For the past seven months, as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the California Republican has been tsk-tsking Attorney General Eric Holder for supposed failure to comply with a subpoena in regards to the "gunwalking" sting botched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The committee drafted a contempt citation for Holder over the matter early this month. The attorney general responded by noting his office has provided 7,600 pages of testimony about the sting, which ATF called "Fast and Furious." He has also testified to Congress on the matter seven times, and other officials in the Justice Department have been made freely available.
It’s clear why Team Clemens wants Issa to testify: the congressman believes the case against the former Cy Young award winner is a manufactured one. “I don’t believe that his false testimony when he gave it was anything other than Henry Waxman trapping him into perjury,” Issa told The Hill last year, referring to the California Democrat who formerly chaired the oversight committee.Issa's motion to quash the subpoena argues that the chairman is too important:
"Compliance with the subpoena would interfere with Chairman Issa’s official government responsibilities," the document reads. Past legal cases have ruled that "the practice of calling high officials as witnesses should be discouraged" because "high ranking officials have greater duties and time constraints than other witnesses."As can be seen in his slimy record as a liar and thief, with ethical lapses the sanctimonious Issa has always considered himself too important to comply with the rules which apply to everyone else. How this perch affects his work on the Oversight committee can be seen by the fact that members of the team he has assembled to investigate others is, according to the Investigative Newsource of Southern California, friendly to some industries that could benefit from those investigations.
Several have ties to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who have made much of their fortune in oil and chemical businesses and have established a reputation as staunch small-government conservatives. Their influence through campaign contributions, lobbying and nonprofit groups — such as Americans for Prosperity, an activist organization with connections to the Tea Party movement — has become more pronounced since the shift in power in the House last November.But, move along, there's nothing to see there. As Issa will happily tell you, he must only be the investigator, never the investigated.
A Republican staff counsel for the oversight committee is the son of a lobbyist pushing for regulatory changes on behalf of big corporations. At least four other staffers once lobbied Congress for companies and industry associations. Another counsel worked for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which Issa recently asked for input on government regulations.
Posted: 2012-05-29 14:10:57
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