Washington, D.C.–House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today called on Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) to hold hearings on the Sestak-Romanoff job offers.
According to the White House’s own report, former President Bill Clinton-at the urging of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel-offered Rep. Sestak a position in the Administration in exchange for his withdrawal from the Pennsylvania Senate primary. Additionally, it has been reported that the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Jim Messina, offered three positions to Colorado senatorial candidate Andrew Romanoff with similar conditions of dropping out of the Senate race.
Ranking Member Smith: “I am concerned that the Obama administration has engaged in a habit of attempting to manipulate the democratic election process to benefit the Democratic Party. Such actions are certainly unethical and may very well be criminal.
“The Judiciary Committee particularly has a responsibility to investigate when it is alleged that high ranking officials-such as the White House Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff-may have engaged in conduct that violates federal law.
“Under your leadership, the Judiciary Committee spent two years investigating allegations of politicization at the Justice Department-subpoenaing witnesses, demanding tens of thousands of pages of documents, and holding hearings. And yet, when it appears that the Obama White House itself has engaged in possible unlawful political activity, Democrats in Congress are noticeably silent.
“The allegations against the Obama White House are severe. Accordingly, I request that you schedule a hearing on the Sestak and Romanoff job offers as soon as Congress returns from the Memorial Day District Work Period. The Committee should call former President Bill Clinton, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina, Rep. Sestak, Richard Sestak, and Mr. Romanoff to testify.
“Admissions that the White House intentionally sought to manipulate the outcome of Democratic Senate primaries strike at the heart of our democracy. The Committee has a duty to the American people to investigation allegations of criminal conduct at the White House.”