Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When Darrell Issa goes fishing

By Dana Milbank, WashPost

Darrell Issa is about to reach a regrettable milestone.

The California Republican is one summons away from issuing his 100th subpoena since becoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in 2011 — all of them without a committee vote and the vast majority without the concurrence of the committee’s ranking Democrat.

The “unilateral subpoenas,” as they are known, are a departure from the way the committee has conducted its investigations for decades and an echo of the late Clinton years, when conspiracy-minded Chairman Dan Burton fired off more than 1,000 subpoenas (including one to the wrong man because of mistaken identity) and established his investigative bona fides by shooting a melon to reenact the death of Clinton friend Vince Foster.

The careless use of the subpoena — the power to compel a witness’s appearance or the production of documents — has discredited Issa’s chairmanship by politicizing his probes from the start. His unilateral style has also been a leading contributor to the overall toxicity in politics by turning his committee into a forum for partisan clashes over Benghazi, Libya, the Internal Revenue Service and Eric Holder’s Justice Department.

(More here.)


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