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Rep. Darrell Issa
His reputation precedes him.
There's a fight brewing between HHS and House Rep. Darrell Issa, whose constant scandal-fishing has led to a government-wide reputation as someone who can't necessarily be trusted. Now the department is refusing to give Issa and his commission copies of documents related to security precautions because, the department says outright, they don't trust Issa to not leak them.
In a letter Thursday, Assistant Secretary for Legislation Jim Esquea told Issa that “the committee’s unwillingness to commit to undertake measures to address the security risks associated with further disclosure is troubling, particularly in light of reports that sensitive materials were disclosed through various investigations.” Administration officials worry that Issa intends to put them in the public domain, which Esquea argues could compromise the security of the site.
They're not wrong; Issa and his staff have been responsible for a series of oft-selective leaks during previous "investigations". It's also important to note that the department has allowed the committee to see and review the documents in question in a "secure room"—but are refusing to provide additional hardcopies for Issa's less-restricted use.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings is backing the department up on this one, writing a letter to Issa excoriating him for past leaks:

“Since you became Chairman of the Committee in 2011, you and your staff have engaged in a reckless pattern of leaking sensitive information and documents to promote political narratives that turn out to be inaccurate after further investigation,” wrote Cummings, who is the committee’s ranking Democrat.

“You have ignored repeated requests to consult first with Committee Members, law enforcement officials, and agency experts to understand how your disclosures might harm our national interests. As a result, under your leadership the Committee has become a virtual revolving door of leaks and misinformation.”

I don't think anyone is credibly presuming Issa's interest in this investigation is any less partisan-driven than the Benghazi and other hearings he has bogged the committee down with since taking the chairmanship. Now administration agencies are openly calling Issa out on his pattern of selectively leaking anything he might consider advantageous to his party.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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