Pennsylvania’s Blumenthal: ex-Admiral’s image of honesty, White House credibility torpedoed.
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• Are Holder, Gibbs, and Sestak all now being guided in their responses by the very person who is in fact the subject of all these questions? The “somebody” Sestak references but refuses — repeatedly — to name. The “somebody” who is suspected of committing, in Issa’s words, “what amounts to three felonies.”
• Are there phone records, e-mail records, scheduling logs that tie this mysterious person in the White House to the responses made by Holder, Gibbs, and Sestak?
• What contact has there been between the White House staff, the Attorney General’s staff and the Congressman’s staff?
• Is the White House Counsel’s office, whom Gibbs referenced in his Face the Nation appearance, advising White House staff members on how to evade the law?
Sestak is a rookie Senate candidate. And the call offering him a job — which he now confirmed to Gregory to be Secretary of the Navy — was obviously not his idea. But his subsequent and much-repeated evasions, now made carefully and continually whether he’s on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, NBC or the increasing number of radio stations around the state, give a startling look into his public character.
As with Connecticut’s Blumenthal, what once was taken for granted as unassailable honesty is now coming under heavy scrutiny — and the results for both Sestak and Blumenthal have not been good. On one Pennsylvania station the candidate was compared to ex-Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, like Sestak a Navy veteran. Cunningham, a Republican, is now in federal prison — for accepting bribes. And on Fox News Sunday, anchor Chris Wallace questioned Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine using the dreaded term once associated with the Nixon White House response to questions on Watergate: “stonewalling.”
Quite apart from his leftward tilt on issues, which is being engaged by Republican opponent Toomey, as Issa vividly demonstrates Sestak is lifting into view another unneeded election year problem for the Obama White House.
While unmentioned recently, on Saturday the Colorado Democratic Party gave another Senate candidate, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, over 60 percent of the vote in a convention, which guarantees Romanoff the top billing in a primary challenge to sitting Democrat Senator Michael Bennet. As with Sestak, Romanoff too has been the subject of a job-for-withdrawal scheme, this time the position as reported by the Denver Post in September of last year said to be with the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Post specifically named White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina as the official who offered the job. As with Sestak and Blumenthal, Romanoff’s campaign is also casting their candidate as “A Man of Honor and Conviction” — while the candidate simply refuses outright to even address the subject of whether he too, like Sestak, was offered what Issa calls “a bribe.”
Not to be forgotten in all of this is Arlen Specter’s reminder that for the recipient of a bribe offer not to report the offer itself to legal authorities makes the recipient of the offer — Sestak and Romanoff — vulnerable to charges of “misprision of a felony.”
All of this, as the Issa video featuring Gibbs and Sestak captures vividly — along with Issa’s lacerating interrogation of Holder — makes it now abundantly clear that dishonesty and crony politics is the name of the game with the three men, and the administration they serve.
The issue in the Pennsylvania Senate race, in the Colorado Senate race, with Robert Gibbs, Eric Holder, and their comrades inside the White House Counsel’s office — is becoming not what do they think.
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