Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez has delayed Former GOP Rep. Darrell Issa’s confirmation hearing for a trade position in the Trump administration because he is insisting on the release of an FBI background check that may show Issa used a fake ID when he was 17.
Issa was nominated to be the director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency a year ago. The confirmation process has been so delayed, that the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee has already created an exploratory committee to look into a potential run against California Rep. Duncan Hunter. This suggests Issa is likely to soon move on and if people like Menendez are hung up on him doing stuff that so many other 17-year-olds do, then who can blame him?
In comments to Fox News this week, Issa said he is open to leaving the confirmation process behind and serving in Congress.
“My desire is to serve the president and help in any way I can. If it becomes my best course to take a congressional seat and help take back the majority in the House, that’s OK, too,” he said.
Menendez claimed at a Thursday confirmation hearing that the FBI background check on Issa could have “problematic” information and be “potentially disqualifying.”
Issa is known to have had various run-ins with the law when he was a teenager. An official familiar with the matter told Fox News that Menendez is specifically worried about an incident that occurred when Issa was an Army private.
Issa was reportedly stationed near Pittsburgh and caught using a military ID card that listed his age as two years older than he actually was. When Issa was caught, he was punished by his “not amused” lieutenant.
“It was a military ID where the ID office had put the wrong birthday on, which made Issa look older,” the official said.
There was nothing wrong with the military ID except for the birthdate. Apparently, someone in the military ID card office had done Issa a favor to help him get into bars. The official told Fox News that in the 1970s the Army “always observed 18 for drinking a beer on base.”
The actual legal drinking age at the time in Pittsburgh was 21, but the legal age in Ohio, where Issa was from, was 18.
To make this entire story even more ridiculous, the official told Fox News that Menendez confronted Issa at the Thursday hearing and said, “If you would falsify records when you were 17, how can we believe you’re credible, to be honest now?”
For the record, Issa is a 65-year-old man. If you think Menendez really cares about a 17-year-old Army private lying on his ID card to get a beer, you’re kidding yourself. This is just one more small way to get at the Trump administration.
Want a cherry to put on top of this story? Menendez has been accused of far worse than Issa. Federal prosecutors went after the senator for allegations of bribery and corruption over alleged favors related to a Florida ophthalmologist, who was a friend of the senator. A mistrial was declared in that case in 2017.
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