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'Indisputable evidence' White House engaged in election tampering in two states

'The Godfather,' Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is at the center of a corruption case going back to his days as White House Chief of Staff.
'The Godfather,' Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is at the center of a corruption case going back to his days as White House Chief of Staff.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In a bombshell revelation that has broad implications for the integrity of elections in the United States, Judicial Watch has announced that it now has "indisputable evidence" that the White House engaged in election tampering in at least two states in 2009. Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina, both of whom were top White House staffers at the time, are named as the chief perpetrators of the scheme to attempt to manipulate election outcomes in Pennsylvania and Colorado.

Judicial Watch filed a complaint in 2010 along with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain records regarding possible violations of The Hatch Act -- a federal law passed in 1939 that prohibits federal employees working in the Executive Branch from engaging in partisan political activity. Government employees who work in the Executive Branch are not allowed to work for and promote the reelection of the president under whom they serve, nor any challenger to that sitting president.

The Act further prohibits these employees from working for political campaigns. But in 2009 Rahm Emanuel allegedly used his position as White House Chief of Staff to attempt to persuade Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak to drop his plans to challenge Arlen Specter for the U.S. Senate. The White House believed that since Specter had turned Democrat, a primary fight would greatly weaken the candidate who won. In order to avoid such a scenario Sestak was offered various positions in the Executive Branch. Rahm even went as far as to enlist the help of former President Bill Clinton to attempt to persuade Sestak to take one of the government positions. It turned out that Sestak rebuffed these offers. He later defeated Specter in the Democratic primary.

That same year a Colorado newspaper reported that Andrew Romanoff intended to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., in the Democratic primary. But the Associated Press reported that another White House official, Jim Messina, allegedly called Romanoff to tell him that perhaps his service would be more valuable working for the U.S. Agency for International Development instead of the U.S. Senate. If this job were not suitable for Romanoff there were two other positions Messina offered in an email, which was made public by Romanoff. Romanoff rebuffed these offers and lost to Bennett in the Democratic Primary.

These two incidents prompted Judicial Watch to file a complaint in 2010, charging that both Emanuel and Messina had illegally used their administrative positions at the White House in order to attempt to effect the outcome of at least two elections. The complaint was sent by Judicial Watch to the Associate Special Council in the Office of the Inspector General for the Hatch Act Unit. Judicial Watch requested that an investigation be opened into the actions of Emanuel and Messina for possible Hatch Act violations.

But the Office of the Inspector General appeared to ignore the complaint altogether. Three years went by without any word whatsoever from the Inspector General. Then, in 2013, Judicial Watch asked the Special Council of the Inspector General to provide them with all information concerning the complaint it sent in 2010. The response they received was that since Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina no longer worked for the federal government, that all investigations into their activities had been stopped and their cases were officially closed. Judicial Watch countered that when the alleged illegal acts were committed, the two were federal government employees and remained federal employees for a significant time after the complaint had been lodged against them -- plenty enough time for the Inspector General to do a complete investigation.

All of this resulted in several requests from Judicial Watch for information under the Freedom of Information Act. But the Office of the Inspector General has stonewalled these requests persistently, in blatant violation of federal law. So, not only is America beset by a White House that is corrupt to the core, but it is further buffeted by corrupt guardians of integrity -- the very watchdogs who are chosen to prevent corruption.

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