Via the Washington Post:
Without knowing all of the facts and particularly whether firm promises of government jobs were made, it cannot be ascertained at the moment whether dealings among Obama White House officials, former president Bill Clinton, Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak and former Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff broke the law. What is clear, however, is that White House Counsel Robert Bauer has engaged in an unprecedented "investigation" of the Sestak affair, culminating in the issuance of his May 28 report.Burck's point is extremely well taken. He then goes on to compare how the Obama administration would like to handle these allegations of wrongdoing with how the administration Burck worked for DID handle the Valerie Plame affair; the investigation was handed over to independent counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald.
This effort was, at best, misguided. At worst, it impeded any legitimate Justice Department investigation, harmed the cause of justice and reinforced public disgust with Washington.
The White House counsel is the president's principal legal adviser, but the role is not independent of the president or the White House. Unlike the attorney general, who is the nation's top law enforcement officer, the White House counsel is not confirmed by the Senate and does not supervise career lawyers charged with impartially investigating and prosecuting possible crimes on behalf of the people of the United States. Executive privilege, which restricts public disclosure of certain communications between the president and his staff, is at its strongest for advice given to the president by his counsel.
Apparently not lost on Burck is the ridiculous notion that all the president's men are dismissing potentially illegal activity by saying it's done all the time; true or not, that potential reality should not excuse law breaking. Another tactic the White House seems to be using is referring people to former members of the Bush administration and DOJ who are saying what Team Obama wants people to hear.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey under George W. Bush initially called for an independent investigation but then backtracked. His "re-calibrated" words have been incorporated into this administration's talking points. Another individual whose stance the Obama administration is sure to point to is former George W. Bush ethics lawyer, Richard Painter. While Painter concedes the allegations indicate the White House has done some seedy things with respect to job offers to Sestak and Romanoff, he sees no illegality. The stances of Mukasey and Painter simply don't pass the smell test, which is likely why Team Obama embraces them.
Burck, on the other hand, is not likely to be cited by this administration as a Republican who sees nothing wrong or no reason to investigate.
Read it all.