Issa issues new IRS subpoena
November 8th, 2013
12:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Issa issues new IRS subpoena

Updated 3:07 p.m. 11/8/2013

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans are returning the spotlight to another Obama administration controversy with the executive branch currently mired in the botched online rollout of and broken promises over Obamacare.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, is again pressing the IRS over its scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. He issued another subpoena late Thursday to the Treasury Department, according to two spokespeople for the committee.

The subpoena contains eight requests for documents. Some are broad, seeking all documents related to how the IRS determines tax-exempt status or how Treasury was responding to congressional inquiries on the matter.

Others are more specific, asking for any documents related to a June briefing given to Treasury's general counsel or related to any of 10 specific letters with members of Congress.

The subpoena is not limited to the IRS controversy, it also seeks all documents regarding how the IRS set up its internal Affordable Care Act office to handle Obamacare.

The latest request comes after congressional Republicans have been working to demonstrate what they believe - that someone outside the IRS knew about the targeting of tea party groups. But various investigations have not been able to prove the claim.

The GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee first issued a subpoena in June, roughly a month after the IRS admitted to applying extra scrutiny to some conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status from 2010-2012.

Revelations later came out that the IRS also targeted progressive groups, though not to the same degree as conservative ones.

Ali Ahmad, senior communications adviser to Issa's committee, said the Treasury Department submitted 356 pages of documents by the June 27 deadline from the first subpoena, but the Oversight panel said the information was not satisfactory to the subpoena request.

In September, Issa followed up and asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in a letter to comply with the full subpoena request from June by October 2. However, because the government was shutdown beginning October 1, the Department told the committee it would not be able to complete the request–so the committee loosened their deadline requirements.

Later in October, after the government reopened, the Department provided another 800 pages of documents, according to Issa's committee.

But it still wasn't enough, spokespersons for the committee now say, and they issued the second subpoena this week that also calls for documents showing internal communications, including conversations about the Treasury's internal investigation, as well as communications about how the IRS decides to evaluate applications for tax exempt status.

A Treasury official said the department "remains committed to work with Congress" and will continue to try to provide the documents.

"Additionally, as we have said numerous times, Treasury is not involved in the details of tax administration and enforcement," the official continued, adding that the IRS is best suited to provide such material. "To that end, they are going to extraordinary lengths to cooperate with Congress."

The official added that the IRS has assigned more than 150 employees retrieving the information for congressional committees and have produced over 440,000 pages.

The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who has been highly critical of the way Issa has conducted the IRS probe, said Friday the committee "has obtained no evidence that anyone other than IRS employees were involved in the use of inappropriate screening criteria for progressive and conservative groups."

"Yet Chairman Issa continues to fish for links to the Treasury Department and the White House in a desperate attempt to keep this investigation going," he continued in a statement. "The fact is that Treasury and IRS have already been complying with a previous subpoena by handing over hundreds of thousands of documents.”

In the nearly six months since the scandal came to light, House Republicans have led multiple congressional hearings on the issue, with some Democrats joining in on the outrage.

Several officials have since left the IRS, including the then-acting commissioner whose resignation was demanded almost immediately by the White House, and Lois Lerner, former director of tax exempt organizations for the IRS, announced her retirement.

Filed under: Darrell Issa • IRS
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. just saying

    obama adminstration the most transparent presidency in history??? yet another obama lie to the american people. all they do is without information and lie to congress when they testify. they should all be charged and jailed.

    November 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Look over here....SQUIRREL!!!!! We know that they have weapons of mass distraction.

    November 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "But various investigations have not been able to prove the claim."

    But hey, as long as you keep investigating, you can keep claiming that "we know it's there, we just haven't found it yet."

    There's elephants in them strawberry patches...

    November 8, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Don't you love how the media leaves out the part of the IRS targeting liberal groups as well with even more scrutiny.

    November 8, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    Oh no, here we go again. Don't look at the Benghazi mess where the lies from the right were spotlighted in the 60 Minutes fiasco (durn librul media) let's re- reopen the IRS scandal because Issa hasn't gotten his name in the paper lately.
    I've heard of beating a dead horse, but beating a putrified, decaying corpse of a horse that the buzzards even gave up on is just a little disgusting.
    Any time being set aside for all those 'jobs' programs you all promised? (Well don't be crying when the political ads start highlighting what you ran on versus what you actually did).

    November 8, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Is je sus almighty better, CNN? Will these morons ever stop?
    How about calling the teaklans who shut down the government and wasted $24BILLION and spank them some?
    This car thief needs to go and so does his whole klan.
    These fools really and truly don't realize how much people hate them and their hearings and anything and everything about them putting themselves first time and again instead of the country!!!

    November 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. rs

    Hey, Mr. Issa- a terrorist group held America hostage from Oct. 1-16, this year and it cost the country $24 billion. Perhaps you'd care to investiget that?

    November 8, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Ron -IN

    CALIFORNIA PLEASE DO US ALL A FAVOR...Vote Congressman Issa out of office!!! He is wasting time and money on issues that already have been resolved. This has never been and will never be proven to be a scandal. There are SO MANY more important things to do than this. It's absurd and wasteful.

    November 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Obviously, Mr. Issa abuses his power by conducting these search and seizures, looking for evidence of a crime that he cannot cite by name or person.

    November 8, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. cumulus

    This is 100% political BS, and many are tiring of the efforts to control when not in power, the whole world is shaking their collective heads, and they just don't care, its all about them. I don't think many rational people think this is a pursuit of truth, quit the contrary, it's an attempt at the opposite, getting very frustrating, come on 2014!!!!!

    November 8, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Data Driven

    IRS? Again?

    Oh, I forgot the devastating investigative report from "60 Minutes" on Benghazi - which Issa was counting on - turned out to be fraudulent, as it was based on a lying witness.

    November 8, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Abbey

    Democrats have run out of excuses. With the pile of menusha coming from this group, its about time to use the power of subpoena to get the truth out.

    November 8, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Issa , did you read the new report ?

    Benghazi report .

    Issa needs to move to Texas , next to Rick Perry.

    November 8, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. just asking

    when is the obama administration going to stop stonewalling congress and our elected representatives, whose job it is to provide oversight? stonewall, evade, delay, lie, deny, smear, and break the law. that is all we have seen from this corrupt obama administration. well, they couldn't escape all their lies about obamacare. but they sure try like heck to conceal and bury the rest of their lies and corruption.

    November 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. MaryM

    Issa will be out of office soon. His own constituents are now against himsa will be out of office soon.

    November 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. cumulus

    So, creating false info, so as to start a war, so profits could me made for rich, essentially killing thousands is OK, but this is just crazy, how dare the irs give scrutiny to political groups attempting to dodge taxes, that is intolerable . And you idiots claim he's s patriot, nice tax evasion seminar he gave to multi million/ billionaires, yup, heck if a guy, how do you not realize what tools you are? Everybody keeps telling you, but your just too smart for that, priceless!

    November 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. O'drama ya Mama

    Oh you're guilty alright. Of what? Not sure yet but we'll just keep looking until something comes up. Dont blink or you'll miss it. Wait I thought I saw something. Nope, it was nothing but your still guilty.

    November 8, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    Grasping as straws much, car thief?

    November 8, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. US Citizen

    Fortunately Obama had a secret court order to seal White House visitor logs. The public will never know how many times the head of the IRS visited Obama to discuss his targeting strategy! Chew on that Issa!

    November 8, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. tom l

    Shows a lot of hubris by the lefties here after President Obama admitted he lied, errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr misled, the American public just to get re-elected. Just imagine if he had given his "apology-ish" before the elections on Tuesday.

    The hardcore liberals here should really be showing some compassion and humility since the person they love so much has "misled" millions and millions of Americans. My goodness. I thought the left was compassionate about people that are in dire straits but apparently not when it comes at the hands of the president lying, errrrrrrrrrrrr misleading, them.

    November 8, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. jboh

    Chairman Issa is throwing TEA/GOP temper tantrums again. GROW UP!

    November 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. tom l

    Based on the fact that the president has now acknowledged that he "misled" the American public about his absolute pledge, why am I supposed to believe anything he says?

    November 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    This congress schedules are Hearings, repeal Obama care, name post office but their salary is 5 digits and our deficit is 17 trillions time to fire congress

    November 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But various investigations have not been able to prove the claim."

    Good indication it is time to put the IRS witchhunt to bed and move on.

    Benghazi. Benghazi. Benghazi.

    November 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. jinx9to88

    @ Data Driven
    IRS? Again?

    Oh, I forgot the devastating investigative report from "60 Minutes" on Benghazi – which Issa was counting on – turned out to be fraudulent, as it was based on a lying witness.


    I know right? Its been a while. Its like these GOP witch hunt take turns every other week. No use trying to explain to the GOP wackos they are in the bubble. Issa thought for sure they had something with CBS report but to find out the guy even lied about his own name. haha

    November 8, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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