Darth Issa: Lord Vader, I know what I'm doing.
*Vader pulls out his lightsaber*
Darth Issa: I know what I'm doing!
What, did the printer jam at Issa's office?
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has continued to release only select portions of committee interviews with key Internal Revenue Service staffers despite calls to make the full transcripts public.Oh you gotta love Issa. He continues to become partisan with his smooth talking ways when he's just about tarnished any reputation he's had in being the Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.
In recent days, the California Republican has allowed reporters from local and national news outlets to review portions of his panel's investigative work into the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The move looks like a rebuke to the ranking Democrat on his committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), and even some Republican lawmakers, who have publicly worried that selective leaking imperils the integrity of the investigation.
A reporter for Fox19 in Cincinnati was given inside information on what was going on in the Cincinnati IRS office but argues that the information being released the way it is indicates that there's a motivation to keep the IRS "scandal" in the news as opposed to a real legitimate investigation:
Jennifer Grove, a reporter for Fox19 in Cincinnati, was given a peek into what two IRS employees -- Cincinnati office staffers Gary Muthert and Liz Hofacre, who were assigned to tea party cases -- said about the practice of screening conservative groups. Though there were 300-plus pages of transcripts from the Muthert and Hofacre interviews, Grove was shown just 50 pages. Over three hours, she took notes, leading to a June 13 story about how Carter Hull, an IRS lawyer in the technical unit in Washington, had played a significant role in managing the screening.But that doesn't seem to bother Issa.
Days later, a potentially bigger item emerged. The Associated Press, Politico and The Washington Post reported that a former Washington-based manager in the tax-exempt unit, Holly Paz, knew about the targeting scheme in 2011 but didn't think there was anything nefarious to it.
In a phone conversation with The Huffington Post, Grove said she had not been offered access to the Paz interview (Politico reported that "some news outlets" were given the transcripts, while AP said it reviewed the Paz, Muthert and Hofacre transcripts). She added her suspicion that information was being released piece by piece to keep the IRS story in the news.
"Certainly it extends the shelf life of the story," Grove said. "Keeps us nibbling at it."
But Issa has steadfastly refused to release the full transcripts of those interviews already completed. Doing so, he has argued, would be "reckless" because it would provide prospective interviewees with a "roadmap of the Committee's investigation." Giving partial transcripts to select news outlets is fine, he's said, because "limited releases of testimony" could potentially "empower other witnesses to become whistleblowers."
You know what to do:
San Diego County Democratic Party
Address: 8340 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite 105, San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 277-3367
Fax: (858) 571-0275
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.