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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Admiral Sestak Needs Loose Lips To Save His Sinking Ship

Admiral Joe Sestak's political ship is sinking. Not from loose lips, but the opposite.

Sestak has stated more than once that someone in the Obama administration offered him a job if he would drop out of the Democratic primary against Arlen Specter.

But Sestak is sticking by the admonition that "loose lips sink ships." Sestak refuses to reveal who said what to whom, and who knew what when.

Has Sestak not studied history? This shall not stand.

Keep it up, and Sestak may end up on the receiving end of a special prosecutor, likely as witness not target, but one never can be too careful. Just ask Scooter Libby. (Eric Holder apparently is refusing to appoint a Special Prosecutor, but I do not expect that refusal to last.)

18 U.S.C. section 210 provides:
Whoever pays or offers or promises any money or thing of value,to any person, firm, or corporation in consideration of the use or promise to use any influence to procure any appointive office or place under the United States for any person, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
18 U.S.C. section 211 provides:
Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution,or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, inconsideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both....
Is Sestak refusing to talk on advice of counsel so that there is no waiver of his 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination? Or is Sestak refusing to talk just because Admirals don't talk?

Legally, Sestak is right to keep quiet.

Politically, there is only one thing which can keep Sestak's ship from sinking -- loose lips.

Related Posts:
Specter's Legacy
Relax, The Dems Will Screw Up

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  1. Seems the Admiral has fired a homing torpedo while forgetting a very important aspect of that device:

    If it loses lock on your target... it can circle back and nail YOU, Admiral.

  2. But isn't it also Rep Sestak's legal obligation as a sitting house member, because of his oath of office as well as a US citizen to report such a violation of the law, and Constitution?

  3. As I read those statutes, it's not at all clear to me that they prohibit someone from offering a candidate a job in the administration if they decide to pull out of a Senate race. Is a person's dropping out of a Senate race (or declining to run in the first place) really a "thing of value" within the meaning of the statute? It seems to be of a different nature entirely.

    Also, because Sestak cannot BOTH serve as U.S. Senator and hold a job within the administration, it seems natural enough for someone to say to him, "if you decide not to run for the Senate seat, we could probably get you into a sub-Cabinet post." You can read that in either of two ways, but it isn't necessarily a quid pro quo. It's almost like saying, "If you decide you want to get out of academia, we could probably get you into a sub-Cabinet post." It's saying, in effect, we would like to offer you a job if your current plans change.

    None of this excuses the way both Sestak and the WH are stonewalling legitimate inquiries into what was said. Clearly, this is something that should be investigated or at least made transparent for the public to judge. But I don't think this is anywhere near the legal slam dunk that a lot people seem to assume.

  4. I believe it was Dick Morris in an interview with Hannity last Monday who said this "job offer if you don't run against Specter" would go beyond a bribe, and would be considered a felony criminal act because it involved impeding an election - not simply a bribe.

    I saw this Tuesday on the gatewaypundit blog, on video, if you want to watch it:


    Very interesting. Morris did not mention the specific law, but that would be easy to find should the issue finally get the attention it deserves! And, as I said yesterday, this can only go one of two ways - either Sestak is lying, and he is toast, or the Won's admin. is lying, and Sestak will need to open up. If Sestak accepts the label of liar from the admin., then his career is over, and his name is mud. If he's telling the truth, his only way out is to talk now - or his career will die due to the investigation and congressional interrogation which will surely happen. Shades of John Dean. Obama = Nixon on steroids is proving too true.

  5. Listening to Hannity on the radio now. Two guests, one said the felony criminal Federal law related to this is 18 USC sec. 600. This has potential to get nasty. Watergate 2.0 - Democrate-Alinsky style.

  6. OK, that makes more sense.

    18 USC 600:

    "Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of
    Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or
    special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select
    candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."

  7. So Sestak comes out and accuses the President of the United States of a crime...and then stops. Seems Big Journalism is missing a few of their most basic lessons in asking questions the rest of us learned in grade school:

    Who: Specifically who did make this offer to you?
    What: What specific job was offered to you?
    Why: Did they specify exactly the reason they were making the offer?
    When: On what day did you receive the offer?
    Where: Where were you when the offer was made?
    How much: Were any other members of your family offered inducements such as this?

    Mr Senstak, I suggest you get some truthful answers to these questions ready. You may get asked them while under oath.