GOP Looks to Demand DOJ Documents on Sestak, Romanoff Job Offers

Posted June 18, 2010 at 8:23am

House Republicans introduced a resolution of inquiry Thursday night that demands documents from the Justice Department on its possible role in making job offers to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Colorado Senatorial candidate Andrew Romanoff to deter them from running in Senate Democratic primaries.

The resolution, filed by Judiciary ranking member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a Judiciary subcommittee ranking member, gives the Justice Department 14 legislative days to provide copies of “any document, record, memo, correspondence or other communication” relating to possible job offers made to Sestak and Romanoff. Smith and Sensenbrenner, according to a press release, say they “want to know if DOJ was consulted about the legal issues surrounding these offers before or after the offers were made.”

Both Sestak and Romanoff have acknowledged that administration officials approached them to discuss their plans to run for the Senate, but White House officials have maintained that nothing improper took place.

The Judiciary Committee is required to take up the resolution within 14 legislative days; a committee aide said to expect it to come up at a markup scheduled for Wednesday.

Smith and Sensenbrenner last week sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting documents relating to the alleged Sestak and Romanoff job offers, but they were unsuccessful.

“For an administration that prides itself on transparency, the Obama administration is remarkably secretive when it comes to possible criminal misconduct by White House officials. The American people are rightly concerned about what appears to be a pattern of corrupt practices by White House officials who sought to manipulate Democratic Senate primaries by offering candidates jobs in the administration,” Smith said.

He added: “If the administration has nothing to hide, why not provide Congress with the requested documents and restore integrity to our election process?”