From a Veteran Federal Prosecutor
An email from an experienced federal prosecutor re the Romanoff offer:
If this report from the DenverPost.com is accurate, then the Romanoff offer is likely a crime while Sestak was not.According to this story, Romanoff actually filed his paperwork to enter the Dem. primary on September 10, 2009. The email from WH Dep.Chief of Staff Messina with the job descriptions of the posts suggested to Romanoff is dated Sept. 11, 2009.
So, the WH is clearly socliciting a “political act” — that Romanoff drop out of a primary election he has entered — in exchange for an appointed position created by an Act of Congress.While the WH might try to hide behind the dodge that no job was ever actually offered, that doesn’t get them out from behind the problem of conspiracy and/or attempt to commit the violation of 18 U.S.C. 600.If Messina discussed the idea with others, and then Messina followed up with Romanoff — which seems to be the case — then the discussions prior to sending Romanoff the email could constitute conspiracy.The law on the nature of the conspiratorial agreement is quite clear — it is not necessary to show an explicit agreement between two or more people to violate the law. It is enough to establish that a course of conduct or dealing evidenced the existence of an implicit agreement to violate the law. That implicit agreement, followed by an “overt act” in furtherance thereof — the email to Romanoff — is all that is needed to send someone to jail for the crime of conspiracy to violate Section 600.Sestak appears to be factually distinct because he was not actually in the race at the time the “offer” was suggested to him. He announced an “intention” to enter the primary, but had not yet done so. So, he was not being solicited to perform a “political act” — he was being solicited to maintain the status quo by staying out of the race.