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On FOX News -- And hello again on from Washington on this busy Memorial Day weekend where we are tracking two developing stories.
We'll have the latest on the gulf oil spill in a moment including a report from the area and an interview with a top BP official.
But first the controversy over former President Bill Clinton acting as a go -- -- for the Obama White House they got a congressman to drop out of a primary and clear the way for senator Arlen Specter.
Let's bring in congressman -- -- -- top Republican on the house oversight and Government Reform Committee.
And joining us from Philadelphia is Pennsylvania's democratic governor Ed Rendell.
Governor Rendell do you think there was anything illegal or -- or improper in the White House is using former President Bill Clinton fast -- -- The drop out of the Pennsylvania got.
A product -- Not at all Kristen in fact it happen in politics for time immemorial I did the same thing in 2006.
To ask a former congressman too -- to drop out of the race against Bob Casey in the primary to offer my job.
I said come back and see me if you do it he came back and saw me and that he was out of public service I appointed him as a deputy secretary of commerce he did a great job.
So let me ask if it is an illegal and it isn't improper do you think -- then they former president of the United States is a political fixer.
And then stonewalling about it for months was -- Well first of all he wasn't -- professor.
Bill Clinton and your assessment we're close personal friends and that's why they asked him former president to do it.
Stonewalling it for months yes that not smart.
This explanation is perfectly reasonable relation to put an adapter to beginning.
This whole point about secretary and -- President Obama appointed -- made his secretary of the navy well before our own Specter switched parties.
Congressman nice do you think that what was done here was illegal and -- It's what would you like the Justice Department.
And the congress to do about well I think governor Rendell just said it very well he carefully made sure he did not offer him a job.
As a quid pro quo in this case -- our governor Rendell got governor Rendell just made the point forest if he had offered a job in order to get out of the race it would have been a crime.
A crime under a law signed a -- things by President Clinton.
During his administration the last update.
If you offer job or -- position.
Eighteen USC 600 clearly says that he is a crime.
So is it a crime yes it's a crime because they've admitted that they offered this position.
A position by the way that was created under President Clinton and he could not accept so that begs the real question Chris do we believe this.
Is a cut further cover up because he's not they're not talking about a job the President Clinton himself should have known.
Says that couldn't take because he was gonna continue in the house so we couldn't take -- even an unpaid position in the administration.
That's the point is maybe he did offered it to -- but but it's very clear that what they were doing is they're they're now coming up with the non plausible answer it's the reason the FBI needs to investigate this.
Is an independent independent from -- independent from the president needs to investigate and get to the bottom of this.
-- so we can all move on that you believe one it was a crime to offer and -- that there engaged in the cover up now.
It's clearly a crime you anyone can go online and read eighteen USC 600 -- see that this that what the White House is now -- happened falls under this -- -- let me ask you because of her -- look at the -- -- which is section 600.
Of the federal criminal code.
After clearing out all the excess verbiage and let me tell you -- this plot yes this is what -- that.
Who -- promises any employment.
Position to any person asked consideration favor or -- -- for any political activity.
Or for the support of or opposition to any candidate shall be fine or imprisoned -- congressman both.
Michael Mukasey that he -- attorney general of the United States under president George W.
Bush and also the chief ethics officer in the bush White House.
Both say that this is not a violation of the law without law was in effect for the spoils system.
And to prohibit people from offering jobs that to someone to go out and support a political candidate.
You know what's amazing is that this is now under -- while that was is attorney on the case about what's.
Amazing is that this administration wants to talk about not doing business as usual and then this is clearly business as usual.
Ed Rendell is is saying this happens all the time sure it happens all the time things like this but it's usually carefully crafted so it doesn't fall under this kind of quid pro quo.
And by the way this is not with President Obama said as far back as north what Carolina the things would be different.
The question is has -- been transparent no.
Has there been could stalling yes.
Is there a possibility that what we're being told now is not true because it's not so -- yes should -- be independent investigation so we can move on.
Yes and -- by the way there -- other.
Claims of offers including Colorado and Illinois that are also in question.
Now I don't want to be investigating this I don't want the White House investigating itself.
Who the FBI or the attorney general should see that it's investigated for the American people can feel they can put this behind them if not a crime.
All except that.
Governor Rendell during the Bush Administration Democrats demanded.
Independent counsels and I congressional investigation into the firing.
Of eight US attorneys an outpost over which President Bush or any president has sole authority.
If we're -- -- criminalize politics here.
Don't Democrats really have themselves to blunt.
Well if you're right Chris I mean I like congress nice I love watching him on TV so is entertaining.
But he's just demonstrated what's wrong with Washington DC and white people in Erie Pennsylvania and Scranton Pennsylvania.
Think Washington is -- we've got huge problems in this country we shouldn't be wasting time investigating something that happens all the time in politics.
That isn't as serious offense and you quoted former bush attorney general saying it isn't it's a waste of time it's just trying to make political points.
Let's get -- dealing with the economy health care energy the environment all -- things that are troubling Americans.
And troubling people back here in Pennsylvania and let's let congress and -- that can congressman -- Two good men too serious man let's let them debate the real issues.
Governor Rendell let me ask you about a different aspect of that and that is the fact that when.
Barack Obama campaign for president in 2008 he said he was gonna practice a different.
Kind of politics take a look.
I'll make our government open and -- fair that anyone can ensure that our business is the people's business.
But governor in his report on Friday White House that counsel Robert Bauer said that -- let's put it up on the -- There have been numerous reported instances in the past where prior administrations both democratic and Republican.
And motivated by the same goals discussed alternative paths to serve as some about.
For qualified individuals also considering campaign for public office question.
Does it turn out governor the Barack Obama is just another politician.
And no -- -- -- Barack Obama didn't come in and -- he -- gonna -- every aspect of everything we've -- we've had some very -- former -- the United States.
Who did some very good things and among them were things like this I think Barack Obama has brought -- a new level of ethical standards Washington.
Has he changed some basic hard knuckle politics know.
You need -- hard knuckle politics to succeed interestingly.
Some of the same people who are criticizing him now for not.
Acting in this high ethical standards were ones he says -- -- can't get anything done when you get things done.
By using sometimes political -- and the president has raised the ethical standards of watching and no question about that and lobbyists you name but he's not perfect and and and there are certain things that have to go on to make things work and this is one of them.
Coming up I -- I don't know let me -- congress and as we got about a minute left to give you the last word -- it's very simple.
If the American people care about a lot of things including corruption in government.
Then in fact if you use the power to appoint.
In order to do political business to clear field to save your party's money and so on.
If it's not a crime and I believe it is it certainly is business as usual.
Politics of corruption the fact is once you're in power if you can use your appointments you can corrupt the process.
Governor Rendell congressman ice we wanna thank you both gonna have to leave it there and thank you both for coming in on this holiday weekend thank you thanks -- thanks for us now.
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