Stonewalling: White House Ignores Subpoena, Refuses to Send Witness to Congress, Yet Another Court Battle Ahead

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The White House is refusing to allow political adviser David Simas to respond to a subpoena from House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa.

“Flouting a federal judge’s opinion about our system of checks and balances is yet another attack on our nation’s Constitution by this president.”

— Darrell Issa, in a statement late Tuesday night

National Review‘s John Fund reportsWhite House counsel W. Neil Eggleston says Issa has no power to compel Simas to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning about whether the office he runs has been engaged in improper political activity in violation of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from such activities as campaign fundraising and explicit political support.

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His new job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can refuse to respond to subpoenas.  Doug Mills/The New York Times

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can decline to respond to subpoenas. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Eggleston cited a new opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that cited precedents going back to Presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon of executive privilege being asserted against testimony by White House aides.

“This hearing seeks to examine a political office embedded within the White House which, under Democratic and Republican administrations, has had a controversial role of coordinating political campaign activity for the president at taxpayer expense.”

Issa responds that in a case brought by congressional Democrats in 2008 against the Bush White House, a federal judge found that the idea of absolute immunity of a White House official from a congressional subpoena was “unprecedented” and held that presidential aides are “not absolutely immune from congressional process.” Read the rest of this entry »


White House Contacted YouTube During Benghazi Attack, Darrell Issa Says

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“The e-mail shows the White House had hurried to settle on a false narrative — one at odds with the conclusions reached by those on the ground — before Americans were even out of harm’s way or the intelligence community had made an impartial examination of available evidence.”

— Darrell Issa

For ABC NewsJohn Karl reports: A still-classified State Department e-mail says that one of the first responses from the White House to the Benghazi attack was to contact YouTube to warn of the “ramifications” of allowing the posting of an anti-Islamic video, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

[Issa’s full statement can be read here]

The memo suggests that even as the attack was still underway — and before the CIA began the process of compiling talking points on its analysis of what happened — the White House believed it was in retaliation for a controversial video.

[Sean Smith Condolence Memo Mentions Video]

The subject line of the e-mail, which was sent at 9:11 p.m. Eastern Time on the night of the attack, is “Update on Response to actions – Libya.” The was written hours before the attack was over. Read the rest of this entry »


Geller: ‘It’s Issa Who Should be Taken to the Woodshed, Not Donnelly’

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks to an Associated Press reporter in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. Issa who has assumed the role of President Barack Obama's chief antagonist in Congress will become head of the House's main investigating committee and gain even more stature as an administration critic who has to be reckoned with if his Republican party takes power in next month's elections.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks to an Associated Press reporter in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Darrell Issa Shows Ignorance of Islam

Pamela Geller writes: California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is running for governor, recently pointed out that his rival Neel Kashkari “supported the United States submitting to the Islamic, Shariah banking code in 2008 when he ran TARP.”

The charge was true, but that didn’t stop the influential Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair, from furiously denouncing not Kashkari, but Donnelly – illustrating again what’s wrong with the right.51-vUc1zSRL._SL110_

Geller‘s book: The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America is available at Amazon.com

Issa raged: “There is no place in any public discussion for this type of hateful and ignorant garbage. As far as I’m concerned, this type of stupidity disqualifies Donnelly from being fit to hold any office, anywhere. Donnelly is no longer a viable option for California voters… There is no place in the Republican Party or in this race for someone like Tim Donnelly.”

“Why should the American taxpayer legitimize and institutionalize the Sharia? “

Donnelly duly apologized. But he shouldn’t have. He was right. Did Darryll Issa even look into the charge? Or did he knee-jerk smear Donnelly? And who died and made Issa king of the Republican Party? Who is this uninformed loudmouth to say who is or isn’t welcomed into the Republican Party? Like Brody said in Jaws, we need a bigger boat. If every time someone touches the third rail – jihad and sharia – they get burned and turned on, then the Republicans are going the way of the Whigs. Read the rest of this entry »


IRS Officials Sent Private Data Over Personal Email Accounts

Darrell Issa attending House Oversight and Government Reform Committee / AP - See

Darrell Issa attending House Oversight and Government Reform Committee / AP 

CJ Ciaramella writes: Senior Internal Revenue Service officials—including one at the heart of the IRS “targeting” scandal—violated agency policies and possibly federal records laws by using private email to send confidential taxpayer information, the GOP-led House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said in a letter.

In a Sept. 30 letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel obtained by the Free Beacon, Oversight Chairman Darrel Issa (R., Calif.) said an investigation revealed a “troubling pattern” of at least four top IRS officials using their private email addresses to relay confidential tax information. Read the rest of this entry »


Issa: ‘There’s a reason to fear’ Obama agencies

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Ginni Thomas writes: Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa, the GOP’s top government watchdog, warns that we have entered a time to “love my country, fear my government.”

“Right now, there’s a reason to fear the IRS and other agencies, including the EPA, who are loaded with people who feel empowered to bend the rules against those they disagree with,” the California Republican explained.

Issa has been investigating the Internal Revenue Service since Lois Lerner’s May 2013 admission that the agency treated conservative groups differently, and his Sept. 17 committee report details the committee’s progress and findings to date.

Issa now believes that President Obama’s criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court in his 2010 State of the Union address sent an important signal to left-wing activists throughout the federal government that “I can work with the president even if it’s inconsistent with my job or the Constitution.” Read the rest of this entry »