Déjà Vu: Missing Emails At The Center Of Issa’s Latest Inquiry

Even as two House committees look into allegations that a hard drive crash resulted in the disappearance of countless vital emails, the Environmental Protection Agency refuses to respond to a subpoena issued last year demanding the release of emails and other documents. The investigation sought to determine whether the White House attempted to influence the agency in its compliance with previous congressional requests.

A number of scandals within the agency – including an official who took home unearned money while portraying himself as a CIA agent, and another who received a deal on a new luxury car from a lobbyist – are within the scope of the investigation.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, where she faced fierce accusations from Chairman Darrell Issa. When McCarthy asserted that she is not prepared to release the information he requested, he turned the tables on her.

He said, “Could you imagine if I just went ahead and set up a coal energy plant without a permit, started burning raw coal to produce electricity, and then told you for month after month after month that I look forward to working with you?”

He then confirmed his intention to hold the EPA in contempt of Congress.

Although McCarthy suggested that her offer of a private email viewing that ostensibly shows there was no collusion between the EPA and White House to withhold information from Congress should be sufficient, Issa balked at the idea. He called the offer “insufficient,” confirming that, with the GOP in control, the days of apathetic congressional investigations are over.

“This is my watch,” he said. “This is my time. Elections have consequences. You have not complied with the subpoena. I am telling you, the time to comply is now.”

After seven months of obstruction, Issa concluded that McCarthy’s claims are suspect.

“It is contemptible for months to pass and have you say that you’re negotiating,” he said.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Darrel Issa: Lois Lerner Acted Against Conservatives For Obama

Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter with 50 questions to the head of the IRS over the weekend.

“We have some serious questions for the commissioner.  The biggest one being: You came before us; you said you’d tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth under oath.  Do you believe you told the whole truth? The answer is he did not tell the whole truth,” said Issa.  “The most critical [question] really has to do with, in fact, who made the decision to destroy the document.”

“I believe Lois Lerner is hiding something.  I believe the Justice Department, the IRS, and the White House are interested in her succeeding in hiding what she’s hiding, which is targeting of conservative groups based on their ideology in support of the president’s war on Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that he didn’t like,” Issa said on Fox News Monday morning.

“This is something he vehemently opposes, and Lois Lerner acted on his opposition,” Issa reiterated.

“Could it lead to political operatives of the president? Yes,” Issa said, noting that the investigation was being “stymied” by these “missing” emails that should have been recovered.

John Koskinen must answer to Issa in a Oversight hearing tonight at 7 p.m. regarding the Lerner computer crash and the missing emails from the IRS.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

New Reports Show Lois Lerner’s Emails Weren’t Just Erased…

Since the IRS asserted a hard drive crash led to the disappearance of countless emails relevant to the ongoing investigation into misbehavior by the agency, many critics contend there must be some way to retrieve that information. According to a number of recent reports, however, the IRS apparently went a step further in making sure that data remains hidden in perpetuity.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said legislators have “been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away.”

This revelation came on the heels of an attempt by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa to secure a hard drive expert’s hand in retrieving the emails.

In light of this new information, it seems unlikely that there will be any opportunity to even access the hard drive. This news is likely to stoke even more suspicion that the agency purposely tried to keep damaging communications between former official Lois Lerner and other administration sources from congressional investigators.

As for the agency, however, a spokesperson confirmed to Politico that “standard IRS protocol was followed in 2011 for disposing of the broken hard drive.”

Either way, Issa and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp must rely on the word of administration officials in determining which agencies were involved in the effort to unfairly scrutinize conservative groups ahead of the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. A White House statement this week, for example, claimed there was no communication with Lerner during the crucial two-year period affected by the data loss.

Issa responded to the latest news with a blistering statement rebuking the IRS for destroying evidence vital to his investigation.

If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about “losing” e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception. Old and useless binders of information are still stored and maintained on federal agency shelves; official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don’t just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

IRS Chairman Compelled To Testify About Missing Emails

After initially admitting it somehow lost two years’ worth of emails sent by former IRS official Lois Lerner, the agency announced this week that at least six other employees’ correspondences similarly vanished. Documentation of these communications, congressional investigators contend, could have added much-needed context to a look at the IRS’s systematic targeting of conservative groups.

Among the emails missing are communications between Lerner and White House sources as well as other key Obama administration agencies. The widespread data loss has been blamed on a hard drive crash about three years ago.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, along with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, has joined the growing chorus of critics who claim such a result is suspicious. Many wonder why, if the crash truly led to the obliteration of so many integral emails, the IRS failed to notify anyone until this week.

Issa recently announced he issued a subpoena compelling IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to testify regarding the ongoing controversy.

“I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the Committee’s investigation of the IRS targeting,” Issa wrote.

He concluded that agency officials have “promised to produce requested – and, later, subpoenaed – documents, only to respond later with excuses and inaction.”

According to Issa, even now “the IRS still insists on flouting constitutional congressional oversight.”

Camp has continued to express his belief that there is more to the story than agency officials are reporting.

“We are simply not going to accept the IRS claim that these documents are not recoverable,” he said.

As for Koskinen, he expressed his willingness to testify before two House committees regarding the missing emails. Furthermore, he took issue with allegations that his agency is trying to purposely disrupt the investigation.

“I spent three weeks trying to restore [missing data] back in 2011,” he asserted. “We’ve got 24,000 emails from that period, so nobody’s hiding anything.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

A Call For The Formation Of The IRS And VA Select Committees

In spite of what Democrats and their lapdogs in the media would have us believe, the American public does not trust Barack Obama.

Because we are now beginning to feel the full effects of Obamacare, a Fox News poll released last month told us 61% of Americans, including 38% of Democrats, think Obama is a liar to one extent or another. The Select Committee on Benghazi was a great start, but now let’s keep looking.

Democrats in both Houses know they are in trouble. Senate Democrats are staring at a nightmare on Election Night in November. They’re on their heels, so let’s take advantage of this opportunity to show the country what criminals Democrats really are.

Next, we need a Select Committee on the IRS.

The work done by Representative Darrell Issa thus far in his IRS investigation has not been easy. There was no ground work and no particular suspicions about the IRS outside of conservative and TEA party movement circles, so mocking Issa as a zealot chasing after imaginary law breakers was easy for the media. Nevertheless, for at least a year, polls have shown a sizable number of Americans (36%) believe Obama ordered the IRS to target conservatives.

There is now fertile ground for expanding that percentage well into the mid-50% range, especially given the new evidence being uncovered almost weekly.

A Select Committee to investigate the IRS Co-Chaired by Representative Issa and Texas Representative Louie Gohmert should be commissioned. Gohmert really wants a Special Prosecutor for the IRS, which of course won’t happen; so that makes him a perfect fit for the next best thing.

We also need a Select Committee on the deaths in the Veterans Hospitals and the huge backlog of benefit claims cases.

Unfortunately, the scandals involving the Veterans Administration are just getting started; and we’ll hear more, not less, about this outrageous and callous disregard for the welfare of those who gave so much to fight for our freedoms. Polls on the subject are hard to find, but media stories about dozens of deaths caused by V.A. incompetence are beginning to surface.

Veterans are well respected (94%), and those who use the V A system as their primary source of healthcare are probably more likely to be minorities. The V A’s statistics show that in spite of being just about 15% of all veterans, African Americans and Hispanics represent roughly 40% of those utilizing Veteran Administration healthcare services. That will be a perfect shield against the scurrilous charges of “grandstanding and cheap politics” from a Democrat cheerleading media.

A Select Committee on the Veteran’s Administration, headed by South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson (of “You Lie!” fame) can get to the bottom of this cesspool. He should be assisted by John Kline of Minnesota and Kristi Noem of South Dakota–who should be selected because she is not a lawyer and can bring the perspective of the American “every woman” to the Committee.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom