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Thin Issa
Author: Raine    Date: 05/22/2013 12:52:23

Darrell Issa - Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - gave an interview last week regarding the IRS situation.
A Treasury Department official, Neal Wolin, was informed that the IG was looking into the situation this past summer, a revelation the media and GOP have seized on to suggest the White House may have covered up the scandal in the midst of a campaign.

(snip) "I know approximately what's in it," Issa told Bloomberg Businessweek on Monday when asked if he knew what would be in the report. "I knew what was approximately in it when we made the allegations about a year ago. This is one of those things where it's been, in a sense, an open secret, but you don't accuse the IRS until you've had a nonpartisan, deep look. That's what the IG has done. That's why the IGs in fact exist within government, is to find this kind of waste and fraud and abuse of power."
It turns out Mr. Issa knew more than approximate information. He'd been in contact with the Treasury inspector General since 2012:
Menendez: "Inspector General, did Chairman Issa send a letter on August 3rd of 2012 to all the inspector generals reminding them that under the Inspector Generals Act it requires IGs to report particularly flagrant problems to Congress through the agency head within seven days via what has become known as the seven day letter. Did you receive that letter? And, if so, did you respond to inform Chairman Isaa of your investigation into the IRS?"

George: "Senator, we did receive the letter, and Chairman Issa's committee was the first to actually contact us regarding this matter. And so through the course of engaging the review, on occasion we have had communications with his staff."

Menendez: "In 2012?"

George: "And since then, yes."

Menendez: "Thank you."
So here we have Representative Issa who knew all along about this investigation, and as of yesterday we learned that the head of the IRS Cincinnati office has invoked the 5th amendment regarding the hearing that his committee is holding:
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” an attorney for Lois Lerner told committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) in a letter obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.

Since she intends not to answer questions, the letter requests Lerner be exempt from the Wednesday hearing because her appearance would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.”

Lerner initially revealed during a Q&A session in Washington that Internal Revenue Service agents employed at the Cincinnati branch office improperly scrutinized conservative non-profit groups for additional reviews from 2010 to 2012. Lerner only recently disclosed that the question was planted, however. (snip)

The White House maintains that senior aides, including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, did not inform President Barack Obama of the impending investigation at the direction of general counsel Kathy Ruemmler, believing it would have been inappropriate before the findings were finalized.
Lois Lerner had a question planted at her own Q&A:
“On May 9, I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks … and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks. I agreed to do so.…We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”
That article was published May 18. Ms. Lerner gave her speech to the American Bar Association on May 10. Here is the transcript and the question she wanted to have asked of her. I think it is fair to say that if Darrell Issa knew of this investigation, he would know of Lois Lerner. Why she won't talk is a mystery considering she wanted to have a very specific question asked of her on May 9, 2013. On May 11, WH spokeperson Jay Carney stated that the report was still under review:If the Inspector General finds that there were any rules broken or that conduct of government officials did not meet the standards required of them, the President expects that swift and appropriate steps will be taken to address any misconduct.” On May 12 Wapo stated:
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday he’s not satisfied with the Obama administration’s handling of the controversy. The IG report was “leaked by the IRS. to try to spin the output,” Issa said, and lawmakers now need to go through the full report so they can “see what the instituted changes need to be to make this not happen again.

Think about this again:
George: "Senator, we did receive the letter, and Chairman Issa's committee was the first to actually contact us regarding this matter. And so through the course of engaging the review, on occasion we have had communications with his staff."

Menendez: "In 2012?"

George: "And since then, yes."
The IG report was requested by Darrell Issa himself. It seems highly unlikely that he didn't know what was coming down the pike. It almost seems as though he was complicit in covering this up. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure any report was leaked as Darrell Issa claims. Stories were leaked, Questions were planted -- The audit itself was made public on May 14. Issa knew this would be coming to the forefront.

You know what the real scandal is here? It's what isn't being reported.
Our pieces in December and January raised very serious questions about whether six different "dark money" political groups seeking tax exemption had made false statements on their applications. Those applications are signed under penalty of perjury . If any false statements were made knowingly, the groups— including Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS —may have committed a crime.
That is what the IRS and the DOJ should be looking at.


63 comments (Latest Comment: 05/23/2013 01:37:29 by Will in Chicago)
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