Issa Goes Rogue: Delivers Subpoenas to Obama Administration
February 24, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)—Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) just can’t help himself. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee is on a political witch hunt. And he’s going full steam ahead with his sights set firmly on the Obama administration. Issa, who has been accused in the past of being a car thief and an arsonist, has ridiculously attacked President Obama of being “One of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” Now, he’s angering the Democratic minority members of the committee, by shutting them out of the process and issuing unilateral subpoenas.
Issa is hoping sooner or later, something will stick and cause damage to the Obama administration in time for the 2012 presidential election. And he certainly is predictable. Just days after Republicans gained control of the House, Issa announced, “I’m going to do a lot of investigating” of Obama.
With that goal in mind, Issa just issued two subpoenas to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a political fishing expedition. He earlier issued a subpoena to Countrywide, as part of an investigation into allegations that some lawmakers may have received inappropriate sweet mortgage deals and special treatment.
The ranking minority member of the oversight panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), is crying foul. It’s not standard practice for a chairman to issue subpoenas on his or her own, without consulting the minority members on the panel.
The New York Times writes:
“The committee — which is charged with investigating wrongdoing by the federal government or private companies regulated or contracted by the government — has lately only issued subpoenas after both the chairman and the top-ranking member from the minority party agreed, or the panel itself voted, said Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland. The goal is to avoid a partisan flavor to the investigations, even before the committee issues any findings.”
“Mr. Cummings said that Mr. Issa, in January, had agreed to honor that standard and consult with other committee members before issuing subpoenas.”
‘“Despite this promise, your record is now 0 for 3, and this has resulted in confused, rushed and unnecessary subpoenas,” Mr. Cummings said in the letter to Mr. Issa, which Mr. Cummings made public Thursday.”
The last time a chairman of the oversight panel went rogue on a power trip, was during the infamous reign of Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), during the vicious witch hunt of the Clinton Administration.
“In comparison to their oversight of the Clinton administration, Republicans have done little to hold the Bush administration accountable for its actions. For example, while taking just 12 hours of testimony on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the Republican-controlled House took 140 hours of testimony on Clinton’s Christmas card list. And while issuing over 1,000 subpoenas investigating Clinton and the Democratic Party, the Republican-led Government Reform committee issued just 11 subpoenas investigating Republicans.”