Darrel Issa (R_CA) is Chairman of the powerful House Government Oversight Committee. His job is to is to hold the government responsible to the taxpayers. As chairman, Rep. Issa wields sweeping subpoena powers. With the stroke of a pen Issa can buckle the knees of even the most powerful of the Washington elite. And nobody relishes the prospect of knees buckling like Darrel Issa.
Yesterday, while the eyes of the world were focused on the Ukraine Issa was reminding Americans why they hate Washington politics.
Issa had subpoenaed Lois Lerner, the former director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division at the IRS. Lerner headed the division accused of targeting conservative political organizations. Lerner had previously refused to testify and then recanted. But after watching Issa hype Lerner’s anticipated appearance to the press and listening to his assertions as to her complicity in the matter, Lerner decided that her appearance would be nothing more than a partisan hatchet job. Her attorney informed Issa that if he insisted she would appear but would assert her 5th amendment rights.
Yesterday Lerner appeared before Issa’s committee. Issa started by asking her a series of pointed questions to which Lerner took the 5th. Undaunted, Issa persisted. For some 11 minutes the chairman probed Lerner about her role in the IRS targeting. Lerner decline to answer each one on the basis of self incrimination. Issa finally ended the circus by asserting the obvious…that the witness had no intention of co-operating with the committee. Then Issa abruptly adjourned the hearing.
It is customary for the minority members of the committee to be given the opportunity to question the witness. When ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings tried to ask a question Issa told the Republicans they could leave as the hearing was over. When Cummings persisted Issa told the technician to cut Cummings microphone and walked out of the room.
When the director of a major division of the IRS pleads the fifth in a congressional hearing…it should be a big story. Instead today’s story is about the deplorable way Issa treated a beloved and respected ranking member of congress. Issa stepped on the lead…because it is all about Darrel issa.
Darrel Issa is a glory seeking political opportunist and an outright liar; a power hungry narcissist and a political opportunist. Those are harsh words...but the record speaks for itself.
Time and time again Issa has made public accusations, particularly against members of the Obama administration that have proven to be totally and irrevocably false. He seems to take great satisfaction in embarrassing or slandering his targets. And though he has been “outed” time and time again for his reckless behavior he careens forward under the false pretense of finding the truth.
Darrel Issa…poster boy for all that is wrong in Washington.