Joe Sestak, who defeated Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania’s recent Democratic primary continues to stand by his allegations that he was offered a job by the White House if he would agree to bow out of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. And the White House continues to stand by its story that nothing improper took place.
What are the stakes? Some legal experts say that offering Sestak a job was an impeachable offense. Carl Rove, who was George Bush’s legal adviser lays out the laws that were violated as follows, according to WND.
But Karl Rove, longtime White House adviser to President George W. Bush, said the charge is explosive because of federal law.
“This is a pretty extraordinary charge: ‘They tried to bribe me out of the race by offering me a job,’” he said on Greta Van Susteran’s “On the Record” program on the Fox News Channel. “Look, that’s a violation of the federal code: 18 USC 600 says that a federal official cannot promise employment, a job in the federal government, in return for a political act.
“Somebody violated the law. If Sestak is telling the truth, somebody violated the law,” Rove said. “Section 18 USC 211 says you cannot accept anything of value in return for hiring somebody. Well, arguably, providing a clear path to the nomination for a fellow Democrat is something of value.”
If an illegal conversation took place, it all boils down to the question that was asked during the Nixon administration. “Who knew what, and when did they know it? Was a quid pro quo offered? By whom was it offered? If it was by Rahm Emmanuel, then how could Obama not have known that such an offer was made?
To put things into perspective, “impeachable offense” has been an increasingly frequent mantra. Since Nixon, Bill Clinton was actually impeached. The term does not mean removed from office, but that a President was indicted by the House of Representatives and tried by the Senate. Conviction is by a 2/3 majority in the Senate, which is not easy to obtain. Of all American Presidents, only Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were ever impeached. Neither were convicted.
After Bill Clinton, charges that George Bush should also be impeached were leveled with regularity. Despite Bush’s declining popularity, the calls for impeachment always had a shrill, partisan ring to them.
Will Joe Sestak’s allegations gain traction?It is unusual that they come from a Democrat. Why would he want to tarnish his party in the national arena? Maybe an association with the Obama administration is toxic enough that this is an attempt to win by distancing himself from the Obama administration. If he does win, how trusted will he be by fellow Democrats? If it can be proven that Sestak was offered a job, then the offer will be measured against the standards of the law. Plenty of people will want to pin the blame on Obama.
It remains to be seen how if the Sestak affair will blow over or if it will continue to come up. But it now seems clear that threats of impeachment are becoming a regular part of the political landscape for Democrats and Republicans alike. Perhaps it is for moments like these that President Obama tapped Joe Biden to be his Vice President. What better deterrent to impeachment than Joe Biden? To paraphrase a well known anti Bush bumper sticker, “Somewhere in Delaware, a village has lost its idiot.”