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 Himpton HolderAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials We can't allow presidents and public opinion to further diminish the work of the press Democrats sue over North Carolina's congressional maps 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 Hussein ObamaButtigieg tweeted support for 'Medicare for All' in 2018 Brent Budowsky: To Bush and Obama — speak out on Trump Graham on Syria: Trump appears 'hell-bent' on repeating Obama's mistakes in Iraq MORE endorsed — a clear path for reelection. 

Republican senators who signed the letter are: Ranking Member Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy MORE (Ala.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (Utah), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFarmers: New Trump ethanol proposal reneged on previous deal Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate Positive quotes from Iowa senators disappear from EPA's latest ethanol announcement MORE (Iowa), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE (S.C.), John CornynJohn CornynSuccession at DHS up in the air as Trump set to nominate new head Trying to kick tobacco again This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington MORE (Texas) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access 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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSchumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Senators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills 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.