By releasing the full transcript of interview with the IRS Screening Group manager, Rep. Elijah Cummings has proven that Rep. Darrell Issa lied about Obama’s involvement in the IRS scandal.
Rep. Cummings absolutely destroyed Issa’s conspiratorial claims that Obama was masterminding the IRS scandal:
This interview transcript provides a detailed first-hand account of how these practices first originated, and it debunks conspiracy theories about how the IRS first started reviewing these cases. Answering questions from Committee staff for more than five hours, this official—who identified himself as a “conservative Republican”—denied that he or anyone on his team was directed by the White House to take these actions or that they were politically motivated.
Instead, the Screening Group Manager explained that the very first case at issue in this investigation was initially flagged by one of his own screeners in February 2010. He told us he agreed that this case should be elevated to IRS employees in Washington because it was a “high profile” application in which the organization indicated that it would be engaging in political activity. He explained that he initiated the first effort to gather similar cases in order to ensure their consistent treatment, and that he took this action on his own, without any direction from his superiors, and without any political motivation. He also confirmed that one of his screeners developed terms subsequently identified by the Inspector General as “inappropriate,” such as “Patriot” and “9/12 project,” but that he did not become aware that his screener was using these terms until more than a year later.
These statements from the Screening Group Manager directly contradict several serious and unsubstantiated accusations made by you and several other Republican Committee Chairmen over the past month. For example:
• On May 14, 2013, you stated: “This was the targeting of the president’s political enemies effectively and lies about it during the election year, so that it wasn’t discovered until afterwards.”
• On June 3, 2013, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers stated: “Of course, the enemies list out of the White House that IRS was engaged in shutting down or trying to shut down the conservative political viewpoint across the country—an enemies list that rivals that of another president some time ago.”
• On June 12, 2013, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp stated: “We know it didn’t originate in Cincinnati.”
These facts are a far cry from accusations of a conspiracy orchestrated by the White House to target the President’s political enemies. At this point in the investigation, not one witness who has appeared before the Committee has identified any involvement by any White House officials in the identification or screening of Tea Party applicants for tax exempt status, and the Committee has obtained no documents indicating any such involvement.
The full transcript of the interview with the screening group manager reveals that Darrell Issa and his fellow House Republicans blatantly and knowingly lied about President Obama and the White House being behind the “targeting of conservative groups.” The targeting of conservative groups is another lie, because only 1/3 of the groups targeted were conservative.
Rep. Issa has been refusing to release complete transcripts because he knew that he would be exposed as the liar that he is.
It would be nice if the media would learn their lesson from this episode, and stopped giving Issa airtime. Since the mainstream media doesn’t care about truth and facts, it is doubtful that Issa’s lies will have any impact on them at all. Rep. Cummings did a great service for his country by releasing these transcripts.
Darrell Issa is a man with no credibility, and Democrats aren’t going to stand around and let him lie any longer.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association