The White House memo on the Sestak deal failed to stop the swirling flow of legal allegations that violations of the law were involved. The Times discusses the matter here today.
Federal law makes it a crime for anyone “who directly or indirectly promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or any other benefit” to someone else “as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office.”
It is also illegal for a government official to use “his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate” for offices including senator.
William Burck, a white-collar defense attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and former deputy White House counsel under Mr. Bush, said it did not matter that the position being discussed with Mr. Sestak was an unpaid advisory board membership.
“How do you make something out of nothing?,” asked one such operative who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the matter. “By acting guilty when you’re innocent.”
Another senior party official said that the White House “has a lot of egg on their face” and described the events as a “PR nightmare”.