For months, Rep. Darrell Issa (R.,Calif.) has led the charge on demanding an independent investigation of White House job talks with Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff to get them to drop Senate primary challenges to favored incumbents.
Now, Democrats are starting to push back, citing Issa’s two indictments on car-theft charges and other brushes with the law.
In 1980, Issa and a brother were indicted in San Jose on charges that they faked a theft of a Mercedes that was sold to a dealer, according to news clips. Prosecutors later dropped the charges.
In 1972, Issa was indicted on grand theft charges for allegedly stealing a red Maserati from a dealership in Cleveland. That case was also dropped.
Issa and other Republicans contend that White House officials violated federal law against offering an appointment to influence an election, or the Hatch Act, which forbids government officials from using the power of their offices in politics.
“BP has more credibility talking about environmental protection than Darrell Issa has talking about ethics,” a Democratic strategist said. “He should know that if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.”
Issa was scheduled as a speaker Friday night at the state GOP's summer dinner in Hershey.
Former President Bill Clinton, acting at the request of White House staff chief Rahm Emanuel, asked Sestak in the summer of 2009 whether he would consider accepting an appointment to a presidential advisory board and stay in the U.S. House instead of challenging Sen. Arlen Specter (D.,Pa.).
Last week, the White House disclosed that deputy chief of staff Jim Messina had discussed potential jobs with international development agencies with Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado House who is challenging incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet in that state’s primary. No job was offered.