Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Darrell Issa Won't Release the "Evidence"

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is refusing to releasetranscripts of interviews with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents that allegedly prove how political officials in the Obama administration directed the IRS to target conservative groups applying for 501 (c)(4) status. 
The California congressman, whose committee is conducting an investigation into the agency’s behavior, provided CNN excerpts of interviews with IRS agents on June 2 and assured host Candy Crowley that “the whole transcript will be put out.” The portion purported to show an IRS official conceding that “directions” for to treat Tea Party groups “emanated from Washington,” though Issa himself conceded that that excerpt was not definitive. 
But in a letter to the top Democrat on the Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Issa appeared to back away from his pledge, arguing that releasing the transcripts would “needlessly jeopardize the integrity of the investigation and hamper the Committee’s ability to get to the truth.” Experts, he contested, are useful and “serve to provide important updates to the public” and “empower other witnesses to become whistleblowers.” 
During his appearance on CNN, Issa called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar” and claimed that the spokesperson is “making up things about what happens in calling this local rogue,” leading several Republicans to speak out against his tactics. A week later, Cummings appeared on CNN to challenge the Chairman. “I want those transcripts to be released,” Cummings said. “I’m willing to come on your show next week with the Chairman with the transcripts if he agrees to do that. If he doesn’t, I’ll release them by the end of the week.”

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