- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2010


President Obama said Thursday that no inappropriate conversations had occurred between the administration and Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak, who has asserted a White House official offered him an administration job if he withdrew his primary challenge for Democrat Arlen Specter’s Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill — including some Democrats — have pressed for a special prosecutor to investigate whether the job offer was used improperly to get Mr. Sestak out of a potentially divisive primary race.
“I assure you nothing inappropriate took place,” the president said at the end of an hourlong White House press conference that focused mostly on the BP oil spill.
However, Mr. Obama declined to elaborate on the controversy, saying the administration was preparing a fuller response that would be released “shortly … not in  weeks or months.”
Mr. Sestak — who defeated the White House-backed Mr. Specter last week in the Pennsylvania primary — made the assertion in February, and repeated it Sunday. He has declined to say what job was discussed or who within the administration approached him.
There has since been a steady call for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor and for more details — including a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Eric Holder from the seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Justice Department this week rejected the idea of a special prosecutor to investigate the matter.
White House senior adviser David Axelrod and other top administration officials have also maintained nothing inappropriate has occurred. 


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