May 26th, 2010
03:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Seven GOP Senators demand Sestak investigation

The seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday demanding he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations raised by Rep. Joe Sestak.
The seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday demanding he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations raised by Rep. Joe Sestak.

Washington (CNN) - Congressional Republicans are turning up the heat on the White House about whether someone in the administration may have illegally offered a federal job to Rep. Joe Sestak, if the Pennsylvania Democrat would not challenge Sen. Arlen Specter's bid for re-election.

The seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday demanding he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations, which were first raised by Sestak several months ago.

"These allegations concern what could be a serious breach of the law," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, the ranking member on the committee. "There has been enough talk regarding this matter; it is time for a thorough and professional investigation."

Neither Sestak nor White House officials have revealed who from the administration spoke to the congressman nor what job might have been offered him. White House aide David Axelrod told CNN's JKUSA Monday the allegations "would constitute a serious breach of the law."

Read the full letter here [pdf]

However he said after the charges were made White House lawyers investigated and determined "the conversations were perfectly appropriate."

"A mere assurance from the White House counsel is plainly not conclusive," Sessions said. "It is time to get to the bottom of this."

"The allegations in the matters are very serious and, if true, suggest a possible violation of various federal criminal laws intended to safeguard our political process from the taint of bribes and political machine manipulation," stated the letter.

"The White House cannot possibly manage an internal investigation of potential criminal misconduct while simultaneously crafting a public narrative to rebut the claim that misconduct occurred," the letter stated.

In addition to Sessions, the letter was signed by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

A similar request for a special counsel, made by Rep. Darrel Issa, R-California, was turned down last week by the Department of Justice, according to Issa's office.

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Bubba

    I was worried until I saw who signed the letter. Boy, you can smell the desperation all over the USA. These gops are running scared!

    May 26, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Desperately grasping at anything eh Republican maggots? You are all pathetic on the Right. There's nothing here that will pan out so give it up fools and turn to working with our excellent President on issues of actual importance, not ignorant games and political grandstanding attempts.

    May 26, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. dan smith

    Dirty Chicago politics at it's finest.

    May 26, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Angus McDugan

    Don't hold your breath. The Obama political/union machine has already geared up to squash any attempts at getting to the truth. Chicago politics at its best!!!!

    The government should lead and govern instead of take over and make the public dependent on them. Obama administration is like a giant hog laying on its side with the American people lined up looking for a free teat.

    May 26, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Rule of Law

    Come on Holder, do something right for once.

    May 26, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Realistic

    And the republicans smell blood in the water and will ride this to the end. Now, the republicans are doing this for a simple reason, the Nov elections and nothing else. If they cared about the law, they would of investigated Bush and Cheney for.......No the republicans don't care about the law and just want to bruise this administration and the Democrats before elections, thats all. The Wh has investigated and the special counsel and they say nothing was done wrong. And when is it illegal to offer someone a job in the WH? I bet the WH offered Sestak a job way before he got into the race, thats appropriate, nothing illegal. But Republicans loves to make lies up, attack and let the country fail and of course, love war, its what they do.

    May 26, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. dan smith

    Anyone else tired of these crooks yet?

    May 26, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Larry

    I'm a Democrat and I want to know where Sestak is going with this.

    You don't have to be Republican to be a flake.

    May 26, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. haren

    My answer to this inquiry is 'So what'
    Did not cheney gave same answer.

    May 26, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Ken in NC

    I really hope the Whitehouse didn't screw up. Republicans are doing everything they can to keep President Obama pinned with work and issues. It is a shame that they are so power hungry that they are willing to destroy our nation for the sake of regaining power and control so they can enforce their Family Values.

    May 26, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Hendrik

    A little grandstanding, eh?

    Everybody recognizes this for what it is. I love this fake anger. Since Sestak turned did not take any job, what is the operational problem here?

    Mmmmm. Republican opportunism?

    May 26, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. LacrosseMom (the real one)

    Of course they do! The GOP LOVES a good witch hunt....... unless its a GOPer in trouble!

    TO THE GOP: DON'T YOU FOLKS HAVE ENOUGH TO DO?

    May 26, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. Hammerer

    And you just know holder is going to investigate. Right?

    May 26, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. cspurgeon

    I think an investigation sould be conducted on every member of Congress and then we can clean house.

    May 26, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Texas Granny

    Instead of the Republicans looking under every stone for something against the Democrats, why don't BOTH parties get about the business of fixing the problems in this country? Of course, anything the Democrats propose the Republicans are just going to say "no". Can't these 2 parties work together and find some middle ground on these issues? I am so tired of seeing these people act like a bunch of bratty 5 year olds who, if they can't get their own way, just aren't going to play. Grow up!

    May 26, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Bob

    I hope whoever made this illegal job offer suffers the same harsh penalty that Bush gave the people who outed Valery Plame.

    May 26, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. dan

    Because of the minority vote,its going to be over 24yrs in 2012 since the Gop got over 300 electoral votes,in by 2016 Calif-TEX-ill-NYK and FL all will have over 35% register minority voters.right now its only 28%.this is the hudge problem the Gop is facing.the Gop havnt won a majority of these States since 1988,in it dont look like their going to win a majority of these States for eternity.

    May 26, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Ron in California

    Ok we'll take your word for it....nothing inappropraite was discussed with Sestak....NOT!!!! Did the Dems take the word of the Bush Administration on anything..NO!!! Where there is smoke there is fire. If nothing wa said there should be no fear of an independent investigaion.

    May 26, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. keeth in California

    Red whine.

    May 26, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    This story has legs and is only going to get bigger.

    Oooo...Obama's first scandal. He'd better learn quick that Chicago politics don't always play in D.C.

    May 26, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Saladdin

    Since when is this deal making illegal? Didn't Eisenhower trade the SCOTUS position to Earl Warren in exchange for his support during the election?

    Didn't Reagan offer S. I. Hayakawa an administration position in exchange for his dropping out of the Senate race?

    Why has this suddenly become an issue? Doesn't Sen. Sessions read history?

    May 26, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Johnny DC

    These games may work in Chicago, but thankfully our federal government is - albeit ever-so-slightly - more rigorously regulated.

    This administration is full of professional crooks, from Emanuel and Axelrod all the way down the list, so I'm sure they knew how to circumvent the laws on this matter.

    May 26, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. munchmom

    Better get some shovels and boots–the crap is going to start piling high and deept!

    May 26, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. rdepontb

    Where the heck is Rahm Emmanuel these days?? This was a very poor handling of Sestak's statements-did the White House really not expect any blowback? Of _course_ we want to know, loyal Democrats and everyone else as well.

    May 26, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Kem

    not again.....mmm Im getting bored with the GOP. And who could have predicted it? Everyone....

    May 26, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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