House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa sent a subpoena for U.S. Internal Revenue Service documents to the Treasury secretary, saying he thinks the agency’s chief counsel’s office is “compromised.”
“You are slow-rolling us,” Issa told acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.
“That’s not true,” Werfel responded.
Issa’s move escalates the confrontation between Republicans and the administration over the IRS, which apologized in May for applying tougher scrutiny to Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status.
As Congress leaves for a five-week recess, Issa rejects President Barack Obama’s attempt to label the matter a “phony” scandal and insists that incomplete responses make it impossible to determine what happened and who was responsible.
At least four IRS officials have lost their positions. Seven congressional committees have opened inquiries into the IRS, requesting internal documents that would help explain how and why the agency scrutinized Tea Party groups.
“I’ve asked you for information; you’re not forthcoming,” Issa told Werfel. “The office of chief counsel, a politically appointed office, has been compromised.”
(Commentary: The Office of the Chief Counsel has Barack Obama's political appointee William Wilkens who is only 1 of 2 Obama appointees out of the 60,000 total employees. The ties to the White House appear to be materializing, but Congress cannot seem to get timely cooperation.)