Neil

GOP weekly address: Call for Justice probe of White House deal making

By: Neil Middleton
By: Neil Middleton

The head of the Republican party is calling on the Justice department to examine the White House deal making in Senate primary races with "an impartial referee."

(AP) The head of the Republican party is calling on the Justice department to examine the White House deal making in Senate primary races with "an impartial referee."

 

In the weekly GOP media address, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says a lot of facts need to be sorted out. 

 

Steele says President Barack Obama's deal making falls far short of his promise to run the most open administration in history.

 

 

(AP) - Rebuffed before, Republicans are renewing demands for a Justice Department investigation into White House deal making in two Senate races. The Obama administration says it's broken no laws, but Republicans aren't taking its word.

     

The GOP national chairman, Michael Steele, used his party's weekly radio and Internet address to keep the political heat on the Democratic White House by urging appointment of a special investigator or independent counsel "who can sort out the facts."

     

The White House has acknowledged discussing possible jobs with senatorial candidates Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania and Andrew Romanoff in Colorado - both of whom declined to step aside from challenging White-House backed incumbents. White House defenders

have argued that it's sometimes necessary to avoid messy primary fights.

     

Attorney General Eric Holder rejected requests from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and from Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who heads the House oversight committee, into the first case that came into the news: Rep. Sestak's claim that he was offered an administration job if he would drop his primary challenge against Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter.

     

The White House has acknowledged it turned to former President Bill Clinton to urge Sestak to stay in the House and accept an unpaid presidential advisory post rather than challenge Specter, a Republican-turned-Democrat. Sestak declined, and went on to beat Specter in the May 18 primary.

     

And this week, the White House disclosed that it had contacted Andrew Romanoff, a former Colorado House speaker, about possible administration jobs in hopes that he would not challenge Sen. Michael Bennet in the Aug. 10 Senate primary. Both the White House and Romanoff said there was no job offer, and Romanoff remains in the race.

     

Steele wants "an impartial referee" to get to the bottom of what the White House offered, who authorized it, who knew about it and "what was the expected trade-off for accepting the offer?"

     

He said President Barack Obama's deal making falls far short of his promise to run the most open administration in history.

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