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

    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.

    they left it out because it never happened. you live in a dream world. no liberal group was denied their tax status for over 3 years and harrased the entire time. none. please stop posting these lies with out one shred of evidence to back it up.

    November 8, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. luke,az

    An investigation needs to be done on Issa's business. This guy is dirty.

    November 8, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    This nonsense reminds me of the Clinton persecution fueled by the big bucks of the conservatives.
    um um whitewater, no? um um Vince Foster, uum um no? um sex scandal!! arf, arf, arf!!
    For Obama's persecution we have:
    birth cert. um no? um um IRS no? um um ObamaCare no? um um Benghazi um no? um IRS again – arf arf arf !!

    November 8, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    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.
    If Issa had any respect for the U.S. Constitution he'd realize that granting yourself the power to conduct illegal search and seizure, fishing expeditions is immoral. There is no evidence of a crime having been committed, much less who committed the crime.

    November 8, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Dennis Freeman

    A pathetic excuse for a Congressman – must be a little Napoleonic syndrome

    November 8, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. A True Conservative

    Ummmm.....the evidence shows that virtually every case involved conservative groups. Conservative groups were required to answer far more questions than the very few asked of a handful of liberal groups. The liberal groups also had their applications approved while the applications of conservative groups, in many cases, still are in limbo. Also, it has been shown that federal law was violated when IRS employees shared confidential information from conservative applicants with other groups. I guess this really isn't a big deal as long as it all helps the liberals. But oh what a terrible thing it would be if it happened under a conservative administration. Such hypocrisy!

    November 8, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. sifto

    as if 60 minutes is not a left wing Obama butt kisser..they only had this on to purposely leave out the facts and make Obama look less guilty than he is..

    November 8, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    This creates jobs jobs jobs how?

    November 8, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Donna

    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.

    He's doing his job without any cooperation from Obama and his corrupt adminstration, which is why they need to issue subpoenas. All the Obama adminsitration needs to do is act in good faith and provide the materials they requested but they refuse to do so.

    An djust how does one come up with the names of people and the crime without first doing a thorough investigation? You left loons are hilarious. We are now all supposed to take the word of our lying President that everything is OK and no crimes are being committed when there is already clear evidence to the contrary?

    November 8, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. S. B. Stein

    What does this guy want? It doesn't make any sense. It might be that he is looking for something that doesn't exist. If he had full understanding that all of these conservative groups just showed up after the Citizens United decision, then he would have less of a problem. There are all of these new groups that are supposedly non-profit and "social welfare" organizations that need a second look. If the IRS doesn't do that, then the IRS isn't really doing its job.

    November 8, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "no liberal group was denied their tax status for over 3 years and harrased the entire time."

    Indeed. The only groups who were denied their status at all were 3 liberal groups and it happened much quicker than 3 years.

    November 8, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Just get rid off this sob, evil goes away.

    November 8, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "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?"

    Based on the fact that the GOP/Teatrolls have been PROVEN to have outright lied to the American public about myriad issues, including the ACA, why are we not supposed to believe anything they say or tolerate their witchhunts?


    Oh, wait, so the key factor for you is whether they "acknowledge" it? So as long as they've been proven to be lying out of their pasty white faces but deny it, they still maintain all credibility for you? Pathetic.

    November 8, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    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?
    Because. Because you have to when there is no evidence that suggests anything else he has said was a lie. If you speak something that you honestly believe in that turns out to be untrue, then it makes you worng, not a liar. People like Karl Rove predicted a Romney victory by a landslide. Many had guaranteed it, like Rove. They were all wrong. Are they liars?

    November 8, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Hey Darrell... Why don't you go find the WMD George was looking for? What a waste of time and money... Does this Issa fool ever run out of errands?

    November 8, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Denise

    The plot thickens...Keystone cops are back in action! Where is Dan Burton when you need him? Surely he could shoot a few watermelons and wherever the seeds land, herein lies the clues to the master plan to destroy America!

    November 8, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Denise

    You have to feel for these fools. Obama has accomplished more in his lifetime than they could even hope to do!

    November 8, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Denise

    When are Obama's affairs in the Oval Office going to come out?

    November 8, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. sly

    Well, they lost on the government shutdown. They lost on seceeding from the US. They lost on Health Care. Turns out Benghazi was just based on lies and nothing ever happened there. They lost on 'wheres His birth certificate'.

    Now they are back to the IRS – where it's been proven that the IRS properly scrutinized Democrat and Republican fake 529's.

    The Party of Failure – GOP at 18% approval. Ha ha ha .

    November 8, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Toes

    Even more pathetic excuse for a President – must be a little Napoleonic syndrome

    November 8, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. rs

    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.
    Given that the GOP is so addicted to simply making these (controversies" up, how can the administration respond to them? Why not accuse Obama of harboring UFOs, or Bigfoot?
    You cannot satisfy the insane.

    November 8, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    just saying
    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.

    they left it out because it never happened. you live in a dream world. no liberal group was denied their tax status for over 3 years and harrased the entire time. none. please stop posting these lies with out one shred of evidence to back it up.
    "We just learned recently that name was being used by the Internal Revenue Service," George said of the term "progressive." – Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George

    Sorry, but you need to get your FACTS straight!!!

    November 8, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Ass-a the GOP incompetent teaparty loser from cal, will not be realected because of his incompetence and obstruction and short changing the calf voters. Ass, you were not elected to showboat and conduct meaningless witch hunts to get your ugly face on the evening news. You have done NOTHING for the voters of your district and are a national disgrace and GOP laughingstock, GOP moron and over paid GOP loser!!!!!!!

    November 8, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    please stop posting these lies with out one shred of evidence to back it up.
    After you.

    November 8, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Evidently Issa's wife is not handling his business a home.

    November 8, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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