The “phony scandal” of the IRS has brought on a very real subpoena.
During an explosive hearing on Friday of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., berated acting IRS Director Danny Werfel for the tax agency’s “slow-walking” of the House investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups and announced he is issuing subpoenas for information the IRS has been slow to produce.
Clearly angry, and at times standing, Issa accused Werfel and IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins – the only IRS official other than Werfel appointed directly by President Obama – of deliberately withholding information by redacting the documents it did provide the committee to the point of uselessness. At one point, Issa displayed a sheet of paper almost entirely blacked out
“These are important fact to get out and you’re obstructing them,” Issa said, overriding Werfel’s attempts at denial.
In particular, Issa’s committee is demanding “all communications” involving two people tied to the White House who have become key figures in the IRS scandal: Wilkins and Lois Lerner, who oversaw the agency’s program of flagging groups with conservative-sounding names or missions and delaying their applications for tax-exempt status.
Issa’s subpoena to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also demands that Wilkins’ office be cut out of decisions about how information is provided to the committee, demanding that the committee get information directly from “uncompromised” attorneys in the Treasure Department, which oversees the IRS.
“These are not my expectations, these are the American people’s expectations,” Issa said.
Issa was also clearly angry with Obama’s repeated references to the IRS investigation as a “phony scandal.” (See his letter to Lew here.)
“We did not enter into this investigation thinking we were going to find some grand conspiracy,” Issa told Werfel. “We entered this thinking this was something fundamentally wrong.”
Judging by Friday’s hearing, Issa might now be thinking it’s both.
HT: Fox News, Breitbard
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