Darrell Issa (R-CA) is going to ignore facts once again, and forge ahead, even though he was called out Sunday by Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Cummings released a partial official interview transcript to Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, and it was revealed that the IRS manager behind the extra review of Tea Party groups described himself as a conservative Republican during the interviews.
This fact kills Darrell Issa’s entire premise that there was a political agenda behind the reviews. But Issa said in a statement released to the press that the IRS manager’s comments “did not provide anything enlightening or contradict other witness accounts.” No? They sure contradict Issa’s accounts to the press.
Issa’s office released a statement in which Issa danced quickly to avoid commenting on the actual fact that a conservative Republican was behind the “targeting”, “I strongly disagree with Ranking Member Cummings’ assertion that we know everything we need to know about inappropriate targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS and the case is, in his word, ‘solved,’. His extreme and reckless assertions are a signal that his true motivation is stopping needed Congressional oversight and he has no genuine interest in working, on a bipartisan basis, to expose the full truth.
“The American public wants to know why targeting occurred and who was involved. The testimony excerpts Ranking Member Cummings revealed today did not provide anything enlightening or contradict other witness accounts. The only thing Ranking Member Cummings left clear in his comments today is that if it were up to him the investigation would be closed. Fortunately, the decision to close the investigation is not his to make. Both House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and I are committed to leading a fact based investigation that fully exposes all relevant facts about IRS efforts to target Americans for their political beliefs.”
Issa does not say that the IRS manager is not a conservative Republican.
Darrell Issa is great at spin, but here’s the thing. If he really is committed to exposing all of the facts, why doesn’t he release the full transcripts for the public? This is very similar to his insistence that testimony that contradicted the Republican version of Benghazi gate be relegated to behind closed doors, when the cameras were no longer rolling.
Cummings demanded that Darrell Issa release all of the transcripts from the IRS hearings, and was so confident that the full transcripts would prove his point that he threatened to release them himself if Issa won’t by the end of this week.
Cummings: Listen up now. He was a 21-year veteran of the IRS. And he was — he described himself in the interviews in response to a Republican attorney’s question as a conservative Republican. Very significant. He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think this interview and these statements go a long way to what’s showing that the White House was not involved in this. We knew that — and this is the guy by the way, this conservative 21-year veteran of IRS is the same one who sent the initial case, the Tea Party case, up to the Washington technical office.
Darrell Issa should be forced to release the full transcripts, instead of only the pieces that reinforce his Heritage-induced 2014 politicking for the Republican Party on our dime. If the manager did not identify himself as a conservative Republican, let us all hear the truth.
Let the public decide for themselves, based on all of the facts. But if it turns out that Issa knew he was wrong when he accused the White House of being behind the IRS review of Tea Party groups, perhaps the press might consider no longer taking Darrell Issa’s clown show so seriously. It’s not as if he has any credibility to carry him through his inability to back up his claims.
Darrell Issa won’t release the full transcripts because they prove him wrong. If they had an ounce of White House scandal in them, they’d have been gussied up, exaggerated, sold and devoured by the Issa-fawning press by now. Issa just can’t bear to see yet another scandal die due to reality not coinciding with his claims.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.