JobsGate: Time for a Special Prosecutor
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) will call for a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that the White House has violated federal election law by offering federal jobs to Democrats to entice them from running against other Democrats in federal elections. Such offers, as well as the failure to report such offers by those who receive them, are felonies under the law.
Jim Messina, “The Fixer“, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, is at the center of allegations concerning possible violations of Federal Election Law and a coverup of those actions.
The allegation is that the White House has a pattern of offering federal jobs to potential challengers to sitting Democrat politicians to prevent their defeat in primaries. The first case came up in Colorado in 2009:
The Denver Post reports that Obama White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina allegedly offered a job in the Obama administration to ex-Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff if Romanoff dropped his planned primary challenge to incumbent U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Romanoff refuses comment and runs anyway.
Then in 2010 in Pennsylvania:
Philadelphia TV anchor Larry Kane reports that on his just taped Comcast show, he had asked Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak, who is challenging incumbent Senator Arlen Specter whether it was true that the Obama administration had offered Sestak a job if he would withdraw from his primary challenge to Specter. Sestak answers “yes,” specifically saying the offer came from someone in the White House and that he, Sestak, turned down the offer. Sestak refuses to name who it was that made the offer. Two hours later, Kane calls the White House, plays them the tape, and asks for comment. The White House never calls him back.
The American Spectator has a good article and timeline connecting these events and the White House coverup here.
Arlen Specter, during a local radio interview said:
“There’s a crime called misprision of a felony. Misprision of a felony is when you don’t report a crime. So you’re getting into pretty deep areas here in these considerations.”
As in the Nixon watergate scandal, it is the coverup, not the original crime that will cause the most damage.