'How Long will DOJ Not Take On This Case?,' Rep. Issa Asks of IRS Scandal after Massive Document Dump
"How long will the Justice Department not take on this case?" Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked about the IRS targeting scandal on Fox News Sunday. "The American people aren't going to believe for a moment that, in fact, nobody's at fault here, 'this was just an accident, some rogue people in Cincinnati' as Lois Lerner and the President would have had you believe." Chairman Issa also laid out his House committee's plan, saying that he thinks the "pressure of an upcoming election" will force the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) turned over tens of thousands of pages of material to the Committee over the July 4th holiday, leaving Congressional staffers scurrying to make sense of the quite-literal document dump. The Committee had been waiting over a year for these documents, and Issa said he expects more delays and more documents to be turned over in the coming weeks.
"This is all about the targeting of conservatives, not progressives, [the] targeting of conservatives for their political beliefs," said Issa, holding up a thick stack of documents produced (so-far) by the Committee. "This is a pretty definitive document on Lois Lerner."
"And there's more to be done. And this is separate from the indictment referral. Now we have to ask, how long will the Justice Department not take on this case? ....The American people aren't going to believe for a moment that, in fact, nobody's at fault here, 'this was just an accident, some rogue people in Cincinnati' as Lois Lerner and the President would have had you believe."
Issa also laid into Bill Taylor, Lois Lerner’s attorney. Taylor has “played fast and loose with the truth several times” and is “doing a really good job for his client [Lois Lerner,] but he's just not telling the truth. Let me just take [Lerner’s statement] as the truth. ‘She did everything she thought she should do.’ That's right. She agreed with the president in opposing Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that [Obama] was scathing in the House opposing.”
"And Lerner agreed," Issa continued. "She agreed with the progressive movement. She disagreed with conservatives. So she did what she thought was right. She went after and tried to stop conservatives from expressing their beliefs, held [them] up systemically along with some of her co-workers...held up their applications until well after the election, two years and more. She did that."
"And she's -- in her e-mail, I remember one of them said she didn't want to look 'per se political,'" Issa continued. "Yes, she hid the fact that she was politically biased and that she was using the power, the great power of her position, against conservatives and in support of the president's opposition to Citizens United."
With the House Ways and Means Committee's investigation of the IRS taking on the overtones of a Greek tragedy, Issa laid out the Committee's plan for action.
"So what can you do to push the Department of Justice or to dig into what they are or aren't doing?" host Shannon Bream asked.
"We actually think the pressure of an upcoming election, the pressure of the Attorney General wanting to leave at the end of this year may cause them to at least go through the motions of presenting the contempt before a grand jury and coming back with some responses to these rather scathing indictments of Lois Lerner that came out of the Ways and Means Committee," said Issa.