Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) has accused the Obama Adminstration of, in effect, offering him a bribe to drop his primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter (D-R-D-PA). Reporters have repeatedly asked White House Press Secretary Gibbs for information and clarifications. Gibbs has dodged these questions in a way worthy of a Nixon staffer. Byron York recounts the tale so far and asks how long will Gibbs keep stonewalling?
Sestak’s charge is a serious one that could potentially involve criminal conduct on the part of someone in the administration. And Sestak, while not offering any new details, is standing by his story. “Something happened last July before I got in the race,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program March 9. When he was asked about it on the radio program, Sestak continued, “I answered it honestly; I just said yes, but I didn’t go beyond that. And actually, Joe, I don’t think I should. That’s politics.” Just to clarify, Sestak said, of the radio interview, “They said to me, have you been offered a job not to get in the race, or to get in the race? And I said yes.”
Not only is the charge serious; Sestak himself, with his long career in the Navy before winning a seat in Congress, is a serious source. On March 8, at a health care event in Pennsylvania, President Obama referred to Sestak as “somebody who rendered outstanding service to our nation before he was in Congress.”
And yet, after an initial denial, the White House spokesman hasn’t been able to muster any comment on the allegation. Gibbs has not repeated the denial, hasn’t issued a new one, and has now dropped any pretense of checking on the story. How long will the Sestak Stonewall continue?
Between this and the long-simmering Inspectors-General scandal alone, there are more than a few political IEDs that could blow up on the administration before November.
RELATED: Politico reports on questions posed to White House Counsel Robert Bauer by Congressman Darrell Issa of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding Sestak’s accusation.
(via Power Line)
UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Ace of Spades, and thanks for the link!
UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey thinks this won’t go anywhere legally (and I think he’s right), but that it could be important politically.