Republicans have been on a tear to portray the Obama Administration as doing something regarded as morally or legally wrong to engender public outrage against the President as well as cover their obstruction and incompetence in doing the work of the people. The Republican leading the investigations into the Benghazi incident and Internal Revenue Service for doing its due diligence, Darrell Issa, has been working overtime attempting to find some illegal action on the part of the White House, and it began the day after Republicans took control of the House in 2010 when he said “I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.” There is little question Republicans are on a witch hunt against the President, but what boggles the mind is why Republicans or their surrogates never face investigations and charges when there is proof they have done what any reasonable American would regard as morally and legally wrong openly and with impunity.
Over the past two years, there have been four instances of malfeasance that have been “overlooked” by the federal government and at least one of them is finally getting the attention it deserves. Republicans and the oil industry cheered after the State Department released a report on the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline because it gave the environmentally damaging project a clean bill of health, and it should have because the report was conducted by an oil industry contractor, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), that has ties to the pipeline’s owner TransCanada, ExxonMobil, and Koch brothers who all have a stake in developing Canadian tar sand. According to the law, hiring an oil company contractor with a financial interest in the project is against federal conflict of interest laws, and as it turns out, “ERM misled the State Department at least twice in its proposal which most certainly lead the State Department to contract the Keystone XL review to an oil contractor with a vested interest in providing a favorable report.” Where is the Republican outrage at a real scandal with federal documents to back up the claim that ERM lied on its application and review report?
There is more to the Keystone scandal that Darrell Issa, and the SEC, should have investigated regarding Speaker of the House John Boehner’s lies about the hundreds-of-thousands of jobs the pipeline would generate barely a year after he invested in 7 Canadian tar sand companies in 2010. It is an ethics violation for elected officials to use their political office to perform official acts on behalf of special interests, and particularly when the elected official lies about a project to profit him and his campaign donors. A complaint was sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission that accused TransCanada of using “false or misleading statements about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline” and that Boehner, on behalf of TransCanada “consistently used public statements and information they knew were false in a concerted effort to secure permitting approval of Keystone XL from the U.S. government.” The SEC should have fully investigated Boehner and TransCanada for violating SEC Rule 10b(5) – Employment of Manipulative and Deceptive Practices to bolster stock prices, but because it was a Republican and the oil industry who broke the law, the investigation never materialized. Where was Republican and Darrell Issa’s outrage over the Speaker of the House lying to profit the oil industry and bolster his stock portfolio using the power of his political office?
Last year during the presidential campaign, Willard Romney claimed he left Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympics, but filings with the SEC clearly listed Romney as Bain’s chief executive between 1999 and 2002. A former SEC commissioner said that “You can’t say statements filed with the SEC are meaningless. This is a fact in an SEC filing,” and yet Romney was never investigated or charged with lying on federal documents filed with the SEC. Even though it was legally impossible for Willard to deny what he stated on SEC documents and Massachusetts state filings, he continued lying and one cannot help but wonder why he was never charged with filing false government reporting documents which is a felony. Where was republican outrage and why has Romney still never been charged?
In Issa’s current witch hunt, all the attention is being focused on IRS agents targeting teabagger and conservative groups’ applications for 510(c)(4) tax exempt social welfare organizations, and Republicans are desperate to tie the White House to the IRS doing its due diligence in scrutinizing applications before granting tax exempt status to the purely political organizations. Each and every group that applied for the “social welfare” designation checked a box on the applications that said they were not primarily in the business of political promotion, and instead of investigating the groups for lying on federal tax documents, Republicans are focusing on a non-existent connection between the IRS doing its job and the Obama White House. Where is the Republican outrage and congressional investigations into teabagger groups and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity for lying on federal documents to conceal their dark money donors?
In November 2010 Issa knew Republicans would have control of the House and he would get to conduct “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks,” and yet he has never launched one investigation in confirmed acts of filing false documents and share manipulation by the Speaker of the House. Romney’s SEC filings are still part of the public record readily available to Issa, and the ERM application to conduct the KeystoneXL environmental impact report is in plain sight for all to see as are over 300 teabagger and conservative groups’ applications to earn “social welfare” tax exempt status. Where is Republican outrage and why is Issa not screaming about Republicans and their donors’ immoral and illegal actions that are genuine scandals waiting to be prosecuted.
It is common knowledge that Republicans operate under a double standard, but to allow men like the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Willard Romney, and Speaker of the House John Boehner to escape even an investigation is beyond hypocrisy, it is criminal and looking the other way makes Issa and his Republican cheering section criminals for not doing their jobs as advocates for the American people. The idea of never investigating, charging, and prosecuting Republicans or their campaign donors is a pox on this nation going back to the Bush administration lying to take the nation into a war, and not prosecuting bankers and Wall Street executives for deliberately crashing the economy and it persists today in ignoring clear cases of illegal activity by conservatives and their oil industry masters. Republicans, and primarily Darrell Issa, have wasted months on a Benghazi non-scandal and they will waste more time and taxpayer dollars pursing a non-existent IRS scandal when if they really want convictions, they can look into Willard Romney, John Boehner, Koch oil associate ERM, and conservative groups’ illegal activities, but as often is the case, there is honor among criminals and there is no way the criminals in the Republican Party will investigate the other criminals in the Republican Party.