That may be, but Congressman Elijah Cummings - the ranking member of Issa's government oversight committee - just poured cold water all over Issa's conspiracy theories, for the second time in a month. On June 18, Cummings released committee interview transcripts with IRS' Cincinnati office chief, a self-described "conservative Republican" saying that the White House had no hand in the IRS determination unit's operations whatsoever. But since Issa was unwilling still to give up his witch hunt, Cummings brought the hammer down today, releasing a memo with 15 transcribed interviews with IRS employees conducted by the committee staff (the interviews were conducted by committee staff, not just the Democratic staff), again showing that Issa is in fantasyland.
“Since the Chairman and other Republicans first began accusing the Administration of targeting ‘the president’s political enemies,’ the Committee has identified no evidence whatsoever—documentary, testimonial, or otherwise—to substantiate these claims. Despite an extremely aggressive investigation involving thousands of documents and more than a dozen interviews of IRS employees, the overwhelming evidence before the Committee reveals no political motivation or White House involvement in this process.”Oops.
The memo, before laying out the transcripts of the interviews, outlines the embarrassing timeline of Republicans jumping the gun one after another to try to blow a local office's confusions into scandal proportions and pin it on President Obama, even after the IG report not only ruling out White House involvement, but any political motivations to begin with.
Consistent with this documentary review, Committee staff have now conducted 15 transcribed interviews of IRS employees in Cincinnati and Washington D.C.—including six who identified themselves as Republicans or having voted for Republicans, three who identified themselves as Democrats, and six who stated that they do not have any political affiliation—and none of these employees reported any political motivation or White House involvement.Six Republicans. Six unaffiliated. Three Democrats. Nobody - not one - accused the White House of interfering. How do we know all these people told the truth? Because maybe Darrell Issa won't tell you, but lying to an official Congressional investigation has the same penalty as committing perjury, and it can send you to jail.
It seems now that the only political motivation in this entire drama of the IRS reacting to a several-fold-increase of political groups applying for non-profit status in the wake of the Supreme Court's shameful Citizens United decision came from Republicans. More precisely, the only political motivation in this whole saga came from Washington Republicans who couldn't believe their eyes on election night in 2012, and decided that the black man in the White House must be taught a lesson.
Elijah Cummings is masterful. He's systematically dismantled the Republican conspiracy theories, and timed the release of the memo right before another sham hearing by Issa. Please Darrell, cry on TV again. It'll be such great television! After all, it is drama you're after, isn't it?
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