Issa wants to keep the whole truth from the American people about IRS targeting

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)

From MSNBC’ s The Last Word with Larwence O’Donnell; The poker game between Issa and Cummings continues

The battle between House Oversight Committee Reps. Darrell Issa and Elijah Cummings continues.

After weeks of hearings on the IRS scandal, the only things left unseen are the transcripts from private interviews Issa and a bipartisan group of committee members conducted with workers from the Cincinnati IRS. In an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley earlier this month, Issa promised “the whole transcript will be put out,” but so far only excerpts have been released.

“If the chairman doesn’t want to release them like he promised–like he promised--what we will do, we’ll do the redactions…and then submit them to the public, to the media, so you all can make your own judgment,” Cummings said on Hardball Monday. “There’s nothing in those transcripts that I’m afraid of.”

Issa quickly responded to Cummings’ threat by attacking the man himself. “Your decision to make that declaration in a very public way was irresponsible and emblematic of your general aversion to conducting meaningful oversight of the administration,” Issa said in a letter.

Issa said that releasing the transcripts would be “reckless,” that it could result in future witnesses using it “to devise testimony consistent with the narrative that previous witnesses presented to committee investigations.”

But now, as MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said in the Rewrite Thursday, “Elijah Cummings has Darrell Issa cornered.” Cummings called Issa’s bluff again with a new proposal:

“I am attaching for your review a copy of the transcript of the Committee’s interview of the IRS Screening Group Manager in Cincinnati.  In this copy, the names of individuals have been redacted to protect their privacy.  In order to provide the public with the most comprehensive information possible without jeopardizing the Committee’s investigation, I request that you review this version of the transcript and identify any specific text you believe should be withheld from the American people, as well as thespecific reason you believe that text should continue to be concealed from public view.  I request that you provide any additional proposed redactions on Monday, June 17, 2013.”

“You don’t often see things this beautiful on congressional stationary,” commented O’Donnell.

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Here is the full letter Congressman Cummings sent to Darrell Issa.

  8 comments for “Issa wants to keep the whole truth from the American people about IRS targeting

  1. Robert Lauten
    June 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Democrats Turn Against Obama

    “Mark Udall, (D-CO), Ron Wyden, (D-OR), Introduce Bill Limiting Federal Government’s Authority To Collect Data”

    “Principle, Not Politics:” Republican Legislators Join ACLU Against Obama’s Coup
    June 14, 2013 • 9:29AM
    Senior Democrat John Conyers of Michigan, the distinguished ranking member of House Judiciary and Republican Representative Justin Amash The Amash-Conyers bill will officially file this Friday, June 14, their LIBERT-E Act. In a joint op-ed published today in the Huffington Post, Representatives Conyers and Amash state, “Americans deserve to be safe and free. Their elected representatives regardless of political party or ideology should work together to protect their privacy.”

    A Bipartisan Response to the NSA’s Surveillance
    Posted: 06/13/2013 5:23 pm

  2. Jim Bieber
    June 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

    “about IRS targeting”.. we are making progress with how you are discribing this scandal. Last week there wasn’t any targeting… two rouge agents? This is a ongoing investigation into criminal activities. Everything will be made public, the interviews are a tool, you want the committee to use its tools in the best possible way to thort the conspiracy to block information to the committee ie pleading the 5th and lying about not knowing why you were at the White House 157 times other than for an Easter Egg roll? Where is the leadership from Obama telling the IRS to speak up and cooperate? He seemed so upset about it, he wagged his finger and everything … And the IRS “Bush Appointee” how much did this “IRS Bush Appointee” donate to self discribed war criminal John Kerry? More than you I suspect. Does that make him more of a Deomcrat activist than you?

  3. June 17, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Wow Justin, errr. Jim. You sure are angry about the work done by those Bush appointees at the IRS.

  4. June 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Justin — per CNN, only 5 visits were specifically with the President; the other visits related to other business. So, because your track record for telling the truth is so spotty. no there were not 157 meetings at the White House to review going after the Tea Party.

    From CNN:
    (CNN) – In the early days of President Barack Obama’s sweeping new health care law, Douglas Shulman, then the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, was cleared to visit the White House 157 times over three years, official visitor logs show.

    More than 50 of Douglas Shulman’s scheduled visits are described as “health care meetings” or “health care reform meetings,” according to the visitor logs. Arrival times are only listed for 11 of his visits, and it’s not unusual for a person to appear on the visitor logs – which are derived from Secret Service clearance lists – without actually having visited the White House. The majority of the visits were set to be held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses office suites for administration aides.

    The IRS, which has come under fire for its admitted targeting of conservative groups applying to become tax exempt, is responsible for enforcing many of the new rules associated with Obamacare, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010.

    Official White House visitor logs show Shulman’s scheduled White House visits came between October 2009 and December 2012. Shulman was appointed by President Bush in 2008 and left the post in November 2012. On Fox News Thursday, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson stated he’d only visited the White House once during his tenure as IRS commissioner, though visitor logs for the Bush administration aren’t available publically online.

    According to an inspector general report from earlier this May, March 2010 was the month IRS agents began filtering applications for tax-exempt status using the words “tea party” and “patriot.” The agency experienced a flood of new applications after the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case that opened the door to increased corporate and private political spending.

    Of Shulman’s meetings recorded in the visitor logs, 40 listed his “visitee” as Nancy Ann DeParle, who acted as the director of the White House Office of Health Reform until 2011, when she moved into the role of deputy chief of staff for policy. Fifty-four visit records list Sarah Fenn as Shulman’s “visitee.” Fenn is listed as a staff assistant in 2010 White House salary records. In 2011 she’s described as “assistant counsel of ethics.”

    Five visits listed Obama as the “visitee.”

  5. Jim Bieber
    June 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

    “Only” 5 meetings with Obama, More than 50 of Douglas Shulman’s scheduled visits are described as “health care meetings” or “health care reform meetings,” according to the visitor logs. one Easter Egg roll – so that leaves 101 visits for what? Why did he dodge the question? I get it, its all one big overblown misunderstanding – we should all just move on. Seriously I don’t think I could go as low belly down to as you to defend a Republican Administration who did/covered up for the government attacking the 1st Amendment – well they piss on the 10th, 4th, 2nd, the only one they really seem to like is the 5th.

    • June 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      The article said there are times you are on the guest list so you can be cleared for a visit but it doesn’t mean he was actually there…..

      Jim, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for you when your party lied us into an illegal war that will cost $4 trillion and only Scotter Libby goes to jail for outing a covert CIA operative; the right wing lost in November not because of IRS investigations (not a singel Tea Party group was denied status_ but because your ideas are wrong for the country and most Americans blame the Republicans and Bush for where we are today.

      Say hi to Selena Gomez for me; I met her once. She’s a sweet kid.

  6. Matthew Ayer
    June 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Even reverberations in the MSNBC echo chamber can’t harmonize to a defensible version of the IRS’s targeting activities…why should this be a partisan issue? It is time to root out the truth and get to the top of this.

    Until then of course you don’t release the interviews…that is fundamental to criminal investigation, duh.

    The sheer number of visits to the WH and Shulman’s snarky answer about Easter egg hunts makes one wonder a bit but, sure, could well be a red herring. Who cares?

    -Independent in Cincinnati

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