The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Things just aren’t going Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) way.

After almost a year-long recess, on Wednesday Issa dismissed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the IRS “scandal” after about 20 minutes. After former IRS official Lois Lerner exercised her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify, Issa saw no reason to continue the hearing.

But Issa wasn’t going to let this snafu refocus the limelight on anyone but himself. And he definitely wasn’t going to let Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the committee, make a statement about the investigation or ask a procedural question.

Cummings, who is in the often-exasperating position of being Issa’s Democratic counterpart, exploded after Issa dismissed the hearing before he could make a statement.

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this,” Cummings said, refusing to be silenced even after Issa cut off his microphone. “You cannot just have a one-sided investigation.”

Cummings then added a bit of vital information to understanding the investigation. He said the the investigation into the IRS scandal, “ha[s] found no evidence to support allegations of a political conspiracy against conservative groups.” That prompted Issa to leave the room. “What are you hiding?” Cummings asked the chairman.

“He’s taking the Fifth, Elijah,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said.

Before the hearing blew up in his face, Issa was sure that his investigation into the IRS “scandal” was going to break his way. He knew Lerner’s right to invoke the Fifth Amendment would be waived and she would be subjected to his questions. Issa, as he has been in the past, was wrong.

Cummings and Issa have clashed many times before, mostly because Cummings has pointed out fundamental flaws in the investigation led by the Republican. Cummings previously wrote a letter to Issa that accused him of implicating the White House in the IRS investigation, which has no factual basis.  In the same letter, Rep. Cummings accused Issa of hiding facts that disprove White House involvement in the IRS “scandal.”

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}