Issa: Sestak scandal could be Obama's 'Watergate'

An e-mail from Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) campaign suggested Wednesday that the controversy over Rep. Joe Sestak's (D-Pa.) alleged administration job offer could be President Barack Obama's Watergate scandal.

In an e-mail with the subject line "The Sestak Affair - Obama's Watergate?", the ranking member on the Oversight and Government Reform committee focused on "long-standing questions" about the offer Sestak says was made to him to urge him to drop out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary.

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The campaign e-mail says the allegations would amount to three felony charges of bribery and corruption.

"Congressman Sestak has continued to repeat his story whenever asked without varying from the original version. The White House however has arrogantly and wrongly assumed that they can sweep this matter under the rug," Issa, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, says in the e-mail.

"This may be the way business is done in Chicago, but it’s not the way things are done in our nation’s capitol [sic] and I am intent on getting to the bottom of this."

The congressman noted that Sestak has otherwise been mum on the details of the job offer, but added that it is "widely speculated" that Secretary of the Navy was the job in question.

"Joe Sestak realized that he made a mistake by letting the cat out of the bag. It’s a mistake that might end his bid for U.S. Senate and damage President Barack Obama," Issa continues. "He doesn’t want to make things worse than they are, so he’s sticking to his story to maintain his own credibility, but will not cooperate with investigators to bring charges against the guilty White House official.

"If he’s telling the truth, an investigation must take place and justice must be served. If he’s lying, then he should immediately resign the race for Senate."

A Senate GOP aide said the comparison was perhaps a bit "melodramatic."

"This is why we can’t have nice things," the aide said. "If the White House is lying, then they’re liars -- no melodramatic comparisons are necessary.”

Updated at 6:24 p.m.