GOP Malfeasance

Leaked Audio Tape Proves that Republicans Are Conspiring to Manufacture Obama Scandals

Courtesy: Mother Jones

If this pans out, it’s going to be huge


A secret audio tape of a May 8th meeting of the conservative group “Groundswell” (a total nightmare amalgamation of creatures mostly bearing Southern drawls, birther conspiracy beliefs and a reliable paranoia of being persecuted) shows the group using their collective power (media, sleeping with SCOTUS, money, evangelical base/money, GOP Congressional aides) to pressure elected Republicans into making something out of the now debunked Benghazi scandal.

They want a special committee or else.

If they don’t get it, they warned Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Obama fake scandal manufacturer Darrell Issa (R-CA), the two could face a loss of support and financial backing.

Birther Frank Gaffney made it clear on the tape that he told the puppets to play ball or else! He told the group that he had reminded Boehner and Issa that their donors are getting restless (aka, deliver us an Obama scandal or your PAC gets it), “I’m somewhat encouraged that they’re taking this thing very much to heart and we really impressed upon them that there’s a lot of restiveness on the part of folks like us, and some of their donors as a matter of fact, about what — what’s happening here.”

Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council told the group of conspirators that in their secret meeting the night before, Speaker Boehner warned them that the media would see this as an attempt to bring down the Obama administration (gee, ya think?). But, have no fear, patriots, “We got an ugly baby here and it’s going to get ugly today. We are not backing away from our call for a special committee with subpoena power… We’re not backing away from a special committee, but we kinda have a pledge from Issa and the Speaker.”

The tape of the meeting was published on Crooks and Liars by Karoli, who writes that the source wished to remain anonymous. The meeting was led by Catherine Engelbrecht, a founder of True the Vote. True the Vote is the organization found guilty of illegally aiding Republicans by operating like a PAC instead of a non-profit, and the very same organization trotted out by Darrell Issa and the media as just one example of Obama’s IRS picking on conservatives. Naturally, that wasn’t true, but it didn’t stop the media or the Republicans from running wild with their fictional accusations.

Among those present at this meeting were Ginni Thomas (wife of sitting Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clarence), former Republican Representative Allen West and of course, Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, who was on hand to instruct everyone how to handle the talking points (keep repeating that you are just interested in the “TRUTH”).

Continue reading here…

See also:

Mother Jones

Crooks & Liars

Washington Post

Darrell Issa and the overblown scandals

The Washington Post – Dana Milbank

This is how a scandal implodes:

First, the head of the investigation overpromises. “This was a targeting of the president’s political enemies, effectively, and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn’t discovered until afterwards,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee, said in May of the IRS targeting scandal. He later declared President Obama’s press secretary a “paid liar” for stating otherwise.

Next, facts emerge to undermine the investigator’s presuppositions. Documents released by Ways and Means committee Democrats this week show that the IRS, in addition to targeting tea party groups, also had “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) lists for groups using descriptors such as “progressive,” “health care legislation,” “medical marijuana,” “paying national debt” and “green energy.”

Finally, evidence surfaces that the investigator stacked the deck. Tuesday night, the Hill newspaper quoted a spokesman for Treasury’s inspector general, Russell George, saying the group was asked by Issa “to narrowly focus on tea party organizations.” The inspectors knew there were other terms, but “that was outside the scope of our audit.”

Certainly, something went badly wrong at the IRS that caused groups to be targeted because of ideology. But it’s nothing like the conspiracy Issa cooked up in which the president and his men supposedly used the tax authority to attack their political foes.

The White House deserves some of the blame for letting things get this far; a full release of information by the administration at the outset would have put the controversy to rest quickly. But the collapse of the Issa-driven scandal has reinforced a growing impression in the capital that ultimately will help Obama: The chairman is full of it.

When I covered President Clinton’s second term, White House officials were delighted to have the eccentric Dan Burton in charge of the House oversight committee. He gained prominence by shooting a melon to try to prove that Clinton aide Vince Foster hadn’t killed himself but had been murdered.

Now Issa has fallen to Burtonian levels of credibility. He’s launched a dozen or so probes, but what often begins as a legitimate inquiry into government failure turns quickly into a lunge for the Oval Office, missing each time.

Even before the Republican victory in 2010 gave him the chairmanship, Issa announced the discovery of “Obama’s Watergate” — the White House floating an administration job for a Democratic congressman to keep him out of a Senate primary. Issa backed off after learning that the Bush administration had done similar things.

Shortly before the 2010 election, Issa told Rush Limbaugh that Obama “has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” He later said Obama isn’t “personally corrupt” but his administration is.

Issa then set out to prove it. He led a probe into the failed “Fast and Furious” gun sting by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Issa declared that “it went all the way to the White House,” insisting that the plan was approved “at the highest levels of the Obama appointees,” and that the Justice Department “has blood on their hands.”

The Justice Department inspector general determined that Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t even know about the program until after it was shut down.

After the failure of Solyndra, a government-aided solar company, Issa probed Energy Department loan guarantees, saying “I want to see when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers … that it wasn’t because there were large contributions given to them.”

The committee documented no cronyism and no presidential involvement.

Issa probed the response to Freedom of Information Act requests by the Department of Homeland Security, saying the matter “reeks of a Nixonian enemies list, and this committee will not tolerate it.”

Nothing Nixonian surfaced.

After the killing of U.S. officials in Benghazi, Libya, Issa accused then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of giving false information to Congress when she said she wasn’t involved in denying the Libyan diplomats’ security requests. He also said that it was “perhaps the White House” that later changed talking points to make it appear that the assault had begun as a protest.

It turned out Clinton wasn’t involved in the security decision and the White House wasn’t behind the change in the talking points.

Then came the IRS. Instead of delivering on Issa’s promise to reveal politically motivated harassment of conservatives by the Obama administration, the committee instead turned up evidence (including the account of a “conservative Republican” who managed IRS screening) that the actions weren’t political.

The most Issa et al. can hope to prove now is that conservatives were hassled by the IRS more than liberals. That’s a worthy topic to explore, but it’s no Watergate.

Rep. Darrell Issa · Rep. Elijah Cummings

Cummings gets tired of waiting for Issa

Last week I embedded this clip from Lawrence O’Donnell’s show.  

It’s a good summary of what prompted the following move by Rep. Elijah Cummings  the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee .

The Maddow Blog

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, has seen the same interview transcripts as Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), documenting the interviews investigators conducted with IRS officials in Cincinnati. And with that in mind, Cummings was getting a little tired of Issa playing partisan games, releasing carefully edited, cherry-picked quotes from the transcripts in the hopes of keeping a “scandal” alive.

Indeed, Cummings has declared publicly, more than once, than if Issa didn’t provide the public with all of the information — rather than the portions Republicans found convenient — than Cummings would feel compelled to make the disclosures himself.

Today, the Maryland Democrat and his colleagues apparently got tired of waiting. Greg Sargent has the story:

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have just released a full transcript of testimony from a key witness in the investigation of IRS targeting of conservatives — and it appears to confirm that the initial targeting did originate with a low-level employee in the Cincinnati office.

It also shows a key witness and IRS screening manager – a self-described conservative Republican — denying any communication with the White House or senior IRS officials about the targeting.

Imagine that. Issa didn’t want the public to see all of the relevant information, because the truth interfered with the preferred Republican narrative.

The documents are now online for public review. Part I (pdf) is 103 pages, Part II (pdf) is 102 pages, and both feature some redactions to protect the identities of specific individuals whose names are not relevant to the testimony.

Of particular interest were the remarks of one particular IRS official, whose interview led Cummings to argue that the entire controversy has been “solved” and it’s time for the political world to “move on.”

Continue reading here

Rep. Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa’s IRS Investigation Is Falling Apart

Representative Darrell Issa, right, confers with a staffer during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington
Representative Darrell Issa, right, confers with a staffer during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington

Bloomberg Business Week

When Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in 2010, Representative Darrell Issa of California was supposed to become a star. Issa, who made no secret of his ambition, took over the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, vowing to use the power of his chairmanship to stage hundreds of hearings and hold the Obama administration to account. Anticipating what he promised would be “constant battle,” the White House hired extra lawyers and braced for the onslaught.

But Issa wasn’t the force people expected him to be. His biggest investigation, into the botched anti-gun smuggling operation that left a Border Patrol agent dead, incited right-wing talk radio listeners. Beyond that, though, it barely registered. After two years in power, Issa seemed more bark than bite.

Then came last month’s revelation that IRS agents had singled out Tea Party groups for special scrutiny. Here was an issue that seized public attention and posed a legitimate threat to Obama. Since then, nobody in Congress has pushed harder than Issa to pin the scandal on the White House.

But after a burst of attention, Issa’s investigation appears to have stalled. Although he turned up embarrassing material—has any government official been humiliated quite like the IRS commissioner in the dorky video dressed up as Spock?—Issa hasn’t made the all-important connection to the White House.  And he may not be able to.  The news this week that he won’t release the full transcripts of his interviews with IRS officials—interviews he selectively quoted from to imply White House complicity—suggests that what they contain may in fact exonerate the administration of the very charge Issa is laboring so hard to prosecute.

“Your push to release entire transcripts from witness interviews while the investigation remains active was reckless and threatened to undermine the integrity of the committee’s investigation,” Issa wrote in response to a letter from his Democratic counterpart, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who himself had selectively quoted the transcripts and then called on Issa to publicize the whole thing.

In theory, Issa could be building a case against the White House to rival Watergate that he just isn’t quite ready to unveil.  But that’s highly unlikely. Cummings has seen the transcripts and wouldn’t call for their release if they contained information that would fell his party’s president. Issa’s weak-tea defense of why he won’t comply—witnesses might be demoted or fired, he says—only buttresses this suspicion. So does the effort by Issa’s colleague, Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, to broaden the investigation’s scope to include donor audits. You don’t broaden an investigation if you’ve found the smoking gun and nailed the culprit.

“We’re not anywhere near being able to jump to conclusions,” Camp told reporters, including Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin, on Wednesday.  So the IRS investigations will continue. But it’s getting harder to imagine that they’ll turn up evidence of a Nixonian plot, and if they don’t, Issa will have failed again.

Rep. Darrell Issa · U.S. Politics

Chairman Issa, what exactly did Jay Carney lie about?

In my view, the definitive question for this fiasco is “who’s really lying to the American people here?”

America Blog

If GOP committee chair Darrell Issa (R-CA), who’s leading the House Republican investigation of the IRS Tea Party imbroglio, is going to accuse White House spokesman Jay Carney of lying (and Issa did), the congressman ought to at least have the balls to explain what exactly Carney lied about.

But that would be expecting too much.

First, here’s Issa calling Carney a “paid liar”:

Now, in all fairness to Issa, history shows that a good way to get Issa’s committee to cooperate with you is to donate to Congressman Issa’s campaign.  And let’s face it, there’s not a lot of donating to Issa going on in this White House.  So it’s somewhat unfair of the White House to expect Issa to be more cooperative when they’re hardly being – let’s call it “cooperative” – with the good chairman.

From Political Correction:

[A]t a February hearing, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) hosted Western Growers Association president and CEO Tom Nassif, a major Issa donor. While introducing Nassif and purporting to provide “full disclosure,” Issa mentioned that Nassif was a “personal friend,” but not that Nassif and his organization’s political action committee had donated nearly $20,000 to Issa’s campaigns.

Speaking of money, the NYT noted that Issa seems to occupy a unique space in Congress, in terms of “the role he has played in overseeing a remarkable array of outside business interests since his election in 2000.”

So, money makes the Issa go around?

Oh, and there’s also this from ThinkProgress:

Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) raised hell last year to stop the federal government from investigating Goldman Sachs regarding allegations that the company defrauded investors. In April 2010, shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)announced a civil suit against Goldman Sachs, Issa sent a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro demanding to know if there was “any sort of pre-arrangement, coordination, direction from, or advance notice” between the SEC and the Obama administration or congressional Democrats over the timing of the lawsuit.

What’s not to trust about a 59 year old guy without a single gray hair?

Issa’s investigation of the SEC’s investigation into Goldman Sachs stole the headlines and reinforced Goldman Sach’s claim that they had done nothing wrong. Explaining his defense of Goldman Sachs, Issa said he was representing the views of ordinary Americans who are worried about the “growth of government and the growth of government wanting to become more complex, with more agencies and more control over our lives.”

However, recent personal finance disclosures reviewed by ThinkProgress paint a different picture of Issa’s motivations. According to documents filed recently with the House Clerk, Issa went on a buying spree of high yield Goldman Sachs bonds at the same time he was running defense for the investment bank in Congress. From February to December of 2010, Issa bought 12 Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund Class A bonds, each worth up to $50,000 (view page 10 the disclosure here). Many of the bonds were purchased in the months after he filed his letter to the SEC. The $600,000 in new Goldman Sachs investments added to Issa’s already multimillion dollar stake in the company, valued from $5.1 to $15.5 million.

But hey, this story isn’t about whether Chairman Issa is corrupt, it’s about whether he likes to play fast and loose with the truth.

You know, like the time that Issa – who claims White House spokesman Carney is a liar – also claimed that theWhite House is intentionally fomenting violence in order to help justify a crackdown on guns.  Yeah, no bending the truth there.

Or the time Issa went ballistic over the “Fast and Furious” program, only for us to find out later that Issa knew all about the program a good year before and didn’t care one lick about it then.  In other words, his “outrage” was just for show.  (Gee, are we seeing a theme here?)

But maybe it’s all a fluke.

Hey, speaking of flukes, remember the time Chairman Issa dissed Sandra Fluke, the woman Rush Limbaugh called, dozens of times, a sl-t?  This one is worth quoting a few grafs:

Democrats on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a special hearing Thursday morning in response to the GOP’s decision to prevent women from testifying in support of an Obama administration rule requiring employers to provide birth control without additional cost sharing. The committee invited just one witness, Sandra Fluke, the third year Georgetown Law student, who House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) dismissed as an “energized” “college student” who was not “appropriate and qualified” to testify before his committee.

Democrats received over 300,000 requests for women to testify on the issue, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during today’s hearing, and the GOP’s male-only contraception hearing was widely spoofed in the press and on late-night comedy shows. Fluke herself responded to Issa’s snub in jest, noting, “Well, I will confirm that I was energized, yes” she said to laughter from the committee, “as you can see from the reaction behind me, many women in this country are energized about this issue.” “I’m an American woman who uses contraception, so let’s start right there. That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health care needs,” she added.

In her testimony, Fluke reiterated the story of her friend who was denied contraception coverage from Georgetown, despite technically qualifying for an exception that provided students who use birth control for health reasons with the benefit, and had to undergo invasive surgery.

So Issa as a judge of character – not so much.

Continued here…


Rep. Darrell Issa

John McCain Disagrees With Darrell Issa’s ‘Liar’ Charge

Sen. John McCain says: “Let the facts come out.”

Facts?  That word does not exist  to those pursuing every political option to oust Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama from office.

The Huffington Post

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pushed back Monday on comments by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who said that White House press secretary Jay Carney lied about the IRS controversy.

“I never like to use that word,” McCain said on CBS’ “This Morning.” “I think that we should let these investigations take their course, let the facts come out.”

Issa charged Sunday that the IRS agents who targeted tea party groups had been following orders from the White House. “Their paid liar, their spokesperson — picture behind — he’s still making up things about what happens and calling this a local rogue,” Issa said Sunday on CNN’s “State of The Union.”

On May 22, Carney pointed to a Treasury Department Inspector General report finding no evidence of influence or pressure from higher-ups. Issa has released excerpts — but not the full transcript — of an interview with a Cincinnati IRS employee saying that directions for more tea party scrutiny came from Washington.

McCain, nevertheless, criticized the IRS for its response to the targeting. “They’re not covering themselves with distinction here. But I think these hearings are what we should rely on to a significant degree,” he said.

He also said that the president’s credibility was “at stake” over the IRS targeting.


David Plouffe · Rep. Darrell Issa

‘Mr. Grand Theft Auto’ gets a brush-back pitch

David Plouff and Darrell Issa are shown in a composite. | AP Photos
David Plouff and Darrell Issa are shown in a composite. | AP Photos

I’m just seeing this…dang!

Maddow Blog

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), no doubt frustrated his efforts to manufacture White House scandals have faltered, started to lose his composure on CNN yesterday. Perhaps more interesting was the response from a close ally to President Obama.

After lashing out at White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as a “paid liar” — an attack seemingly based on nothing — the California Republican argued without proof that top Obama administration officials were responsible for the IRS controversy. Under scrutiny, however, Issa’s argument quickly crumbled, relying on out-of-context quotes.

It was, however, this reaction from David Plouffe that caught my eye. In President Obama’s inner circle, few are as influential as Plouffe, who ran the Obama campaign in 2008 and served as a White House Senior Adviser to the president up until late January of this year. So when he’s calling the chairman on the House Oversight Committee “Mr. Grand Theft Auto” and a “suspected arsonist/insurance swindler,” it reflects a striking escalation.

Unlike Issa’s rhetorical jabs, Plouffe’s brush-back pitch at least has the benefit of accuracy. As we discussed a few weeks ago, Issa, the man Republicans have tasked with leading investigations into alleged administration misdeeds, really has spent a fair amount of his adult life as a suspected criminal. This Ryan Lizza piece in the New Yorker from a couple of years ago remains relevant.

“Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.”

This is generally one of those truths the political world knows, but chooses not to talk about. It’s not a secret — Issa’s background is the subject of insider jokes and private chatter — but it’s considered impolite to broach the subject publicly.

Which makes Plouffe’s rhetorical shot all the more interesting.

For the record, Lizza’s report on Issa highlighted one run-in with the law after another, including arrests and indictments. There are also many suspected crimes — he’s accused of deliberately burning down a building and threatening a former employee with a gun — which did not lead to formal charges, but which nevertheless cast the congressman in a less-than-flattering light.

The New Yorker report also noted an incident in which Issa was in a car accident with a woman who needed to be hospitalized. He drove away before the police could arrive because, as he told the person he hit, he didn’t have time to wait. Issa didn’t face charges, but he was sued over the matter, and agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

And in case those angles weren’t quite enough, the same article also noted instances in which Issa appears to have lied about his background.

The congressman, for example, claimed to receive the “highest possible” ratings during his Army career, despite the fact that at one point he “received unsatisfactory conduct and efficiency ratings and was transferred to a supply depot.” Issa also claimed to have provided security for President Nixon in 1971, which wasn’t true, and said he won a national Entrepreneur of the Year award, but didn’t.

Perhaps he’s not the kind of guy who should casually throw around words like “liar.”

But the key takeaway here is the fact that Plouffe was willing to go there in the first place, as if to say to Issa, “You want a fight over honesty and ethics? That’s a great idea.” What’s more, also keep in mind that if Democrats seriously pursue this as a line of criticism, Issa and his allies will be cautious in pushing back because they’d prefer not to have this conversation at all — the last thing Republicans want now is a discussion about Issa’s scandalous background and whether he’s the best person available to lead investigations into others’ suspected wrongdoing.

Rep. Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa’s Lies Create an Uncomfortable Scrutiny of His Criminal Background

darrell issa


Ari Melber, co-host of “The Cycle”, joined Martin Bashir on his show Thursday evening to denounce Darrell Issa’s unprecedented behavior and charges toward Obama and Eric Holder. Ari pointed out that Issa’s unfounded accusations have caused several journalists to begin digging into his checkered past. It’s not pretty.

Watch video via MSNBC

AG Eric Holder · Rep. Darrell Issa

Eric Holder blasts Rep. Darrell Issa: Your conduct is ‘inappropriate,’ ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’ (VIDEO)

When Darrell Issa and his gang were trying to pin Fast and Furious on AG Eric Holder, the Attorney General sat there and took a hell of a lot of abuse from Issa and his cohorts.

This time Holder pushed back.  It’s about damn time…

The Examiner

As Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., pressed Attorney General Eric Holder for details about a phone call from Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, Holder lost his temper.

Holder interrupted Issa’s line of questioning and declared that he would not stop talking.

“No, I am not going to stop talking now,” Holder said after Issa tried to ask him a follow-up question.

“Mr. Chairman, would you inform the witness as to the rules of the committee?” Issa asked, speaking over Holder’s protest.

“It is inappropriate and too consistent with the way in which you conduct yourself as a member of Congress,” Holder continued. “It is unacceptable. It is shameful.”


GOP Overreach · GOP's Obama Derangement Syndrome

BREAKING: Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Over ‘Fast & Furious’ Documents



Here’s the thing…

The Right has had a major conniption over possible legislative attempts to expose their millionaire donors to the Romney campaign.

Yet Darrell Issa and company are just about ready to explode over the idea of President Obama claiming executive privilege over certain White House connected high level documents pertaining to the Department of Justice’s Fast and Furious campaign.


The hypocrisy and double standard is astounding but that’s not even the half of it…


Think Progress


President Obama is asserting executive privilege over documents Republicans are requesting from the Department of Justice in the Fast and Furious investigation.


“After you rejected the Department’s recent offers of additional accommodations, you stated that the Committee intends to proceed with its scheduled meeting to consider a resolution citing the Attorney General for contempt for failing to comply with the Committee’s subpoena of October 11, 2011,” James M. Cole, the Deputy Attorney General wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) Wednesday morning. “I write now to inform you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents.” The move is certainly not unprecedented: President George W. Bush asserted executive privilege six times during his eight years in office, while President Bill Clinton did so 14 times.




Bush invoked the privilege repeatedly: to block a Congressional committee’s subpoenas for documents relating to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reject California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in the US attorneys scandal that brought down Alberto Gonzales, to prevent Josh Bolten from turning over documents, and to protect Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor and Karl Rove and Scott Jennings from testimony.



Issa on March 20, 2012: “We very clearly want to respect the history of executive privilege.”



Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on June 11, 2012: “The only constitutionally viable exception to the Department of Justice`s obligation under the subpoena would be executive privilege. The President hasnt asserted that privilege, presumably because the vast majority of the documents at issue aren’t related to communications with the White House. Because the documents don’t fit the category of executive privilege, the department is obligated to turn over the documents.”



Responding to Obama’s use of executive privilege, Issa says “the untimely assertion by the Justice Department falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”



Grassley has also issued a statement decrying Obama’s action: “The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions. How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it’s never repeated again.”



The House Oversight Committee will consider this contempt resolution, which Democrats are opposing.  As Rep. Elijiah Cummings (D-MD) explained to Issa, “You accused him of a cover-up for protecting documents that he was prohibited by law from producing.”