Washington, D.C.–House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Constitution Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) have introduced a resolution of inquiry demanding information about what role the Justice Department may have played in the job offers made to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Colorado senatorial candidate Andrew Romanoff. The Members dropped the resolution last night as the House went into recess.
Last week, Smith and Sensenbrenner sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting “any and all documents and correspondence relating” to the Sestak and Romanoff job offers. Specifically, Smith and Sensenbrenner want to know if DOJ was consulted about the legal issues surrounding these offers before or after the offers were made.
On Monday, the Justice Department sent a reply assuring the Members that the Department takes the allegations of criminal conduct by White House officials seriously, but refused to provide any documents regarding the Justice Department’s decision not to appoint a Special Counsel.
Ranking Member Smith: “For an Administration that prides itself on transparency, the Obama administration is remarkably secretive when it comes to possible criminal misconduct by White House officials. The American people are rightly concerned about what appears to be a pattern of corrupt practices by White House officials who sought to manipulate Democratic Senate primaries by offering candidates jobs in the Administration.
“If the Administration has nothing to hide, why not provide Congress with the requested documents and restore integrity to our election process? It’s time for the White House to make good on its promise of transparency and come clean about what other elections Administration officials may have sought to influence.”
Ranking Member Sensenbrenner: “It’s very important that the public and the voters of Pennsylvania and Colorado are able to get to the bottom of this before they cast their votes – they deserve nothing less than honest and accurate information.”
The Judiciary Committee is required to take up the resolution within 14 legislative days. If passed by the House, the resolution would require the Justice Department to provide all requested documents to Congress.