Tag: Darrell Issa

Rep. Issa Claims That More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost Or Destroyed’ E-Mails After House Launched Probes

Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost Or Destroyed’ E-Mails After House Launched Probes – National Review

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The revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.

“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner’s lost e-mails.

“It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails,” he continued. “Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from ten months ago. Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s e-mail history. Yet again, we discover that this administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.”

From February of 2010 to November of 2013 – one month after the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, as the Daily Caller’s Patrick Howley noted – Tavenner didn’t maintain copies of her e-mails as required.

“During her entire tenure at CMS, Ms. Tavenner’s CMS e-mail address, which is accessible to both colleagues and the public, has been subject to write-in campaigns involving thousands of e-mails from the public,” CMS wrote to the National Archives and Records Administration, per Howley.

“Therefore, she receives an extremely high volume of e-mails that she manages daily. To keep an orderly e-mail box and to stay within the agency’s e-mail system capacity limits, the administrator generally copied or forwarded e-mails to immediate staff for retention and retrieval, and did not maintain her own copies,” CMS said.

Issa subpoenaed the missing e-mails ten months ago. “The evidence is mounting that the website did not go through proper testing, including critical security testing, and that the Administration ignored repeated warnings from contractors about ongoing problems,” he said at the time. “The American people deserve to know why the administration spent significant taxpayer money on a product that is entirely dysfunctional and puts their personal information at risk.”

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House Oversight Chairman Issa Subpoenas 28 Years Of Lois Lerner’s Emails

Issa Expands Investigation; Subpoenas 28 Years Of Lois Lerner Emails – Gateway Pundit

Lois Lerner, the controversial director of the tax-exempt organizations division at the Internal Revenue Service, has a long sordid history of targeting conservatives.

Under the direction of Lois Lerner, the Federal Election Commission sued the Christian Coalition in the 1990s. She harassed the Christian Coalition for three election cycles. Eventually, she lost her case. At one point Lerner even asked a targeted conservative if Pat Robertson prayed over him. (Sound familiar?)

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In 1996, while at the FEC, Lois Lerner harassed Republican Senate candidate Al Salvi and made him this outrageous offer, “Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case.”

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Today House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) turned up the heat on Lois Lerner and subpoenaed 28 years of Lerner’s emails from 1986 until the present day.

Political Ticker reported:

Expanding his IRS investigation by more than two decades, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, has sent a subpoena to the Federal Elections Commission for all communications involving former IRS administrator Lois Lerner from January 1, 1986 to the present day.

This new search is the broadest-yet for records in a year-long investigation by Issa and congressional Republicans, who are trying to assess why the agency targeted tea party and other political groups for extra scrutiny.

Issa issued the subpoena to Lee Goodman, head of the Federal Election Commission, on Tuesday for communications involving Lerner, who is seen as a central figure in the controversy because she ran the division that executed the targeting.

She resigned last year after the Treasury Department’s inspector general found those working under her used “inappropriate” criteria to scrutinize certain groups. Since then, Lerner has refused to testify before Congress, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This has added to the Republican push to find any documents related to Lerner and her time in government.

In the on-going, determined GOP effort, Republicans are now reaching back to her career before the IRS.

Lerner joined the FEC in 1981, first working in the general counsel’s office. Issa subpoena focuses on her work after 1986, when Lerner became the head of the FEC’s enforcement division.

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Related article:

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Revealed: The Lois Lerner Emails That Weren’t Lost – The Blaze

House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said Wednesday that former IRS official Lois Lerner suggested investigating Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) before she was forced to leave her position due to the IRS targeting scandal.

According to documents unearthed by Camp, Lerner received an invitation to speak at an event that was intended for Grassley.

Lerner informed the group of the mistake, but then wrote to a colleague: “Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife. Perhaps we should refer to Exam?”

That questioned prompted another IRS official to respond that paying for Grassley’s wife to attend is income for Grassley, and is “not prohibited on its face.” The followup email said the proper procedure would be to see if the group files a 1099 form to report the “income” Grassley earned, and see if Grassley reported that income in his annual tax filing.

Lerner replied by saying “thanks,” and added, “Don’t think I want to be on stage with Grassley on this issue.” The emails are redacted and don’t make it clear at what event they both might have spoken.

Camp said it is “shocking” that Lerner would use the email mix-up as a way to attack Grassley.

“At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights,” he said. “We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal.

“The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”

Read the Lerner emails here:

Grassley Lerner

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*LIVE STREAMING* 7pm ET – Rep. Issa To Question IRS Commissioner Koskinen On Lois Lerner’s “Missing” Emails


This live event has ended. Click HERE to watch the entire House Oversight And Government Reform Committee Hearing.

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……………………Click on image above to watch live stream.

ALTERNATE STREAM

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Via the Daily Caller

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa is questioning IRS commissioner John Koskinen on Lois Lerner’s emails on Capitol Hill at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. A livestream of the event can be viewed below on the Committee homepage:

WATCH THE HEARING HERE

Issa this morning outlined 15 questions that he asked Koskinen to provide written answers to by 5 p.m.. But Koskinen was said to be over-shooting the 5 p.m. deadline. Will he come up with answers on Lois Lerner’s mysterious computer crash by 7? Will he reveal what happened to emails lost from the computer of former IRS official Nikole Flax, a frequent White House visitor?

Here are summaries of Issa’s 15 questions:

1. Explain, in detail, Lois Lerner’s 2011 hard drive failure, including the date it happened, and give the names of all employees who worked on retrieving data from it.

2. When did you learn that the hard drive failure affected the Oversight Committee’s subpoena into the IRS targeting scandal, and which IRS staffers realized that the subpoena could not be fulfilled?

3. Explain all the steps the IRS took to retrieve data from Lerner’s hard drive.

4. Name all IRS employees that worked on agency email servers between 2009 and 2014.

5. Name all IRS contractors that worked on agency email or hard drive systems.

6. Give the names of the IRS employees most knowledgeable about email servers and data retention.

7. Identify the IRS employees that last had possession of Lerner’s computer, cell phones, hard drive, backup email tapes and information about errors in IRS electronic hardware.

8. Give us all relevant information about IRS document retention policies.

9. Name the type of email service the IRS uses and the type of email exchange server and tell us whether any email is stored on an IRS shared drive.

10. Explain in detail the IRS’ electronic data restoration and archival systems.

11. How many forensic images from Lerner’s failed hard drive still exist?

12. How many forensic images from Lerner’s failed hard drive still existed on Aug. 31, 2011 (when the IRS’ contract with Sonasoft expired)?

13. List all the software and hardware malfunctions that occurred at the agency between Jan. 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011.

14. Give us Lerner’s computer barcode.

15. Give us Lerner’s cell phone barcode.

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Congressman Issa Charges HHS Secretary Sebelius With Criminal Obstruction Of HealthCare.gov Investigation

Issa Charges Sebelius With Criminal Obstruction Of HealthCare.gov Investigation – Nextgov

The lead congressman investigating HealthCare.gov’s dismal performance during its first two months online ratcheted up the executive-congressional conflict on Wednesday, accusing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of criminal obstruction of his investigation.

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The dispute centers around a letter the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent to a contractor that worked on the online health insurance marketplace, directing it not to turn over correspondence and other documents to congressional investigators and stating CMS would manage any congressional inquiries.

That letter amounted to “criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation,” according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

“Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime,” Issa said in a statement. “The federal obstruction laws reflect the fact that Congress’ right of access to information is constitutionally based and critical to the integrity and effectiveness of our oversight and investigative activities.”

HHS Spokeswoman Joanne Peters responded that the department is attempting to comply with Issa’s investigation while ensuring it doesn’t reveal any private consumer information or technology secrets.

“We have worked to accommodate the committee’s oversight interests in a number of ways, including by allowing the committee to review unredacted copies of the requested documents in person,” she said in a statement. “The committee already has copies of the requested documents that have been redacted to protect sensitive security information.”

The department plans to respond directly to Issa later, Peters said.

Issa issued a subpoena in October to compel Sebelius to turn over documents related to HealthCare.gov’s troubled launch.

His charges come on the same day Sebelius asked her department’s inspector general to launch his own investigation into HealthCare.gov’s failures. She also asked CMS, which led the Obamacare implementation, to appoint a chief risk officer to investigate why risks weren’t identified during the building of HealthCare.gov and how the agency can avoid such failures in the future.

Issa’s committee has uncovered evidence of significant doubts among contractors that HealthCare.gov would be successful upon launch. He has also charged government officials with forcing last minute changes to the site for political reasons that may have contributed to its troubles after launch.

The oversight committee’s Democratic leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Issa’s charges.

HealthCare.gov has been operating generally well since Nov. 30 following a “tech surge” by the government and contractors that included 400 bug fixes, increased server capacity and a new management structure.

About 137,000 people enrolled in new health insurance plans through the marketplace during its first two months online. An additional 227,000 people enrolled through state-run online marketplaces.

The government hopes to enroll 7 million people in new insurance plans by the end of March. Some experts worry the slow start to enrollment may deter young and healthy people from enrolling in plans through the site, leading to unsustainably high premiums for people who do purchase the plans.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Another day, another Liberal Malady strikes!

Turns out Ed was posting about this at the same time I was. Great minds, great minds

In this case clearly Selective Memory Syndrome is the affliction

Via National Review:

Behind the scenes and nearly six months after the scandal first made headlines, the House Oversight Committee is quietly continuing its investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea-party groups. Since May, congressional investigators have interviewed over 30 witnesses and examined thousands of pages of documents.

The latest official called to testify before committee investigators is an important one: IRS chief counsel William Wilkins. Wilkins is one of just two political appointees at the IRS, a generous donor to Democratic candidates and causes, and once represented Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Evidence of his involvement in the targeting would spell trouble for the White House and bring renewed focus to a scandal that has largely receded from public consciousness.

The Oversight Committee has furnished none, to date, but it is expressing gross dissatisfaction with Wilkins’s testimony and, in a letter sent to him on Wednesday, offering him the opportunity to amend it. “In your testimony, you stated ‘I don’t recall’ a staggering 80 times in full or partial response to the Committee’s questions,” committee chairman Darrell Issa and Ohio representative Jim Jordan wrote. “Your failure to recollect important aspects of the Committee’s investigation suggests either a deliberate attempt to obfuscate your involvement in this matter or gross incompetence on your part.”

How often have we asked of some member of Team Obama, “are they really that inept, or is this deliberate?” I think we all know that answer by now don’t we?

*VIDEO* Rep. Issa Grills Lying Sack O’ Crap IRS Lackey Over Illegal Sharing Of Taxpayer Info With White House


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Issa’s Committee To Investigate Why Open-Air Memorials Have Been Closed By President Asshat

Darrell Issa’s Committee To Investigate Why Open-Air Memorials Were Closed As Oart Of Shutdown – Hot Air

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I was hoping he would, and now he is.

House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa has launched an investigation into why the WWII memorial and other open-air monuments have been shut down.

“These properties belong to the American people. They do not belong to a Political party. There is no reason to ever shut those folks out from that,” said Representative Mike Kelly in an emotional speech…

Issa’s investigation is at its preliminary stages, Frederick Hill, his spokesman, said. But his committee will be exploring whether decisions were made to close monuments and other attractions for political reasons, potentially as a means of worsening the pain of a shutdown to increase political pressure on House Republicans.

The House Committee on Natural Resources posted an interactive map up showing photos of various parks around D.C. – not all of which have been closed, at least as of this writing. It’s the popular ones like the Lincoln Memorial, it seems, that were targeted first, which is entirely consistent with the cardinal rule of shutdown theater. And some of the ones that are closed this time weren’t closed during the ’95 shutdown. The Daily Caller has a photo of the Lincoln Memorial from that era showing the information booth closed but with visitors in the background at Abe’s feet. The essence of shutdown theater in one line: “Popular Washington spots such as the World War II memorial are now guarded by more security personnel than they are during normal operations, while federal employees have been dispatched to put up barricades on capital bike paths and other public grounds that are not usually patrolled at all.”

Via the Corner, here’s Jay Carney trying and failing to come up with a non-political explanation for why vets were allowed into the WWII Memorial this morning. The closure order, he notes, specifically exempts “First Amendment activities.” What are “First Amendment activities”? See this cached page from the National Park Service’s website. (The website isn’t live at the moment because, in another dumb part of shutdown theater, unmanned government websites have to be closed too.) Essentially, every park as part of normal practice is required by the First Amendment to allow things like protesting, leafletting, religious ceremonies, etc. They can, however, require a permit for groups larger than 25 people and they can, in order to keep the park orderly, force people who are protesting/leafletting/holding the ceremony to do so within a designated area. In other words, the policy on “First Amendment activities” isn’t about granting anyone special access that the rest of the public is denied; it’s about limiting the access of certain people who come to the park to do noisy/controversial stuff that might be disruptive to other visitors. The Honor Flight vets aren’t in that category, obviously. They’re there to use the park for its intended purpose, i.e. quietly remembering the fallen and reminiscing about the war. If that’s a “First Amendment activity” worthy of special admission, then the barricades should be removed from every memorial because basically everyone in the country qualifies. Carney’s just grasping for a “neutral” non-political excuse here. But then, you knew that.

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Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Benghazi-gate: Congressman Issa Subpoenas Four State Department Officials

Darrell Issa Subpoenas Four State Department Officials For Benghazi Information – Washington Examiner

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has issued subpoenas for four current and former State Department officials to find out what they know about the fatal terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

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Issa, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, said he has been unable to arrange interviews with the four officials, who Issa said, “possess direct knowledge of the event.”

Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks, along with three other Americans.

House and Senate Republicans have been pushing the Obama Administration for additional information on the attacks and the lack of security in Benghazi as well as the decision not to launch a rescue mission during the attacks.

Issa has issued subpoenas for Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Scott Bultrowicz, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, Elizabeth Dibble, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs ad Elizabeth Jones, the acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau Near Eastern Affairs.

It was revealed during a House oversight hearing on the Benghazi attack that Jones had told the Libyan ambassador in the days following the attack that Islamic terrorists were behind it. Jones had sent out that information to nearly all top State Department officials. But just days later, Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the U.N., said on a round of talk shows that the attack was prompted by an anti-muslim video circulating on YouTube.

Issa said he is issuing the subpoenas because he has not been able to interview the four officials.

“These persistent delays create the appearance that the Department is dragging its feet to slow down the Committee’s investigation,” Issa wrote in the letter to Kerry. “It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully. These delays also take us further in time away from the dates of the events in question.”

Issa said congressional investigators nearly two months ago sent a list of 13 State Department officials they want to interview, but have been so far provided access to just one official.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Rep. Issa to Lois Lerner: You WILL testify

YES! Keep the pressure on these Neo-Marxists

Via Politico:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said embattled IRS official Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights and will be hauled back to appear before his panel again.

The California Republican said Lerner’s Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination was voided when she gave an opening statement this morning denying any wrongdoing and professing pride in her government service.

“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa told POLITICO. “She chose not to do so — so she waived.”

Lerner’s decision to speak at all immediately triggered a dust-up among lawmakers who were confused about whether she gave up her Fifth Amendment protections when she made an opening statement.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor, said Lerner lost her rights the minute she started proclaiming her innocence, and that lawmakers therefore were entitled to question her. But Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland said hearing rules were not like those of a courtroom.

 

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence should really change their name, for the sake of accuarcy

Jeff Goldstein notes that the masks are coming off, and the faces we are seeing are power hungry Leftists

Why is the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence attacking Republicans’ efforts to obtain documents regarding the Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal?

In a statement issued yesterday, Brady Campaign President Dan Gross ridiculed the vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents regarding the government’s botched gunrunning operation. Two guns from the operation were at the scene where murdered U.S. border agent Brian Terry was found.

Gross calls Republicans’ efforts to obtain documents regarding the gunning operation “ridiculous political theater” and an effort to “do the bidding of the NRA” (emphasis added):

“As House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Speaker John Boehner lead the ridiculous political theater of a contempt of Congress vote for the first time against a U.S. attorney general, American and Mexican lives remain at risk because of the out-of-control Mexican gun violence fueled by guns trafficked from American gun shops. As Issa and Boehner do the bidding of the NRA, innocent people are dying, including Americans.”

And, on June 18, Brady Campaign Vice President For Law and Policy Dennis Henigan attacked the House probe in a piece titled “How About If We Hold Congress in Contempt?”

Henigan characterizes Attorney General Holder’s refusal to provide the documents to Congress as “alleged.” He says that Republicans are waging “war against the Obama Administration” (emphasis added):

“The contempt vote will be the Republican leadership’s latest escalation of the war against the Obama Administration over “Fast and Furious,”in which about 2,000 guns purchased from border state gun shops were allowed to “walk” into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels in a misguided effort to get at the higher-ups in the cartels’ gun trafficking operations. A month ago, in a precursor to the contempt strategy, the House Republican leadership, led by Speaker John Boehner, sent a letter to Attorney General Holder decrying the Justice Department’s alleged “lack of full cooperation” in responding to a document subpoena from Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee. Even apart from the silence of Republican leaders about the Bush Justice Department’s use of similarly flawed “gun walking” tactics, the letter wreaks of hypocrisy.”

Ah, hypocrisy, from so-called gun control advocates. They care about “control” of you, and me, but if a Liberal administration ALLOWS guns to be bought, and delivered to ultra-violent cartels? Well, move along, nothing to see here. If the Brady nut cases were at all interested in actually preventing gun violence, they would be demanding Holder comply and come clean. But, they are not interested in anything but their Neo-Marxist ideology.

Issa Pulls A Cunning Move To Detail Secret ‘Fast And Furious’ Wiretap Applications

Issa Pulls A Cunning Move To Detail Secret ‘Fast And Furious’ Wiretap Applications – The Blaze

The ongoing tug-of-war between Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa (R- Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, climaxed on Thursday with a historic vote in which Congress held the attorney general in both civil and criminal contempt over his refusal to provide subpoenaed “Fast and Furious” documents.

And now less than 24-hours following the vote, it is being reported that Issa has seemingly dealt another devastating blow to the Justice Department. Roll Call reports that in a very sly move: the chairman has inserted a May 24 letter he wrote to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), in which he quotes from and explains in detail some of the content found in secret wiretap applications from the failed federal gun-walking operation, into the Congressional Record.

Issa argues the wiretap applications are extremely detailed in identifying some of the tactics employed in Fast and Furious, which Holder and the senior DOJ officials still argue they were completely unaware of even though senior Justice Department officials signed off on the applications.

Holder has repeatedly said the wiretap applications are sealed court documents, which is why Issa has been unable to simply release the documents to the public. Issa himself said he got his copies from a group of “furious whistleblowers.” Holder and the DOJ have refused to comment on the applications, therefore details have remained extremely fuzzy.

In other words, because he couldn’t release the wiretap applications outright, he released a letter describing them. And he made that letter part of the official record while using Congress’ protection under the speech and debate clause to avoid legal ramifications.

Roll Call has the latest developments in the Fast and Furious saga:

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.

The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.

The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.

According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.

Holder and Cummings have both maintained that the wiretap applications did not contain such details and that the applications were reviewed narrowly for probable cause, not for whether any investigatory tactics contained followed Justice Department policy.

The wiretap applications were signed by senior DOJ officials in the department’s criminal division, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco and another official who is now deceased.

While Issa has since said he has obtained a number of wiretap applications, the letter only refers to one, from March 15, 2010. The full application is not included in what Issa entered into the Congressional Record, and names are obscured in Issa’s letter.

In the application, ATF agents included transcripts from a wiretap intercept from a previous Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that demonstrated the suspects were part of a gun-smuggling ring.

The wiretap applications also reportedly explain how ATF officials watched firearms purchased by suspected straw purchasers walk and ended their surveillance without intercepting the guns, according to Issa’s letter. In at least one instance, the guns were recovered at a police stop at the U.S.-Mexico border the next day, Roll Call reports.

“Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers. Upon learning these details through its review of this wiretap affidavit, senior Justice Department officials had a duty to stop this operation. Further, failure to do so was a violation of Justice Department policy,” the letter reads.

In a June 5 letter, Cummings responded to Issa’s May 24 letter and argued that Issa “omits the critical fact that [redacted].” Roll Call reports the entire first section of his letter is also blacked out.

“Sadly, it looks like Mr. Issa is continuing his string of desperate and unsubstantiated claims, while hiding key information from the very same documents,” a Democratic committee staffer told Roll Call. “His actions demonstrate a lack of concern for the facts, as well as a reckless disregard for our nation’s courts and federal prosecutors who are trying to bring criminals to justice. We’re not going to stoop to his level. Obviously, we are going to honor the court’s seal and the prosecutors’ requests. But if Mr. Issa won’t tell you what he is hiding from the wiretaps, you should ask him why.”

Some of the important highlights from Issa’s letter:

* The financial details of four suspected straw purchases showed they had made $373,000 in gun purchases in cash but had nearly no reportable income from past year.
* The applications detailed how many guns specific suspects had bought from straw purchasers.
* Wiretap Applications reveal ATF agents did not interdict guns when possible.
* “Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers.”
* The wiretap applications were signed by senior DOJ officials
* Holder has refused to address the documents.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Just think how much better Congress would be if they just kept walking?

Dear CBC: Please don’t go away mad, just go away

Let’s face it. They don’t give a damn about who killed border agent Brian Terry.
The Hill reported:

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) plan to stage a walkout during Thursday’s vote on whether to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

The CBC is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday to discuss the details of the walkout and is planning to circulate a letter to House Democrats requesting that they join them on the Capitol steps for a press conference during the contempt vote.

The move comes less than 24 hours before the House plans to vote for the first time in history to hold a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress for not complying with a congressional subpoena. Holder is the first black attorney general in U.S. history.

The walkout is reminiscent of a similar move made by Republicans in 2008 during a Democratic-led vote on whether to hold two senior staffers in President George W. Bush’s administration in contempt of Congress.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — then the minority leader — led the walkout with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) following closely behind him. Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is the sponsor of the contempt resolution against Holder.

“The House floor is the scene of a partisan, political stunt,” said Boehner at the time. House Democrats have been expressing similar comments about the Holder contempt measure.

CBC Chairman Cleaver released this statement on the Fast and Furious investigation this week.

“During this critical moment in our nation’s history, the attention of our country’s chief law enforcement officer should be focused on addressing ongoing law enforcement challenges and championing real issues, instead of being distracted by manufactured, partisan political ones. This is an extremely low moment in our body politic. The cause for civility has been met by an unnecessary and unfortunate partisanship.”

These miscreant racists bottom feeders are a disgrace

*VIDEO* Issa On DOJ’s “Serious Wrongdoing”, Holder’s Contempt Of Congress, And Obama’s Executive Privilege Claim

Operation Fast and Furious, is the fit about to hit the shan

An AK-47 assault rifle (over 1,000 of which we...
Image via Wikipedia

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has the story

The House Oversight Committee has released interviews with four ATF agents indicate that a top official in the Department of Justice may have lied to, or at the least misled, Congress on a controversial operation that put guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, one of which was used to kill a Border Patrol agent.  Ronald Weich, an Assistant Attorney General under Eric Holder, assured Congress in writing that the ATF and Department of Justice “made every effort” seize all illegally-purchased weapons.  However, the ATF agents testifed that the ATF and DoJ deliberately allowed hundreds of such weapons to cross the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious:

Dodson, Casa, Alt and Forcelli say they were instructed to watch weapons purchased illegally en route to criminal networks but not seize the weapons as they had been trained. …

Dodson estimates 1,730 weapons escaped to the clutches of Mexican drug cartels throughout the lifespan of “Fast and Furious.” Many were later recovered at the scene of violent crimes.

“This guy comes in, buys 10, 15, 20 AKs or … a 22-year-old girl walks in and dumps $10,000 on … AK-47s in a day, when she is driving a beat up car that doesn’t have enough metal to hold hubcaps on it. They knew what was going on. The ‘may have facilitated’ to me is kind of erroneous. We did facilitate it. How are we not responsible for the ultimate outcome of these [g]uns?” Dodson said.

The agents said they complained vociferously about the operation to superiors. Eventually, a “schism” between team members developed over whether the tactics being used were wise or even legal.

When the agents raised objections to the wisdom and legality of the operation, they were met with a rather pointed response:

David Voth, the team’s supervisor, sent a March 12, 2010 email to the team, saying the tactics of “Fast and Furious” were backed by “HQ.”

“Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case and they also believe we…are doing what they envisioned the Southwest Border Grouops doing. It may sound cheesy but we are ‘The tip of the ATF spear’ when it comes to Southwest Border Firearms Trafficking,” Voth wrote.

If the agents didn’t like it, “Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day,” Voth wrote.

Dodson said he was told “the U.S. Attorney is on board, and it was Mr. [Emory] Hurley, and they say there is nothing illegal going on.”

Agents clearly didn’t agree, and accurately predicted the outcome of allowing the weapons to cross the border:

ATF agents interviewed by congressional investigators described supervisors trying to tamp down agents’ misgivings about the strategy to allow the weapons purchases.

Larry Alt, an ATF agent, told investigators agents opposed the weapons sales as early as December 2009 and wanted to arrest straw purchasers, who are paid to buy guns for others. Mr. Alt said he agreed with a fellow agent who expressed the view that “someone was going to die.”

And, as we know someone, a Border Agent did die. Lots more at the link, and Michelle also is on top of this

Just in from Issa’s office:

Moments ago in his opening statement at today’s hearing, Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) released three e-mails detailing the intimate involvement of ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Acting Deputy Director Bill Hoover in Operation Fast and Furious:

* The first e-mail from March 10, 2010, to Operation Fast and Furious Group VII Leader David Voth indicates that the two most senior leaders in ATF, Acting Director Kenneth Melson, and Deputy Director Billy Hoover, were “being briefed weekly on” Operation Fast and Furious. The document shows that both Melson and Hoover were “keenly interested in case updates.”
* A second e-mail from March 12, 2010, shows that Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon was so excited about Fast and Furious that he received a special briefing on the program in Phoenix – scheduled for a mere 45 minutes after his plane landed.
* A third – and perhaps the most disturbing – e-mail from April 12, 2010, indicates that Acting Director Melson was very much in the weeds with Operation Fast and Furious. After a detailed briefing of the program by the ATF Phoenix Field Division, Acting Director Melson had a plethora of follow-up questions that required additional research to answer. As the document indicates, Mr. Melson was interested in the IP Address for hidden cameras located inside cooperating gun shops. With this information, Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and – himself – watch a live feed of the straw buyers entering the gun stores to purchase dozens of AK-47 variants.

GOP seeking to head off Obama power grab

Darrell Issa
Image via Wikipedia

Obama wishes to, by Executive Order, force government contractors to disclose their political donations before they get any government contract. The House GOP, has other ideas

Republicans are working on multiple fronts to stop President Barack Obama from making companies bidding on federal contracts disclose their donations to third-party political groups.

The chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and the Small Business Committee have introduced legislation that would ban the federal government from collecting or using information about the political expenditures of federal contractors, allowing them to keep their political donations to third party groups secret. Yesterday, the House passed an amendment to the 2012 defense bill which would prevent federal agencies from collecting such data.

Introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) in response to a leaked draft of an executive order the Obama administration was considering which would have mandated federal contractors disclose their donations to third-party groups, the legislation is titled the “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011.”

A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Susan Collins (R-ME), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

Center for Competitive Politics President Sean Parnell called Cole’s amendment to the defense bill a “strong rebuke to the executive branch’s effort to bring politics into the federal contracting process and enable the creation of a Nixon-style Enemies List.”

I think it is safe to say that this power grab by Comrade Obama is not about “transparency” but rather about political strong arming tactics. Unions, by the way, would not be forced to give up inf o on THEIR political contributions under Obama’s vision. And I believe we all know the love between Obama and unions thugs don’t we? Sen. Jim DeMint sure does.

Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., sat down for an interview with Coffee and Markets, a podcast hosted by Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech. When asked about the National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to keep Boeing from building a factory in his state, DeMint had some exceptionally harsh words for the NLRB:

DeMint: I mean, they’ll lose the first couple of appeals because they go back to the board that the President has stocked with union thugs basically, and –

Cianfrocca: “Union thugs”, may we quote you? That’s a great word.

DeMint: Once this gets in front of a fair and impartial judge they’ll win, but it’s only after millions of dollars in legal expenses and several years of chilling effect.

Cianfrocca: Yes.

DeMint: What they’re trying to do is to tell any company in America, don’t even think about moving to a right to work state or expanding to a right to work state or you’re going to have to go through millions of dollars of legal expenses and this type of government harassment. It’s pretty amazing in America that we’re dealing with this type of third world tyranny.

BINGO Senator!

Is Obama deliberately raising oil prices?

Yid has linked a report that accuses our president of doing exactly that. Frankly, I have long thought that the actions of this administration, combined with Obama’s own words before he was elected leave little room for doubt.

Yesterday, Congressman Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a scathing report about the nation’s energy (embedded below) saying in part that the President has deliberately created policies which would cause energy prices to rise.

“The United States has the largest reserves in the world—resources that can provide good paying American jobs and fuel our economic expansion. But standing between that energy and U.S. consumers is an obstacle course of government red tape, regulation, delays and obfuscations,” Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said. He pointed to statements by President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu about intentionally raising energy costs for Americans and how these goals are being implemented throughout the government.

The committee’s report found that U.S. domestic energy resources are currently the largest on earth—greater than Saudi Arabia, China and Canada combined. It also said that the recent EPA and Department of Interior regulatory actions, some in collaboration with environmental groups or outside normal scope, are having a detrimental impact on independent energy producers.

Go read the entire post, but here is a general summation. There are eight key points made in the report and here are four of them

1. Key Obama Administration figures have expressed a belief that Americans should pay more for energy – a pattern of actions shows the Administration is, in fact, pursuing an agenda to raise the price Americans pay for energy.

2. While the Administration touts nascent “green” energy technologies, U.S. domestic energy resources are currently the largest on earth—greater than Saudi Arabia, China and Canada combined. New developments in drilling and extraction technology have dramatically expanded the amount of total recoverable reserves of oil and natural gas. Much of this, however, may be put off-limits by the government.

4. Recent Administration action has already led to significant cost and regulatory barriers that have limited domestic production of oil.

5. Other agencies have stepped up their efforts to indirectly curtail energy production through environmental regulations.

As I said go read the whole piece at Yid’s place the entire report is located here

*VIDEO* House Oversight Committee Chairman Issa: Obama Justice Department Stalling, Covering Up ‘Operation Gunrunner’

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Via The Rick Amato Show