Gibbs Zieglerizes, Issa probes: Obama staff, Sestak, Romanoff in misprision of felony?
(Page 4 of 6)
In a blink, Specter has raised the stakes here.
What we are now talking about is the potential for a significant unraveling of the Obama White House even as their biggest domestic agenda item, health care, sucks in most of the media oxygen.
If in fact Sestak is telling the truth, if in fact the Denver Post story about Andrew Romanoff is correct — and neither Sestak nor Romanoff reported these offers to federal authorities — Specter is saying both could in fact do jail time for committing a felony.
Even more remarkable is to comprehend why Robert Gibbs may now be standing at that White House podium five different times and refusing to answer questions from Jake Tapper and Major Garrett. If Sestak has told the truth, if the Denver Post got it right — then not only is the person or persons within the White House who made these job offers in big trouble, but anybody else on the Obama White House staff who currently knows this has happened and has not reported it to the proper authorities — the FBI, just for starters — is, according to Specter, a potential prosecution target for “misprision of a felony.” For which this person or persons could also go to jail along with whomever offered the jobs in the first place.
Quite possibly, that could include Robert Gibbs, if in fact he knows these job offers occurred.
Which is surely incentive enough for Gibbs to understand that he doesn’t want to ask this question of his colleagues — much less get an answer. An answer for which he could be legally liable. Which in turn makes it a lose-lose proposition for him to say anything — anything beyond some version of no comment — to Major Garrett or Jake Tapper.
So how does Gibbs deal with this? Fox’s Brett Baier has sat down with Sestak, who sticks by his story one more time — yet tellingly refused to identify the culprit to Baier. This kind of interview with Sestak only adds more pressure still to the White House apparatus.
Again, John Dean on the art of “stonewalling”:
“It was instinctive…ad hoc…developed in small reactions to the flurry of each day’s events…we found ourselves trying to hold a line where we could.”
One other thing.
These days, Charles Colson is one of humanity’s good guys. He has spent decades creating a ministry called the “Prison Fellowship” in which he looks after the souls of America’s prison population. But it will be remembered how Colson got to this point. Once upon a time he was the feared Nixon White House political aide who famously was said to be capable of running over his own grandmother for his president. In a pre-Watergate 1971 story, the Washington Post described Colson as one of the “original back room boys…the brokers, the guys who fix things when they break down and do the dirty work when it’s necessary.”
And how has the Denver Post described Obama’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina? The man at the center of the Romanoff story and possibly the Sestak story as well? The Denver paper tellingly said Messina was “President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff and a storied fixer in the White House political shop.”
Which is to say, Messina is Barack Obama’s Chuck Colson. The fixer.
With a senior Democratic United States Senator, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, now ever so not delicately suggesting the players in this drama could all go to jail, it would seem that perhaps Mr. Messina and his Chicago buddies in the White House have fixed things for President Obama in a fashion that was unimaginable on inauguration day in January of 2009.
On that day many of these people sat just yards from the very spot on the Capitol grounds where Richard Nixon — seemingly invulnerable — landed in the glow of the klieg lights to bathe in the applause of an admiring nation as he reported on the results of his diplomatic triumphs with the Soviet Union and Mao’s China.