The White House has released a memo attempting to explain away the job the administration offered Joe Sestak on the condition of him dropping his primary challenge to turn-coat Arlen Specter.
Michelle Malkin explains how the various parties coordinated their story.
Kurt Bardella, Spokesperson, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, responds: “If the White House is coordinating it’s response with the Sestak campaign, as Congressman Sestak has reported, it certainly explains why the President, when given the opportunity at a nationally broadcasted press conference, abdicated the opportunity to address the issue candidly and definitively. Instead, it appears as if the White House is taking time to circle the wagons and coordinating their message. This revelation that the White House initiated a dialogue with Sestak at the same time they are preparing their public response certainly leaves the impression that there is a coordinated effort going on. Of course, if everyone just did the right thing and told the truth, the need to speculate about motive and impartiality wouldn’t be necessary.”
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa says that the White House's lawyerly explanation is an admission of guilt:
“I’m very concerned that in the rush to put together this report, the White House has done everything but explain its own actions and has instead worked to craft a story behind closed doors and coordinate with those involved. The White House has admitted today to coordinating an arrangement that would represent an illegal quid-pro-quo as federal law prohibits directly or indirectly offering any position or appointment, paid or unpaid, in exchange for favors connected with an election.
“President Clinton and Congressman Sestak now need to answer questions about what the White House has released today – that at the behest of the White House Chief of staff, they dispatched a former President to get Joe Sestak out of the Pennsylvania Senate Primary. Regardless of what President Clinton or Congressman Sestak now say, it is abundantly clear that this kind of conduct is contrary to President Obama’s pledge to change ‘business as usual’ and that his Administration has engaged in the kind of political shenanigans he once campaigned to end.”
Future of Capitalism points out the interesting features of the Future of Capitalismmemo release mechanism.
The White House chooses the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend to unload the news -- in the form of a memo from the White House counsel, so that anyone he talked to about it is covered by both lawyer-client privilege and executive privilege -- that "The White House Chief of Staff enlisted the support of former President Clinton who agreed to raise with Congressman Sestak options of service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board." There's no explanation of why Mr. Clinton was enlisted for this task. If it would have been legal or appropriate for a White House official to do it directly, why bother getting Mr. Clinton involved? And if it would have been illegal or inappropriate for a White House official to do it directly, does the use of a cut-out, even if it comports with the letter of the law, match the spirit of the law or the administration's stated intention to set a high ethical bar?