Darrell Issa is an odd choice to talk about a ‘scandal’ in the White House. I’m sure this Sestak meme is just bullshit. I’m certain of that in large measure because Issa is the one leading the charge. He is a simple partisan hack who always puts party before Country. This latest episode is just more of the same.
A few years ago, Darrell and his Party controlled Washington. They had both Houses of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court (now they only have the SCOTUS and most of the celebrity journalists). In 2004 a big scandal involving a lobbyist named Abramoff erupted over Washington. Some 60 members of Congress and the Senate were said to be involved along with untold staffers and many, many members of the Bush White House.
To hear Issa’s current concerns about any potential WH scandal one would guess that he was leading the charge to clean up the Abramoff affair and that Issa demand an independent prosecutor to get to the bottom of the Abramoff lobbying scandal…
Actually–and I know this will shock many of you–Darrell did the opposite.
Issa had a seat on the Government Reform Committee when the GOP was in the majority. The Minority of the Committee, led by Henry Waxman, conducted one of the only investigations in Congress into the Abramoff affair and like all the others, this inquiry DID NOT look at the many connections of Congress to Abramoff in any way. Waxman’s investigation DID look at the many, many, many connections between Abramoff and the Bush White House. In the course of those investigations emails and evidence linking White House staffers to Team Abramoff were uncovered and investigators were sent to interview these staffers.
Darrell Issa went to one of these under oath depositions not as a member of the Committee, but as moral support for the Bush staffer involved in the Abramoff scandal. Rubin Barreles was the staffer and Issa opened the deposition with these remarks:
Mr. Issa: Briefly. I guess maybe just briefly. I’m here both because Ruben, in the private sector now, represents my constituency on behalf of the greater San Diego Chamber but also because I knew him before, during his time in government, and I have a keen interest both in the continued investigation of Abramoff and also, in this case, the belated nature of this deposition. Meaning, long after individuals have left government, you know, the Abramoff scandal really began and ended well before — well, more than 2 years before Mr. Barrales left public life. So I hope today we can bring to a close, you know, a single deposition of this individual and anyone else since it is such an old case.
Having said that, I do have a keen interest, because the Congress has not yet reformed itself as to lobbying by government entities. The reforms we have done so far do not stop an “Abramoff” from representing in secrecy to a great extent government entities in a government-to-government relationship. We failed to do that reform under ,our ethics rules; and, therefore, we are still just as vulnerable today to somebody like Jack Abramoff.
That is some classic gobblygook. I think it is better than Darrell’s current concern over the non-Sestak frou-frou, but some may disagree. Issa is always entertaining when he acts like he is interested in good governance and he is a skilled lying bastard.
What was interesting about his appearance in the Barrales deposition was that it sent a signal to Ruben that Congress was NEVER going to investigate the Abramoff scandal and that therefore Ruben was free to forget any details–and so he did. The scene could have been lifted from the Godfather with Issa playing the Tom Hagen role.
And now Issa would like a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Sestak non-scandal. Of course he does. I would expect nothing less from such a partisan hack.
When it comes to White House scandals, I am more interested in the one that Issa helped to cover up than the one he is inventing out of partisan talking points.
So, when Issa calls for a real investigation into the Abramoff Scandal let me know. Until then, he is just a joke and more than that–he is an ass.