By Dick Morris and Judge Andrew Napolitano
With a Democratic Attorney General in Washington, a Democratic president, and both houses of Congress solidly in Democratic control, it is obviously futile to hope that the possible bribery of Joe Sestak to induce him to withdraw from the Senate race against Arlen Specter will be fully investigated. But, as the facts of this scandal grudgingly emerge from the White House and from Congressman Sestak, there is an alternative way to pursue justice.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General, Tom Corbett — who is the Republican nominee for Governor this year — has ample jurisdiction to convene a grand jury to get to the bottom of the scandal and answer the key questions:
1. Who offered a job to Sestak?
2. What job was proffered?
3. And did the president know of the offer?
Corbett’s jurisdiction stems from the concept of universal jurisdiction, now accepted virtually everywhere. The concept is simple. If someone on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River fires a pistol across the Hudson and the bullet from the pistol hits someone on the NY side, where did the crime take place? For about 600 years, the answer would have been in NY, where the harm was caused. Under the Reagan administration, and in response to urgings from the Meese Justice Department, the courts began to accept the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. This principle gives jurisdiction to law enforcement in the place wherever any act occurred that may have resulted in a crime. Thus, under our scenario above, the shooter could be prosecuted in NJ or NY.
Thus, if Cong. Sestak was in one of his homes, in PA or VA, when he received a telephone call offering him a job if he withdrew from the PA Senate primary against Sen. Arlen Specter, law enforcement authorities in PA and VA — both of which have Republican state Attorneys General — can subpoena Cong. Sestak to testify before a state grand jury and compel him to answer the who, what, when, and where that everyone has a right to know.
The people of the United States and, particularly the people of Pennsylvania, want these questions to be answered honestly. They will not settle for a Democratic stonewall that refuses to let the truth emerge.
Under our federal system, we need not tolerate giving one party the power to be the prosecutor, judge, defendant, defense attorney, and jury. We can open the process to checks and balances.
Corbett should make it possible for the truth to emerge by convening a grand jury and summoning Sestak, Emanuel, and anyone else who may have been involved to answer questions under oath.