June 2nd, 2010
04:12 PM ET
8 years ago

Republicans demand White House docs on Sestak

House Republicans are demanding more information from the White House regarding its efforts to dissuade Joe Sestak from running in a Democratic primary Senate race.

House Republicans are demanding more information from the White House regarding its efforts to dissuade Joe Sestak from running in a Democratic primary Senate race.

Washington (CNN) – House Republicans are demanding the White House turn over internal documents related to its efforts last year to persuade Rep. Joe Sestak to stay out of a Democratic primary battle in Pennsylvania with Sen. Arlen Specter, in exchange for a government job.

Unhappy with the White House explanation of the matter, Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter Wednesday to White House Counsel Robert Bauer requesting "All records and documents created by or produced to the Office of the White House Counsel in the course of the investigation..."

Last Friday, Bauer released a memorandum revealing White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had enlisted the help of former President Bill Clinton to offer to Sestak an unpaid position on a Presidential advisory board. Bauer concluded "allegations of improper conduct rest on factual errors and lack a basis in the law."

Issa and Smith, in their letter, disagreed.

"Even if we suspend our disbelief that the White House asked a former U.S. President to call on a Member of Congress to offer a mere unpaid advisory position in exchange for dropping out of a Senate race, the facts alleged in the Sestak Memorandum still appear to violate several sections of the United States Code," wrote the Republican congressmen.

The White House memorandum, they said, "appears to catalog a violation of the federal criminal code, the tampering of evidence, witness tampering and evasion of the legal process."

The letter also asks for transcripts of interviews on the subject with Emanuel, Clinton, and Sestak and gives the White House until June 9 to turn over the material.

Since the Republicans are in the minority in both houses of Congress, they don't have the power to force the White House to turn over the documents requested.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Tuesday told reporters who pressed for more information on the White House explanation, "I'd refer you to the memo."

Filed under: House Republicans • Joe Sestak
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Nando

    The Whitehouse just told the GOP were to find them !!!!

    June 2, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Shucks

    Let them demand all they want and give them a morsel to chew on for a couple of days. There are many items that the democrats could and should be demanding from the last administration.

    June 2, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    Repubs. also need to re-examine who killed Vince Foster; OR, if they really want to investigate something, why not finding out how Cheney & Chalabi got us to topple Saddam.

    June 2, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Johnny DC

    What goes around comes around.

    When the GOP regains the majority in 2012 (or perhaps even in 2010), they will force documents to be released, exposing the corruption in this administration just as they continue to do with the previous one.

    When all is clear for us to see, it will be obvious that Obama's worst dream comes true – we all find out that he is EXACTLY like the previous administration, the one thing he's tried to champion otherwise.

    June 2, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Brian

    Where is the promised transparency?

    June 2, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    They should demand that Sarah Palin return the $150,000 in designer clothes she promised she would....

    June 2, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Dar

    If nothing happened and it wasn't against the rules or the law then why wont the White house give up any information?
    this looks like a stall on their part to cover this up, bad choice on their part.
    Rahm might have to be the one who goes down for this to cover Odumbo's butt.

    June 2, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. ART

    Nice try repugs but there is no smoking gun. Its not like Democrats are fabricating info so we can start a war or something

    June 2, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    One thing about all politicians is they cannot keep their big mouths shut. I'm a Democrat but if the White House has documents, they should turn them over to clear the air and if they violated a law they should pay the price for it. Wrong is wrong regardless if you are Republican or Democrat.

    June 2, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Republicans demand White House docs on Sestak


    That's what I'd say to those "demading" blithering idiots.

    Demand, indeed!

    June 2, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Joan

    And at the same time Pawlenty can produce the transcripts of his conversations with Rove and Cheney when they called him and told him to not run against Norm Coleman in 2002. Cheney was VP at the time so it would be interesting to know what he was offered. It only seems fair that both sides tell the truth on these two identical situations.

    June 2, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    Can we investigate George W. Bush and Karl Rove for the same thing then?

    June 2, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Josh

    Seriously? why are we making this an issue, this is common practice in business and politics and has been for a long time.

    June 2, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. pc

    oh my god, why can't the moran republicans let this non-issue go?
    it would be nice if they showed this much passion in helping our president clean up some of the mess these lame ducks made for the past eight years. republicans are sinking in there own slime,i can't wait till nov. to get rid of the do-nothings that have taken a pay-check without earning a dime of it for the last two years.

    June 2, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. annie s

    Yawn. republicans, who have done absolutely nothing constructive in the past 1 1/2 years, finally have a cause. A stupid one, but hey, Republicans love to investigate Democratic Presidents, don't they?

    June 2, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Brenda

    Get the Attorney General of PA involved--a Republican.

    He can demand documents and open an investigation.

    June 2, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Alex in Wisconsin

    I guess this would be a good time for the Obama Administration to assert some of that good old Bush Era Executive Privilege.

    June 2, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Ed FL

    These two GOP reps sound like they are brothers in the C Street den of Republican playgrounds. Texas and California are the states with the biggest blowhards in the house of representatives. They approved the killing of 4000 thousand american kids and wounding 20000 more. they want to forget that part of their administration and want to look for anything to get the countries mind off what they did. LIVE WITH IT MURDERERS. Wonder how much service these two have seen or been in. Cowards will try anything to change the subject of their past behavior in the CHENEY/BUSH ADMIN. now they have the oil deal that they will have to try and cover up.

    June 2, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. anotherGDlefty

    Do it. Give them everything they want to waste time with.

    Go ahead and dig out the transcripts from Cheneys energy summit too. What's that? They don't exist?

    How about White House emails from 2000-2008? What? They're lost?

    Another Fox Opinion Channel led witch hunt.

    It's been done in the past, no laws were broken, he didn't accept the offer, get over it.

    June 2, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Pam

    The Republicans are back ragging about this again to try to distract us from their lastest financial scandel.
    The arrest of Jim Greer is headline news and they want it off the front page. I don't think 6 felony counts will go away any time soon.

    June 2, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Marge

    If the republicans keep screwing around with this, the Justice Department will be justified into looking into Cheney's connection to getting Pawlenty to drop out of a race, AFTER HE HAD REGISTERED TO RUN, in favor of Norm Coleman. That is more of a felony than asking a person if they THOUGHT THEY MIGHT DO BETTER IN THE JOB THEY WERE IN. Nothing in the Sestak thing, but a heck of lot in Cheney's. And a special prosecutor to investigate a nothing, will have something to do in investigating a something.

    Remember Sestak had not registered to run, Pawlenty had.

    June 2, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Mark from Louisiana

    We'll probably have to wait until November for justice. Just typing the words obama and impeach in the same sentence gives me thrills up my leg!

    Just like watergate it won't be the crime that brings obummer down, it will be the cover up!

    Hopefully it will happen quickly before he finishes destroying our country.

    June 2, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    Please. What parts of legal, unpaid, and Sestak not accepting are not understood here? More righteous indignation...

    Will the good GOP congresspersons also be opening an investigation into President Bush's cronyism and President Reagan's similar deal to Sen. SI Hayakawa??

    Oh, that's right >> IOKIYAR. It's OK If You're A Republican 😉

    June 2, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. all the news that's fit to omit

    Good, good, good, the liar in chief CAN'T be allowed to get away with this (He did it in Colorado as well..........).

    A former president was brought in to ask a sitting Congressmen to step out of a Senate race and the bait was a NON-PAYING advisory board that it turns out (thanks to Bill Clinton's admin) he WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR in the first place?

    Sestak has said many times it was a JOB or do we now have to "speak Clintoneese" in descibing what a job is?

    This is a massive coverup and anyone who is not a liberal sheep knows it, the media wants it to go away to protect Oweblamo, but NOT anymore.

    THIS will be Oweblamo's Waterloo.

    June 2, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. A Not So Stupid American

    I'm sorry Mr. Issa but Mr. Bauer does not work for you and you have no right to "DEMAND" anything.

    One of the reasons our Government doesn't get anything done is because we have people like Bauet boughed down repeating the same work over and over and over.

    This is just like the Republican's fixation with Roe vs Wade which the Supreme Court decided in 1973[?] GOP'ers have a criminal modus operandi of incessantly pestering hard working governement employees to keep revisiting settled scenarios.

    We know he doesn't like the determination but Mr. Issa doesn't get to check behind Mr. Bauer's work. I'd like to see Mr. Issa do something aligned with his constiuents. That's what he was sent to Washington for.

    June 2, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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