Issa Says Washington Directed IRS Scrutiny of Conservative Groups

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., made some bold accusations during his exclusive appearance on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning. Namely, Issa said an IRS employee testified under oath the Cincinnati office at the center of the Tea Party scrutiny scandal received that direction from Washington. He also called White House press secretary Jay Carney a lair. "Their paid liar, their spokesperson, the picture behind, he’s still making up things about what happened and calling this a local rogue," said Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. (Carney was pictured behind Issa on set.) "The reason the Lois Lerner tried to take the fifth is not because there is a rogue in Cincinnati, it's because this is a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters and we're getting to proving it," he added. Issa was trumpeting a big get, in his mind, when one IRS agent apparently said they were receiving direction from Washington during the IRS investigation. Issa provided the transcript to CNN ahead of his interview, but host Candy Crowley wasn't as convinced as Issa. Her reading of the transcript:

The investigator said, "so is it your perspective that ultimately the responsible parties for the decisions that were reported by the IG," that is the decision that target tea party and Patriot applications, "are not in the Cincinnati office?"

The employee says, "I don't know how to answer that question.  I mean, from an agent standpoint, we didn't do anything wrong.  We followed directions based on other people telling us what to do."

Investigator, "and you ultimately followed directions from Washington, is that correct?"

The employee, "if direction had come down from Washington, yes."

The investigator, "but with respect to the particular scrutiny that was given to Tea Party applications, those directions emanated from Washington, is that right?"

The employee answers, "I believe so."

It's totally not definitive.

But Issa is determined that his committee will prove the White House is lying and that they demanded the Tea Party groups get extra attention."This is a problem that was in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters," Issa said. "We’re getting to proving it." Then he unloaded some Detective Mulder level truth-seeking rhetoric: "What we have is people who have to come in and transcribe interviews. They’re saying under penalty of crimes that certain things are true. We have subpoenaed documents that would support that that they say emails went back and forth," Issa said. "We will learn the whole truth." It's probably out there. 

Read the rest at TheAtlanticWire.com.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.