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

Republicans demand White House docs on Sestak

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/02/art.sestak.jpg caption="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. jackson

    Hmmm, what will be the lead story on Faux News tonight, this, or the Greer indictment?

    Yeah, thought so....

    June 2, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    reagan and the war criminal bush did the same things, yawn. Now mabey Mr. Holder needs to check into those war crimes commited by bush and his lackeys.

    June 2, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    A response to
    South side Chicago politics – Obama style June 2nd, 2010 5:06 pm ET
    This is the president YOU elected TWICE: a first-class, world-renowned village idiot; who got us into an ILLEGAL war against a cooutnry that did nothing to us, under the false pretense of looking for WMD's. Hen proceeded to turn a huge budget surplus into an ECONOMIC CRASH of biblical proportions; he invaded and violated our personal freedoms under the guise of national security; he made us the butt of jokes around the world; people who knew they'd go to jail for it threw shoes at him; he prematurely AND erroneously declared a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED vis-a-vis Iraq. We're still there. He allowed his VP to torture our "enemies" and violate international treaties; he gave HIS OIL BUDDIES FREE REIGN here and abroad; we're still swimming inthat muck as I type......

    I COULD go on.

    June 2, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. SammyD

    Funny you dems don't care about corruption, I thought Obama was going to bring change to DC, well now you know what kind of change, same old, same old, jokes going to be on you in Nov.

    June 2, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Thomas

    I would like to know what behind closed doors maneuvering the GOP did a few years ago to persuade my then senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, to switch to their party back when they were in control of the senate.

    Campbell went from voting with the then minority Democrats 87% of the time to voting with the then majority Republicans 86% of the time after he switched parties -and suddenly had some new, much more power committee assignments.

    I have absolutely doubt that what transpired between the GOP and Campbell was not on the up and up – and certainly wasn't in the best interests of the people who elected Campbell in the first place.

    The point? I don't doubt that the democrats offered Sestak what amounts to a bribe to stay out of the primary race. In order to be competitiv, they've had to learn to play just as dirty as the republicans always have.

    June 2, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    Obama is the 21st Century Richard Nixon, without the competence and experience.

    June 2, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. phoenix86

    They should also investigate if Greenpeace had anything to do with the disaster in the Gulf, as that happened just days before Obummer was to give his "posïtion" on energy.

    June 2, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. JES

    If hey have nothing to hide just show the people and let's get on with it.

    June 2, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, lib and PHD (in dance) is an idiot

    Nothing should get released. this is a national security issue! how's that feel you losers.

    and nothing should get released until the minutes are released from cheney's oil meeting that we have been waiting for.

    June 2, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. chris b

    Why cant' the GOP focus on the country?!? Why do they spend so much time on investigations???

    June 2, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Otto

    To the GOP: Put a sock in it; your party is worst than the Tea Baggers.

    June 2, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. usualone

    Okay, let the Democrats learn how much money Cheney earned when his favorite company had the sole source contract. If they Repubs make anything out of this, I hope the Democrats NEVER hold back in attacking the way that party operates.

    June 2, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. JR

    I am not sure what GOPers really want. Are they wise?
    Do they want President Obama or Vice-President Biden? Or even Speaker Pelosi?
    Biden or Pelosi will be putting most of them in jail because some of them really have criminal issues.
    For me, President Obama has been too nice to them; always naively begging them to deal with him, making his legislations very weak just to please them. Even defending the tea party against President Carter attack.
    Despite all his political sacrifices, they still hate him, trying desperately to create unexisting issues just to destroy him. In this case, President Obama has the right to offer job to anyone he wants
    I think GOPers should have been praying GOD because it happens that they have Obama instead of Dennis J. Kucinich, Joh Edwards, or even Hillary Cliton.
    BTW, President Obama has the right to offer job to anyone he wants.

    June 2, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, lib and PHD (in dance) is an idiot

    alot of republicans are on here talking out of their ...... it's okay to invoke executive privelidge when a republican is in the white house, but if it's a democrat.....

    phoenix86 when you talk like that you disrespect yourself and the trailerpark you live in

    June 2, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Jo Jo

    Who the heck cares? This is just another ploy by the republicans to try and make a mountain out of a molehill. You know, the republicans really need to figure out what the heck they really stand for because right now, the party looks like a bunch of angry, grumpy, old, outdated and clueless men. All they do is complain, complain and complain some more. Republicans have been in an attack mode every since the current administration instead of acting like adults and working with him. Even the policies they once agreed upon, if the president agrees, GOPs flip flop and disagree. Take McCain who campaigned on being the "Maverick" but now denies it. He was once for immigration and now wants to build a border fence. The GOP is like a surfer waiting for the largest wave to ride. Unfortunately, for them, the tea party is the biggest wave and they are riding it to see how far it will take them. No matter what the republicans think about the president, at least he has ideas and is trying to implementing them in spite of all the adversity from the right. People want to see action and this requires a functional government and right now the republicans are extremely dysfunctional.

    June 2, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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