GOP requests special prosecutor to investigate Rep. Sestak's job offer

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday requested that the Obama administration appoint a special prosecutor to probe allegations it offered Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job to stay out of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderEllison needles Perez for 'unverifiable' claim of DNC support With party in trouble, Dems hit voting laws Bottom Line MORE, the members say the alleged offer could have violated federal laws that prohibit the "promise of employment or other benefit for political activity."

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"The allegations in this matter are very serious and, if true, suggest a possible violation of various federal criminal laws intended to safeguard our political process from the taint of bribes and political machine manipulation," they wrote. 

Republicans have escalated pressure on the White House and Sestak to reveal what, if anything, was offered to Sestak to give Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) — whom President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaTrump plays golf for third weekend in a row Former Defense chief: Trump's handling of national security 'dysfunctional' Priebus, Wallace clash over media coverage of Trump MORE endorsed — a clear path for reelection. 

Republican senators who signed the letter are: Ranking Member Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsAide denies report that Christie has been talking WH role Where Trump’s travel ban stands Top antitrust senators call for Sessions to scrutinize AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (Ala.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchPublic lands dispute costs Utah a major trade show Overnight Tech: GOP chairman to propose high-skilled visa overhaul | Zuckerberg's 5,700 word letter | Tech lobbies gear up ahead of internet fight Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump vows to punish leakers | Cyber steers clear of tech versus Trump fight MORE (Utah), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFlynn told FBI he didn't talk sanctions with Russian envoy: report Gorsuch hearing date set for March 20 Judiciary Committee wants briefing, documents on Flynn resignation MORE (Iowa), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTrump’s feud with the press in the spotlight Senators eye new sanctions against Iran Republicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy MORE (S.C.), John CornynJohn CornynRepublicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Comey meets Intel senators amid uproar over Trump-Russia ties Corker: Senate GOP discussing best path for Russia probe MORE (Texas) and Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (Okla.)

Several months ago, Sestak claimed he received an offer from the White House. At the time, Sestak was trailing the Republican-turned-Democratic senator, but eventually beat him in the primary last week.

Sestak confirmed his claim on the Sunday talk-show circuit last weekend, but declined to elaborate further. 


It's not clear how the White House will respond to the letter; officials have remained mum on the subject in recent days despite taking repeated questions from the press about the topic.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs referred reporters to comments he made in March; he did not say specifically what was said in the conversations with Sestak, but made assurances that nothing improper happened.

Several high-profile Democrats have also called on the White House and Sestak to clear the air, including Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick Durbin McConnell: I’m very sympathetic to 'Dreamers' Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Dem senators call for independent Flynn probe MORE (Ill.), a close ally of Obama.

House Oversight and Goverment Reform Committee ranking member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has led the charge in calling for a probe, has called the offer an "impeachable offense" if proven true.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who on Wednesday called for more information, said he is sure nothing illegal happened, but that the incident has become a distraction.