Issa: IRS has ‘no intention of complying,’ obstructing Congress is a crime

House investigators probing the IRS treatment of tea party activists and other conservative groups say the agency is refusing to turn over files related to the investigation and accused the acting commissioner of breaking a promise to come clean on the scandal, according to a Fox News report.

In a letter to acting Internal Revenue Service acting Commissioner Danny Werfel, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa said the agency is deliberately working to “delay, frustrate, impede and obstruct” the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee probe, Fox reported.

stonewall“The actions of the IRS under your leadership have made clear to the committee that the agency has no intention of complying completely or promptly with the committee’s oversight efforts,” Issa wrote.

Issa, R-Calif., is chairman of the Oversight committee.

Noting that obstructing a congressional investigation “is a crime,” Issa’s letter contains a veiled threat to begin issuing subpoenas to IRS officials, saying the committee will resort to a “compulsory process” to get the information it is looking for. A committee aide said that process could include subpoenas, Fox reported.

The IRS so far as turned over about 12,000 pages of information related to the investigation, out of about 64 million pages the committee has sought, according to the Fox report. And the pages that were surrendered contained many duplicates, while others were so redacted as to be “completely unintelligible and useless,” Issa wrote.

Issa also accused the IRS of releasing information to the media that before it turned it over to the investigation.

The letter is the latest round in an escalating fight between Issa’s committee and the IRS. On Monday, the committee formally asked for an IRS inspector general investigation into the IRS’s treatment of established conservative groups, such as the Virginia-based Leadership Institute, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Family Research Council.

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