June 2nd, 2010
04:12 PM ET
4 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. Dustin

    This is typical politics. I'm a democrat, but I too would like to know if anything improper went on. At some point though, we wil reach a point to where it is time to move on, but the Republicans won't let this go because they are determined to ruin any liberal President.

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

    Don't these pieces of dreck republicans have anything better to do? Oh yeah, given the fact that they have done nothing concrete since the 1800s when they were liberals, I guess they do have nothing better to do.

    June 2, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Robert

    Seriously? Seriously? All the big challenges our country faces that Congress should be focusing on, the Republicans want to waste time, money, and energy "investigating" this?? It's called "politics" guys, and it goes on every day in both parties. Please, find something else to pretend to be incensed about. Better yet, focus on real issues!

    June 2, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Duck Fallas

    I demand they indict Cheney. I give them until June 8th.

    June 2, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Future expat

    It's funny how the same people who used "National Security" as an excuse to do whatever they wanted without explaining anything to anyone are now all of a sudden self-proclaimed champions of transparency.

    June 2, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. NVa Native

    More deception and distraction from the party of "Hell NO I won't do my job". So now the GOPers are trying to create fear about something that is normal in politics and business? They are the most brazen hypocrites.
    How could they not realize that 70% of the population (not fox followers) do have the capcity for rational thought??

    June 2, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Todd

    Talk about trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. I had no idea the GOP had bottomed out like this.

    June 2, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Hey repugs! While you are at I want to see all the papers from the C Streeg Gang, including their pastor who is a Hitler wanna be.
    Let's trade. I bet the WH has less on the Sestak silliness than you have on your repug low renters.

    June 2, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Liberal4Obama

    If offering a politician a job in Washington DC is a crime what says Issa about all of the republican Senators and Congressman who are promised campaign money or lobbyists jobs if they vote in favor of a particular corporation, say Goldman Sachs, BP, Halliburton... Shouldn't they go to jail too? Isn't this a bribe by Mr. Issas own "high legal and moral" standards?

    Will Mr. Issa turn himself in for taking money from corporations and voting in their interests and not the interests of the people that elected him to office? Stay tuned.

    June 2, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. one voice

    We will investigate this if We can throw Cheney in jail for trampling the Constitution.

    June 2, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Darrell Issa needs to get a life and do some real work for a change. Who cares if Sestak was offered a job it was a primary election anyway.
    How many Republican cronies were offered a job to go work for Dick Cheney's inner circle of shiesters?

    June 2, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. jim

    Are there no house democrats that believe anything is wrong with the story that we have been told? If a few would show some courage and get away from being the part of yes to everything this president says and does we might get somewhere.

    June 2, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. independent

    What did the Republicans say every time someone asked for Whitehouse records, emails, guest lists, etc....? Let them eat cake.

    June 2, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Sun52shine

    Our oceans, lakes and beaches are turning to oil before our very eyes and the Republicans are calling for an investigation on a man who said he was offered a job by a whitehouse representative? The process is called networking and job sharing, it is not against any law.

    If the American people have any sense they should never allow the GOP near the White House. Because of their greed, we are one step closer to destorying the earth and all that dwell within.

    June 2, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Independent_me

    Oh, for crying out loud!!!

    When will you Rethuglicans stop with your CRAP and get down to helping the President solve the nation's problems?

    June 2, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Dave

    Wow, with the economy, oil spill, financial regulation (or lack of it), poverty, unemployment, etc. to worry about Reps Issa and Smith find time to look for smoke where there is no fire. What exactly are these guys doing for their districts and the voters that elected them? Is this serving their district's interests or their masters in the republican party? If I was a voter in either of these two clown's districts I would be howling mad at waisting time on this fool's errand and not taking care of real business. These guys need to try doing what their voters elected them for and not grandstanding for the republican party.

    June 2, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. jj

    And they will do good to verdicate Obama!!

    June 2, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. South side Chicago politics - Obama style

    This is the President we elected – a political operative using South Side Chicago strong arm political tactics; back room deals; savory appointments; secrecy; and all fronted by a slick talking community organizer who is way over his head.

    June 2, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rrrrrrring!

    WH: This is the White House
    GOP: We demand to see all documents pertaining to the Sestak job
    offer.
    WH: Please hold.............................................................................

    WH: Please continue to hold........................................................

    June 2, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Chris

    @ Dave: I have no doubt that you were clamoring with the rest of the center-left folks to impeach Bush. Never really understood what for since he had Congressional authority to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, but this is a REAL offense. Shock! You don't want it investigated.

    Tick, tick, tick. The countdown is on.

    June 2, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. ATL Guy

    Trying to gin up a controversy I suppose? Have they all run to Fox News demanding an investigation? Is Bill O'Reilly doing a segment titled "The Truth about Obama and Sestak"? These Republicans are all idiots.

    June 2, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Darrell Issa is the genius behind the recall of California Governor Gray Davis, which he did in an attempt to secure the Governorship for himself. Then Arnold stepped in and Darrell cried, literally. The man is a complete tool.

    June 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Gypsy

    What happened to the old smart Republican party, don't they realize that they are being punked be the White House.
    The White House wants them to keep watching the shiny Sestak object while the White House launch their re-election campaign, because they want to portray Republicans as Britney Spears and the party of "HELL NO!".
    As an Independent voter I am disappointed in the Republicans in Congress.

    June 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. el kababa

    No one in the nation cares. This is just a game of "gotcha." Conservatives have no beliefs and no program to advance. Their entire argument is to sneer "our opponents are immoral." What a wonderful world this would be if trying to talk a guy out of a divisive primary was the worst thing that ever happened in politics.

    No Republican cares about this. They are just running it up the flag pole to see if it waves. If it doesn't get any traction, they will try something else. I hear that Obama is forming Marine "death units" who will kill Louisiana fishermen who criticize the Obama Administration's handling of the oil leak. I also hear, from my confidential Republican sources, that it was Obama who arranged to have Michael Jackson snuffed so he could be the most popular Black man in the world. We'll be hearing about those scandals tomorrow, I'm sure.

    June 2, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. NYC REPUB

    The GOP, can go to hell!!!!! I'm so tired of them, it's pathetic.........I don't want to rush time, I appreciate each day, and I love the summer..........But November can't get here fast enough I'm taking my anger to the polls.

    June 2, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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