Washington, D.C. — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) just can’t help himself. As chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he had a unique opportunity to conduct a thorough, impartial investigation into the longstanding problems at the IRS and pursue meaningful reforms. Instead, he turned the proceedings into another made-for-cable-news partisan circus, leading CREW’s voters to award him the title of June’s Scoundrel of the Month.
Rep. Issa’s recklessness was on full display when he brashly claimed — even as his committee’s investigation was still in progress — he could prove the White House ordered the IRS to target conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. He then refused to release the full transcripts of interviews with IRS employees, instead leaking selected excerpts to the press. Once the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), finally released the transcripts in their entirety, Rep. Issa’s narrative came apart at the seams.
“By prioritizing short-term political gain over scrutinizing the agency’s clearly unworkable regulations for political non-profits, Rep. Issa’s inquiry bears all the traits of another one of his trademark witch hunts: partisan, overheated, and ultimately pointless,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.
This isn’t the first time Rep. Issa has used his perch to engage in partisan attacks. Last year, during his investigation of the Obama administration’s handling of the Fast and Furious operation, Rep. Issa published information from a sealed wiretap application in the Congressional Record. Later, he released more than 100 pages of sensitive, unredacted State Department documents in connection to his investigation of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Both actions earned him Scoundrel of the Month wins.
Nominations are already being accepted for July’s Scoundrel of the Month. People, entities, and agencies are all eligible. Submit your choices by July 26th. Voting will begin the following week.