on the prestigious
PFIAB, with access to the nation`s secrets and a valid
claim to be an adviser to the president, is certainly a
thing of value. For the White House to offer it to get
Sestak not to run would appear a clear violation of the
anti-bribery statute.

Second, as columnist Byron York
reports, members of Congress are not permitted to sit on
presidential boards. Clinton was suggesting that Sestak
take a slot on PFIAB, which Joe could not take as long
as he stayed in Congress, which Clinton was urging him
to do.

Is it possible Rahm and Clinton did
not know of this prohibition?

Another problem has arisen with the
Bauer report. Sestak insists the one-minute chat with
Clinton was it. Not before, not during the Clinton call,
not after, did anyone from the White House talk to him
about not running.

But the report says
were made to determine if Sestak would be interested in
serving on a presidential board
"in June and July
of 2009."

This suggests multiple White House
contacts with Sestak.

Who else talked to Joe? Another
emissary like Clinton? What arguments did they use to
persuade Sestak not to run, if they did not offer him
something? For Joe was deeply angered at having been
passed over by the White House in his planned run for a
Senate seat in favor of a GOP reject like Arlen Specter.

The White House claims Obama knew
nothing about any of this.

But is it credible that White House
Chief of Staff Rahm colluded with ex-President Clinton
to get Sestak out of the Pennsylvania Senate race and
the president of the United States was left in the dark?

Not to be a cynic, but the
Rahm-Clinton-Sestak-PFIAB story rings of a concoction
upon which all agreed—to get the White House off the
sticky wicket onto which Joe`s earlier honesty had
placed the West Wing.

This thing could metastasize,



Patrick J. Buchanan


no introduction
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Paul Craig Roberts.