Mark Warner Appears to Have Committed a Crime to Advance Obamacare - American Commitment

The Washington Post is reporting that Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia admits he implied he would deliver a federal judgeship to Phil Puckett’s daughter in exchange for Puckett, a Democrat, reversing his decision to resign from the state Senate:
The son of a former Virginia state senator has told federal investigators that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner discussed the possibility of several jobs, including a federal judgeship, for the senator’s daughter in an effort to dissuade him from quitting the evenly divided state Senate.
Warner was part of a string of high-powered Virginia Democrats who in early June pressed then-state senator Phillip P. Puckett not to go through with plans to give up his seat in the middle of a bitterly partisan battle over health care.
A Warner spokesman acknowledged Friday that the conversation occurred, but he emphasized that the senator had made no explicit job offer.
Unfortunately for Warner, the law does not require the job offer be explicit for it to be criminal. Indeed, even an indirect suggestion of an official act (like a federal judicial nomination) in exchange for political activity is illegal, per 18 U.S.C. § 600:
Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Even if Warner’s job offer was less than explicit, it seems clear that he admitted to at least indirectly promising special consideration for a federal judgeship (possible only by an Act of Congress) as reward for political activity – in this case Puckett reversing his announced resignation.
Not coincidentally, former longtime Mark Warner communication director Paul Reagan also attempted to deny making the same type of offer – until he was caught on tape by the Washington Post.
George Mason University School of Law Assistant DeanRichard Kelsey explained that this is no minor infraction:
The buying and selling of political seats and appoints is usually a ticket to the penitentiary.
For most moral lay people, this type of offer is the essence of a bribe. Unfortunately, politicians see this as business as usual. The perks of political power belong to those in power, and they view the right to hand out political plumb jobs as a political entitlement. Perhaps entitlement reform should start here. If you want to understand why our government does work as well as we wish, perhaps it is because this is how we choose people to head agencies or administer justice.
Kelsey was talking about the actions of Paul Reagan, the former Warner staffer, but Senator Warner himself appears to have done the same thing Reagan was caught doing.
Reagan issued a statement trying to justify his shameful actions, saying: “In the fight to expand health care to uninsured Virginians, I was overzealous and acted with poor judgment.”
He was referring to the Medicaid expansion Warner voted for in Obamacare, which entails adding hundreds of thousands of able-bodied, childless adults (over a third of whom are ex-felons) to the welfare rolls and giving them preferential treatment over the truly needy.
Whether or not Warner is ever prosecuted, his adoption of hardball tactics in this incident is more proof that the bipartisan Governor Warner is long-gone, replaced with an ultrapartisan, liberal Democratic Senator Warner who will stop at nothing to advance Obamacare and the rest of President Obama’s liberal agenda.