Earlier this week Rep. Darrell Issa (the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee) asserted that the Obama administration may have broken the law by offering Rep. Joe Sestak a job in order to persuade him not to mount a primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter. Issa has addressed a good set of questions (quoted in the linked Politico article) to White House general counsel Robert Bauer.
The evidence supporting Issa’s assertion derives from Sestak himself. Before Sestak clammed up, Sestak proclaimed that the administration offered him a high-ranking government job if he’d refrain from running against Specter in the Democratic primary. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs has repeatedly dodged questions regarding Sestak’s accusation. (Thank you, Bret Baier, for your coverage of this story.)
Byron York summarizes Gibbs’s failure to respond to relevant questions: “[A]fter an initial denial, [Gibbs] hasn’t been able to muster any comment on the allegation. Gibbs has not repeated the denial, hasn’t issued a new one, and has now dropped any pretense of checking on the story.” York asks: “How long will the Sestak Stonewall continue?”
In the court of public opinion, Gibbs has no right to remain silent and we are entitled to draw adverse inferences from his failure to respond to the question. Indeed, we are entitled to infer that a truthful answer to the question would be incriminating, if not of himself, then of one or more of his colleagues.
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