Issa issues new IRS subpoena
November 8th, 2013
12:03 PM ET
9 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.

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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. ShawnDH

    Yawn. Nobody cares about this, but the right-wing imaginary victimhood complex will never end.

    November 8, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Data Driven


    "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."

    Er, that goes for you too. Issa has had 6 months to demonstrate political targeting of conservative groups by the IRS done at the behest of the Administration. He has failed.

    Where's YOUR proof?

    November 8, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Rosslaw

    Poor Darrell! Solyndra turned out to be a bust although Darrell did manage to score points with the People's Republic of China by suppressing their dumping solar panels in the US to tank Solyndra. It turns out that everyone in the IRS is a life long republican who never thought about persecuting right-wingers no matter how justified. Maybe Darrell should just go back to car theft and arson to commit insurance fraud.

    November 8, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    @ justsaying

    I've showed my proof. Where is yours?

    November 8, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Donna asked:

    An djust how does one come up with the names of people and the crime without first doing a thorough investigation?
    That's how the KGB used to function. That's how it is done in communist societies. Here we have the 4th Amendment.

    November 8, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Obama has accomplished more in his lifetime than they could even hope to do!"

    Obama accomplishes more launching the morning's Brown October than these goofs ever accomplish. Their whole goal is to make sure nothing gets accomplished in order to prove that gov't can accomplish nothing.

    November 8, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    tom (no) I (dea) wrote:
    "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?"

    Uh, maybe because you still defend bush and his cronies who told you there were wmd's in Iraq when there were not, and told you there could be a 'mushroom cloud' when there couldn't, and who simply ignored subpoenas from the House when they were in office.
    Is it that our President actually acknowledged this, took responsibility, and apologized that causes you so much grief, tom?
    Do you prefer someone who denies the facts and point fingers and does not take responsibility? Is that the type leader you want, tom?
    What you want is the same thing that Donna, and just saying/just asking, and Fair, and the other righties want... to criticize and throw mud and whine and play victim. You get to do that... this is America and we are intact and you are free. Proceed with your childish antics, but please quit asking your inane and nonsensical questions and fawning over Data.
    I just ate.

    November 8, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. rosethornne

    Subpoena Issa for wasting taxpayer money on his witch hunts.

    November 8, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Wake up People!


    I love you!!!

    November 8, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Someone needs to point out to Issa that granting oneself the power to conduct illegal search and siezures is what dictators do.

    November 8, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. And the beat goes on...

    Issa promised investigations if his party were regained control of the house...he's whistling into the wind (and he knows it) but he has to do something to try to remain relevant...

    November 8, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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