June 3rd, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to either appoint a special counsel to investigate the widening Sestak-Romanoff White House job offers scandal, or to resign.
“When Richard Nixon instructed then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox, he resigned rather than take part in an overt cover-up of the Watergate scandal,” Wilson said. “Will Attorney General Eric Holder have the honor and integrity to do the same?”
Wilson said that Attorney General Eric Holder “has the duty to appoint a special counsel to immediately launch an independent investigation of the widening Sestak-Romanoff job offers scandal. If he is receiving pressure from the White House not to do so, he has to make a choice to appoint the counsel, or to resign with honor.”
Last week, according to the Daily Caller, the Justice Department refused Congressman Darrell Issa’s request that the Attorney General appoint an special counsel to investigate offers that were made to Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff in exchange for dropping out of primary battles against incumbent Democrat Senators Arlen Specter and Michael Bennet.
As reported by the Daily Caller, “In a letter to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich attempts to tip-toe around the congressman’s request for an independent counsel to investigate a bribery claim made by Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak.”
“You have asked that a special counsel be appointed to handle the investigation of this matter,” Weich wrote in his letter. “The Department of Justice, however, has a long history of handling investigations of high level officials professionally and independently, without the need to appoint a special counsel.”
Wilson said, “That’s not good enough. This stonewalling by the White House is reaching Watergate-era proportions. There are two instances where Obama has clearly violated the law. Eric Holder has the sole authority to appoint a special counsel in this instance to get to the bottom of this widening scandal.”
Under 28 U.S.C. § 510, the Attorney General has the power to delegate his authority to another member of the Justice Department: “The Attorney General may from time to time make such provisions as he considers appropriate authorizing the performance by any other officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Justice of any function of the Attorney General.”
And under 28 U.S.C. § 515, the Attorney General has the power to direct a U.S. attorney to launch an investigation: “The Attorney General or any other officer of the Department of Justice, or any attorney specially appointed by the Attorney General under law, may, when specifically directed by the Attorney General, conduct any kind of legal proceeding, civil or criminal, including grand jury proceedings and proceedings before committing magistrate judges, which United States attorneys are authorized by law to conduct…”
“Though the White House claims that nothing illegal or improper was done does not mean they are innocent,” says Wilson. “An independent investigation is therefore needed, and if any case ever screamed for a special prosecutor, this is it. The trouble is that only Attorney General Eric Holder can appoint one.”
Wilson said a special prosecutor needs to be appointed to investigate the jobs offered to Sestak and Romanoff, to call witnesses to testify under oath, and to get to the bottom of whether Obama himself authorized the job offers.
“Holder has a choice to do the right thing by launching an independent investigation, or to resign,” Wilson concluded.
Wilson will be available to comment on the potential violation of the law by the Obama Administration when offering Sestak and Romanoff jobs in exchange for dropping out of their respective Senate races.
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